I Tried It: Coconut Water

7SHARES

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
3/23/2009 2:07 PM   :  218 comments

See More: drinks, food reviews,
I'm not a big fan of most beverages. I use soymilk on cereal, drink tea occasionally, and have a rare glass of OJ. Most of the time, I'm satisfied with water. Soda, juice and sports drinks are usually too sweet for me. If I want something fancy, I ask for club soda or a slice of lemon for my flat water.

Then I discovered what has become my new favorite beverage: coconut water. Two weeks ago, I was battling a wicked sinus infection. Though I was guzzling water and hot green tea, I just felt a bit dehydrated. I wanted something new and different, a treat that would also help me get in more fluids.

High on a shelf in the beverage aisle, I spotted coconut water. The package boasted some interesting nutrition facts:
  • Fat free
  • A natural source of electrolytes
  • Twice the potassium as a banana
  • Only 60 calories for about 12 ounces

    I bought one, took it home, and drank it that night. Now I'm hooked! I drink them two or three times a week, usually after a hot yoga class or particularly grueling Spinning classes.


    What is it?
    Coconut water is the liquid inside a young, green coconut. As the coconut ages, the water is replaced by air and coconut meat, which is where the fat is contained. But coconut water is fat free, and the meat of a young coconut is soft, like a jelly. You can easily cut the top from young coconuts, freeing the water and allowing you to scoop the meat with a spoon. (NOTE: Coconut milk is not the same thing as coconut water. Coconut milk comes from older coconuts whose meat has already formed.)

    This beverage is popular in Asia, the Caribbean, and South and Central America.

    Coconut water contains the five electrolytes (potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorous), more potassium than a banana, and no fat.

    How does it taste?
    I've had several different kinds of coconut water. Those infused with fruit juice are tasty but a bit too sweet for me. I prefer straight coconut water.

    Both major brands on the market, ZICO and Vita Coco, are good. They taste very sweet and mild, and the coconut flavor is not as pronounced as you'd expect. Even if you didn't like coconut, you might like this. (These cost between $1.50 and $2 for 11.1 ounces at my local supermarkets.)

    I think I'll take these along on long bike rides in the summer.

    I've also had coconut water fresh from a Thai young coconut, which I got for about $2. It yielded about 12 ounces of water, and the taste was much stronger and deeper. In addition to a mild coconut flavor in the background, there was a pronounced almond taste and a hint of saltiness as a nice contrast. It was delightful to sip after a workout!

    They're a little pricey compared with plain old tap water, but these are worth it for me!

    Nutrition Facts:


    Fun fact:
    In some developing nations, coconut water is used as an intravenous fluid when medical saline isn't available.

    Find coconut water near you by clicking here and here.

    Have you tried this? Will you?



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    Comments

    • 218
      I started drinking it to replace electrolytes while exercising. I don't like the taste so I dilute it with water. - 12/27/2012   10:17:28 AM
    • 217
      This is an OLD article. I started drinking coconut water for the nutrients. Unfortunately I do not like the flavor, so I make sure to drink it straight from the fridge. - 12/27/2012   3:48:39 AM
    • 216
      They were handing out coconut water after a 5K I ran earlier this year... not a fan, but it was nice to get to try it for free. - 12/26/2012   11:57:18 PM
    • MARYKATHARINE1
      215
      I can honestly say I don't like it. I drank it while in Rio. That is like a treat for people on the beach in Brazil. Not me... definitely an acquired taste, like beer and wine. - 12/28/2011   3:14:43 PM
    • 214
      Coconut water's definitely an acquired taste but I'll give it another try since it seems to offer some major benefits. - 7/30/2011   5:38:26 PM
    • 213
      Sounds interesting, I'll definately give it a try. - 3/27/2010   10:44:10 PM
    • 212
      I doubt I'd buy packaged coconut water here in the UK
      but fresh off the tree tops when in Thailand, for sure! - 3/24/2010   9:09:21 PM
    • 211
      I have been sticking to a new, more intense, workout and diet routine for the past two weeks, and things are starting to get a bit boring. So I went to the store today to find something new, yet healthy, so I wouldn't fall back on old unhealthy snacks. What I found was coconut water! I was a little worried that it might be weird tasting and unpleasant, but it was truly refreshing with a hint of coconut and sweetness. Great treat to keep me on track! - 2/2/2010   11:59:57 AM
    • JGURICH
      210
      I have found a much better tasting coconut juice called Amy & Brian. Check out their FaceBook page. The one I love has a hint of Lime!

