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:
- The sugars are natural. From nature. Not processed and weird. I’m not giving an explanation here for why this is better for you.
- 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)
- 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.