My 11-year-old son is a soccer player. And not to brag but he’s actually pretty darn good. I can honestly say his talent doesn’t come from his “last pick, easy outer, picking flowers in the outfield in little league” mother but more likely from his naturally athletic dad.
And as an athlete, he is very interested in what foods and drinks can maximize his performance on the field. Unlike his much younger brother and more stubborn younger sister I can convince him to try more things if I tell him it will make him a better athlete – sucker! ; )
Although I’ve tried and failed at several attempts to make a palatable sports drink replacement (stay tuned) he is coming around to drinking Coconut Water. And I couldn’t be happier. Coconut water is the ideal rehydrating beverage and a natural choice for replacing electrolytes during and post workout. It is rich in vitamins, minerals, natural sugars and salts and packs a punch with 15 x more potassium than most sports drinks.
And speaking of sports drinks – pure coconut water contains none of the artificial dyes, colouring, sugar, vegetable oil, chemicals and high fructose corn syrup that are all found in those appealing red, yellow and orange beverages marketed at athletes.
We have tried a number of different brands of coconut water in our house and we’ve landed on Zico as our favourite. It has a mild taste and served cold it is refreshing and light. I’ve tried to mix half coconut water and half regular water in my son’s sports bottle and was told that it “tastes terrible” but pure coconut water seems to go over just fine. And I always make sure to throw in some ice cubes so that it’s nice and cold.
So coconut water it is for now and I’m going to keep working on my sports drink. Currently my mix of lemon, coconut water, goji berries, sea salt, and honey just isn’t cutting it but I’m going to keep trying. And who knows –maybe I’ll have his whole team drinking it by the end of the season!