So let's talk coconut water: I first discovered it when I was in Kenya, on the island of Lamu, visiting a small commercial farm. While resting in the shade of a tree (Baobab, I think), our host pounded a hole in a freshly plucked coconut, handed it to me and said "Enjoy!" The weather was hot and humid and a drink of anything seemed smart, so I drank. The liquid looked like water but the taste was a bit unusual--I liked it though. When I returned home from my trip I did some research on the benefits of coconut water, just out of curiosity. Here's something I found on a site that markets their own brand of coconut water (ZICO):
For more than 4,000 years, coconut water has been revered as a natural source of nutrition, wellness, beauty and hydration. In times of famine and war, coconut water has been used as an intravenous fluid and saved many lives. It's the only natural substance that can be safely injected into the human blood stream. Now modern science has validated its effectiveness, especially as a natural sports drink.
The more I searched, the more I found, and the praise for coconut water just goes on and on. So I decided to try the ZICO product. At the risk of sounding like a Consumer Reports article, I just have to tell you, this drink is amazing. Rather than attempt to blather about it in my own words, let's go back to what their website says:
ZICO contains the five essential electrolytes that gives your body everything it needs to stay hydrated and perform at your best. one ZICO has more potassium than a banana--15 times more than most sports drinks--to prevent cramping. Drink ZICO before or during a workout for the natural energy you need for optimal performance. After a workout, ZICO replenishes and re-hydrates you to speed recovery.
Packed with Potassium, > 1 banana = 15 regular sports drinks!
5 Essential Electrolytes: sodium, magnesium, calcium, potassium, phosphorus!
LOTS of Zeros: ZERO fat, ZERO cholesterol and ZERO added sugar!
Low Acid: lower acidity than sports drinks and juices (5 ph)!ALL natural!
This stuff is really good, and really good for us, which is a home run in my book. Next to my intense interest in premature aging is my deep interest in childhood obesity, so this drink takes on even greater implications. Just the lower acidity alone is a BIG deal--aging speeds up and disease thrives in an acid state, so whatever we can do to lower it, is really smart. And the idea of finding a healthy drink that kids may willingly choose over soda--well, say "good-by" to unwanted pounds. (I have a young friend that dropped 15 lbs in one year just by leaving soda alone.) It may be billed as a sports drink, but I'm billing it as a wellness drink!
So here's my point related to family dinner hour: Instead of serving soda, Kool Aid or other sugary drinks at our picnics, family gatherings, company parties, or dinner table, let's do something smart and healthy for those we care about--let's serve coconut water! Why not? What have we got to lose, besides a few extra pounds and a propensity to aging and disease, I mean?
And to get us started, here are a couple recipes I pulled off the ZICO site that you and your family may like. In the meantime, please share any experiences you've had with coconut water, and here's to serving up healthier drinks as we make family dinner hour possible!
- 1 cup mixed berries
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 scoop protein powder
- 1 ZICO natural
Mix all ingredients together in a blender using fresh or frozen fruit. Yields approximately 16 oz. Enjoy!
- 1 ZICO Mango or Passion Fruit
- squeeze of lime
- slice of orange
Pour ZICO into a tall glass over ice. Add lime juice and orange slice. Stir & Enjoy!