“ZICO” – I like the name and am impressed by the explosive growth of the brand over in the US…but it is what’s inside the bottle that I’m most interested in.
I have written about the general health benefits of natural coconut water from young coconuts for LMD Fitness already.
As a quick recap – we should all get some coconut water in us because:
- It is known to be antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and high in antioxidants making it a great detox aid. In fact it has been used in medicine as an intravenous fluid (i.e. can be put straight into the human blood stream!)
- Bursting with vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, it is nature’s energy drink. With less sugar compared to most sports drinks, and more Potassium, Calcium, and Chloride, it is usually a better choice to rehydrate, and boost energy levels.
Coconut Water ‘from concentrate’
Seeing the words ‘from concentrate’ on a product normally makes us think in a negative way – perhaps assuming that it would be nutritionally inferior to a pure product. With Zico’s coconut water however, there is good reason for making it from concentrate. They have opted to ship only concentrated product so that it can be made and packaged domestically. ‘From concentrate’ usually only involves adding back in the water which was originally removed and should not negatively impact the nutritional content.
ZICO on Test
Zico source young coconuts from Latin America, Indonesia and Asia and each of these combines to form unique flavoured coconut water. This option has been taken to allow for a lower caloric content than coconuts purely sourced from Brazil and a more rounded balance of electrolytes. Like apples, different types of coconut have a different nutritional make up. Let’s have a closer look at that nutrition then:
- 569mg potassium – far more than your banana!
- 5 essential electrolytes: sodium, magnesium, calcium, potassium and phosphorus – these are essential to replenish during and after tough physical activity.
- Low acidity (pH5) – Less dental damage than other sugary, acidic sports drinks perhaps…
- Zero fat, cholesterol and added sugar.
On test Zico performed well. The taste of the original flavour that I had was fairly neutral and easy to drink. It was neither too sweet or too bitter. I drank half a bottle beforetriathlon swimming training and half a bottle after. No cramps to report during a tough swim and perhaps that is down to the wonderful potassium content of this healthy drink.
Zico also comes with other natural flavour varieties: Mango, Passion Fruit Chocolate, Pineapple, Lima Citron, and Pomberry. The flavour is added by natural flavour essences, so no worries there!
ZICO – the company
So I did some digging and found that real life athletes are behind the idea of ZICO. This is a positive thing because I think a product always carries more weight if its creator is the same type of person as the intended target audience. This is especially true when it comes to nutrition. Our body is the engine we need to fuel so we only want to put the decent stuff inside us. I figure that if these guys at Zico drink this stuff to fuel their active lifestyle then they must believe in their product.
Just as impressive is the ‘Zico Team’ which consists of lots of high profile endurance athletes who gladly drink Zico to fuel their demanding training schedules. The ultimate running man, Dean Karnazes is one of these people!
The Zico plastic bottle is convenient but you may question its green credentials. I have actually found that it has a smaller carbon footprint than their tetra pack alternative and is recyclable too. It fits easily in the hand and has not been a hindrance to carry while running.
Clearly these guys care about their coconut water and take pride in sourcing the best young coconuts for us.
You can buy your Zico online at Amazon and GNC and at Zico’s store