Coconut water, Sport drink or Water?
Nugget: Though the difference was minimal, Coconut water from concentrate was slightly better compared to water and sport drink. There was also no difference on physical performance 2 hours after consuming the beverage.
*It was noted that when coconut water was consumed participants felt more bloated.
In the last decade coconut water and sport drinks has grown in popularity as an alternative to water amongst athletes. This is partly due to scientific recommendations and clever marketing. Coconut water has been considered as a natural occurring alternative rich in carbohydrates and electrolytes. Clinically coconut water can be used to replace fluids to patients suffering from severe dehydration from diarrhoea.
12 exercise-trained participants completed a 60 minute dehydrating exercise followed by consumption of Bottled water, pure coconut water, sport drink or coconut water from concentrate on separate occasions (minimum 5 days apart between each test). The amount of fluid replaced was proportional to the amount of water they lost during 60 minutes
To measure fluid retention, their body mass was taken right after fluid consumption after their exercise was considered as baseline then measured at 2 and 3 hours post exercise and compared with baseline and represented as a percentage. They also completed a performance test after fluid retention measurement.
Participants lost approx. 1.7kg from the exercise (approx. 2% of starting weight)
Coconut water from concentrate 52%,
Pure coconut water and sport drink 40%
Bottled water 35%
(The figures are considered not statistically significant)
There was no difference in physical performance during a treadmill test between beverage consumption.
Conclusion: Water and coconut water and is just as effective as each other to replenish fluid and maintain physical performance.
Kalman et al. (2012) Comparison of coconut water and a carbohydrate-electrolyte sport drink on measure of hydration and physical performance in exercise-trained men.