Coconut water is all the rage these days, and popular music star (and supposed Illuminati princess, for what it’s worth) Rihanna has endorsed it. Coconut water manufacturers are touting it as “nature’s sport drink,” leaning on high quantities of potassium and electrolytes as a advertising ploy to try to capture some of the major players in the fitness drink market, namely Gatorade, Powerade, and Propel. But what’s the real story on coconut water, and how many of these claims are true? Common Sense Conspiracy takes a closer look.
One claim you often see regarding coconut water is that it boosts your metabolism. Unfortunately, nothing could be farther from the truth. Why would it? Coconut water adds calories, albeit healthy ones, to your diet, and there is no way it could really boost your body’s metabolism. Now, none of the major manufacturers of coconut water have actually made this claim, but it is a rumor circulating around. I guess when a Barbados beauty like Rihanna gets behind a product, it’s bound to give rise to crazy theories about how she could look like she does if she throws back a gallon of coconut water every day. The truth is that exercise and muscle growth are the only things that can claim to truly boost your metabolism.
Another common claim for coconut water endorsers is that it will make you look younger. Well, this one swings both ways. Coconut water contains cytokinins, plant hormones that have been observed to slow down the aging process in plants and fruit flies. No such evidence has been released for humans. Still, though, the comment is kind of wide open in that being properly hydrated helps all people to look younger. But that benefit is not native to coconut water. Just good ole H2O will provide the same benefit over time.
Those that find themselves over-imbibing on occasion often tout coconut water as a miracle cure for a hangover. Well, they might be right. But the real miracle is called hydration. A hangover is basically the aftereffects of taking in high amounts of alcohol. The body is dehydrated, and it signals its discontent with this state by giving the sufferer massive headaches. The answer, of course, is getting re-hydrated and letting nature take its course. Coconut water does indeed help this, but so does water or any other liquid beverage that does not contain caffeine or alcohol.
Coconut water is often touted as heart-healthy. Well, it is. It contains loads of potassium, more than in bananas, and many studies suggest that potassium helps fight high blood pressure. However, there are plenty of other things that could claim this heart-healthy status as well. Even old-fashioned milk comes in with the same benefits, plus extra vitamins and minerals like Vitamin D. So, the bottom line is that coconut water is a good choice, but it is not anymore heart-healthy than other options on the table.
We close with the frequent advertising ploy that coconut water is “nature’s sports drink.” The concept is simple. Coconut water contains electrolytes that are usually depleted by athletic or aerobic exercises. Therefore, they say that it is like a natural alternative to Gatorade and other such purported sports drinks. In reality, coconut water packs a huge punch of potassium, but it has little in the way of salt. Now, we all know that salt is the heart’s worst enemy by all studies and accounts, but when you exercise in a major way, your body sweats off tons of salt. Other sports drinks help control the balance of salt that is necessary, while still giving a punch of potassium as well. Coconut water delivers the potassium, but almost a negligible amount of salt. So in extreme workouts, coconut water falls a little short at replacing sports hydration drinks.
Don’t misunderstand us. Coconut water is an excellent thing to drink as hydration for your body. We are just pointing out some of the misconceptions that are spread around by the media and advertising. So, feel free to turn that boxy looking bottle down and enjoy!