Looking for a natural, low-sugar alternative to processed energy drinks? Look no further than the humble coconut.
Barely processed, containing no refined sugars, and with only one ingredient on its ingredient list, coconut water was the world’s first Gatorade — before we got tricked into thinking that sugary “energy” drinks were the only way to go to replenish after intense physical activity.
And with the food industry’s carbon emissions stemming primarily from processing and packaging, this “whole food” is a great choice for the earth with virtually zero processing and mostly eco-friendly Tetra Pack packaging.
Coconut water is naturally filled with electrolytes — the same compounds that Gatorade and other sports drinks advertise will get you hydrated and re-energized after a tough workout (or after a tough hangover!). And those same electrolytes also work to enhance performance, making coconut water a smart pre-exercise choice if you’re looking to increase endurance and stamina during your workout. (Coconut water has more electroytes than the leading sports drinks with 15 times the potassium)
Coconut water is a superfood filled with essential minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and amino acids to keep us energized. But unlike commercial sports drinks, coconut water is low in sugar (just contains natural sugars) and high in nutrients. * On average, a 8oz serving of refreshing coconut water is only 45 calories- 515mg of potassium (Gatorade-30mg), Sodium 30mg (Gatorade-110mg)
*- Coconut Water Ingredients: Natual Coconut Water
*- Gatorade: Water Sucrose Syrup, Glucose, Fructose Syrup, Citric Acid, Natural Favors (natural favors are not “natural”, they are lab produced), Salt, Sodium Citrate, Monopotassium-phoshate-
(let’s not forget the color dye- nothing I know in natural is; arctic blue)
Coconut Water is the water from inside the young green coconut. The water is extracted from the coconut at approximately seven months, before the meat grows. While the meat of the coconut (from which coconut milk and oils are extracted) is rich in fat and protein. Coconut Water has no fat. Coconut Water is naturally filtered through the dense fibers of the coconut creating a nutritious, pure, and refreshing isotonic beverage.
Low in calories, high in digestive qualities:
Coconut water can improve digestion by helping our intestines function properly. Its powerful nutrients also help give us glowing skin. And another one of coconut water’s biggest health benefits? It’s been found to help lower blood pressure and improve blood circulation.
While coconut water contains lauric acid (a naturally fatty acid found in mother’s milk that helps keep things running properly in our intestinal system), it’s actually naturally low in fat and low in calories.
Coconut Water is considered a “universal donor” :
In World War II and the Vietnam War, coconut water saved many soldiers’ lives. Doctors used coconut water as an intravenous solution to prolong life on the battlefield when IV solutions were in short supply. Coconut water was also injected directly into the blood stream to prevent dehydration.
Coconut Water – An All-Natural Hangover Elixir:
Drinking an 11oz Coconut Water has the same short term hydrating power as drinking one liter of water (2) and eating one banana – with less carbohydrates and fat.
“A coconut a day keeps the urologist away”- has become a motto popular in many parts of the world. Medical research has shown that consumption of coconut water to be effective in dissolving kidney stones and promoting health kidney function.
Coconut Water, a natural alternative to Viagra:
Coconut water stimulates and strengthens reproductive functions, especially in males. In a medical study, women in their mid-sixties reported an increase in their libido after drinking coconut water from young green coconuts.
Easy on the earth:
The EPA estimates that the food industry produces more than 24 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, a large portion of which comes from processing and packaging. Since coconut water comes in a Tetra Pak, it has a really long shelf life. And recyclable Tetra Paks further promote coconut water’s eco-friendly status by requiring five times less energy to produce than plastic packaging. They also contain less packaging in relation to the liquid they’re protecting. The Tetra Pak’s combination of light weight and efficient packaging also means less fuel is necessary to transport them.
Lastly, since 100% coconut water requires virtually no processing, selecting coconut water in lieu of sports drinks helps cut down those emissions even more.
Which to choose?
These days, coconut water is popping up everywhere. It’s a growing market with at least four popular brands showing up on shelves. But if all of the brands contain only 100% coconut water, is one better than the other?
Not really. While some have very slight variations in calories, natural sugars, and electrolyte levels, the differences aren’t large enough to make any noticeable health difference. What it really comes down to is personal taste: While they all mostly come from Brazilian (green) coconuts, the waters do vary in flavor.
Some are a little sweeter than others, and others seem to have almost a slight pineapple-like tang to them. So go with the brand that tastes best to you. And remember, it’s a delicious beverage that’s best served chilled.
When you’re shopping for your favorite coconut water at the store, look for 100% pure coconut water — no sugar or additives thrown in — for the biggest health benefits.
Here are a few of the brands with 100% pure coconut water the I’ve tried and purchase. (WholeFoods has a good price on O.N.E and VitaCoco)
Vita Coco: Natural, açaí-pomegranate, passion fruit, peach-mango, pineapple, and tangerine flavors
O.N.E. (One Natural Experience) Natural, pineapple
ZICO: Natural, passion fruit, and mango flavors
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GET FIT, STAY WELL AND THRIVE IN 2011
Eat Healthy and Thrive c.2011