Don’t Believe the Hype

Eh Coconuts / The clear liquid from inside young fruit is consumed by health enthusiasts, but it may not help much. / Daniel Lim / el Don

Referred to as a “miracle drink,” the clear liquid from inside the young green fruit is comparable to tap water mixed with baking soda.

By Souliman Maida

Despite all the hype, coconut water just might be one big financial scheme. To get the same results, and possibly better, a cup of water with a banana will do the trick.

Referred to as the “miracle drink,” the water brands like ZICO and O.N.E. tell the public that this beverage will help alleviate ailments such as kidney disease, common cold and osteoporosis. These claims led the public to purchase a total of $400 million a year over a 10-year period.

A green coconut has minerals in its liquid; however, the minerals are also found in other fruit as well. A medium sized banana has 422 mg of potassium on average, compared to a bottle of coco water that carries 660 mg of potassium.

Per ounce coconut water has 5.45 calories, 1.3 grams of sugar, and 61 mg of potassium. In comparison, Gatorade has 6.25 calories, 1.75 grams of sugar, and 3.75 mg of potassium. Related to other fruit for example apples, which have 135 mg of potassium, are one of the most dominant snacks on the food charts.

Coconut water, however, can get pricey. Target sells a 12-ounce Gatorade for 50 cents compared to an 11.8-ounce Goya coco water for 89 cents. Water from the faucet or bottled will provide benefits to the body, and with a simple trick it might beat Gatorade, PowerAde and coconut water.

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Water mixed with baking soda is used to aid athletes through strenuous exercise, as well as prevent lactic acid build up. Overused muscles get tense and fatigued leading to pain during the exercise. Baking soda delays the lactic acid increase and helps the athlete perform longer.

In 2008 the International Journal of Sports Medicine took a look at the performance of a 200-meter swimmer. Results showed that after consuming the water and baking soda mixture, there was a substantial improvement in performance.

Coconut water will not do everything you’d like it to do, though maybe it is an alternative to your typical Gatorade and both do the job. But health experts will never recommend cutting out regular H2O.

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