I forget how this stuff found its way onto my radar, but it did, about a year ago. The other day I was making a quick trip to the local REI and noticed some packets of it on a clearance table. I had to grab a few to try out. Coco Hydro is dehydrated coconut water. So, here are my thoughts… it’s pretty decent! But wait, I should start at the beginning…
Hydration management is an important skill for the trail. We all know this; some of us are better at managing it than others. Hydration is not just about water though. As we sweat, we lose salts which play important roles in various bodily functions, stuff like keeping your muscles working, your heart pumping, and keeping your brain thinking clearly… you know, random junk like that. The fancy name for those salts is electrolytes, and we’ve got to replace them over the course of a long day.
Most of us (say, typical American folks) have more than enough salt (sodium specifically) in our diet that we don’t necessarily need to worry about it too much. Any time we’re active and sweating for extended periods though, it can become a concern. This would be true for long distance hikers and runners (to name a couple of examples). Also, for the special folks out there who happen to have had their colon removed for medical reasons, you’ll want to increase your salt intake since you absorb much less, sans colon. We’ve touched on these subjects before, and there are products out there to help. Coco Hydro is one of them.
So again, it’s dehydrated coconut water. It’s made from organic coconuts by Big Tree Farms in Bali. Don’t confuse this with coconut milk, which is entirely different. Each packet contains the water of two coconuts. So, why might someone be interested in coconut water? For starters, most sports drinks are very sweet and sugary, the few that come in dehydrated form often taste horrid (opinion of course), and they’re processed vs. natural (coconut water undergoes some processing too). Other than that… potassium! One serving of Coco Hydro contains 10% daily value of potassium while one serving of Nuun (my favorite electrolyte drink) contains only 2%. Coco Hydro also contains 100% of your vitamin C. In combination with food and/or electrolytes that replace sodium, Coco Hydro rounds out electrolyte replacement very well.
It mixes up fairly easily, but it takes some stirring to get the last bit to dissolve. The taste is very mild. I tried the pineapple flavor as well as the unflavored and I preferred the latter. I could be crazy, but I think I actually prefer the taste of these over some other coconut water I’ve purchased from the store. Anwyway, when mixed with very cold water, it made an excellent treat. With warm~ish, been in your pack all day, sorta water… not so much. Filter some fresh water and enjoy.
Lastly, what appear to be single serving packets actually contain two 11-gram servings. The small packets are also expensive. Expect them to be $1.25 to $2.00 per packet. Buying the bulk pack and repacking as much as needed for a trip would be the way to go for less than $.50 a serving. I think it’s worth giving a try for a longer hike when looking for a little variety in the drink department, and certainly for a nice potassium boost. Coco Hydro me! Hike It. Like It.
Big Tree Farms came across my write up here and sent me out some more product to check out. This time I was sent their Sport formula. Remember up above we covered the benefits of coconut water, specifically the fact that it has quite a bit of potassium. The Sport formula complements this natural potassium source by adding sodium to make for a more complete performance drink. The Sport formula also boasts “10% more ionic trace minerals”… this sounds a lot like marketing department input; I’m not sure how trace minerals from an ancient sea bed can help my performance, but as long as they don’t turn me into a trilobite I guess they can’t hurt.
I was sent the Lemon Lime flavor, which is also a more traditional athletic flavor, if you will, and it tastes pretty good. It’s a very fine powder and mixes fairly easily. I had to take a short break from running, but now that I’m getting back into my routine I will give it a try and see how it goes.
The other interesting item I was sent was a bottle of Coconut Palm Nectar. The best way I can describe this stuff is like coconut molasses. The flavor of coconut water is there, along with malty molasses notes, and a nice sweetness. It’s interesting stuff and I’ve never tasted anything quite like it. Supposedly the glycemic index is low (I have not confirmed) which would make it ideal for consuming during periods activity where it will release energy slow and steadily. I think this might be a very interesting ingredient for some DIY trail snacks. I’m going to have to tap a couple of my crafty friends to see what ideas they can come up with!