Thanks to a new scientific analysis, it appears that coconut water can rightly claim its reputation as Mother Nature’s sports drink. Coconut water is the clear liquid harvested from young green coconuts and is now available at many grocery outlets and health food stores. Researchers analyzed the components in coconut water relative to those in comparable amounts of Gatorade® and PowerAde® and found that coconut water provides five times more potassium, equivalent amounts of magnesium and carbohydrates, and about one third less sodium. Additionally, coconut water contained high levels of beneficial antioxidants (not found in the other sports drinks) and fewer calories. The researchers did note that those engaged in prolonged, strenuous exercise accompanied by heavy sweating may need additional sodium to replace their losses. Coconut water is always my sports beverage of choice, and if I think I need more sodium- I add a pinch of salt (244th Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Philadelphia, August 2012).
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