Coconut water is becoming the latest trend in performance drinks with its high concentration of potassium, however sports nutritionist are not yet ready to endorse the product as sports enhancing.
“Endurance athletes have the mind set that since coconut water is high in potassium this will help with cramping and hydration,” says Brett Singer, certified sports dietitian for Memorial Hermann IRONMAN Sports Medicine Institute.
“In actually when you sweat you’re losing sodium and chloride with very little potassium loss. As an athlete you are looking to replace your carbohydrates as you’re exercising.”
“The issue with coconut water is, while it has fluid, it has little to no sodium and chloride, which means we are trying to replace an electrolyte that we are not losing during exercise.”
Coconut water is the clear liquid tapped from young, green coconuts, not to be confused with coconut milk which is derived from grating the meat from a brown coconut.
For athletes and especially training purposes the question is when it comes to recovery is coconut water a good substitute for sports drinks?
“Sports drinks are going to be more effective than coconut water,” says Singer.
“If we are doing simple activity outside than water itself is the best option.”
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Trying to take your game to the next level or simply live a healthier lifestyle and meet your fitness goals? Proper sports nutrition needs to be part of your game plan. Contact Brett Singer, Sports Dietitian for Memorial Hermann IRONMAN Sports Medicine Institute to help put together a comprehensive nutrition plan through a myriad of sports nutrition services.