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    Product Review: Vita Coco Coconut Water

    I have been looking for new ways to re-hydrate after my long runs, so when Smile.ly offered to send me a complimentary case of Vita Coco coconut water to review, I was thrilled! I had been using powdered Gatorade, but my stomach just doesn’t do well with sports drinks for some reason.

    The story behind Vita Coco:

    One evening in a Manhattan bar in February 2003, childhood friends, Ira Liran and Michael Kirban, were speaking with a couple of girls they had just met from Brazil. When asked what they missed most about their country, one of the girls, without hesitation, answered “agua de coco.” Coconut water, she explained, is the most nutritious and delicious drink in the world.

    Two months later, Liran traveled to Brazil and started researching the prospect of branding coconut water for the American market. He realized the girl’s enthusiasm for the beverage was not exaggerated—Brazilians just can’t get enough coconut water. After spending several months working with coconut plantations and producers, making connections, and learning the politics of production in Brazil, Vita Coco was born.

    Meanwhile, Kirban started the initial market research in New York. Meeting with distributors and beverage insiders, he quickly realized the tremendous consumer interest in “functional beverages.” He spoke with several distributors who then introduced Kirban to some of their key accounts. The response was fantastic.

    Two years later in 2005, the two successfully brought Vita Coco to market in a handful of stores along the East Coast. Since that fateful night in Soho in 2003, Vita Coco has not only carved a new market in the non-carbonated beverage business and redefined the alternative sports beverage category, but has also created the one of the fastest growing lifestyle beverages in North America.

    Vita Coco’s popularity only continues to increase. Now available in over 10,000 retail stores nationally, Vita Coco is a major beverage brand with a cult-like brand loyalty.

    Vita Coco flavors:

    100% Pure Coconut Water

    Coconut Water with Acai & Pomegranate

    Coconut Water with Peach & Mango

    Coconut Water with Pineapple

    Coconut Water with Tangerine

    There wasn’t a flavor I tried that I didn’t like, though I do have a favorite and it is the Coconut Water with Pineapple – it reminds me of a Pina Colada! Nothing like finishing off a great long run with a Pina Colada, huh? ;) I have not had a headache after running since I started drinking coconut water to re-hydrate. I used to get headaches that I think were due to being dehydrated, even though I would drink what I thought was plenty of water & all the Gatorade I could without feeling pukey.

    Some benefits of Vita Coco from the website:

    Did you know that coconut water has 15 times more potassium than that found in sport drinks? It’s also naturally loaded with the five key electrolytes: potassium, magnesium, phosphorous, sodium and calcium. It’s what you need to stay hydrated. On a diet? No sweat! Vita Coco is also fat and cholesterol free.
    Sure, you may not be a marathon runner, a football player or Tour de France winner, but your every day life is hectic enough—you should be hydrated while you live it. Go ahead, get hydrated and remember that life is a sport!

    Here is a list of other things coconut water can do for you:

    Helps keep the body cool and at the proper temperature.
    Translation:Now when you get noticed it’s not ’cause you’re sweaty and gross.

    Promotes weight loss.
    Translation: You still have to cut back on the fried chicken and hit the treadmill, but we’re there for you to enhance your diet program.

    Helps carry nutrients and oxygen to cells and boosts poor circulation.
    Translation:See, everyone needs a boost from time to time.

    Regulates the function of the intestine, helping promote smoother skin.
    Translation: Doing something good for your insides can make you prettier outside! But you still need to wash your face properly, exfoliate and moisturize (don’t forget the SPF).

    Helps replenish your body’s fluids after exercising.
    Translation:Your body needs plenty of fluids after the gym. Fluids free of barley and hops. Go figure.

    Helps detoxify your body and boost your immune system.
    Translation:Keeps your immune system tough. Grr. And, yells at viruses to back off. “Back off viruses!”

    Helps ease stomach pains.
    Translation:Calms your stomach, unlike your in-laws’ chili cook off.

    Aside from tasting good, the Vita Coco didn’t upset my stomach at all. I consistently have been drinking these after my longer runs (6+ miles) and love them! Have you tried Vita Coco? I will be having one this morning after my long run – perhaps a Coconut Water with Peach & Mango is on tap today. ;)

    If you are interested in trying Vita Coco, you can find it by clicking here. You can also purchase on Amazon.com as part of their “Subscribe & Save” program for $17.85/case of 12 (down from $24/case).

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