Should You Dive Into the New Wave of Waters?

If you thought plain old H2O is the only water available, think again! The latest trend is to sip on naturally occurring water such as coconut, maple and birch. Each are collected from natural sources and are touted to be super healthy. Should you be sticking to tap water or plunging headfirst into the pool of alternative water? Here's a look at these three trendy waters lining store shelves.

Coconut Water

This tropical water is the clear liquid extracted from the inner chamber from immature, green coconuts. Unlike coconut milk, coconut water is relatively low in calories, providing about 46 calories per cup. It is naturally a good source of vitamin A, magnesium, potassium and manganese, providing between 10 to 19 percent of your daily recommended amount of each. One cup of coconut water also provides 11 percent of your recommended daily amount of sodium, which is a beneficial electrolyte for those who work out regularly. Many coconut waters also contain a good dose of vitamin C, but this is because it's added by food manufacturers as a preservative.

Athletes in particular have been turning to coconut water because of its electrolyte profile, which is touted as being similar to sports drinks. However, that's not the case. “During exercise you lose more sodium than potassium in your sweat, which needs to be replenished," says Dana Angelo White, a sports dietitian for Quinnipiac University. "Coconut water has a lot more potassium and a lot less sodium compared with sports drinks. For many athletes, this is not an ideal formulation because they need to replenish the high amount of sodium lost in their sweat.” Sports drinks are formulated in order to help athletes replenish the higher levels of sodium and lower levels of potassium lost during exercise. In addition, the high amounts of potassium found in coconut water can be problematic for those with kidney issues or who have high blood pressure. 

Coconut water has a sweet, nutty flavor. Here are several popular brands you can find at the market:

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