Mother Nature’s own sports drink has become increasingly popular over the past few years as a health promoting beverage and now its nutrients have been found to be of benefit for sports training.
Coconut water contains five times more potassium than an average sports drink which makes it particularly effective at reducing the risk of and relieving exercise induced muscle cramps. It is also packed with antioxidants which aid the reduction of free radical damage during and post-training. Coconut water is also on par with sports drink in the amount of magnesium and carbohydrates it delivers per litre.
Coconut water is effective replenishment for low intensity exercise. The only drawback is that coconut water contains 400mg/L sodium whereas sports drinks like Gatorade contain 600mg/L. This makes sports drinks much more effective during high intensity bouts of exercise as coconut water is unable to replace the sodium lost through sweat during high intensity activity.
Bhattacharya C, Coconut Water is an Excellent Sports Drink for Light Exercise, American Chemical Society, 2013.