As coconut water has exploded onto the health hydration scene, I was certain I would enjoy it like millions of other converts. I was wrong. After trying every single brand on the grocery store shelf, I could not find a single one that tasted good. Marketed as the ultimate hydration drink, I was severely disappointed that I could not indulge and reap all the incredible health benefits.
What’s the big deal about coconut?
Coconut water is like nature's premium version of Gatorade. It is packed with electrolytes (sodium, potassium) and minerals (magnesium, manganese) that quickly replenish your body. Low in calories, cholesterol and fat free, it contains more potassium than four bananas! Everything in moderation though - I recommend no more than 1-2 glasses a day. It reportedly also contains a small amount of omega fatty acids which are essential for healthy skin and reducing inflammation. Fresh or raw coconut water also contains powerful enzymes that have antioxidant activity for our bodies.
A Happy Ending
I realized it wasn’t coconut water I didn’t like but all the preservatives and additives companies add to make it “sexier” for consumers. Since then I have found one and only one brand that fits my taste buds. Coconut water has such an amazing hydration resume, I encourage you to explore if you have not yet found your perfect fit. Just be aware that all brands are not created equal and that flavored varieties often contain added sugars and calories.
How To Pick the Right One
When Best to Use
- Check the ingredient list - It should only say coconut water.
- Check the amount of sugar - Should not be more than 15 grams per 8 oz.
- Check the packaging - Glass is best. Plastic is second choice. Avoid brands with "flexible" containers.
- After an intense workout (weight lifting, running, or swimming)
- Drink as soon as you wake up in the morning
- Replace your soda by adding a little seltzer water and lemon
Life lesson #142 - It’s ok to be a little choosy about what you put in your mouth and on your body. From the clothes you wear to the foods you eat - choose simple, fresh, and sustainable - you are worth it!
By Tiffany Lester M.D.
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