I have a new addiction, one I used to think was rather nasty: coconut water. But the combination of our crazy hot summer and my outside and hot yoga workouts convinced me to give it another go. The second time around, I loved it. I didn’t notice the less than delightful aftertaste that had initially turned me off; instead, I simply felt quenched and, somehow, revived. I realized that if I drank the coconut water immediately after a workout, it even tasted good. And then, as I started purchasing coconut water in large rather than single sized containers and drinking it out of a (gasp) glass, I discovered that the funny taste that originally kept me away was likely from the carton the coconut water came in and not the water itself.
Of course, this led to the inevitable question of whether the stuff is really as amazing as the coconut water champions claim. Well, yes. And no. It obviously contains water, which is a plus, and it is also robust in carbohydrates and electrolytes, both of which are good post-workout. That said, coconut water has not been studied extensively (although one small study out of the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition indicated that coconut water rehydrated a handful of athletes in a manner similar to commercial sports drinks and better than simply water). At 45 calories a cup, one of my favorite things about coconut water is that it is a low calorie replenisher. So many times I see people workout hard only to blow all their effort on a mediocre sports drink or bar. Fact of the matter is, unless you’ve put in a marathon-like workout, you simply don’t need hundreds of calories to replenish. Sorry.
Despite the lack of studies, it should be obvious that coconut water, like many fads before it, is not a miracle drink. It will not cure cancer, diabetes, or heart disease, it will not make you thinner and smarter, and it will not make you more attractive to the opposite sex. Unless, of course, the promise of coconut water entices you to workout. Then, I say, consider it a win.
Filed under: Midpack Musings