Coconut Water: Why is it a Good Post-Workout Choice?

By Amy Colgan-Niemeyer, Online Fitness Coach, CPT, CES, FNS

Coconut water is full of electrolytes and nutrients that rejuvenate your body post workout.

Coconut water is full of electrolytes and nutrients that rejuvenate your body post-workout.

Coconut water is the clear liquid found inside a young coconut. It has no fat or cholesterol, and it is packed with electrolytes and nutrients, such as sugars, vitamins, minerals and amino acids. But how does this aid a person who works out? Let’s examine some of the ingredients of coconut water to get a better idea.

Potassium: Potassium is a major positive ion (charged particle) found in body cells. It helps regulate blood pressure and build both protein and muscle tissue. Protein helps maintain our bodily fluid balance, and our acid-base levels. Some act as enzymes which accelerate chemical reactions. It also helps repair and build tissues of the body, including muscles. It is during recovery that muscles are built, so consuming the potassium in coconut water can help aid this process.

Magnesium: Magnesium is a mineral that plays a vital role in more than 300 chemical reactions within the body to help keep it functioning well. It helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, heart rhythm, and a healthy immune system.

Phosphorus: Phosphorus is a mineral that facilitates the growth, maintenance and repair of cells, heart regulation, and energy production. It also helps strengthen bones and teeth and relieve post-exercise muscle aches.

Sodium: Sodium is a mineral. As an electrolyte, it helps control blood pressure. It also keeps body fluids and the acid-base balance in check. Further, it aids nerve transmission and muscle contraction. Athletes and exercisers will be interested to know that it may ease leg cramps and dehydration.

Calcium: Calcium is a mineral that helps build and maintain healthy bones and teeth. It also facilitates healthy heart, nerve and muscle function. The body is unable to produce calcium, so we must get all our supply from external sources such as food and dietary supplements.

Coconut water is most useful for those who participate in light exercise (1-2 hours). For those engaging in more strenuous exercise, a sports drink with a higher amount of sodium may work better.