Sports Alert: Coconut Water for Thirst?

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July 17, 2014

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This post is available in: Spanish

After a gym workout, a tennis match or other physical activities, more and more people are reaching for coconut water to rehydrate and recharge. Touted as “Mother Nature’s sports drink,” coconut water is the latest craze among the health conscious.

The water, tapped from the center of young, green coconuts, is filled with healthy minerals that can replenish the body. It contains more potassium and has less sodium and sugar than a sports drink.

“Because it is natural, coconut water can certainly provide a healthy boost during exercise,” said Baptist Health Medical Group primary care physician Yariela Enriquez, M.D. “It is very rich in potassium, which helps to keep the heart healthy and balance the body’s electrolytes.” Electrolytes regulate the body’s nerve and muscle function.

But Dr. Enriquez cautions a moderate approach to coconut water. “It is important to read the labels. Some brands might be flavored and have added sugars and calories,” she said. “And if you have high blood pressure or other medical issues, you have to pay attention to the sodium content. It is not for everyone.”

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