I happen to love all things coconut, so naturally when coconut water first blew up on the market two years ago I was extremely excited. Coconut water is the kind of thing I only expected to get when on vacation in the Bahamas from a street vendor (which I always do, except I add a little rum in there, heh).
If you’ve never had coconut water, I’ll try to describe it to you: it has the consistency of water, with a coconuty taste–but not at all like the super sweet artificial coconut flavor that you might expect. It’s a much more delicate, subtle taste, almost as if you were smelling it instead of tasting it, if that makes sense. Because it’s not overwhelming, it’s actually quite refreshing, and as it turns out–BONUS!–an awesome post-workout drink.
Let’s look at the factors of awesome:
- The juice is packed with simple sugar, electrolytes, and minerals to replenish hydration levels in the body. Could that mix be any more ideal? It’s like a natural gatorade.
- The electrolyte content is more than double that of traditional sports drinks with about ½ the carbohydrates. Bam.
- Research studies suggest that cytokinins (e.g., kinetin and trans-zeatin) in coconut water showed significant anti-ageing, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-thrombotic effects. So if I drink a serving a day I’ll turn back time? Sweet, no big deal.
- Coconut water has been generally offered to patients with diarrhea in many tropic regions to replace fluid loss from the gastrointestinal tract and reduce the need for intravenous therapy. Upset stomach, diarrhea? Move over pepto. Actually… you can stay.
- If the coconut is ripe the nutrient composition changes and becomes less desirable therefore most commercially available coconut water is extracted from young coconuts to retain the most advantageous nutrient content. Aw, so we’re eating coconut babies?
- Source, and source, and source
After my workouts, I’ve become addicted to drinking coconut water. Back when I first started doing high intensity interval training workouts, I used to be a slug around work all day after the gym. Coconut water used to really help me pull myself up over that body exhaustion somehow and help me recover into mid-morning aliveness. True story. And in case you’re wondering, no this is not a sponsored blog post, though I wish it was. Coconut water companies, if you’re out there, get at me .
20 Minute Cardio Workout
Here’s a great workout to do when you’re short on time, and want to focus on a solid cardio sweat. If I have days when I’m too sore to do anything else, or I just don’t feel like doing any push ups, this is my go-to. I gave it to Dave to do once too, and he said it was a solid workout. So, male and female approved.
This workout was inspired by Fitness Sista. The basic idea is to spend the first half at a steady pace will raising the incline for an uphill, lower body & cardio workout, while the second half focuses on a faster pace–working your legs in a different way while still getting in good cardio. You can use any type of cardio equipment you want–treadmill, elliptical, stairmaster, bike–you name it. You can also go walking or running outside with this in mind as long as you have a little watch to keep time (and if you don’t have a hill to run on an incline, just focus on raising your pace a little every minute).
Here’s a treadmill version:
- minute 1-2: run at 4.5
- minute 2-3: bring it up to a speed of 5 (you’ll be steady there for a while), and up to an incline of 1
- minute 3-4: Raise the incline to 2
- minute 4-5: incline of 3
- minute 5-6: incline of 4
- minute 6-7: inlcine of 5
- minute 7-8: incline of 6
- minute 8-9: incline of 7
- minute 9-10: incline of 8
- minute 10-11: incline of 7
- minute 11-12: incline of 6
- minute 12:13: incline of 2–TIME FOR SPEED NEXT!
- minute 13-14: raise the speed to 5.5 and lower to an incline of 1
- minute 14-15: speed of 5.7
- minute 15-16: speed of 5.9
- minute 16-17: speed of 6.1
- minute 17-19: hold at a speed of 6.3
- minute 19-20: speed of 5.7
Annnnnd done. After burning out your legs on the incline, the speedwork for the last half of the workout will feel really nice (I swear). You’ll feel like a rockstar, and all it took was 20 minutes. No need for 40 on the treadmill–you hear me? Spend that time reading an awesome book or getting a drink with a friend .
How do you get your cardio in at the gym? I’m not opposed to long workouts, just prefer to get in and get out.