Now that summer is here, there’s a lot of buzz about coconut water. It is currently being heralded as an amazing hydration aid. But is there any science behind it? Can people just drink as much as they want without problems? Is it really a replacement for water?
The truth is that coconut water is a great hydration aid. An 8 ounce cup of coconut water contains the following:
- Calcium – 57.6mg
- Magnesium – 60mg
- Potassium – 600mg
- Sodium – 252mg
- And other minerals like zinc and magnanese
The above means that coconut water is very high in minerals/electrolytes which increase hydration.
“I sense a ‘but’ coming”
You’d be right. The problem with coconut water is that it also contains a decent dose of sugar. an 8 ounce cup contains about 10g of sugar. You may not think 10g of sugar is much, but when consumed on an empty stomach it can cause blood sugar fluctuations and impair fat loss.
Additionally, kids are much more sensitive to blood sugar fluctuations, and therefore should consume less. Remember, that if you have a 50 lb kid, 10g of sugar would be the equivalent to about 30-40g for the average adult (that’s almost a can of soda).
“So what’s the verdict?”
Coconut water is a great tool, but should be used properly. First, it is not a replacement for water. You should still be making sure to get plenty of water every day. Second, coconut water should be used either post-workout to help with rehydration, or with a meal to minimize the effect of the sugar. Otherwise stick with regular water, with a pinch of sea salt added.
Stay hydrated, stay healthy.