Friday, October 19, 2012

Nutrition - Coconut Water Explained.

Coconut Water - The Mystery Explained. Is It Hype Or Something You Should Add To Your Training Program.

Will it fix all your problems and turn you into a pro Athlete? I have been asked many questions about the benefits of Coconut water, and do people need it in there lives.

I came across coconut water years ago when our then England Nutritionist, who is still the man in the know, Matt Lovell introduced it to the guys, During one of our England Camps.  I think the version we tried had actual little bits of coconut in, and came in plain packaging.  It went down really well,  as the boys would have it at snack time or in the evening, to help with recovery. It however disappeared next camp and wasn’t really seen again until recently. The benefits have always been clear, but only now has it become so popular

I have always been a fan of coconut water, as for someone who drinks loads of normal water in their daily routine, either bottled or still will it can get a bit tedious. However there aren’t loads of alternatives, that don’t contain sugar, fructose, colourings, E numbers and are easy to drink pre and post training. I found my self adding squash to large amounts of water, which wasn’t really doing me any good.

Coconut water however fits the bill in loads of ways and is very easy to drink, and great for hydration. I once went to coach out in Tobago many years ago with Phil Greening, we would have fresh coconut water from the green young coconuts every day, in the hot sun, and this was where my interest in it all came from.  As it seemed like a great way to hydrate, avoided drinking any dodgy local water and tasted sweet.

Things are very different now with loads of brands out there jumping in on the market, with exciting packages, flavours , etc. I got hold of some @Vitacoco about 2 and half years ago when a girl friend of mine had some and haven’t looked back.  I have tried a few others, but I am basing much of my experience on Vita Coco.


I will always try and have some @Vitacoco with my breakfast, as I am always dehydrated in the morning and this is the quickest way, and easiest to drink method of getting me back to where I need to be, and ready for the first session. Plus it has high numbers of natural electrolytes in it, so I don’t need to have anything else.

My Usual Breakfast.

  • 3 eggs
  • A bowl of porridge made with water, with  mixed nuts, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and some honey or brown sugar.
  • 1 large cartoon of Vita coco
  • 1 glass of orange juice
  • Protein shake- Promax, Alkalive green, BCAA’s

I will also try and have some after my last session of the day. Again for the fact it quickly hydrates you, but is really easy to drink. If you have been drinking energy drinks and water all day, you really want something else, that isn’t full of sugars and carbs.

Vita Coco for example has

  • No Added sugars, colours , etc.
  • All Natural
, from fresh coconuts.
  • Bursting with all 5 key electrolytes
Zero fat, zero cholesterol & low in calories.
  • More potassium than a banana!

Should you add it to your own training program and diet? The answer is yes. You can’t go wrong with water, and being hydrated is one of the most important elements to anything you do. If you want something that tastes great, hydrates you and offers a really healthy alternative to water then @Vitacoco is the answer. Using it in conjunction with water, not as a full replacement is the best and only method.
It is not however going to revolutionise things to a whole new level, or suddenly make your training gains go through the roof. It’s not why it’s so popular, and you see so many sports people using it on twitter. Athletes love it because there are very few healthy options out there to replace water. Those “sports” drinks that do, have loads of things in them and aren’t always the best option.
If you can get some in during the morning, post a session and my favourite use of all, whenever I actually get to let my hair down and have a few drinks, which is extremely rare, it is an awesome hang over aid. Drink a litre of coconut water and you are back in the game.
Some Ideas For Using Vita Coco
  1. In post training recovery drinks. For example instead of water, use 3 scoops of Recovermax and cartoon of vita coco.
  2. Shake before bed @Vitacoco and a scoop of Maximuscle Promax.
  3. Added it to your breakfast smoothie, with Promax, oats, frozen berries, Manuka honey.

I hope that goes some way to explaining things and why you always see cartons of Vita Coco in rugby player’s hands.


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