Is coconut water a healthy drink for weight loss surgery patients?
For most people, and that goes for bariatrics too, water is the best way to hydrate throughout the day. But what if you’re bored with water or need something that might be advantageous during prolonged bouts of exercise? Coconut water has been noted as being a solution … is it?
Well coconut water, the clear liquid found inside young green coconuts, has been dubbed ‘nature’s sports drink’ since manufacturer’s claim it hydrates better than plain water. This, they explain, is because it contains electrolytes (mainly potassium and sodium).
What it also contains and delivers is a small dose of carbohydrates, which provides rapidly digestible fuel for muscles during prolonged physical activity.
If you exercise for longer than 60 minutes (say as a long-distance runner) you can benefit from these extra carbs as well as a good blast of electrolytes to replace those lost through sweat.
However, whether you get these through a specially–formulated sport’s drink or coconut water there’s little difference since they both will probably improve performance. Coconut water in some cases might just come second because there is generally less sodium in their composition so you might still want to pair with a small additional salty snack.
However that advice is for the professional or committed recreational exerciser, when it comes to non-athletes and casual exercisers you’re hardly likely to need the extra carbs or the additional electrolytes. ‘Plain old bottled or tap water’ is the best beverage for proper hydration.
Just to compare the stats – coconut water provides 45 calories, 8-11g sugar (that’s 2-3 teaspoons!) and between 400-100 milligrams sodium per 200 ml/7 fl oz serving. Water on the other hand, is naturally calorie-free, sugar-free, and sodium-free.
That said, if you have the room for the calories, don’t have problems with sugar in terms of ‘dumping syndrome’, and enjoy the taste, then it’s perfectly healthy to drink coconut water, but you definitely don’t need it for hydration and it may well stall your weight-loss if imbibed to excess!