5 Reasons You Should Be Drinking More Coconut Water

The following post was originally featured on Running to the Kitchen and written by Gina Matsoukas, who is part of POPSUGAR Select Fitness.

I’ve always been a very anti-supplement minded person. I’m just not about to spend hundreds on all these so-called magic pills, powders, juices, etc. out there on the market that basically promise you’ll become the healthiest person on the planet if you take them. Nope, no thanks. Move on to the next gullible person waiting for their miracle cure to turn their life around. I’ll be over here eating real food and at most, taking a multi-vitamin.

One of the things that my nutrition coach (see more about that here) recommended recently, however, was an intra-workout protein + carbohydrate concoction (which makes complete sense if you think about it) instead of my usual water. With 15 grams of protein and 45 grams of carbohydrates prescribed, I started researching what people were using on their Facebook group to reach that level of carbs in liquid form. What I found disturbed me. Mentions of Tang, sugary lemonade powders, fruit punches, etc. made up the majority of the list and therein lies my issue with a lot of the IIFYM (if it fits your macros) movement. I’m just not willing to sacrifice ingredients to meet macro-nutrient needs. A donut may be a carb but it doesn’t mean it’s the nutritional equivalent to a sweet potato. Same thing with liquids, powdered lemonade may have the sugars that make up the right carbohydrate levels for my intra-workout drink, but I’m sure as heck not ok with putting that ingredient list in my body six times a week.

So I’ve turned to a few healthy favorites such as tart cherry juice and my longtime friend coconut water instead when it comes to my workout drink.

Coconut water and I became BFF back when I got into running. No matter how much I tried to hydrate during long training runs, I’d inevitably end up feeling like complete crap, almost in a hangover-like state from dehydration (10+ miles will do that to you). Just 10 minutes after drinking coconut water though, I’d be back to normal. I joked it was my secret miracle worker to anyone who would listen and I still swear by it today as the best natural way to re-hydrate your body. Not all coconut waters are created equal though ¨C be sure to check the labels: I like ZICO because it has just 1 ingredient: 100% natural coconut water with no added sugar. Recently, ZICO introduced a certified organic fair trade coconut water. As someone who cares about ingredient lists and ingredient sourcing, I was so excited to hear about this addition to their already awesome line up of coconut water (pineapple has been a longtime favorite). Just like their natural coconut water, ZICO 100% Organic Coconut Water has nothing added and nothing removed. Every pack helps support fair crop prices, community development projects and the farmers and producers behind the coconut water while still bringing five naturally occurring electrolytes to every sip. So now you can feel even better about getting your hydration on. It’s not just the hydration factor though that it’s got going for it, coconut water is a drink we should all be consuming and here’s why.

5 REASONS TO DRINK MORE COCONUT WATER

    IT’S LOW IN CALORIESMost drinks that boast the kind of hydrating benefits of coconut water are filled with calories and excess sugars to achieve that. Coconut water is a relatively low-calorie drink at around 40 calories per eight ounces.IT’S A GREAT SOURCE OF POTASSIUMEveryone’s heard of eating bananas for their potassium benefits, right? Well, one medium banana provides about nine percent of your daily potassium needs. Coconut water provides the same, if not more which is why it’s such a great option for re-hydration. Potassium is crucial to your body’s brain, nervous system, and muscle strength. So when you’re just not in the mood for a banana, chug some coconut water instead.IT’S ALSO A GREAT SOURCE OF MAGNESIUMMagnesium is something almost two-thirds of us don’t get enough of in our diets. Low magnesium levels can lead to low energy levels as well as a host of other issues. Coconut water contains about 14 percent of your daily needs.IT CONTAINS CYTOKINESCytokines in coconut water have been found to have anti-aging (who doesn’t want some of that?!) and anti-carcinogenic effects, slowing down the growth of cancerous cells.IT’S A GOOD SOURCE OF ANTIOXIDANTSAntioxidants absorb free radicals and toxins in our bodies. Coconut water being a source of antioxidants can help neutralize the damaging effects of those free radicals.

*Check out this post on how to make a homemade sports drink for an easy hydrating drink you can make in bulk and great use of coconut water.*

Image Source: Running to the Kitchen

5 Reasons You Should Be Drinking More Coconut Water

The following post was originally featured on Running to the Kitchen and written by Gina Matsoukas| who is part of POPSUGAR Select Fitness.

