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It’s no secret to anyone, I’m addicted to the real deal coconut products. There’s nothing like cracking up a Thai coconut and drinking the water straight from the coarsely haired ball of a fresh coconut. While there is something to say of centering all that stored anger out on a fresh coconut when cracking open the top, I don’t always want to take the time and effort just for a refreshing drink. It is a crowd-pleaser though so if you have the time when a few guests are over, go for it, everyone will want a strike at the hairy beast. For other times, aka after a 5 mile run and all energy is gone, I like to turn to time-saving alternatives.

The hubby and I found Howard’s Best Coconut Water a few months ago and ever since I have been hooked. It’s a serious obsession, I know, but I can’t get enough of the sweet nectar from what has been dubbed as the “tree of life”. It tastes like sweet, almond flavored water that doesn’t overpower your taste-buds with a dry, tart aftertaste. I’m not a fan of popular sports drinks that have been proclaimed as “healthy” alternatives to water. In my opinion, these artificially spiked sugar drinks are just about as healthy as carbonated drinks publicized during the Olympics for athletes that would never touch the stuff while training. Moderation to everything is always the key to a healthy, happy life but in my opinion why not have something that tastes good, is healthy, and can actually help you revive from a long workout faster without any effort at all. (Okay so maybe you do have to lift the can’s tab but still…)

Research has found numerous times in conclusive studies that coconut water has the perfect amount of electrolytes (aka such things like salt), potassium, and enough fluids to refuel the body after a long workout. It contains something like 14 grams of natural sugar and over 600mg of potassium – that’s a considerable amount that will keep just about anyone moving through a hard workout for at least an hour or less. In my personal, undeclared, uneducated research I have found drinking coconut water helps my muscles to relax, my body to bounce back from slight dehydration and my sugar to be regulated at a more moderate speed than any other sugary exercise product on the market. I have bouts of hypoglycemia so this last point is very important to me.

If you have never had the chance to crack open a real coconut, I highly suggest either getting a Thai coconut and try it out for fun. For other times though, just go for something easier which would be Howard’s Best Coconut Water. It is gluten-free, not from concentrate, contains no sugar or preservatives and helps the body bounce back from extreme sports or just on a hot day.

Source: KawaiiCulture – even coconuts are cute accessories!

Methods I use Coconut Water:
Straight from the can
Poured into a sports bottle during a run
Mixed in a smoothie
Blended with organic fruit, such as strawberries, and ice for a cool iced drink

There are some other options on the market too that are just as good. I like Howard’s not because it is the only one but it is easier to carry at times since it’s in an aluminum can. This especially comes in handy when I’m cramming a ton of things in my gym bag or for a camping trip and the paper style tetra paks (although environmentally great!) can get squished. There are times we purchase VitaCoco, Jamba Coconut Water, O.N.E and so on but these brands are more expensive in our area so we prefer to get Howard’s Best which is just as good but half the price. If you can find them, we highly suggest it.

Don’t just rely on my word though, here is some back up research and information I found online.
Runner’s World

Coconut Marathon (Barbados)

Livestrong

Source: A sports drink that comes with a history lesson, two for the price of one!
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