Looking for a natural, low-sugar alternative to processed
energy drinks? Look no further than the humble coconut.
Barely processed, containing no refined sugars, and with
only one ingredient on its ingredient list, coconut water was the world’s first
Gatorade — before we got tricked into thinking that sugary “energy” drinks were
the only way to go to replenish after intense physical activity.
And with the food industry’s carbon emissions stemming
primarily from processing and packaging, this “whole food” is a great choice
for the earth with virtually zero processing and mostly eco-friendly Tetra Pack
Coconut water is naturally filled with electrolytes — the
same compounds that Gatorade and other sports drinks advertise will get you
hydrated and re-energized after a tough workout (or after a tough hangover!).
And those same electrolytes also work to enhance performance, making coconut
water a smart pre-exercise choice if you’re looking to increase endurance and
stamina during your workout.
Coconut water is a superfood filled with essential minerals,
vitamins, antioxidants, and amino acids to keep us energized. But unlike
commercial sports drinks, coconut water is low in sugar and high in nutrients.
Low in calories, high in digestive qualities
Coconut water can improve digestion by helping our
intestines function properly. Its powerful nutrients also help give us glowing
skin. And another one of coconut water’s biggest health benefits? It’s been
found to help lower blood pressure and improve blood circulation.
While coconut water contains lauric acid (a naturally fatty
acid found in mother’s milk that helps keep things running properly in our
intestinal system), it’s actually naturally low in fat and low in calories.
Easy on the earth
The EPA estimates that the food industry produces more than
24 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, a large portion of which comes
from processing and packaging. Since coconut water comes in a Tetra Pak,
it has a really long shelf life. And recyclable Tetra Paks further promote
coconut water’s eco-friendly status by requiring five times less energy to
produce than plastic packaging.
They also contain less packaging in relation to the liquid they’re protecting.
The Tetra Pak’s combination of light weight and efficient packaging also means
less fuel is necessary to transport them.
Lastly, since 100% coconut water requires virtually no
processing, selecting coconut water in lieu of sports drinks helps cut down
those emissions even more
Which to choose?
These days, coconut water is popping up everywhere. It’s a
growing market with at least four popular brands showing up on shelves. But if
all of the brands contain only 100% coconut water, is one better than the
Not really. While some have very slight variations in
calories, natural sugars, and electrolyte levels, the differences aren’t large
enough to make any noticeable health difference. What it really comes down to
is personal taste: While they all come from Brazilian coconuts, the waters do
vary in flavor.
Some are a little sweeter than others, and others seem to
have almost a slight pineapple-like tang to them. So go with the brand that
tastes best to you. And remember, it’s a delicious beverage that’s best served
When you’re shopping for your favorite coconut water at the
store, look for 100% pure coconut water — no sugar or additives thrown in — for
the biggest health benefits.