Drinking plain water isn’t always the most Earth-shattering thing in the world, but here are the facts you need to know before you spend money on one of those specialty bottles of water, such as coconut water, vitamin-enhanced and electrolyte water.
Dubbed “mother nature’s sport drink,” coconut water’s high levels of potassium, sodium, and antioxidants make it seem like the ultimate post-sweat swig. But just last year, scientists at ConsumerLab.com took several brands of coconut water to the lab and tested them to be sure. Their findings? Only one brand actually contained the amount of sodium and potassium claimed on its nutritional label.
Assuming the label is telling the truth, coconut water is a decent choice for after a light workout, but it’s not a good call after intense ones because it doesn’t contain enough sodium, according to a recent study presented at the 244th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.
Now some of these beverages do have vitamins in them. But many of them also are 200 calories and have 33 g of sugar per bottle, making them more like soda than water.
What’s more, says Ara DerMarderosian, PhD, a pharmacognosy professor at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, waters that are heavily fortified with vitamins and minerals may actually suppress your immune system if you’re already taking in enough vitamins and minerals through your diet.