Review | Coconut Water

Review | Coconut Water

A review on Coconut Water, don’t be a nut, know why you should drink it.

Intro

As athletes, whether you are a weekend warrior training when you can or a competitive powerhouse training twice a day 6-7 days a week I am sure at some point you have had coconut water. Or at least seen people drinking it. Why is that? Is it a fad? Or is it actually beneficial for you and the holy grail of hydration? What benefits can be truly had by drinking coconut water that sometimes comes in different colors and tastes like liquid cardboard? Let’s crack open the top of this topic like a machete  shearing through a young coconut and get into the sweet nectar with this review of coconut water!

Pick your poison! Well its not your typical poison, its good for you...so its not poison at all..
Pick your poison! Well its not your typical poison, its good for you…so its not poison at all..

General Info

Let’s face it, coconut water is taking over and giving not only sports drinks but water a run for its money. It is also giving the wallets and purses of the fools who think “if I drink this Ill be healthy and skinny” a run for their money. Coconut water has flooded the market.(see what I did there? flooded, like water, the best jokes are the ones that need explaining.) There are now a million different types all claiming to be different in some shape or form. They all boil down to what is truly inside the bottle, can or nut itself.

Not too shabby aye?
You don’t have to be a nut to have this! Oh wait yea you do.

Coconut water contains potassium and sodium and remains to be super hydrating, low in calories and fat. Sounds pretty legit right? That is because it is, for those who need serious hydration, like us. Coconut water helps regulate blood sugar and replenish lost nutrients burnt through endurance training, such as rolling. Do you need coconut water to get these nutrients? Not necessarily. There are many fruits and vegetables out there that will be a better source of potassium on a regular basis, so having a rounded diet wouldn’t hurt anything. Coconut water will help replenish though the night before a competition or during rolling better than say a banana. It will not be this miracle cure all beverage sent from the heavens to cure cancer, make you immune to ringworm, make you a World Champion, or get you a Porsche. In reality it is just a beverage that will help you recovery from training sent by someone in factory that harvests young coconuts. Sometimes that’s more important, Id rather be less tired on the mats than being sore as shit sweating in a Porsche, unless Vita Coco wants to buy me a new car, then Ill take it.

Insert facial hair joke. Go ahead you can do it!
Insert facial hair joke. Go ahead you can do it!

When’s the best time to have coconut water?

Time of year: This one is tricky in the sense that coconut water does not really have a season, you will always find it on the shelves. Though there is a season in which we benefit more from it, Summer. With the heat being more intense, we are more prone to getting dehydrated and recovering from that is hard. I think coconut water is a must in Summer time training, plus who doesn’t feel classy and tropical drinking a coconut water?

That would not suck...oh wait...
That would not suck…oh wait…

Time of ingestion: Crucial information here, coconut water does not supply enough carbohydrates and sodium to really revitalize you during long rolling sessions. But it does provide you with potassium and sodium you might not be getting within your normal diet. So snagging a coconut water instead of a sugary sports drink would be favorable. I am still a believe in good ole fashion H2O but if you are a sports drink fanatic, have a coconut water instead when you normally would go for a cold drink after class.

Whats all the hype about?

There are a million and one things coconut water can do for you…or are there a million and one things that a marketing team can do for coconut water? I side with the latter. Coconut water will hydrate you, supplement your potassium and potentially lower your blood sugar. But that is more because of the slight sodium in it and the decrease in sugar found in sports drinks. One way to utilize coconut water and make it really stand up to some hype is to add a punch of sea salt to your coconut water and use it during your training. It might not taste as good but the added sodium will replenish what you lose during training. You know how your sweat stains are sometimes chalky white? Yea that would be your sodium stores being sweat out.  but be careful and always read your labels. All brands are different. If the coconut water contains more than 110 milligrams/cup, avoid adding salt.

Benefits

  • Tasty
  • Helps regulate blood sugar levels
  • Excellent source of potassium, could help with cramping
  • Equally as replenishing and better for you replacement for sports drinks
  • Uber hydration!
  • Can cure any ailment, make you have better skin, fight off disease, helps digestion, boost metabolism, oh wait…thats because it helps with hydration not because of what it is. Hydration is the key to survival.

