Whole Food vs. Sports Drinks, Bars And Chews

  • By Matt Fitzgerald
  • Published Oct. 18, 2013
Sometimes, regular old bananas are all endurance athletes need to give them fuel for a race. Photo:

Coconut Water vs. Sports Drinks

Among the most recent studies of this kind was conducted by researchers at the University of Memphis and published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition in January 2012. Twelve fit young men were asked to run for 60 minutes on a treadmill without drinking, then rehydrate during a rest period, and finally step back onto the treadmill to run to exhaustion at high intensity. This protocol was repeated on four separate occasions with a different beverage used for hydration each time: bottled water, pure coconut water, coconut water from concentrate, or a sports drink.

The researchers found no difference in the ability of these four beverages to rehydrate the subjects. There were slight differences in performance in the post-rehydration run, with subjects lasting longest after drinking the sports drink, but these differences were not statistically significant and could have happened randomly.

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