Coconut Water: The New Sports Drink

If you need an extra boost after exercising, coconut water may be just the thing. Coconut water is the clear liquid derived from young coconuts, not the thicker, white liquid known as coconut milk, which is a mixture of water and coconut pulp. Long popular in the Caribbean and Southeast Asia, coconut water is one of the fastest-growing drinks in the United States.

Studies show that coconut water helps rehydrate the body after exercise. It contains the electrolyte minerals sodium, potassium, and magnesium that are common in sports drinks. Research finds that drinking sodium-enriched coconut water is “as good as ingesting a commercial sports drink for whole body rehydration after exercise-induced dehydration but with better fluid tolerance.”

Many other health claims have been made about the beverage, but research is limited. It also contains vitamin C, selenium, and phytochemicals.

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“Coconut Water: Health or Hype?” American Institute for Cancer Research,

“Rehydration with Sodium-Enriched Coconut Water after Exercise-Induced Dehydration” by I. Ismail et al., Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health, 7/07