1965: Gatorade was debuted after a University of Florida Assistant Coach noticed his players losing steam when playing in the heat
1993: The launch of PowerAde; currently the number 2 sports drink worldwide
1996: Vitamin Water was started after the founder thought of the idea while drinking mineral water and Vitamin C while sick
2006: O.N.E. coconut water was the first coconut water to hit shelves in Southern California Whole Foods after two Brazil natives started the company in 2005
Being one of the newest beverages with electrolytes on the market, coconut water is at its popularity peak. There are multiple benefits floating around about coconut water including the amount of electrolytes it contains, the ability to give you perfect skin, and its ability to aid in weight loss. But what is the truth about coconut water?
Coconut water is the liquid from the inside of a young green coconut. Unlike coconut milk, coconut water does not contain any of the pulp from the coconut, but originates from the center of the coconut. One cup of coconut water contains 46 calories, 9g of carbohydrates, 600mg of potassium and 250mg of sodium; while one cup of a leading sports drink contains 63 calories, 16g of carbohydrates, 37mg of potassium and 95mg of sodium. Coconut water has fewer calories, more potassium, more sodium and slightly less carbohydrates when compared to the leading sports drink.
So is coconut water a good sports drink? For those training sessions where you are looking to add a little amount of carbs and a good amount of electrolytes without added sugars, it is perfect. It also can be paired with clean bars or fruit squeezes for extra carbohydrates when you need a little more. Every athlete is different so find what works for you.
Because coconut water contains high amounts of potassium and magnesium, the health benefits go beyond hydration. Just remember, if you are trying to lose weight, stick to plain water during the day and leave the coconut water for before, during and after activity longer than 90 minutes. When purchasing coconut water, stick to unsweetened brands and flavors. There will be natural sugars from the coconut, but no added sugars or artificial sweeteners. Zico Coconut Water has many options if you are looking to add this to your training plan.