I’ve always been a very anti-supplement minded person. I’m just not about to spend hundreds on all these so-called magic pills| powders| juices| etc. out there on the market that basically promise you’ll become the healthiest person on the planet if you take them. Nope| no thanks. Move on to the next gullible person waiting for their miracle cure to turn their life around. I’ll be over here eating real food and at most| taking a multi-vitamin.

One of the things that my nutrition coach (see more about that here) recommended recently| however| was an intra-workout protein + carbohydrate concoction (which makes complete sense if you think about it) instead of my usual water. With 15 grams of protein and 45 grams of carbohydrates prescribed| I started researching what people were using on their Facebook group to reach that level of carbs in liquid form. What I found disturbed me. Mentions of Tang| sugary lemonade powders| fruit punches| etc. made up the majority of the list and therein lies my issue with a lot of the IIFYM (if it fits your macros) movement. I’m just not willing to sacrifice ingredients to meet macro-nutrient needs. A donut may be a carb but it doesn’t mean it’s the nutritional equivalent to a sweet potato. Same thing with liquids| powdered lemonade may have the sugars that make up the right carbohydrate levels for my intra-workout drink| but I’m sure as heck not ok with putting that ingredient list in my body six times a week.

So I’ve turned to a few healthy favorites such as tart cherry juice and my longtime friend coconut water instead when it comes to my workout drink.

Coconut water and I became BFF back when I got into running. No matter how much I tried to hydrate during long training runs| I’d inevitably end up feeling like complete crap| almost in a hangover-like state from dehydration (10+ miles will do that to you). Just 10 minutes after drinking coconut water though| I’d be back to normal. I joked it was my secret miracle worker to anyone who would listen and I still swear by it today as the best natural way to re-hydrate your body. Not all coconut waters are created equal though C be sure to check the labels: I like ZICO because it has just 1 ingredient: 100% natural coconut water with no added sugar. Recently| ZICO introduced a certified organic fair trade coconut water. As someone who cares about ingredient lists and ingredient sourcing| I was so excited to hear about this addition to their already awesome line up of coconut water (pineapple has been a longtime favorite). Just like their natural coconut water| ZICO 100% Organic Coconut Water has nothing added and nothing removed. Every pack helps support fair crop prices| community development projects and the farmers and producers behind the coconut water while still bringing five naturally occurring electrolytes to every sip. So now you can feel even better about getting your hydration on. It’s not just the hydration factor though that it’s got going for it| coconut water is a drink we should all be consuming and here’s why.

5 REASONS TO DRINK MORE COCONUT WATER

    IT’S LOW IN CALORIESMost drinks that boast the kind of hydrating benefits of coconut water are filled with calories and excess sugars to achieve that. Coconut water is a relatively low-calorie drink at around 40 calories per eight ounces.IT’S A GREAT SOURCE OF POTASSIUMEveryone’s heard of eating bananas for their potassium benefits| right? Well| one medium banana provides about nine percent of your daily potassium needs. Coconut water provides the same| if not more which is why it’s such a great option for re-hydration. Potassium is crucial to your body’s brain| nervous system| and muscle strength. So when you’re just not in the mood for a banana| chug some coconut water instead.IT’S ALSO A GREAT SOURCE OF MAGNESIUMMagnesium is something almost two-thirds of us don’t get enough of in our diets. Low magnesium levels can lead to low energy levels as well as a host of other issues. Coconut water contains about 14 percent of your daily needs.IT CONTAINS CYTOKINESCytokines in coconut water have been found to have anti-aging (who doesn’t want some of that?!) and anti-carcinogenic effects| slowing down the growth of cancerous cells.IT’S A GOOD SOURCE OF ANTIOXIDANTSAntioxidants absorb free radicals and toxins in our bodies. Coconut water being a source of antioxidants can help neutralize the damaging effects of those free radicals.

*Check out this post on how to make a homemade sports drink for an easy hydrating drink you can make in bulk and great use of coconut water.*

Image Source: Running to the Kitchen

Coconut Water or Sports Drink: Which Is Better After a Workout?

