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Pure Coconut Water - A Natural Electrolyte Replacement Sports Drink

Updated on April 6, 2019

Is coconut water the latest sports drink fad? After viewing a story about coconut water on a local news channel, I must admit my interest was piqued. Young people seem to be trending toward coconut water as well as professional endurance athletes.

My primary interest in coconut water is whether or not to recommend it to my husband who is always looking for a more natural alternative to sports drinks which can contain high amounts of sugar and/or caffeine neither being good for a type 2 diabetic.

Although I am not now nor will I ever reach the workout levels my husband regularly engages in, I would still be willing to give it a try, as I often experience dehydration especially if I am well enough to be semi-active.

Coconut Water - Not to be Confused With Coconut Milk

Having never drank a cup of coconut milk or coconut water, the first thing I was surprised to learn was that there is a difference between the two. (My first DUH moment)

From what I now understand coconut water is what comes from a green coconut, whereas milk comes from a fully ripened coconut.

Further if the hype is to be relied upon, many professional athletes are making the change to pure coconut water to replenish their electrolytes while engaged in heavy duty physical activity such as marathon or biking races.

Research on this point is rather sketchy. I assume I will find more well known athletes giving their testimony to coconut water’s benefits as time goes on, however right now I find mostly a generic reference to its use by “professional athletes” without many specific names.

Results of Search for Professional Athletes Using Coconut Water

Bryant Shaw, a professional football player has been cited by ZICO’s operations manager, John Farrell as having benefited from their Coconut Water. You can judge the credibility of his statement for yourself, as I have linked to the statement.

Thus far it is the only professional endorsement I have ran across, of course I have only begun to look, so hopefully will be able to add more to this section as I discover them in my Internet searches.





What Coconut Water Does - Exactly

So what is it about coconut water that makes it so helpful with dehydration and recovering from exhertion?

Here's what I have discovered so far

According to Zico:

ZICO contains the five essential electrolytes your body needs to keep nerves firing, muscles moving and to help manage stress. One ZICO has more potassium than a banana – 15 times more than most sports drinks – to prevent cramping and promote recovery. Drink ZICO before or during a workout for the natural energy you need for optimal performance. After a workout, ZICO replenishes and re-hydrates you to speed recovery.

As to help benefits in general:

Muscle performance All-natural energy Weight-loss aid Heart health Stress reduction Skin, hair & nail health Alkaline balance Mental acuity Kidney cleansing Natural hang-over cure

According to Vita Coco's FAQ's Section:

What kind of coconuts do you use for Vita Coco?

Only green coconuts! Most people don’t realize there is an enormous difference between green coconuts and the brown coconuts we’re used to seeing at the grocery story, and in most pop culture imagery. Green coconuts have all the nutrition and healthful benefits. We harvest green coconuts in the north of Brazil, in a farm near Fortaleza. The average age of the coconut is about 7 months, the best age to extract sweet coconut water that is fat-free (before the coconut ages, turns brown and the water turns to hardened “meat” – fat city!).

Do you pasteurize this product?

Yes, we use a flash pasteurization process. Our machinery uses a patented method to extract the coconut water then filter and flash pasteurize it at 120° for two seconds before packaging the water in its aseptic Tetra Pak package. (As per FDA guidelines, flash pasteurization is mandatory for bottled beverages.) Only Tetra Pak can stabilize and give the coconut water a shelf life of 12 months, allowing us to keep it 100% natural – no additives, no preservatives, and all the healthful benefits.

Can women who are pregnant drink Vita Coco?

Yes, because it is pasteurized. Many doctors suggest that pregnant women drink coconut water regularly, since it has so many nutritional benefits. Coconut water contains high levels of lauric acid, what the body uses to make monolaurin, a disease-fighting fatty acid derivative. Lauric acid has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties that protect the body against various infections and boost the immune system.

Is there added sugar in Vita Coco?

No, there is no added sugar in any Vita Coco products.

Is your beverage organic and fair trade certified?

No, Vita Coco is not certified organic…yet. However it is 100% natural and we can assure you our beverages include only fresh and natural ingredients, and no additives or preservatives.

Is Vita Coco kosher?

Yes, Vita Coco is kosher and is Star-K certified.

How long after I open the 11.2 ounce (330 ml) Vita Coco does it stay fresh?

No more than 24 hours! We suggest that once you open this size Vita Coco, you should drink it immediately. But if you don’t finish it, put in the fridge for no more than a day.

How long after I open the 17 ounce (500 ml) or 1 liter does it stay fresh?

You’ve got a little longer with Vita Coco’s re-sealable sizes: up to 48 hours.

Does Vita Coco need to be refrigerated when unopened?

No, because of the Tetra Pak process, Vita Coco does not need to be refrigerated prior to opening, however we suggest you drink Vita Coco chilled!

Will Coconut Water Rival Gatorade

I can’t help but wonder if coconut water will rival Gatorade, and so am searching for information in that regard.

I have been noticing buzz about ZICO as a great sports drink source. All natural, no added sugar, no preservatives, sounds like just the ticket for those who regularly work up a sweat and need to remain hydrated.

Of course ZICO has not cornered the market or even invented coconut water. It has been touted for its health benefits for decades and even boosts of being a hang-over cure for those who overindulge in alcohol consumption.

Gatorade is most readily associated with endurance sports, so it will be interesting to see if coconut water becomes the new Gatorade of the up and coming generation.

I was able to find one muscle building forum that contrasted the two. One poster mentioned coconut water has no sodium, which some athletes may need to replenish during a workout. Gatorade has sodium.


Coconut Water Easily Attainable

There doesn’t seem to be any difficulty in obtaining coconut water. I discovered it being offered at a grocery store chain. Seems any place that sells healthy foods will have some type of coconut water.

Brand names like ZICO seem to be advertising heavily at present, but a quick comparison of ingredients and prices will no doubt lead to the best bang for the buck.

I would be happy to include any testimonials in this article, so if you know of a good source at a good price, please let me know in the comments section.

My Recommendation

My search is ongoing and very new, but based on what I have learned so far, I will be recommending coconut water to my husband to try out.

If it ends up affecting his diabetes negatively, I will not hesitate to update here.

If he doesn't like the taste, again I will update that as well.

I'm hoping it is a winner, something he will be able to use regularly, in addition to good old fashioned water!

It would great if I find I like coconut water and find it helpful find helpful with any MS symptoms. If I find it to be the case, I will happily share that info too.


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