There's a coconut craze going on, with cartons of the electrolyte-laden liquid appearing in gyms and yoga studios. Recent studies show coconut water delivers low-calorie, fat-free sports-drink-like benefits after strenuous exercise. But Liz Applegate, director of sports nutrition at the University of California at Davis, says that coconut water, while an excellent source of the electrolyte mineral potassium, is short on sodium, which is the primary nutrient needed for rehydrating after exercise. Here's more:
COCONUT WATER: A clear, thin liquid inside green or young coconuts. One cup of an unflavored variety contains 20 calories, 0 grams saturated fat, 250 milligrams potassium and 150 milligrams of sodium.
COCONUT MILK: A thick, white liquid made by extracting some fat from the grated meat of a mature coconut. 197 calories and 20 grams saturated fat per cup, but only 18 milligrams of calcium, compared to 122 milligrams in cow's milk.