      Ok everyone sing ...put the lime in the coconut and drink it all up!! - 11/12/2009   7:27:51 PM
    • LIZZIE-BELLE
      209
      I think I will give this a try - 10/18/2009   10:57:56 PM
    • ACATCH
      208
      The first time I heard of coconut water it was on the doctor show have not been able to find it until now I love coconuts so I can't wait to try the water thats for the blog - 10/16/2009   8:35:15 AM
    • AWATKINS63
      207
      I tried the VitaCoco with Passionfruit. DELICIOUS!! I placed it in the freezer for 45 minutes, put a straw in it and it was like a Slushy. More potassium than a banana and only 70 calories. - 6/17/2009   5:34:02 PM
    • CALAMITIJANE
      206
      ok, so now i am curious
      - 6/17/2009   4:13:59 PM
    • 205
      I've seen this in the store, I'll have to check it out & see if it's the right one. I didn't know it was a natural source of electrolytes. - 6/10/2009   3:22:15 PM
    • 204
      Sounds tasty! I'll have to try to track some down in my area. - 6/2/2009   8:53:19 PM
    • 203
      Well, that's $2. I'll never see again. Yuck!
      I purchased Nature Factor Yound Coconut Water because it was only $2 a can rather than $3 for the Vita Coco. Yuck, again. - 5/27/2009   6:08:23 PM
    • 202
      I'll be looking for this soon. Sounds like a very refreshing change of pace, and something nicely tropical with the warm weather now upon us! - 5/11/2009   4:35:59 PM
    • 201
      Ok, I drank my Jamaican Choice coconut water and I thought it was delicious. The taste was very light coconut and it was enhanced by the little pieces of coconut pulp. As I mentioned before, it does have 90 calories, but if it is a fit for your diet than I'd recommend giving it a try. - 4/20/2009   4:21:38 PM
    • 200
      Mmm, thanks for the suggestion and the information! I traveled to India last year where there were vendors on the street who would whack off the top of a coconut and hand it to you with a straw. After you drank the water, they took off the outer husk and used the brown shell to scoop out the meat. Yum! - 4/20/2009   12:11:13 PM
    • 199
      I bought this on sale at Kroger excited to try it...even on sale it was a little pricy. And the taste. I drank it because I didn't want to waste my money, but it was not good, as I had expected. Don't waste your money! - 4/20/2009   8:48:04 AM
    • 198
      I picked up Jamaican Choice coconut water for $.99. Unfortunately, I was so excited to try the coconut water based on this article I didn't check the nutrition facts. This particular brand contains 45 calories per 8oz serving and is sweetened with sugar. Sooo, I won't be drinking it tonight...I'll wait for a day when I do some strenuous excercise. I'll post back to comment on how it tastes. - 4/16/2009   10:48:36 PM
    • 197
      I tried the Vita Coco brand Coconut Water based on this article. I must say it really doesn't taste that good. I also tried the coconut pineapple one as well by Vita Coco and I can't get past the clear, thick texture and suttle flavor. I was hoping it would taste more like coconut. I was excited to try it because of the nutritional value, but it just wasn't for me. - 4/10/2009   6:55:41 PM
    • 196
      We ate fresh coconuts off the tree when I lived in Panama from age 6 to 9, and I always loved the milk. I'll have to try the coconut water! - 4/9/2009   2:40:16 PM
    • 195
      I found some in my local Health Food store. I decided to buy some to try it out. I am still saving it for my next workout, but its different. It has 30 more calories then the plain coconut water. It's also flavored tangerine. They had another flavor, pineapple. So instead of 60 its 90 calories, but I am not bothered with 30 more. - 4/2/2009   6:48:05 PM
    • 194
      This is so refreshing BUT make sure you look at the ingredients when you are buying it. I accidentally bought one that had Added sugar! It was way too sweet and had like 30 grams of sugar in it! it was like soda! ahhh.... but the pure stuff- delicious :) - 3/30/2009   11:16:08 AM
    • 193
      I'm all for it! Fascinating about its use as substitute IV fluids - that says a lot about its nutritional value. - 3/29/2009   12:14:17 PM
    • 192
      I'm putting this on list - 3/28/2009   1:20:03 PM
    • 191
      I had coconut water the other day after finishing a 5-mile run, and it was terrific. I felt absolutely refreshed and restored, and it tastes so much better than Gatorade! I think I'll continue guzzling that on my endurance running days. Good stuff. - 3/28/2009   10:14:19 AM
    • 190
      @ ENGLISH_JEAN - Coconut water looks almost clear, with hints of coconut meat. Meanwhile, coconut milk is as white as school glue (in my opinion, even whiter than cow's milk). - 3/27/2009   9:53:07 PM
    • OXFORDLASS
      189
      I saw both coconut water and coconut milk in the store. Does anyone know what the difference is? - 3/27/2009   7:34:24 PM
    • MISSBIGROCK:-D
      188
      i love coconut milk straight from a coconut - and its great mixed with pineapple juice and rum for a pina colada but when i was over in canada and saw coconut water - i thought it was the same thing...I was very dissapointed... it tasted like what stinky socks smell like if you know what i mean--totally made me retch! it's similar in the way that green tea tastes like the smell of week old straw bedding from a rabbits cage... ewwwww. - 3/27/2009   5:55:24 PM
    • 187
      Its great as a mix with Rum if you don't want all the calories of a pop. Never really tried it on its own. Guess I will now. Thanks! - 3/27/2009   2:28:12 PM
    • JENNIFERD2008
      186
      I would like to try this....going to see where I can buy some! Thank you!! - 3/27/2009   10:28:18 AM
    • FITANDHEALTHY67
      185
      Sounds interesting. I will try it. - 3/27/2009   9:32:52 AM
    • 184
      I lived in Hawaii when I was younger. We used to climb coconut trees and pick young coconuts for drinks in the summer. It was always free. Now that I live in Canada, drinking coconut water has become a luxury. - 3/27/2009   1:24:20 AM
    • 183
      My sister-in-law just mentioned this to me earlier today when we were talking about what remedies she uses for her kids. She's my go-to person when it comes to natural healing for my own kids, so when she mentioned it during our conversation, being that it was the second time I've heard of this in 2 days, I think I'll give it a whirl next time I go shopping. - 3/26/2009   11:27:26 PM
    • QWERTYZ13
      182
      I would LOVE to try it, but it's quite a bit of a hassle to request it to come to a store near me when I'm about to move... - 3/26/2009   1:23:13 PM
    • AUDE2009
      181
      I am not sure about the store bought coconut water, I drink the fresh water from the coconut however it is also very good for lowering your blood pressure if you have high blood pressure. So pay attention to it if you are drinking the fresh.... they may put a an additive in the store one to aleviate this.

