Saturday, August 13, 2011

Do You Know What's In Your Coconut Water?

zicoSomehow I missed it when coconut water become the hot new trend among runners. Me? I just sort of noticed it appearing in stores and was like, "That looks tasty." And it is! So I've been drinking it fairly regularly when I want more than water but nothing overly sweet.

Then, maybe a week or two ago, I saw an article on the big coconut-water-as-recovery-drink buzz. Who knew?? (Hint: Not me. Then again, I am notoriously unobservant. Just ask Don.) Apparently runners of the world were all aflutter over the extra electrolytes (sodium, potassium, and magnesium in particular) without all the chemicals & fake stuff that's in more traditional sports drinks.

Then, a couple days ago, I spotted this article in one of my favorite green-and-clean health & beauty product blogs, No More Dirty Looks.

(Sidenote: After reading the book these ladies published on the state of the health & beauty industry & what's in the stuff we put on our bodies, I basically trashed everything in my bathroom & never looked back. Coconut water aside, I highly recommend spending a few minutes poking around their blog if this isn't something you've read or heard much about.)

blue monkeyYou can read the original article from CNN here; the upshot is that out of the three brands ConsumerLabs tested (O.N.E., Vita Coco, and Zico), only Zico contained the amounts of sodium, potassium, magnesium, and sugar stated on its label. The other two were basically coconut-flavored sugar water.

Which is a good reminder to us all:
"When something like this becomes wildly popular, people have a tendency to look at the claims rather than reality," says Taub-Dix, the author of Read It Before You Eat It. "If you're working out and sweating a lot, this isn't going to do the trick."

Frankly, I've just been drinking it because I like it, but if you're a runner relying on coconut water to rehydrate you during or after a hard race or workout, you deserve to know whether the brand you've got lives up to what it's promised, and the companies producing and marketing the stuff owe it to you to be honest about what their product actually contains & does.

Above - Blue Monkey is another brand I've had a couple times. Since it wasn't part of the ConsumerLabs test, I have no idea whether it passes muster or not, but it tastes good. :)

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