Coconut Water

During the Atlanta tournament TV coverage this past weekend, it came out that Big John Isner drinks coconut water during hot weather to replenish electrolytes and prevent cramping. I had never heard of this; and did some research.

According to Wikipedia: It is also marketed as a sports drink because of its high potassium and mineral content. In fact, one cup-full of coconut water contains more electrolytes than most sports drinks and more potassium than a banana.

Composition of coconut water %: Water 95.5, Nitrogen 0.05, Phosphoric acid 0.56, Potassium 0.25, Calcium oxide 0.69, Magnesium oxide 0.59, g/100g Iron 0.5, Total solids 4.71, Reducing sugars 0.80, Total sugars 2.08, Ash 0.62, Source: Pandalai, K. M. (1958). Coconut water and its uses. Coconut Bull. 12, No. 5, 167-173.

According to the website … Here is some information about Coconut Water:
“It’s a natural isotonic beverage, with the same level of electrolytic balance as we have in our blood. It’s the fluid of life, so to speak.” In fact, during the Pacific War of 1941-45, both sides in the conflict regularly used coconut water – siphoned directly from the nut – to give emergency plasma transfusions to wounded soldiers.
Most coconut water is still consumed fresh in tropical coastal areas – once exposed to air, the liquid rapidly loses most of its organoleptic and nutritional characteristics, and begins to ferment.
• Coconut Water is More Nutritious than whole milk – Less fat and NO cholesterol!
• Coconut Water is More Healthy than Orange Juice – Much lower calories
• Coconut Water is Better than processed baby milk- It contains lauric acid, which is present in human mother’s milk
• Coconut water is naturally sterile — Water permeates though the filtering husk!
• Coconut water is a universal donor– Its identical to human blood plasma
• Coconut Water is a Natural Isotonic Beverage – The same level we have in our blood.
• Coconut water has saved lives in 3rd world countries thru Coconut IV.
“Coconut water is the very stuff of Nature, biologically Pure, full of Natural Sugars, Salts, and Vitamins to ward off fatigue… and is the next wave of energy drinks BUT natural!”, according to Mortin Satin, Chief of the United Nation’s Food & Agriculture Organization.
Coconut water contains more potassium (at about 294 mg) than most sports drinks (117 mg) and most energy drinks.
Coconut water has less sodium (25mg) where sports drinks have around 41mg and energy drinks have about 200 mg!
Coconut water has 5mg of Natural Sugars where sports and energy drinks range from 10-25mg of Altered Sugars.
Coconut water is very high in Chloride at 118mg, compared to sports drinks at about 39mg.
Data is based on a 100ml drink.

11 thoughts on “Coconut Water

  1. The hype is “almost” true.
    When you drink fresh coconut water out of the coconut…all the health claims below are basically true… However caveat emptor…..not all coconut water is the same.

    The packaged/bottled coconut water you buy in the store is pasteurized…..this alters much of the mineral content. So obviously some of the benefits are gone. When buying I would stay with the “tetrapak” packaging. They use a type of flash pasteurization.
    I think most brands that use that packaging have no preservatives or additives. Read labels carefully as many coconut waters add sugar also.

    Coconut water is good for long sweaty workouts and electrolyte replacement……no need to drink it if not used in that capacity in my opinion.

    Personal experience;
    When I did that mini triathlon, I brought some along. I took a few swigs after my 5K before I got on my bike. It sat in my stomach well and I “think” it helped my tired leggs a bit.

    Lastly….its a HOT trend…Coca Cola and the other big guys are getting in the business….

    Hope that helps some.

  2. I had heard from several tournament players that pickle juice, which is very high in potassium, is terrific for cramps. The liquid absobs quickly into your system.

    Last spring I was playing a 4 hour match in 95° heat. Early in the 3rd set I began to cramp badly. A friend brought me a jar Vlasic kosher dills and within 10 minutes the cramps were gone and I was able to win the final set in a tiebreaker.