      I loves my coconut water!!! - 3/26/2009   1:18:45 PM
    • 180
      I typed in our zip code and this product isn't sold in our area. But I printed out the store request from their web site and will submit it to our local grocery stores. I'm looking forward to trying it out. - 3/26/2009   10:30:17 AM
    • DHITRI
      179
      This article is absolutely right! I love coconut water as well and I drink them almost everyday fresh from the coconut, slightly chilled without ice and without extra sugar. It does wonder to a hot summer day. - 3/26/2009   10:08:55 AM
    • 178
      I'm so thrilled to say: I grew up drinking that! :) Yep. And, if you're lucky enough to find a *chilled* young coconut to drink the water out of, on a hot, humid day in India - you've basically found ambrosia. :)
      - 3/26/2009   9:21:39 AM
    • 177
      I agree...over two tsp. of sugar, albeit natural. I'd like to taste it once though as I love coconut. - 3/26/2009   9:03:33 AM
    • TTULATER82
      176
      That's a lot of sugar - 3/26/2009   2:17:37 AM
    • FTH1013
      175
      Most persons have been on mark about coconut water. Also a caribbean decendant myself, this I grew up on. Coconut water does NOT taste like coconut, sweetness actually varies by age of coconut,the older, the sweeter. Coconut 'meat' and oil is actually good for you it contains the fatty acids the body needs.(Be careful of the types of coconut water you buy at the stores, read the ingredients make sure it's pure). I recently read that coconut water has been used for blood transfusion in cases where blood or the particular type needed was not available. It is funny that a lot of things that 'Islanders' have been doing, eating and drinking (taken for granted) are becoming big hits here. Not trying to offend anyone here. - 3/26/2009   12:00:18 AM
    • 174
      I love coconut and will definitely be looking for this next time I go food shopping. Great article! - 3/25/2009   10:30:05 PM
    • AXREAH
      173
      I'll have to look for this at our local stores. It sounds really good, especially with summer approaching----a refreshing drink! - 3/25/2009   3:42:34 PM
    • ASMITH8888
      172
      Yes, these are great. Love the coconut lime ones!! - 3/25/2009   1:10:20 PM
    • 171
      I got hooked on this after a trip to Costa Rica, where they sell it on the beach. I have a hard time finding it here without the jelly chunks added, but I screen those out if I have to. - 3/25/2009   1:09:27 PM
    • GRWHTSHARK
      170
      I love coconut! I'll have to see if I can find some coconut water at my local store. Water is good, but it gets boring after awhile. So hopefully this will add some variety and still be a great way to get some water in for the day. Thanks!! :) - 3/25/2009   12:03:10 PM
    • 169
      This sounds really good and a nice departure from common beverages. I think that this would be a good drink for my grandmother, who always needs more hydration and potassium and loves coconut! Thanks for the tip. - 3/25/2009   11:10:13 AM

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