Crazy for coconut water

It was that last shot of Patron...or wait, did I seriously have another Rolling Rock after that? Wait...where am I?! Yup. I'm never drinking again. Ever.

Oh, the thoughts that run through your head after a night of partying a little too hard. They're endless, pretty similar, and always seem to lead to the same conclusion: no more drinking, for a while at least, and what the hell can I do to get out of bed today and be a functioning member of society?

Well, lo and behold poison's newest antidote: coconut water. Highly refreshing, the drink poses a natural way to kick that nasty hangover goodbye.

In 2010, the coconut water industry made $50 million in the United State alone, and National Public Radio reports that only six years earlier that number neared zero. Therefore, it is evident that coconut water has recently gained a strong following. Not to be mistaken by coconut milk, coconut water attracts consumers with its extensive and impressive list of health benefits.

Times magazine amusingly deemed the juice "a preferred method for treating a hangover."

This claim is attributed to the water's thirst-quenching effects as a result of its high electrolyte content of calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium, making it an effective way of re-hydrating a body quickly.  To put that into perspective, your typical sports drink contains only three electrolytes.

The chemical construction of coconut water resembles that of human blood plasma so closely that the isotonic liquid has been used as a substitute for standard emergency protocol re-hydration solutions in dire cases. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to replenish your body with a refreshing glass of the stuff.

Coconut water's nutritional originality and constant production by palm trees attracted the eyes of business investors such as Mike Kirban, co-founder of VitaCoco, and Mark Rampolla, founder of Zico. VitaCoco and Zico have remained top competitors from the initial introduction of the product to the U.S.

VitaCoco and Zico are only two of the many brands of coconut water available in stores. Other brands include O.N.E, Naked, Amy and Brian, and Taste Nirvana. The Coca Cola Company has picked up on the hype surrounding the tropical drink and invested $15 million in the Zico line. Health conscious celebrities like Madonna are also following suit.

The drink contains no fat, a low calorie count (about 46 calories per cup for those religious calorie counters out there), and significantly low sugar levels compared to most drinks out on the market. Beverages such as sports drinks, sodas, and fruit juices are often sweetened by using high fructose corn syrup, an ingredient known for its strong correlation to illnesses such as diabetes and obesity. Coconut water on the other hand is sweetened by nature's goodness.

The booming product has followed a pattern similar to most trends and has acquired numerous rumors on its road to stardom; it allegedly cures colds, bladder infections, glaucoma, tuberculosis and even cancer.

Although it may not be the next cure for cancer, the next time you are laying in bed thinking you're close to death and that maybe taking a shot every time someone fist pumped on the Jersey Shore wasn't such a good idea after all, reach for some coconut water and up your chances of getting to work by one.