Bliss or myth continued …
Hopefully you’ve read my previous post Coconut Water Health Benefits – Bliss or Myth? (Part 1). As mentioned, it all depends. It depends on the kind of coconut water. Vita Coco Coconut Water emphasizes that they do not claim to be a “before, during, and after sports hydrator” on their website (this is probably due to their low sodium content) but fail to make that mention on the container box itself. Now with coconut water being mostly touted as a natural alternative sports drink replacement, couldn’t this be somewhat misleading to the general unsuspecting public consuming these Vita Coco beverages? One would assume they are getting just as much vitamins and nutrients as the real thing. After all, it’s “100% pure coconut water” – it says so right on the box!
Fresh young coconuts may be bulky and not readily available in some places, and they definitely do not come with a nutrition facts label. But did you know that according to the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, one cup of natural fresh young coconut water contains 250 mg of sodium? Surely this meets with the ACSM’s requirement of 120-169 mg sodium per cup. That’s great news for the coconut water sports fanatic and has definitely earned my stamp of approval! So whether you drink coconut water for sport or pleasure, please know that the nutrient value alone will do wonders for maintaining a healthy functioning body. Truly its worth every last sip, slurp and burp!
Bottom line is, when it comes to your health and nutrition, reading food labels and education is a good place to start if you seek vibrant health. You can read more about food labeling here.
Where can I get fresh young coconuts?
As with all vitamins and minerals that our bodies require, I always recommend going with whole foods first. If you don’t live in the tropics or on an island, you may most likely find them at specialty or Asian grocery stores and markets, cut down to form eight-inch white pointy cubes. All you have to do is drill a hole (in the absence of a machete), insert a straw and enjoy. Don’t forget to crack open the husk when you’re done to get to the best part! However, some of the younger coconuts may not have the “jelly” so don’t be too disappointed. You might also want to try Caribbean grocery stores too if you have them available where you live.
For the peeps who prefer the on-the-go convenient lifestyle or who just don’t have the time to hunt around, there are lots of good quality coconut water on the market – just make sure you read the food label and stay away from the low sodium content ones if you plan to use it as a sports drink. I must say, I have nothing against Vita Coco Coconut Water if it’s not intended for a sports drink replacement, although I’m still a bit hesitant with the various fruit flavors they have to offer. For me, I like my coconut water just the way nature provides it – no processing, no added colors, flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives.
Did you know?
The balance of electrolytes in coconut water is nearly the same as that in the human blood — so close, in fact, that coconut water is the only natural non-blood substance that can be safely injected into the human bloodstream.
During the Pacific War of 1941 to 1945, both sides in the conflict regularly used coconut water – siphoned directly from the coconut – to give emergency plasma transfusions to wounded soldiers.
A little tidbit for my party peeps …
Do you normally find yourself with a killer headache the morning after a night of drinking? If this sounds like you, please know that this is essentially the result of being severely dehydrated. Alcohol is very diuretic. The more you drink the more you become dehydrated and thus, the more severe your headache.
This is where electrolytes come in to play and you may be delighted to know that coconut water with a few drops of lemon juice has been known to drive away hangovers. I’m sure everyone has a preferred method for treating a hangover but I’ve heard that this really works! So the next time you plan to party and drink, grab a box of coconut water. Drinking this before falling asleep will help counteract the onset of a hangover in the first place. And in the likely event that it did not cross your mind to do so, having some right after waking up will still help as well.
Let me know your thoughts below in the comment box and if there’s any other way you use coconut water ….
Love and coconuts,
Martine ~ holistic nutritionista