Found in green coconuts, coconut water is low in calories, fat-free, and cholesterol-free. Plus, it’s loaded with electrolytes, including sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphate, and a blast of minerals, which aid in the absorption of water into the body. Coconut water has a high amount of potassium, so much so that some say is even higher than many calorie-packed sports drinks on the market today. While it does contain some natural carbohydrates, it lacks the massive and somewhat unhealthy and unnecessary sugars contained in many sports drinks today. I use coconut water from time to time in and around my own workouts, because it’s light and complements how much water I drink on a regular basis. Keep in mind: Don’t confuse coconut water with coconut milk from mature coconuts, which also provide coconut meat. The liquid contained in these coconuts, though quite healthy, is actually high in fat and calories, may not be the most ideal pre-workout energy drink.
Derived from the beans of the Cacao tree, cocoa has been consumed as early as Mesoamerican times. And researchers have found that there are compounds in chocolate that support energy and psychological function, stimulating the brain and nervous system. Plus, the caffeine found in chocolate can stimulate wakefulness and decrease feelings of fatigue. Personally, I prefer organic dark chocolate, because it has no artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, or other added chemicals. I sometimes grab a chunk prior to a tough workout session. Since organic dark chocolate has the least amount of sugar, it is quite bitter, so you might want to consider a semi-sweet version.
Watermelon is an amazing food for general health and for energy and hydration. Like the name says, it’s packed with plenty of water (about 92 percent, actually). In addition, watermelon is loaded with vitamins, including a wealth of B-vitamins. In particular, watermelon is rich in thiamine (a B1 vitamin), which is absolutely critical in helping the body utilize electrolytes for energy, clear thinking, and mind-to-muscle communication. You can also count on watermelon for ample amounts of pyridoxine (a B6 vitamin), essential for converting the food that we eat into cellular energy at the molecular level. In other words, no B6 means no energy, whereas plenty of B6 means that your food is put to use.
TELL US: How do you work these foods into your day?