By Stefanie Cassetto
After exercise, playing at the park, going for a run or taking a walk around the lake, our body needs some replenishment. Clean water is the first choice. But often people bypass the water and go straight for sugary, caffeinated energy drinks and sodas which only load on more calories you just burned! It’s time for a drink that has serious health benefits. This summer swap out your lemonade, sweet tea, energy drinks and sodas for something more nutritious and refreshing — try coconut water!
Coconut water is the clear nutritious liquid inside the fruit. This water is loaded with vitamins and minerals while being low in calories and fat. Known as nature’s energy drink, coconut water has been a favorite in places like Southeast Asia, Pacific Islands, Hawaii, and the Caribbean for a long time.
A few of the important nutrients in coconut water are Lauric acid, Chloride, and Iron, as well as electrolytes found in sports drinks like Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium, Sodium, and Phosphorous.
Looking for an energy boost after a workout? Coconut water has been found to bring energy levels up and increase metabolism in the body. Sports drinks typically have a high sugar and sodium content. Coconut water is a better choice for re-hydration not only because it is lower in sugar and sodium, but also because it has higher levels of those important replenishing nutrients such as Potassium, Calcium, and Chloride.
Not only is coconut water a great alternative to traditional energy drinks, it also boasts several other health benefits like helping to keep skin looking young and healthy, removing toxins from the body, and aiding in cardiovascular health. Coconut water also helps to regulate internal fluids to prevent dehydration, increases metabolism to help with weight loss, and encourages a healthy digestive system.
While the juice from fresh coconuts is the best for you, coconut water can be found in cans or bottles in many grocery stores. So, while a trip to the tropics may not be in your near future, you can bring a taste of an island get-a-way that is loaded with nutrients right into your own home this summer. Cool down, boost your energy, and load up on vitamins while sipping refreshing coconut water from a straw.
MANGO COCONUT WATER SMOOTHIES
- 3/4 cup coconut water, chilled
- 1/4 cup orange juice, chilled
- 1 cup fresh or frozen mango chunks
- 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
- 1/2 cup ice cubes
Add coconut water, orange juice, mango chunks and strawberries to blender container. Cover and blend until smooth. Add ice cubes; cover and blend until slushy. Pour into 2 glasses. Makes 2 servings