I’ve just heard about the latest health and fitness craze, and I have to say, I’m mystified. It’s coconut water. Yes, the milky white stuff that sloshes around inside a coconut, which some people think is the latest must-have “exercise water.”
But first, let me get upon my soapbox and announce, that almost no one ever needs special drinks before, during or after exercise. Well, sure, I’ll admit that there are a select few: Olympians and other élite athletes who train at an extreme level; exerciser who work out in extremely hot, dry climates – I’m thinking Death Valley here; and long distance runners perhaps. But let’s face it – the average exerciser who works out in a gym or in normal temperatures for an hour or so, need not replenish their fluid stores with anything but plain old water. No need for Gatorade or other so-called “sports drinks.” For the average person, special exercise drinks are just a waste of money, and may undo some of the beneficial effects of exercise, by needlessly adding calories that one does not need, and may in fact have been exercising in order to work off.
So when I heard about coconut water being the latest fitness drink, I thought “Really?” No matter how much one likes coconuts, is the milky liquid sloshing around inside so refreshing, so tasty, so healthy, so beneficial that someone would actually pay money to purchase and consume said water? And who thought of bottling coconut water anyway? Picture some coconut processing plant in a tropical locale. Local harvesters bring in truck loads of this hard, football-shaped fruit, where it is hacked open either by strong workers with machetes, or by mechanized methods. The disgusting white innards are scooped out, dried or toasted and sent for processing into coconut products – flaky white shredded coconut, coconut oil, or toasted coconut. One day, the workers in the coconut plant noticed the milky white liquid running all over the floor, from the hacked-open coconuts and said “Hey, I bet if we bottle this stuff, call it ‘natural’ and ‘organic’, Americans would buy it and drink it.” And voila’ coconut water was born.
Sure it’s “natural,” but so is arsenic. “Natural” does not necessarily equal “good for you.” There is nothing especially magical or beneficial about the liquid from the inside of a coconut. Yet, Americans, and in particular, health-conscious, tree-hugging, Yoga-loving Americans are buying it in droves, tucking it into gym bags and rolled-up Yoga mats.
So now, I just need someone to explain to me why.
© Huffygirl 2012
- Coconut Water Companies Sell Image, Not Taste (npr.org)
- Coconut Water: 2011′s Most Over-Hyped (And Beloved) Health Product (blisstree.com)
- No, I’m good, I think I’ll climb down now (huffygirl.wordpress.com)
- A cycling girl’s beginner’s guide to watching the ultimate exercise (huffygirl.wordpress.com)