Is Coconut Water Really Better?
During the hot season when athletes are out training in the heat, the constant worry and battle is to stay hydrated. Many people tend to drink sports drinks because they are readily available in most stores. However are sports drinks the best choice?
Nutrient Value of Sports Drinks vs Coconut Water
Coconut water is also readily available now and has been touted as being a good source of carbohydrates. It is also a fantastic source of electrolytes. Let’s compare the nutrient value of sports drinks vs coconut water.
|Coconut Water Nutritional Value||Sports drinks Nutritional Value|
|Serving size 8 oz – 250 ml||Serving size 8 oz – 250 ml|
|Kcal 46 (4% RDI from Fat based on 2000 kcal)||Kcal 50 (0 Kcal from Fat)|
|Total Fat 0.5 gm (1% RDI)||Total Fat 0 gm (0% RDI)|
|Saturated Fat 0.4 gm (2% RDI)||Saturated Fat 0.0 gm|
|Monounsaturated Fat 0.00 gm||Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 gm|
|Cholesterol 0.0 gm||Cholesterol 0.0 gm|
|Sodium 252 mg (11% RDI)||Sodium 110 mg ( 5% RDI)|
|Potassium 385mg (11% RDI)||Potassium30mg ( 1% RDI)|
|Total Carbohydrates 8.9 gm (3 % RDI)||Total Carbohydrates 14 gm (5% RDI)|
|Dietary Fiber 2.6 gm (11 % RDI)||Dietary Fiber 0.0 gm (0% RDI)|
|Sugars 6.3 gm||Sugars 14 gm|
|Protein 1.7 gm||Protein 0.0 gm|
|Vitamin A 0.0%||Vitamin C 10%||Vitamin A 0 %||Vitamin C 0 %|
|Calcium 6%||Iron 4%||Calcium 0 %||Iron 0 %|
Superior Nutritional Value of the Coconut Water
Upon initial review of the information it’s easy to see the superior nutritional value of the coconut water. It supplies you with 92 % more potassium than the sports drink or about 12 – 13x the amount. Potassium is a vitamin that is vital for correct nerve and cell functions. Most people consume bananas for their potassium, however coconut water has about half the amount of sugar.
Coconut Water has Twice the Sodium
Another important nutrient for sports’ recovery is sodium. Sodium has received bad press due to the fact it can elevate blood pressure in those that have hypertension. However, when people work out at an intensity that induces a sweat, there is a significant amount of sodium lost. Most sources don’t discuss the fact that sodium is actually important for nerve conductivity. Coconut water has twice the amount of sodium as the sports drinks which can be beneficial to those who exercise at an intensity where they are sweating heavily. However should you have problems or currently be on hypertension medication consult your physician to see if this will affect your blood pressure.
Finally consider these last factors in the differences between the two drinks. Coconut water has half the amount of sugar. It also has 1.7 gm of protein, calcium, vitamin C and iron.
Always check with your certified personal trainer for your appropriate training zones especially if you have health conditions. Great personal trainers will always refer you to a physician for medical clearance. Training zones are especially important when training in weather conditions to which you are unaccustomed whether or not you have health conditions.
In the end let’s just be honest, coconut water tastes much better in a protein shake than a sports drink. Check out the following protein shake to have after an intense workout! Delicious!
Strawberry Coconut Water Smoothie (Vegan)
1/2 cup almond milk
2 tbsp.chia seeds
1 1/2 cups coconut water
1 cup frozen strawberries
1/3 cup frozen banana
2 scoops of vanilla Vega One
1/3 cup ice
Place the almond milk, chia seeds in a blender and blend on very high speed, for about 2 minutes until the seeds are completely ground up.
Add the coconut water strawberries, banana, and protein powder and ice. Blend until smooth and creamy.
Just One of the Tricks
Training in the heat is especially stressful on the body and coconut water is just one of the tricks that you can do so you can train happy!
Still have nutrition questions? Make an appointment with one of Infofit’s certified sports nutritionist. Training in the heat is especially stressful on the body and coconut water is just one of the tricks that you can do so you can train happy!