Coconut Water Better For You Than Sports Drinks
August 21, 2012

Coconut Water Is Better Than Gatorade Or Other Sports Drinks

Lee Rannals for - Your Universe Online

Put that Gatorade down if you want to amplify your sports life and grab some coconut water instead, according to new research.

Scientists said at the 244th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) that coconut water deserves respect for being a good sports drink for light exercise.

"Coconut water is a natural drink that has everything your average sports drink has and more," Chhandashri Bhattacharya, Ph.D., who presented a paper on the report at the event redOrbit is attending, said in a press release.

She said it is the potassium in coconut water that may also benefit people who do not exercise.

"It has five times more potassium than Gatorade or Powerade," Bhattacharya said. "Whenever you get cramps in your muscles, potassium will help you to get rid of the cramps. It's a healthy drink that replenishes the nutrients that your body has lost during a moderate workout."

An average American's diet is low in potassium and high in sodium, which according to other research is unhealthy.

One study showed that people who are low in potassium and high in sodium had twice the risk of death from heart disease, and a 50 percent higher increase of death from all causes.

The team found that coconut water contained up to 1,500 milligrams of potassium per liter, compared to 300 milligrams per liter for Powerade and Gatorade.

Coconut water also had just 400 milligrams per liter of sodium, compared to 600 milligrams per liter for the popular sports drinks. This is not necessarily a good thing though, for some workouts.

Some strenuous exercise produces a lot of sweating, which makes people lose more sodium than potassium, and coconut water alone is not able to replace that lost sodium, according to Bhattacharya.

The prices for the sports drinks versus the coconut water was comparable as well, with the drinks ranging between $2 and $3 for 8 to 12 ounce containers.

RedOrbit will continue to provide live coverage of the scientific studies being revealed at this year's "world series of science," the National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS).