Healthy Fluid Replacement for Athletes
It is well known that athletes lose fluid via sweating during athletic performance. Athletes are then required to replace fluid and rehydrate. The choice of fluid for athletes to replenish their bodies is endless as there are so many products now on the market. An effective liquid for athletes to consume is coconut water.
Coconut water is the fluid found in the center of young green coconuts and has been acclaimed as nature’s sports drink. It is an excellent alternative to highly processed and sugar laden sports drinks. This is because of its naturally occurring high electrolyte content as well as the minerals it contains which are vital for bodily functions such as muscle movement, brain operation and nerve transmission. Coconut water has a slightly sweet flavour that combats sugar cravings. Coconut water is rich in potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, manganese and zinc that your body requires to replenish itself after exercise.
A study compared the effectiveness of coconut water versus carbohydrate-electrolyte beverage as a fluid replacement in athletes. Over a duration of 6 months with training 3 days per week, in 60-90 minute sessions, it was revealed that coconut water had less gastrointestinal discomfort compared to CEB’s. Coconut water was also easier to consume and reduced muscle cramping. It was thereby concluded that coconut water was a superior choice because it restored blood glucose levels faster than CEB. Fluid replacement for athletes is highly important for performance and recovery.
An article written for the beverage industry stated that coconut water used to be an exotic beverage that was once only consumed by affluent young athletes, however, it is now a highly acclaimed and well accepted healthy alternative sports drink. Coconut water has lower calories than sports drinks and contains natural properties such as potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, manganese and zinc. In addition it will replenish and rehydrate the body without any chemical additives. Coconut water also caters for the consumers of the growing trend for non GMO foods. Coconut water is certainly impacting the market as an alternative to sport drinks.
Coconut Essence (2015). http://www.coconutessence.com.au/product/coconut-water/ . Retrieved 27th August 2015.
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Martins, A. & Waldschutz, D. (2012). Coconut water as a sports drink and its effects on the fitness of aging athletes. Asian Journal of Exercise and Sports Science. 9(2)