I Tried It: Coconut Water

By , SparkPeople Blogger
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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    DIVAGLOW 1/23/2021
    I love coconut water. Thanks for sharing the info. Report
    YMWONG22 1/19/2021
    Yum! Delish! Report
    I love coconut water and really really love it when I can purchase a young coconut and have it "fresh". I also add coconut milk to soups and stews and use coconut oil on my skin. Report
    I love coconut water. If you don't care for coconut in the first place, you're most likely not going to care for the water Report
    Thanks for sharing! Report
    Haven't tried it yet, but willing to give it a try. Report
    Great article Report
    Seems like I've tried this before and wasn't impressed but seeing the nutrition information, I'm going to try it again to really "taste" it. Hope its good! Report
    Yeaah! You convinced me. I will definitely try this one. Report
    I tried it too! But too much sugar for water... Food industry adds sugar and sodium to everything to make us want more! Report
    I LOVE the VitaCoco (plain)! Because of the sugar content, I only have it as a treat after a long walk (at least two miles at 150 bpm). Cheers! Report
    I thought coconut water was the liquid inside a coconut, which I often use in cooking. Can't imagine drinking it. Report
    I love it but it's a treat. Too high in sugar. Report
    Preach it, Sister!
    As for those who don't like the metallic taste - I'm the same way. But there are brands that are packaged in the cardboard type "Teyvah" (brand name, I can't think of exact spelling) containers and they do well. Another version that is tasty and can be made at home is taking the juice out of fresh coconut and fermenting it at home (See Donna Gates website or books on the Body Ecology Diet for one source of information.). That is really yummy and soothing for those with gut issues. Report
    I love coconut water but only from the real coconuts or this one that is canned within 3 hours from being extracted www.tiana-coconut.com Everything else has a metallic taste, and I think that's why most of the people don't like it. Report
    I started drinking it to replace electrolytes while exercising. I don't like the taste so I dilute it with water. Report
    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. Report
    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. Report
    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. Report
    Coconut water's definitely an acquired taste but I'll give it another try since it seems to offer some major benefits. Report
    Sounds interesting, I'll definately give it a try. Report
    I doubt I'd buy packaged coconut water here in the UK
    but fresh off the tree tops when in Thailand, for sure! Report
    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! Report
    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!! Report
    I think I will give this a try Report
    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 Report
    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. Report
    ok, so now i am curious
    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. Report
    Sounds tasty! I'll have to try to track some down in my area. Report
    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. Report
    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! Report
    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. Report
    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! Report
    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! Report
    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. Report
    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. Report
    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! Report
    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. Report
    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 :) Report
    I'm all for it! Fascinating about its use as substitute IV fluids - that says a lot about its nutritional value. Report
    I'm putting this on list Report
    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. Report
    @ 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). Report
    Removed due to Sparkpeople privacy policy Report
    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. Report
    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! Report
    I would like to try this....going to see where I can buy some! Thank you!! Report
    Sounds interesting. I will try it. Report
    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. Report