    I don’t know how the numbers compare with coconut water but it worked for me.

    Andy – I had heard the same thing about pickle juice! How are things out west? geo

  3. If coconut water is so energizing, why are most people in the tropics so lazy? I’ll probably pay for this…… 🙂

  4. George – thanks for the research and heads-up on this. I’d like to know what is the quantity of coconut water that Isner or other athletes drink during a match. Your nutrition nos. were based on 100 ml which is only about 3.4 oz. Do they just take a sip during changeovers? During a 3 hour match in 95 degree weather (not uncommon this summer in Columbus), I might consume 16 oz. of water plus 16 oz. of Gatorade G2. Those 16 0z. of G2 lite only contain 40 calories but provide 220mg of sodium (good during a match) and 60mg of Potassium. Not knowing the calories and carbs in coconut water, it seems that its best sports attribute is potassium which is over 20 times more per equivalent oz. or ml. than G2. What is the price of a bottle of coconut water (I see that sells some for up to $65 for a liter)? G2 on sale costs less than 50 cents for the same amount but if you only need to drink 3 oz. of coconut water during a match it may be well worth it!

    hi Bob – good questions. maybe Marc or someone else will know. geo

  5. I purchased three 11 oz containers of coconut water today at Whole Foods ($1.33 each). Will try during a team match this evening. Bob

    Bob The Early Adapter! … Let us know. geo

  6. We had an easy match on our court tonight winning 6-1, 6-0, 6-0 and the temperature was probably in the low 80s so it really wasn’t a good test on the effectiveness of the coconut water. I only consumed about 10 swigs of coconut water plus another 10 oz. of water and G2 — much less than the 24-32 fl. oz. consumed in hotter weather. Will test it again during the day Thursday and Friday when temps are expected to reach the 90s again.

  7. I have been drinking coconut milk about a year, when one of our local stores started carrying it in those little paper-needs-no-refrigeration containers. It is what I replaced sports drinks with during very strenuous work days where I will sweat heavily, aiming to sustain my potassium and water without the sugar and dyes. I had a problem a couple of years ago when my doctor (John W.) advised me to mix in sports drinks when sweating heavily. I was drinking too much water and having the effects of potassium depletion. I told him it sucks getting older. The coconut milk sits well in my stomach, tastes good as is, and seems to do what I need it to do; it keeps me from getting dehydrated and potassium depletion. It is not intended to be a calorie or protein source, at least for me.

    terry – tks for the input. geo

  8. Bob,
    I agree with you on the price point difference. I’m not sure how much athletes (or Isner) actually consumes during a match. The biggest difference between the two drinks is the sugar content. G2 will cause an insulin spike at a level that is just not beneficial to your body…….compare it if you will to eating a potato vs. two slices of wheat bread, which of the two do you think your body utilizes better?
    Insulin spikes create inflammation in the body, inflammation is the biggest precursor to most modern diseases (hypertension, heart disease, cancers, alzheimers etc) it probably behooves us to avoid it 😉

    As I said above, the big boys like Coca Cola are getting in the coconut water biz… even though you might only need 3 0z, I suspect atheltes will be drinking it by the bucket full very soon in an effort to make it mainstream and increase sales.
    Curious about your further trials with it Bob. Hope you’re summer is great. It sure is quiet here in Naples. Marc

    Marc – OK, WHICH does your body use better: potato or wheat bread? geo

  9. Marc – you’re quite the nutritionist and I only thought you were a great tennis player! I’ll send you a copy of my letter Sent recently to the PB president re our restaurant nutrition.

  10. George,
    That would be the potato. Think about how much processing that wheat bread went through. It is devoid of anything remotely nutritious. I know I’m opening a can of worms here…..but go ahead folks bring it on 😉

  11. Thanks for your input on Coconut Water. I play tennis 4-5 days a week at 4.0 level and cramp so bad afterwards. I do take the Powerade and that does help alot, but sometimes nothing seems to help. I will give the coconut water a try.

Comments are closed.