WASHINGTON, June 19 (UPI) -- Coconut water contains two minerals, sodium and potassium, that help balance fluids in the body, a U.S. registered dietitian said.
Andrea Giancoli, a dietitian and spokeswoman for The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, told NPR coconut water packs a potassium punch in addition to sodium, but there's nothing magical about the drink -- a healthy diet -- especially bananas, potatoes, kidney beans, lentils, spinach and papaya -- provides plenty of potassium.
Coconut water comes from young coconuts. If picked at its peak time, it provides electrolytes and natural replenishment that people in Costa Rica use to replenish and re-hydrate after illness or childbirth, said Mark Rampolla, founder and chief executive officer of Zico, a popular coconut water brand.
Coconut water is not coconut milk, which comes from older coconuts. As a coconut ages the water morphs into the white coconut meat that is pressed to produce coconut milk or oil.
Nutritionist Monica Reinagel told NPR it's better to eat food containing potassium that also include vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber.
Most people who exercise for an hour or so a day, don't need an electrolyte replacement drink -- all they need to rehydrate is water, Reinagel said.