Those of you who exercise consistently (hopefully most of you) or are involved in activities like marathon running or cycling are probably not strangers to sports drinks. It’s important to replenish the body of the vitamins and electrolytes it loses during intense activity, which is why sports drinks are so popular. But are they the right thing to be putting in your body after exercise…or is there a better alternative? Let’s find out. |
The Dark Side of Sports Drinks
It’s true that most sports drinks are fortified with vitamins like the B vitamins and electrolytes like potassium and sodium, which the body needs after sweating. However, the cons of these beverages vastly outweigh the pros:
Packed with simple sugars – If one of your exercise goals is to lose weight, downing a sports drink can undo all of the calorie-burning benefits you just worked so hard for. Many commercial sports drinks contain processed sugars that can end up right back on your waistline. They also spike your blood sugar, making you prone to diseases like diabetes. Contain artificial colours – Do you really want to drink some strange bright blue concoction that your body doesn’t even recognise? I don’t see much point in saturating your insides with food colouring. Have unpronounceable cocktails of chemicals – A few years ago it was discovered that Gatorade and Powerade included an ingredient called BVO – a chemical also used as an industrial flame retardant. They have since been removed, but it makes you wonder what else is in there.
What’s The Alternative?
Ditching the sports drinks is a good first step, but what’s a healthy replacement then? That’s where coconut water comes in. It has all of the good qualities of commercial sports drinks and none of the bad—plus an extra set of goodness all its own.
Naturally contains an ideal electrolyte balance of potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus to maintain healthy bones, muscles, and cells Helps improve circulation and regulate blood pressure Has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties Is the richest known source of anti-aging phytohormones called “cytokinins” Improves immune system functioning Contains a variety of vitamins and minerals, and is especially rich in B vitamins Contains none of the artificial colours, preservatives and chemicals found in regular sports drinks.
Coconut water has a light, sweet taste, without all the added refined sugar you’ll encounter in sports drinks. Drinking it can also help to alkalise the body, so it can help you combat the harmful effects created by the acidic food and drink many of us consume every day.
As you should try to do with as many fruits and vegetables as possible, go organic with your coconut water if possible, to minimise the risks of being exposed to toxic pesticides sometimes used on commercially grown plants. You can buy pre-harvested coconut water in bottles, or drink it straight from the coconut!
If you choose the second option, don’t forget about the other parts of the coconut, which can also be beneficial to include in your diet. Coconut oil is widely recognised as a healthy fat, and coconut milk contains the same fat plus a dose of protein.
For more natural health tips visit our blog at: http://www.alkalife.com.au/blog
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