One of these types is not like the other.

Much like gi’s there are many different brands and types out there. They all fit, in this case our taste buds rather than bodies, and wallets differently. But the best part is there is a coconut water out there for everyone. What it boils down to is what are you willing to pay and what do you enjoy flavor wise. Origin, not the Maine Made Gi company, plays a huge roll in the flavor profile of your coconut water. For instance coconut water from Thailand will be sweeter than most based on their climate. But based on who you are here are some suggestions rather than making a recipe, because I personally do not think you should try and reinvent the wheel.

Average Joe: So you are not very picky on what foods you eat and drink just as long as you are getting in your micros and macros? Then you should opt for a more cost effective coconut water with a neutral taste: Naked 100% Coconut Water

Drink naked, for the love of god dont train naked.
Drink naked, for the love of god don’t train naked.

Sports Drink Enthusiast: So you are the type of person who opts for a colored sports beverage over water during the day or after training? Well the best approach to try and purge that habit is to not just throw you into the fire, have a coconut water that as some added sweetner and an assortment of flavors so it will be less foreign tasting on your taste buds and not shock your system into immediate rejection: Vita Coco

Still awaiting my new car, your move Vita coco
Still awaiting my new car, your move Vita coco

Au Naturel: If you are a food and like foods to taste like what they actually are then you will want to opt for a more organic approach. But as we all know with organic you pay a bit more but if it helps you sleep at night, so be it as long as it tastes like actual coconut water: Harmless Harvest Raw Coconut Water

Dont be scared of the color difference here, man up.
Dont be scared of the color difference here, man up.

Penny Pincher: I mean no disrespect either here, you are a bargain hunter and want to spend the least but get the most out of it. Lucky for you you know that “juice” and “water” are the same thing in the world of coconut beverages: Amy and Brian’s Coconut Juice

Who would of thought, the best tasting is also the cheapest. Don't let the secret out the price might go up.
Who would of thought, the best tasting is also the cheapest. Don’t let the secret out the price might go up.

Purist: Go get an actual young coconut from a fruit stand and slap a straw in it while you ride your fixed gear bike home.

Bring your machete with you today?
Bring your machete with you today?

How does one milk a coconut?

Coconut milk/flesh and coconut water are two very different items that are the same. If that makes sense. Coconut water only comes from young green coconuts under the age of 9 months. After this period you might say the coconuts hit puberty and grow beards and that is when you find the typical brown coconuts. These  are full of the white flesh and cloudy milk. The coconut water from the young coconuts actually matures and becomes the fleshy walls and milk. When this happens the nutritional profile changes and that is when fats and proteins are added into the mix. When the young coconuts are harvested they are cut from the tree and by simply hacking the top off you can access the sweet water. Don’t have a coconut tree and machete available? No problem, you urban farmers can just go harvest your coconut water at any gas station, corner store or supermarket.

Unless you are this guy, this method is not advised. Just go buy a damn coconut water from the store.
Unless you are this guy, this method is not advised. Just go buy a damn coconut water from the store.

Conclusion

Young coconuts are green but trust me they will be Brown Belts eventually.
Young coconuts are green but trust me they will be Brown Belts eventually.

Do you like the taste? Drink it. Want something besides plain old water for a change? Drink it. Avid sports beverage drinker? Drink it instead. It is worth a shot and in the hot Summer months you will benefit from it even if it is just another way to sneak 16 oz of fluid into your system that isn’t a icy Pina Colada or beer on the beach. Do watch out for the price points, check your labels to make sure you are getting quality coconut water and lastly, don’t fall into the hype. Its good for you but it will not make you a super human, hydration in general will make you the best you. Now go snag a bottle and give it a try but first make sure to sign up for the Grappler Gourmet Weekly newsletter below to get super awesome reviews, guides and interviews delivered right to your email! Also check out www.invertedgear.com and use GOURMET10 at www.q5sn.com for 10% off your order! Eat well, train hard! Oss!

Images: coconuter Mercola Vita Coco Harmless Harvest Amy and Brain’s Naked

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