Coconut Water, a Natural Sports Drink
A team of tesearchers led by Chhandashri Bhattacharya, Ph.D. reports at the244th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in Philadelphia their findings after analyzing and comparing coconut water with Gatorade and Powerade, both popular brands of sports drinks.
Coconut water is a tasty, clear liquid found inside a green coconut, the fruit of a coconut palm tree. It is a popular drink especially in tropical islands, where it is usually consumed with a straw, straight from the green coconut, as a cool, healthy beverage. It has later become a popular beverage even for sports enthusiasts, who now take it from cans and bottles.
Their nutritional analysis shows that coconut water has five times more potassium than Gatorade or Powerade, and this can help relieve muscle cramps. A 12-ounce serving of coconut water contains more potassium than a banana, and this may be important even for non-athletes who are low in this mineral.
The researchers, however found that coconut water contains less salt than either sports drink (400 mg/liter of sodium compared to 600 for the other two drinks), which make it less ideal for strenuous workouts. Nevertheless, it contains comparable quantities of magnesium and sugar as the other drinks.
Bhattacharya, who is with Indiana University Southeast in New Albany considers coconut water a healthy drink that contains healthy antioxidants and can replenish the nutrients lost during a moderate workout but recommends taking more traditional sports drink like Gatorade for strenuous activities.
American Chemical Society. Coconut water is an excellent sports drink — for light exercise. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 23, 2012.