Keeping your cool with coconut water - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Keeping your cool with coconut water

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If you like the taste and just happen to be looking for something tasty to keep you hydrated during these sweltering summer months, then coconut water might be a good choice for you!

It's a great source of potassium without adding on a lot of the sugar or calories. Another sweet bonus is that coconut water is all natural.

It's a big reason why lots of athletes are giving coconut water a second look. One such athlete is 18-year-old Owen Smith, who spends a lot of time out in the heat, fine-tuning his tennis game.

He says he's always looking for an edge, which is how he found coconut water.
 
"It gives you a lot of electrolytes, very quickly," he said.

Some folks actually call it 'Mother Nature's sports drink.'

Smith said, "I really don't like coconut that much, but coconut water is really tasty."

He says he used to chug coconut water during matches, but it was too heavy. Now, he says he adjusted to drinking it after he plays to help his body replenish the vital fluids he's lost.

"It has less sugar than Gatorade, which is nice. So you can get really hydrated and get electrolytes back to your muscles," Smith said.

Coconut water is the liquid in the center of young coconuts - and at stores like Sevananda, it's hot.

Registered dietitian Page Love said, "Coconut is definitely the craze at the moment. I have a lot of clients coming in who want to use coconut oil, who want to drink coconut water. I think there is a little more hype than fact with all of this. I see a lot of fads that come through."

Love, who works with athletes like Smith, says coconut water is a lot higher in potassium than most popular sports drinks.

She said, "And it's really quite dense in electrolytes. It's almost like a fruit juice without all the added fruit sugar."

That said, Love says she's wary of calling coconut water the next Gatorade or Powerade. It has sodium, which you also need to replenish when you're working out, but not as much as other sports drinks.

Also, Love says the beverage is very dense, so it takes a little longer time for it to make its way to your tired muscles. A good hydrator?  Yes.  The secret to improving your game?  Maybe not.

Love says coconut water is great for drinking a few hours before a workout or afterward -- but, not during. If you're planning a long workout and need something to keep you going, stick with a sports drink.

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