Coconut water has saved me from being dehydrated–many times. Not coconut milk or juice, coconut water. It is the reconstituted water inside the coconut. It contains a large quantity of potassium. This keeps one’s body from having hyponatremia–low sodium. Therefore, from getting dehydrated. By drinking coconut water before exercising, especially in the summer when one tends to sweat more, you keep in the electrolytes instead of sweating them all out.
As a person with CF and a bilateral lung transplant, I tend to sweat a lot and lose salt through that sweat. After playing tennis outdoors, I will have a white residue on my arms and legs which is granules of my salty sweat. It feels like sand. After doing an activity outside in the heat, I used to get hyponatremia and become nauseous, dizzy, anxious and lose my appetite. And eventually, I would have to be hospitalized for IV hydration. It wasn’t due to not drinking enough water or fluids, for me, it was drinking too much. I generally try to drink over 64 oz. of fluids, mostly water to flush out all the toxic drugs I take like, prednisone, cyclosporine, blood pressure medications, insulin, etc. But by drinking so much water, and sweating, my sodium levels would bottom out and I would need to replace all that sodium. But once I got to a certain level, nothing helped but getting an IV with saline and sometimes adding magnesium and calcium. This entailed being hospitalized or spending about 5 hours at the infusion suite at my hospital on an out-patient basis.
My doctors were stumped. Then a friend of mine turned me on to coconut water. She told me it was a natural sports drink. I had been drinking those sugary sports drinks like Gatoraide and Vitamin Water as they contained some electrolytes. They are really not made for those with CF who sweat like I did and didn’t help much. Plus, my sugars went sky-high. Once I tried coconut water, which has only about 15 grams of carbs, I was ecstatic. It did not raise my glucose level substancially, especially if I was exercising, and I didn’t start to feel dehydrated.
I recommend coconut water to anyone with CF who sweats a lot and starts to feel feel ill from the heat or sun. There are a few brands that I have seen, here are a few: O.N.E., Vita Coco, Zico, etc. Most health food stores and supermarkets carry at least one brand in their juice and soda isle. Make sure it is pure coconut water, not juice or milk. I even drink this “water” when I get a stomach flu or diarrhea. Coconut water helps keeps my electrolytes from being depleted.
Try it, you may like it. Enjoy your summer being active outdoors. I do now.