Coconut water is touted as nature’s sports drink for good reason; just like Gatorade or Powerade, it contains high levels of electrolytes like sodium, magnesium, and potassium. But a recent study suggests that when it comes to the coconut water vs. sports drink debate, you may be better off keeping the coconut water for lighter workouts and reaching for a sports drink for your sweatier exercises.

The study, presented at an American Chemical Society meeting, found that coconut water contains less sodium than the manufactured sports drinks: 400 mg/liter vs. 600 mg/liter. When it comes to a sweaty workout session, replacing the sodium lost from your body is important in order to keep your muscles and nerves functioning properly, and the study’s authors say that coconut water may not contain enough to do so.

However, other nutrients, like magnesium and carb count, were similar between both coconut water and sports drinks. Coconut water contains far higher levels of potassium, which is crucial for proper organ function; coconut water also contains high levels of disease-fighting antioxidants, and other studies have noted no real difference between rehydration through coconut water, water, or a sports drinks after 60 minutes of dehydrating exercise. In any case, this study is a good reminder that proper hydration is important when you’re working out ¡ª especially when it’s a particularly long or grueling routine ¡ª and knowing the health benefits of both coconut water and conventional sports drinks can help you make a decision that’s good for your body.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography

Coconut Water or Sports Drink: Which Is Better After a Workout?

Coconut water is touted as nature’s sports drink for good reason; just like Gatorade or Powerade| it contains high levels of electrolytes like sodium| magnesium| and potassium. But a recent study suggests that when it comes to the coconut water vs. sports drink debate| you may be better off keeping the coconut water for lighter workouts and reaching for a sports drink for your sweatier exercises.

The study| presented at an American Chemical Society meeting| found that coconut water contains less sodium than the manufactured sports drinks: 400 mg/liter vs. 600 mg/liter. When it comes to a sweaty workout session| replacing the sodium lost from your body is important in order to keep your muscles and nerves functioning properly| and the study’s authors say that coconut water may not contain enough to do so.

However| other nutrients| like magnesium and carb count| were similar between both coconut water and sports drinks. Coconut water contains far higher levels of potassium| which is crucial for proper organ function; coconut water also contains high levels of disease-fighting antioxidants| and other studies have noted no real difference between rehydration through coconut water| water| or a sports drinks after 60 minutes of dehydrating exercise. In any case| this study is a good reminder that proper hydration is important when you’re working out ¡ª especially when it’s a particularly long or grueling routine ¡ª and knowing the health benefits of both coconut water and conventional sports drinks can help you make a decision that’s good for your body.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography

The Smoothie We’re Loving This Summer

After seeing the smoothie Ellie Goulding called a “winner” on Instagram, we knew we had to re-create it on our own. The combination of ingredients might seem a little all over the place, but the result after a blitz in the blender is a refreshing, hydrating, and not too sweet smoothie that’s a perfect stand-in for breakfast. High in vitamin B6, protein, and fiber, this tasty smoothie can help stabilize blood sugar and support digestion, making it the perfect recipe for an active woman looking to lose weight in a very delicious way.

Coconut-Water Smoothie

Inspired by Ellie Goulding

Coconut-Water Smoothie

Coconut-Water Smoothie

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups coconut water1/4 avocado1/2 banana1/2 cup frozen blueberries1 teaspoon spirulina1 tablespoon cacao nibs1 scoop protein powder1 tablespoon almond butter

The Smoothie We’re Loving This Summer

After seeing the smoothie Ellie Goulding called a “winner” on Instagram| we knew we had to re-create it on our own. The combination of ingredients might seem a little all over the place| but the result after a blitz in the blender is a refreshing| hydrating| and not too sweet smoothie that’s a perfect stand-in for breakfast. High in vitamin B6| protein| and fiber| this tasty smoothie can help stabilize blood sugar and support digestion| making it the perfect recipe for an active woman looking to lose weight in a very delicious way.

Coconut-Water Smoothie

Inspired by Ellie Goulding

Coconut-Water Smoothie

Coconut-Water Smoothie

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups coconut water1/4 avocado1/2 banana1/2 cup frozen blueberries1 teaspoon spirulina1 tablespoon cacao nibs1 scoop protein powder1 tablespoon almond butter