Ever Heard of This Sports Drink From Nature? Guest Post by Clif Harski…

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Back in October, I asked Ben in an email what he thought about coconut water, and where it could fit into your training and nutritional regime.  He was polite enough to ask if I wanted to write a guest blog about coconut water and my own experiences with it. So, here is my blog on coconut water, and I’ll start by answering Ben’s usual first question in his interviews:

“So Clif, tell me about yourself and your background.”

My name is Clif Harski, I have a BS in kinesiology, and am an ACE fitness certified personal trainer.  I played college basketball, and have been an exercise fanatic since a kid.  I’m also a manager at Trader Joe’s here in San Diego (Trader Joe’s is a grocery store with a focus on natural foods).  My job at Trader Joe’s and me being a “supplement junkie” has seen me try uncountable numbers of training concoctions and aides.

I actually discovered coconut water on a Saturday morning while my body was reeling from an excessive celebration for a friend’s birthday and I was looking to rehydrate my body.  Being a grocery store manager and an avid connoisseur of new and interesting beverages I picked up a cardboard box of cold coconut water, and checked out its nutritional information only to find the following:


After reading that nutritional panel I bought two coconut waters, slugged them down and felt better in minutes.  This started my coconut water addiction.

I won’t go into why it’s good to consume some carbohydrates and electrolytes before, during, and after exercise because that has been covered extensively in the podcasts by Ben.  However, I will point out that coconut water is superior to conventional sports drinks for the following reasons:

  1. The sugars are natural. From nature. Not processed and weird.  I’m not giving an explanation here for why this is better for you.
  2. It has 15 times more potassium, and between 1/3 and ½ of the sodium. In general, our (today’s human) has a very negatively skewed potassium and sodium balance in their body, generally sodium being much higher that it should be, and potassium being much lower. Coconut water has more potassium than a banana, and will help to restore the balance in your body.  It also has been shown to reduce hypertension. (http://newsgroups.derkeiler.com/Archive/Misc/misc.health.alternative/2008-05/msg00683.html)
  3. It contains other good stuff!! Calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium.

A very impressive bit of trivia regarding coconut water: during world war 2 and up to today in certain parts of the world, coconut water can be used as an IV for patients when a proper IV is not available. Try hooking up Gatorade to your arm!

A few last things:

1. Be sure to buy pure young coconut water that has no added sugars. That would really defeat the purpose!

2. You can “dress it up” preworkout with a powder such as Delta-E, or intraworkout with some amino acids.

3. It’s a great smoothie base

I notice a distinct improvement in endurance during my training sessions and basketball games when consuming coconut water, and it’s also amazing as a hangover remedy,  and would highly encourage you to try it out.


Clif Harski

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10 thoughts on “Ever Heard of This Sports Drink From Nature? Guest Post by Clif Harski…

  1. Kambali Semon says:

    Virgin Coconut Oil is said akin to "Mother's Milk" and it is palatable just taking 1 spoon in the morning and another in the evening. It helps to maintain a slim energized body

  2. Brian says:

    My wife goes to the Asian food markets and buys the young coconut. They're easy to spot because they have a white fibrous outer husk and are usually wrapped in cellophane. She takes a very heavy knife or cleaver and creates a hole at the top. She then carefully pours the pure water into a bowl and enlarges the hole so that she can scrap the totally delicious meat away from the inside of the shell. Now THIS is the way to get your coconut water. Plus, it's cheaper than the drinks you can buy at the store AND you also get the meat. Try it some day.

  3. Howard says:

    You will be able to buy Vita Coco at Fairtex.dk very soon.

    1. wayne says:

      Vita Coco is Amazing! Can't live without it.

      1. Re: Ben Greenfield Fitness – New comment requires moderation on: Ever Heard of This Sports Drink From Nature? Guest Post by Clif Harski… Approve

  4. mark says:

    isnt this what ZICO is?

  5. Tammy says:

    Where can you buy coconut water?

    1. trader joes, whole foods, pilrims market…

  6. Amanduh says:

    Great, informative piece. My only suggestion to those who have yet to try this miracle potion would be to make sure to drink it ice cold. Also, try to steer clear of the pineapple flavor. I will not elaborate as to what the taste reminds me of.

  7. Lance says:

    I LOVE coconut water too! I love it for all the reasons you wrote about (including the hangover), plus I like the taste, not too sweet but lots of minerals. I got turned on to it by reading Brendan Brazier’s books. The only thing I don’t like is its relatively high price. BTW I read about the IV solution story, but want to know more. Does anyone know whee to find that?

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