Every athlete knows that nutrition plays a critical role to their performance. Often the hydration part of it is very neglected until race day. Just as nutrition in the days and weeks leading up to your event will effect your performance, hydration is ever just as important. If you wait until race day to decide to take in electrolytes and ensure you have proper hydration, you are too late.
Over recent years, sports drinks have taken a front seat as the hydration solution. Many of them are scientifically formulated with a perfect combination of sugars, salts, a myriad of isolated vitamins and minerals all perfected to the exercise and conditions one will be exposed to.
This is great and works for many. Then comes the problem with people who can’t handle the sugars. Upset stomachs, rotting teeth; not to mention the extremely high cost of some of the formulas has led some to come back to nature.
Young coconut water. This is considered the latest and the greatest of athlete beverages. But, it has been known of and used for thousands of years and is completely capable of sustaining life. John Kohler compiled this information:
“It’s a natural isotonic beverage, with the same level of electrolytic balance as we have in our blood. It’s the fluid of life, so to speak.” In fact, during the Pacific War of 1941-45, both sides in the conflict regularly used coconut water – siphoned directly from the nut – to give emergency plasma transfusions to wounded soldiers.
Most coconut water is still consumed fresh in tropical coastal areas – once exposed to air, the liquid rapidly loses most of its organoleptic and nutritional characteristics, and begins to ferment.
- Coconut Water is More Nutritious than whole milk – Less fat and NO cholesterol!
- Coconut Water is More Healthy than Orange Juice – Much lower calories
- Coconut Water is Better than processed baby milk- It contains lauric acid, which is present in human mother’s milk
- Coconut water is naturally sterile — Water permeates though the filtering husk!
- Coconut water is a universal donor– Its identical to human blook plasma
- Coconut Water is a Natural Isotonic Beverage – The same level we have in our blood.
- Coconut water has saved lives in 3rd world countries thru Coconut IV.
“Coconut water is the very stuff of Nature, biologically Pure, full of Natural Sugars, Salts, and Vitamins to ward off fatigue… and is the next wave of energy drinks BUT natural!”, according to Mortin Satin, Chielf of the United Nation’s Food & Agriculture Organization.
Coconut water contains more potassium (at about 294 mg) than most sports drinks (117 mg) and most energy drinks.
Coconut water has less sodium (25mg) where sports drinks have around 41mg and energy drinks have about 200 mg!
Coconut water has 5mg of Natural Sugars where sports and energy drinks range from 10-25mg of Altered Sugars.
Coconut water is very high in Chloride at 118mg, compared to sports drinks at about 39mg.
Data is based on a 100ml drink.
Wow! I have personally been drinking and promoting coconut water as hydration for years. I am one congenitively blessed with weak teeth and a finicky digestive system. So how lucky am I that I was forced to find other ways to replace my body’s electrolyte balance? When possible I buy them from the Asian markets, open them myself and drink up! The soft cream inside is the perfect fat. I either just eat it, make curry or smoothie with it, or some other wild concoction. When I am in a place where they grow fresh, I seek them out and often live just on the amazing energy they supply for days. Luckily for those of us not so willing to seek out the actual fruit, it does come in containers off the shelf now although, you are missing out the amazing euphoria that comes from enjoying right from the shell!
So how to utilize it all? I would drink coconut water at least a glass or two a day as often as possible. You will feel great, energized, eliminate cramping, improve perfomance, recover faster, and the list goes on and on. For suggestions on hydration race day, look here and you will find some great advice!