Can I hydrate with coconut water instead of plain water or sports drinks during exercise?

Coconut water is touted as a “natural” alternative for fluid replacement because it contains carbohydrates and key electrolytes such as sodium and potassium. But while its potassium content is high, the amounts of carbohydrates and sodium are sometimes very low. So if you participate in prolonged, vigorous exercise (longer than an hour), you may need more carbohydrates and sodium for proper hydration.

What’s more, different brands of coconut water vary considerably in their nutrient content. So read product labels to be sure you’re getting the right amounts of nutrients you need.

Read the hydration basics for more information on what and how much to drink during exercise.