By Callie McBride
As I kick my workouts up a notch with more HIIT routines to tone up this summer, I also need to consider the ways that I stay hydrated. Water tends to get boring after a while, but sugary sports drinks aren’t my thing. So I’ve turned to coconut water to quench my thirst and re-energize me throughout the day.
The refreshing 70-calorie drink seriously hits the spot, and the packaging is too adorable to pass up (juice box flashback!). Popular brands such as Vita Coco, for which Rihanna is a sponsor, and Zico boast some pretty hefty stats about their delicious drink. Not only does it have almost twice the amount of potassium as a banana and tons of healthy electrolytes, but, according to Vita Coco, it’s “all-natural, super-hydrating, fat-free, cholesterol-free, and nutrient-packed” as well. Zico proudly states that coconut water also prevents cramping, creates optimal performance, and is the most effective sports drink on the market. While I’m no athlete, I definitely look for a hydrator that keeps me energized, alert, and performing at my very best during workouts.
I’ll admit it; when I first starting choosing coconut water over regular water, I wanted to learn what all the hype was about. Immediately I adopted a ”Ahem, I’m just over here sipping some fresh coconut water from a sleek little pouch.” attitude. Yep, I bought into those marketing schemes that promised an image of speeding around on my road bike, adjusting my sunglasses and taking on the summer heat with the drink in my hand.
Or better yet, laying out on a tropical beach somewhere, drinking straight outta the coconut, and soaking up some rays. Okay…so I couldn’t compete in a tri-athalon to save my life and an island vacation is way down the line for me; but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy me some Zico! I confess, I still secretly feel cooler than my Nalgene-sporting friends when I pull out my cute little potassium pouch. But I also genuinely feel replenished and refueled when I pair my coconut water with a long run or a quick toning session.
[Editor's note: While Callie is an adorable little health-monster, I too love coconut water because it is my go-to hangover cure! I stock it in the fridge if I know I will be drinking, and sip on it when I come home before I hit the sheets, and in the morning to ease that fuzzy-brain feeling. Just sayin'! - Zoe]
But coconut water is incredibly hyped up right now, and many speculate it isn’t all that great, and yet another way for consumers to piddle away their hard-earned cash. After all, the stuff IS expensive. And then think about the environmental issues–where are all these coconuts coming from, and how far are they transported before they are cracked, drained, and the water is packaged in those sippable pouches we covet so much! And in this Huff Post article, a nutritionist says perhaps it is NOT the ideal drink for after a strong sweat session, because what we really need to replace is sodium, which coco water is lacking. (Does that mean I should just eat potato chips post work-out?!)
Everyone should make their own decision about what they buy and consume–come on people, let’s all be critical thinkers! But in my opinion, coconut water is tasty, does its job at hydrating, all while adding a bit of style when I sweat. Even though it can be pricey, I say make the splurge, try it out, and you’ll be non-stop sippin’ all summer long.
How do you feel about coconut water?