Can I use coconut water during my workout to replace electrolytes lost through sweat?
What a great question!
For those of you who follow my blog regularly, you already know how much I love, and recommend, the use of all things coconut as part of a healthy Paelo Diet! It's a great source of medium-chain triglycerides, is indicated in helping to maintain healthy bacteria in the GI Tract, has anti-viral properties and just tastes delicious!
So, to answer the question, I'd need to know more about what the activity is that one's engaging in before making a recommendation. As a test, i just had a small container (11 oz) of one brand of coconut water that I purchased at Whole Foods, after finishing my 2nd workout of the day (a 2 hr run followed by a 90' bike on the trainer) PLAIN- nothing added, that is! (This was only PART of my recovery food as the 60 calories supplied by the small carton is FAR too little to recover from 3.5 hrs of endurance training, mind you).
From a taste point- light and very satisfying. The nutrition panel shows 60 mg Sodium, 40 mg Calcium and 25mg Magnesium and 670 mg Potassium, and as I mentioned, only 60 calories.
If you're planning to sip the coconut water as part of a leisurely walk or hike of a rather short duration (less than an hour) and you're not taxing yourself very much, this would be a great drink to have.
However, if you're e heavy sweater or training in a warm to hot climate, or training hard for long duration, it would not be enough by itself to sustain and replace what you're losing through sweat.
I do think it could be a PART of the regime, however, balanced with electrolyte tabs and carbohydrate gels.