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The Holy Grail of Hydration?

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Uriia Underhill, B.Sc.



Could it be that Coconut water is the most elite sports drink, when it comes to hydration? 

Coconut water is a light watery substance that has a nutty yet sweet flavor, some may find it hard to swallow however it is packed full of electrolytes and easy digestible carbohydrates. I have heard so many things about Coconut Water. From it cures hangovers, to it hydrates quicker than many of the other electrolyte drinks, but how much of this can actually be proven? 

Well finally, here is some of the science behind what makes this drink stand out compared to its components.

 Electrolytes are critical for maintaining the proper flow of blood within your heart. The main electrolytes are calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, and chloride. 

Electrolytes are included in most popular sports drinks but what are the benefits from getting them from natural sources opposed to synthetic? 

Coconut water has a natural proper balance of electrolytes helping the body remain hydrated, stay lubricated, effectively handle stress and fight off exercise fatigue (JenReviews, 2016). 

To start out, Coconut Water is quite impressive considering it packs the punch of a potassium content of nearly 3 bananas, which is around 61 mg per ounce (Zelman, 2013). 

Why is potassium so important? 

 Potassium, one of the needed electrolytes is beneficial for athletes because it can help regulate muscle contractions as well as nerve impulses within the body. Having adequate amounts of potassium in the body can help prevent muscle cramping and fatigue. Potassium is beneficial for everyone in the fact that it is critical in keeping the body hydrated. 

Recently the dietary recommendations of potassium have increased leaving most Americans ingesting inadequate amounts. The Recommended Daily Intake of Potassium is around 4,700 mg a day for both men and women (Fink, Burgoon, Mikesky, 2009). 

This all makes Coconut water an excellent low calorie, nutrient dense, refreshing addition to any person’s daily drinking habit. But wait.. There is more. 

Appropriately enough, Coconut Water has sealed its reputation as being named “Nature’s Sport Drink.”

Another surprise within Coconut Water is that it is rich in cytokinins, which are a type of hormone that develops naturally within plants. Cytokinins are thought to promote healthy divisions of cells, while at the same time inhibiting the growth of mutated cells (Jen Reviews, 2016). The cytokinins in plants but seen in high concentrations within Coconut Water helps to prevent cell aging, enhancing, and helping to extend human youthfulness. It has been shown that tissues and teeth that have been preserved in cytokinetic solutions have lasted and maintained longer than in regular water solutions.

Not only does Coconut water have amazing amounts of a necessary minerals it contains at least a small source of more than half of the body’s required nutrients (Jen Reviews, 2016), but also it contains less sugar and sodium then leading sport drinks. 

So if you’re thirsty and need some natural re-hydration that water just won’t quench, try Coconut Water!

References

Fink, H., Burgoon, L., Mikesky, A., (2009) Practical Application in Sports Nutrition, 2nd edition (pg.200) Chapter 7 Minerals, Jones and Bartlett, Sandbury, MA.

Zelman, K., (2013) WebMD, The Truth About Coconut Water, Retrieved May 7, 2013 from http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/truth-about-coconut-water

Jen Reviews (2016) 9 Health Benefits of Coconut Water, According to Science, Retrieved from  https://www.jenreviews.com/coconut-water/

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