Is Coconut Water a Suitable Sports Drink?

Coconut water is currently one of the most popular natural thirst quenchers available; in the past few years it has become a permanent fixture in health food stores, cafes, supermarkets, convenience stores, and even some gyms. Owing to coconut water’s purported weight-loss and health benefits, many runners and other workout enthusiasts can be forgiven for wondering if it is a good alternative to water or other sports drinks.

Coconut water does have some benefits that water does not have: it contains electrolytes that can help athletes to rehydrate after exercise, for example. However, some of coconut water’s potential health benefits have been inflated or are otherwise unproven by science — so before picking up a carton of this healthy hydration product it is important that athletes know all the facts.


What is Coconut Water?

Coconut water is the liquid from the inside of a coconut. It is important that consumers don’t confuse coconut water with coconut milk or cream, both of which contain much more fat. Coconut products have been subject to a lot of media attention in the last few years, mainly because of their purported health benefits, especially for those who are looking to lose weight. Although coconut contains saturated fat, it also contains fats known as medium-chain triglycerides, which the body absorbs differently to other fats.