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Coconut Water: Hydration or Hype?

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Coconut water is often marketed as an all-natural alternative to traditional sports drinks, but a new report by ConsumerLab.com found that many coconut water drinks do not contain enough electrolytes to hydrate you as well as sports drinks.

ConsumberLab.com tested three of the most popular brands—O.N.E. Coconut Water, Vita Coco 100% Pure Coconut Water, and Zico Natural Pure Premium Coconut Water—for electrolyte content. While all three had large amounts of potassium (about 25 percent more than a banana), only one brand, Zico, contained enough sodium to rival a sports drink. O.N.E. had only 11 mg of sodium compared to 60 mg on the label, while Vita Coco contained only 24 mg compared to the 40 mg promised.

"This is significantly below the 110 mg of sodium per 8-ounce sports drink recommended for athletes," said Amanda Carlson-Phillips, vice president of nutrition and research at Core Performance. "Coconut water is not a replacement for a sports drink when it comes to performance."

While coconut water without added sugar is fine to drink in place of water on occasion, Carlson-Phillips recommends drinking 20 to 32 ounces of a sports drink per hour during long, intense workouts to keep your body properly fueled.

Tags: Hydration, Beverages, Nutrients, Energy, Health

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