Hey everyone! I am so excited to get back into blogging. I’ve been absent for quite a while. But, I PASSED MY RD EXAM! I am now an official Registered Dietitian. Emily Hein, RD. It feels so good to say this. After five long years of school and internship, I am so glad it’s over. I really love my job and it feels so good to be able to sign my own notes now!
I wanted to share a post that I wrote for Baylor’s Blog. It should be published on Scrubbing In this week.
Coconut water is the clear, tangy liquid inside young coconuts—and it’s hit the U.S. market by storm. It has been promoted as Mother Nature’s sports drink, and has been claimed to help you lose weight, slow aging, and lower your blood pressure. However, there has been little research to prove these claims.
Better than a sports drink?
When you sweat, you lose water as well as essential electrolytes including sodium and potassium. It is true that coconut water contains these electrolytes, but you’d need to drink ten eight-ounce bottles to reach the recommended daily intake of potassium for adults. Most of us don’t sweat enough through regular exercise to need anything other than water to rehydrate. Sports drinks are mainly for elite athletes, who spend hours in vigorous training. Even if you sweat more than usual or have been outside, it is recommended you rehydrate with water and a piece of fruit.
Benefits of High Potassium Diet
Evidence has shown that an increased potassium intake reduces blood pressure in people with hypertension. Increased potassium intake also prevents muscle cramps and maintains bone and brain health. If you’re worried you’re not getting enough potassium, you’re better off making sure you eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. One eight-ounce bottle of coconut water has the same amount of potassium as a banana. Other foods high in potassium include whole grains, dark leafy greens, apricots, yogurt, avocados, nuts and seeds. There’s about 1000mg of potassium in a whole avocado and 470mg in a bottle of coconut water; and avocados are higher in fiber and heart healthy fats.
Face the Facts
Coconut water is lower in calories than traditional sports drinks, but the water does contain about 12 grams of sugar and 60 calories per eight-ounce serving. If you’re using coconut water instead of regular water to rehydrate after a workout, the calories and sugar can add up. There are cheaper and healthier ways to restore your electrolytes—try a big glass of water and a banana.
What is your opinion about coconut water? Have you ever tried it?