The Truth About Coconut Water

Suddenly coconut water is all the rage. From moms to fitness experts and professional athletes, everyone is talking about its amazing body benefits and healing properties. But is this tropical nectar really all it’s cracked up to be?

Coconut water has been touted as “Mother Nature’s sports drink,” without all the sugar. Not only is it super-hydrating, but it also packs more potassium than four bananas. Surprisingly, it’s also low-cal and naturally free of both fat and cholesterol. For kids it’s a smarter choice than those sugary sodas and even fruit juice.

But according to sports nutritionist Nancy Clark, MS, RD and author of Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook, it isn’t necessarily the ideal choice for highly active athletes. According to Clark, “Whether you choose a sports drink, coconut water, or plain water, they all work to keep your body hydrated. The challenge is when you exercise strenuously for more than three hours in the heat and lose lots of body fluids, you need easily absorbed carbs for quick energy and to replace lost electrolytes like sodium and potassium.”

But for most of us who simply like the taste (a bit saltier than regular water) and might need just a hydrating boost during the day, coconut water certainly can do the trick, with a few added bonuses along the way.

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