By Kristin Burgess, RD, Health and Wellness Coach and Personal Trainer
Coconut water is not a proper hydration fluid. This is true, especially for any endurance event. Your body needs water with sodium to replace what is lost during sweating. Coconut water is only high (extremely high) in potassium. The body needs the right balance of sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium to maintain proper blood volume and flow. This will allow for proper heart rate and other systems to function properly.
It does not work to add sodium or these other minerals to coconut water either. The balance of these minerals will not match the balance of the high potassium levels in the coconut water. In fact, I would not recommend coconut water for many (most) people. The high potassium content could be harmful to the delicate electrolyte balance the body needs for proper heart rate.
A substitute to coconut would be plain water or an electrolyte replacement product. Most people in most circumstances just need plain water! If you are exercising in a hot environment or are exercising for 90 minutes or longer, then a supplement would be needed. Look for a supplement that contains sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium and vitamin C would be best. If you are a salty sweater then look for a product with >200mg sodium per serving.
Feel free to contact me with any questions!
Registered Dietitian/Personal Trainer
Being a registered dietitian and health and wellness coach, Kristin believes you are what you eat! Eating whole, natural foods can not only increase energy and help you be at an ideal weight, but it can boost your mindfulness in every aspect of your life. After all, we walk around in our body all day…it must be a priority to take care of it! Running and triathlons have taken Kristin everywhere from Boston to Boulder. Kristin believes everyone has an “athlete” in them… after all, exercise makes the heart smile!
BS in Nutrition, Applied Physiology and Exercise Physiology
NASM Certified Personal Trainer, CES