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Question:
Does coconut water help re-hydrate as well as sports drinks?

Answer:
As explained in ConsumerLab.com's Review of Coconut Waters, coconut water has been shown in a few small studies to help with rehydration just as well as sports drinks — although plain water may be sufficient for simple rehydration. However, coconut water that is not sodium-enriched will typically contain far less sodium than a sports drink and, therefore, may not be as useful as a sports drink after intense, prolonged exercise.
 
Be aware that coconut water contains much more potassium than either water or sports drinks and, consequently, drinking too much coconut water can have a laxative effect due to the action of potassium. There have even been reports of dangerous increases in blood levels of potassium in people consuming excessive amounts of coconut water.

For more information about coconut water for hydration, caution with excessive use, and our tests of products, see the Review of Coconut Waters >>

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April17000   August 1, 2018
In the Coconut Water Review, it is stated that two individuals had dangerously high blood levels of potassium. One was on a potassium-sparing diuretic so that could explain why consuming 2-4 serving of coconut water daily per week developed into a problem. But even so, I wonder if both individuals were avoiding salt/sodium because of a high blood pressure issue or just because they heard that avoiding sodium is "healthy" to do?? Not many people have high blood pressure directly due to salt consumption. Frequently I've heard of friends or especially the elderly falling down & then in the hospital, what are they given? Saline solution via IV and then they feel so much better! Next I hear that their doctor told them to avoid salt...

As this web page brings out in answer to "Does coconut water help re-hydrate as well as sports drinks?" - sodium IS needed after intense prolonged exercise (or I would add, after a lot of sweating from the heat, for example.)

I wish that this point would be ADDED to the Coconut Water Review as a possible cause of the dangeroulsy high potassium blood level, that these persons may also have been avoiding sodium at the same time. I am also curious as to how some coconut water manufacturers have responded or would respond to what you reported, to round out your warning about consuming coconut water daily.

Sandra15367   August 6, 2017
I thought too much potassium could be a cardiac danger?

ConsumerLab.com   August 14, 2017
Hi Sandra - Yes, please see the "Concerns and Cautions" sections of the Coconut Waters Review (https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/_/coconut-water/#concerns -- linked to from the answer above) and the Potassium Supplements Review (https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/_/Potassium/#cautions) for more about potential effects of getting too much potassium.

This CL Answer initially posted on 7/9/2014. Last updated 8/8/2017.

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