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Does Coconut Water Actually Reverse Dehydration?

Coconut water has been enjoying its day in the sun recently. Everyone from athletes and healthcare professionals, to health and fitness writers and parents, are all asking the same thing: Is coconut water nature’s sports drink?

True, coconut water does contain electrolytes. But is that the right dose of electrolytes to reverse dehydration caused by intense exercise or diarrhea? Studies have shown probably not. And that’s because coconut water doesn’t contain enough sodium.

Sodium is an essential electrolyte for everyone. It helps the body retain water, and allows for faster absorption of water into the bloodstream. Put another way, when you’re dehydrated, a sodium-enhanced beverage rehydrates faster.

Most brands of coconut water contain only 20-160 mg of sodium. But athletes exercising in warmer, more humid climates for extended periods can lose 900 mg of sodium or more. And for adults and kids suffering from diarrhea (a common cause of dehydration) sodium losses are just as extreme. So as a rehydration beverage, coconut water isn’t effective enough in the body’s race to replace sodium.

Studies tend to agree, too. One 2007 study found that coconut water compares to sodium-electrolyte drinks like Drip Drop – only after their sodium content is increased.

But What About The Potassium in Coconut Water?

True, coconut water has many health benefits. It’s loaded with more potassium than a banana, which is another important electrolyte that helps the body manage blood pressure and enhances brain function. For athletes, potassium can dismiss muscle cramps too. During moderate exercise, coconut water can be efficient to help the body rehydrate. It can be consumed every day and is relatively low in calories and mostly natural. But unfortunately, for athletes and dehydrated people, potassium doesn’t really help the body rehydrate faster.

Why Drip Drop Reverses Dehydration Faster Than Coconut Water

Drip Drop is a medical grade hydration beverage that was formulated to match electrolyte levels set by the World Health Organization. Drip Drop contains a vital dose of sodium, sugars and other electrolytes that benefit athletes following intense workouts, military professionals stationed in extreme climates and adults and children suffering from diarrhea and vomiting.

Each dose of Drip Drop contains 665 mg of sodium, which enables the body to rehydrate faster and retain fluids better. And it compares to coconut water in many other areas. For instance, Drip Drop contains just 65 calories – which is similar to popular coconut water drinks – and it’s also packed with about 400 mg of potassium.

Image via Flickr.


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