Thursday, December 17, 2009

Benefits of Coconut Water for Athletes

Benefits of Coconut Water for Athletes
September 08, 2009 by Sabah Karimi

There are dozens of health benefits of coconut water, but this tasty beverage might also be a good replacement for the average sports drink. Athletes can enjoy several benefits of coconut water before, during and after their training session because this sweet beverage contains electrolytes and several important minerals. Here are some of the key benefits of coconut water for athletes:

1. Low in calories. Athletes that need to watch what they eat and count calories don't have to worry about consuming extra sugar in this natural sports drink. Coconut water has fewer calories per serving than orange or apple juice, and reports that it is more nutritious than whole milk.

2. Coconut water contains potassium. Many athletes eat bananas or take potassium supplements to prevent cramping during training, but they can get a healthy dose of potassium just by sipping on coconut water. It's a tasty alternative to bananas or banana smoothies, especially for the athlete who doesn't feel like eating before a game.

3. Coconut water replenishes lost salt after sweating. Instead of reaching for the Gatorade and other sports drinks that contain a lot of sugar, athletes can chug a few glasses of coconut water to restore salt levels after sweating. Coconut water is often given to people who have been vomiting and are severely dehydrated. It's an isotonic beverage that can restore salt levels and keep electrolytes in check.

4. Strengthens the immune system. Athletes need to be in great physical shape through training season, and it's important to ward off diseases and viruses by eating a balanced diet. Coconut water naturally contains anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties and may help to strengthen the immune system.

5. Can be mixed into shakes and drinks. Athletes that consume protein shakes and smoothies regularly can replace the water requirement with coconut water for an enriching, nutrient-rich beverage. Coconut water is a clear liquid extract that blends easily with most protein powder or soy protein mixes, and it can be combined with juice and other flavorful beverages with ease.

6. Readily absorbed by the body. Just like sports gels and sports drink, coconut water is readily absorbed the body so the calories are converted into energy immediately. Athletes that are undergoing intensive training or working up a sweat on the field can drink coconut water at regular intervals to stay hydrated and enjoy an instant energy boost.

Coconut water offers a lot of health benefits and can be a valuable addition to any athletes training regimen. If you work out regularly or are an athlete, consider some of these simple ways to add coconut water to the diet so you can enjoy an energy boost and keep electrolytes in balance.


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