Coconut palms bring wonderful memories of our last tropical vacation. Long palm fronds swaying in the balmy breeze, cute local kids climbing tall trees to bring us big, green coconuts with a smile. And we loved the mildly sweet, slightly nutty flavor of the coconut juice. It was refreshing and energizing in the sweltering tropical heat.
In the last few years, coconut water hit the web, as well as jogging trails, as the latest super-drink, natural low calorie beverage, with perfectly balanced electrolytes. It is being advertised as the natural answer to power drinks, a vital part of the life of any athlete or fitness-conscious person.
Before we accept coconut water as the new answer to great health, super figure, perfect skin and long life, it might be a good idea to find out what is, really, in the coconut water.
Goodness off the tree
Coconut trees thrive in the hot, humid atmosphere of tropical countries, from the Pacific to Asia to Central America. They grow prolifically along the beach coasts all over the tropical world. Coconuts are mature seeds, not fruits, of coconut trees, cocos nucifera.
Coconuts are, in fact, mostly water (95 percents.) Coconut water also contains potassium, magnesium, sodium, phosphorus, sugar, iron, protein and many other elements in smaller quantities. What is most interesting about coconut water is that all these elements exist in coconut water in the same proportion as in our bodies. This is so important, that coconut water has been utilized intravenously, instead of blood transfusion, as plasma replacement, during the 2dn World War.
Coconut water instead of Gatorade?
Coconut water’s biggest claim to fame, as far as athletes go, is its high content of potassium, which is necessary for normal body functioning, especially heart function and blood pressure. But, nutritionists caution that coconut water, while wonderfully refreshing drink and an excellent re-hydrator, does not have enough carbohydrates, protein and sodium, which have to be replenished after an arduous exercise.
Maybe athletes should be a bit more careful before completely giving up on their energy drinks, but the rest of us can happily enjoy coconut water”s benefits. Coconut water is great for replenishing liquids after a jog or light exercise. Brazilian scientists found that this tasty juice is excellent for kids with mild diarrhea or vomiting. It quickly replenishes lost liquid and kids like it more than the regular re-hydration mixes.