Tyler Robbins Fitness

B.Sc. Biochemistry, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), Certified CrossFit Trainer (CCFT/CF-L3), USA Weightlifting Level 1

Day 108 - Coconut Water?

I have said it before, and I will say it again; in a free marketplace where companies are (for the most part) permitted to market and sell you whatever products they wish, you are bound to have products that try and cash-in on unsuspecting victims.

Unfortunately, I find that the health and fitness is especially bad for this, as nearly everyone, it seems, is looking for the newest and best way to get "fit, lean, and healthy!"

Oftentimes, in order to stand out in a crowded marketplace, you need to present something drastic to the public that is either a better formulation/product than what is currently out there, or come up with something different with (apparently) better qualities.

Case in point: Coconut Water.

In case you haven't heard, various brands of coconut water are appearing on store shelves promising to deliver better and faster "results" than traditional sports drinks.

Your traditional sports drink dates back to the 60's, and although not necessarily needed by everyone (will get to that later), do a fine job at replenishing fluids and "electrolyte" loss in athletes.

I don't need to discuss the various brands of sports drinks on the market, as I am sure you are all very aware of what is out there, but if you an up-and-coming product manufacturer, or one that already has a decent foothold in the marketplace, you have 2 options. You can either try and compete head-on with the likes of the "big guys" in the marketplace by putting out your own brand of sports drink, or you can put out something else, and claim that it is better.

Coconut water seems to be part of the latter group.

Manufacturers of various brands of coconut water claim to have superior results when it comes to replenishing lost fluids in athletes, which may not be the case.

More often than not, coconut water is pricier than other forms of hydration as well. Take this piece from another site:

There’s no convincing evidence to suggest that coconut water is a superior beverage for hydration. Coconut water has no magical properties which make it more effective or superior than water or sports drinks. Having said that, many love the taste of coconut water. As a low calorie option, it may be preferred by some over carbohydrate-containing sports drinks. Or you can stick with zero-calorie water, and eat something to replenish electrolytes. Coconut water or any other beverage, it doesn’t seem to matter for hydration.

When it comes down to it, as I said previously, I find that companies try to market to folks who have that desire or thirst (pun intended) for the "next great thing" to help keep them strong and motivated. Truth is, unless you are exercising intensely for longer than 60 minutes or so at a time, your body is incredibly effective at utilizing the nutrients that it ingests throughout the day.

In other words, if you consume a well-balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables, and proper amounts of water, you will be absolutely fine exercising for extended periods of time with absolutely no need for any fancy "magic drinks".

That goes for your traditional sports drinks as well. Sure, there are many high-end athletes that use and need products like a sports drink to stay hydrated and performing at peak levels, however, companies try and market to those weekend warriors, trying to convince them that their 40 minutes of flag football should also be followed up with a half a litre of salty, sugary sports drink.

Keep in mind that energy drinks, sports drinks, and the like are all full of calories that are not needed, especially if you are trying to lose weight and are not exercising intensely for more than an hour. Stick to your good ol' calorie-free water and some fruit to help you recover and replenish those electrolytes of yours.

Quote of the day:
"Remember that happiness is a way of travel, not a destination." 
~ Roy Goodman