For the past year, coconut water has boasted a semi-cultish celebrity following. And no wonder: it’s fat and cholesterol-free, low in calories, full with electrolytes, and unbelievably tasty. Rumor has it that coconut water also improves circulation, slows aging, fights viruses, boosts immunity, and reduces the risk of stroke, heart disease, and cancer. Do the health benefits reaped from this popular drink merit all the hype? Rent the Runway investigates…
The Claim: “Coconut water is a healthy alternative to sports drinks because it hydrates AND replenishes electrolytes like potassium, sodium, and magnesium!”
The Reality: Despite the A-list backing, coconut water lacks some serious scientific support. While it does contain up to 15 times as much potassium as the average sports drink, sodium is what the body loses the most of during a workout. More potassium isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it doesn’t help that much more than Gatorade does, either.
The Claim: “The nutrient values in coconut water are standard, across the board.”
The Reality: Not all labels are to be trusted. Only Zico coconut water lives up to the nutrient values claimed on the label. Zico contains potassium, calcium, magnesium, minerals, amino acids, vitamins, phosphates, and sulphate, a full nutrient spectrum.
The Claim: “Coconut water is pure, untouched by the companies that distribute it.”
The Reality: Coconut water is, in fact, processed. Though it isn’t purified, it is pasteurized; companies add flavors to make the taste more appealing.
The Claim: “Coconut water will replenish me best after my workout!”
The Reality: Coconut water isn’t going to help you recover like a sports recovery drink specially formulated for a hardcore fitness fanatic. For a modest workout, however, coconut water can’t hurt. Then again, you’d be just as well off drinking regular water.
The Claim: “Coconut water fights disease and aging AND boosts immunity!”
The Reality: There is absolutely no proof backing these claims up. Sorry, folks.
Our conclusion? At the end of your workout, head to the water fountain. The calories, sugar, and price (two dollars a bottle) can add up. There are much cheaper ways to rehydrate and restore electrolytes – water and a banana, anyone?
Maeve was born in Howard County, Maryland, a farm-filled hometown tucked far enough away from DC and Baltimore to remain virtually unheard of. From ages five to seventeen, she donned a dweeby uniform five days a week and hadn’t the slightest idea who she was stylistically. At last, college arrived, and Rent the Runway guided the way through the previously unforeseen world of fashion.
Maeve has 19 post(s) on RTR On Campus