Question: What is the healthiest thing for my eight-year-old son to eat and drink before playing sports?
Word hasn’t really hit the mainstream yet, but more and more people are discovering a truly wonderful source for the five essential electrolytes that help athletes perform at peak levels—not in manufactured sports drinks, but in coconut water! Tropical residents have known the benefits of drinking coconut water for a very long time. Because they work, play and live active lives in a hot, humid climate, they perspire often—and just as athletes, they must re-hydrate their bodies often to maintain optimum health.
Coconut water is a refreshing, tasty, and electrolyte-replacing beverage that—in my opinion—far surpasses every artificial sports drink. Coconut water contains no artificial sweeteners or added sugars. It’s not colored or artificially flavored and it’s fat and cholesterol free. But of most important concern to athletes, is that it’s an excellent source of the five essential electrolytes: potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and sodium—all delivered in nature’s perfect balance.
You can purchase whole Thai Baby Coconuts in oriental markets and in some natural foods stores, such as Whole Foods. These are not the little round brown coconuts—those are more mature and typically contain more coconut meat than water. Thai baby coconuts are found in the refrigerated sections of stores and they typically have the white husk still around the coconut shell.
These whole coconuts require some skill and tools to open, so although fresh, live coconuts are the best tasting, you can now purchase cartons (individual serving sized; or larger, 34 FL. Oz. sized cartons) that are convenient, easy to chill and drink from at any location—like sports fields! If you don’t have an oriental food store or natural food store nearby. Ask the grocers in your local supermarket to order some for you. Who knows, you may start a new trend for the folks in your neighborhood—and promote a winning (well-hydrated) team!
Two brands of coconut water that I particularly like are: Vita Coco and O.N.E. – here’s a link where you can find them on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/search?ie=UTF8&keywords=Vita%20Coco&tag=swoggle5776-20&search-alias=grocery&sort=salesrank