Post-exercise rehydration with coconut water: as effective as a sports drink, or better?


  • Alexandra Pérez Idárraga Escuela de Educación Física y Deportes, Universidad de Costa Rica, Costa Rica
  • Luis Fernando Aragón Vargas Universidad de Costa Rica, Escuela de Educación Física y Deportes, Costa Rica



Urine elimination, recovery, hydration, dehydration, exercise


Objective: To compare the effectiveness of fresh coconut water as a rehydration beverage with bottled water and a sports drink.
Method: eleven participants, 22.0±1.9 years of age and 65.6±13.0 kg body mass (average ± S.D.), reported to the laboratory on three separate occasions, each one week apart. Each time they exercised in the heat until they were dehydrated by 1.84 ± 0.2% of initial body mass. They were then rehydrated for one hour with commercial bottled water (BW), a sports drink (SD), or coconut water (CW), using a volume equivalent to 120% of weight loss. Perceived beverage acceptance and tolerance ratings were evaluated, and urine was collected over three hours following rehydration. Results: Urine volumes showed an interaction between beverage and time (p=0.003); BW was statistically different from CW and SD, 30 and 60 minutes after rehydration (p<0.05). Total urine volume was higher for BW (625 ± 183 mL) compared with both CW and SD (390 ± 73 mL and 416 ± 200 mL, respectively, p<0.002); CW and SD were not different from each other (p>0.05). This resulted in a different fluid conservation percentage for BW (56%) compared with CW (71%) and SD (71%) (p<0.001). Perceived tolerance ratings showed no interaction between beverage and time (p>0.05).
Perceived sweetness was lower for BW (p= 0.024); SD had higher scores for flavor and overall acceptance (p<0.05). Conclusions: fresh coconut water is as effective as a sports drink in terms of fluid retained following consumption, and it has good tolerance and acceptance; it could be used for rehydration provided it is accessible to the individual and the person finds the flavor pleasing.

Author Biography

Luis Fernando Aragón Vargas, Universidad de Costa Rica, Escuela de Educación Física y Deportes

Ph.D, FACSM Catedrático en Ciencias del Movimiento Humano


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How to Cite

Pérez Idárraga, A., & Aragón Vargas, L. F. (2011). Post-exercise rehydration with coconut water: as effective as a sports drink, or better?. MHSalud: Revista En Ciencias Del Movimiento Humano Y Salud, 8(1).



Scientific Articles

How to Cite

Pérez Idárraga, A., & Aragón Vargas, L. F. (2011). Post-exercise rehydration with coconut water: as effective as a sports drink, or better?. MHSalud: Revista En Ciencias Del Movimiento Humano Y Salud, 8(1).

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