Hydration Happiness: Let’s Toast Coconut Water

I’m happy to confess that this summer I developed a new addiction. I was hoping it would be kettle bells — bigger, buffer biceps in half the time! — but no. It’s coconut water. I’m not nuts about the cost, but I love the refreshing, slightly sweet taste. As a result, I’m drinking more fluid and staying more hydrated, and that’s a very good thing for every organ, cell and morsel of my overall well being.

Water is still king. I know that. Clean, pure water is the best and least expensive way to stay hydrated and a much healthier choice than all the heavily advertised sports and energy drinks that are fake fluids loaded with sugar, sodium, preservatives and unwanted chemical additives.


Confession No. 2: I don’t like the taste of plain water. Yes, it’s a flaw. I much prefer sparkling water, and I’m a big fan of mixing club soda with a splash of 100 percent fruit juice. But coconut water is my new best friend. And what a great playmate!

Coconut water is the queen of re-hydration drinks, with vitamins and minerals that boost the immune system, fight fatigue and help regulate a variety of intestinal functions. It is also low in carbs, low in sugar and 99 percent fat free.

In a pinch, coconut water is the perfect substitute for human blood plasma. That’s right — during World War II, in the Pacific islands, medics used coconut water straight from the coconut tree for emergency blood transfusions for wounded soldiers. Coconut water also turns out to be very useful for fighting intestinal worms, but I’m hoping none of that will be necessary in terms of my own personal health regimen.

So remember: Getting plenty of fluid into your body is a golden rule in the Energy Express playbook for healthy living. How can something so simple be so hard to swallow? Many of us go around under-hydrated. We don’t realize it’s making us feel tired, hungry, headachy and irritable, contributing to all sorts of systemic problems down the line. So drink up. And if you haven’t tried coconut water yet, give it a crack.


One-third of America’s kids are overweight or obese. Ho hum. We’ve heard this before. Who cares? You do … you know you do … but what are you doing about it? I’ve promised to keep you posted on the nationwide campaign to fight childhood obesity, so let me tell you about two new opportunities for parents to get involved.

One is a very cool idea called Recess Rocks. It pairs local dance instructors with sedentary kids and turns recess into a lively and creative jam session. Recess Rocks has been reinventing recess in Connecticut schools since 2007, but now it’s rolling out as a nationwide program. If you’re interested in it for your school, waltz over to www.RecessRocks.com for details.

While there, check out a new video contest that aims to engage kids in solving the fat crisis. Kids in grades 2 through 8 are invited to submit a video of a speech, song, dance or comment that answers two questions: 1) How do you feel about the childhood obesity problem? 2) What can you do about it?

Kids can enter solo or team up with others in their school, scout troop or street gang. The first 300 kids to enter will get a free Recess Rocks tee shirt, and the Three grand prize winners get a new iPad.

You can read more about prizes, rules and how entries will be judged on the same Website, all brought to you by a Connecticut-based health care company called Community Health Centers Inc.

The contest ends Nov. 30, 2010, but sadly, the childhood obesity epidemic will go on.


Margaret S. liked my recent column about turning unemployment into fun-employment by encouraging people out of a job to start working on their wellness.

“Great idea!” she emailed. “I had a vision about community-based walking/job clubs. Come together in the morning (for exercise), and then share job research plans and encouragement.”


“There is sweet water inside a tender coconut. … Was it the work of any man? No. Only the Divine can do such a thing.” Sri Sathya Sai Baba


Marilynn Preston — fitness expert, personal trainer and speaker on healthy lifestyle issues — is the creator of Energy Express, the longest-running syndicated fitness column in the country. She has a website, http://marilynnpreston.com and welcomes reader questions, which can be sent to [email protected] To find out more about Preston and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.{jcomments on}

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