10 Things to Know about Coconut Water

Coconut water served fresh in Costa Rica

1. Coconut water is the clear liquid inside a coconut. It is not to be confused with coconut milk or cream, which is a liquid puree of the coconut meat.

2. Coconut water is extracted from young, green coconuts, when the proportion of water to meat is highest.

3. The drink is very popular in central and south America, the Pacific Islands, and other tropical regions.

4. Fresh coconut water is served directly from the fruit by cracking a small hole on top for the insertion of a straw.

5. Coconut water is actually a juice containing a small amount of sugars and other nutrients.

6. It may be canned or bottled.

7. In the US, coconut water has caught on strongly in the past few years, with several popular brands being ditributed in large metro areas.

8. A one cup serving of Vita-Coco brand coconut water contains 45 calories, 2.5 teaspoons of sugar, no fat, 500mg of potassium (similar to a banana).

9. ZICO Brand coconut water touts itself as the all-natural energy drink listing health benefits such as alkaline balance, kidney cleansing, and others.

10. Whether all the benefits mentioned above are true or not, coconut water sure beats Gatorade – less ingredients, less chemicals (colorings), and less sugar.

What to do at the supermarket:

Tap water trumps all, but if you want a slightly sweeter and exotic option check out coconut water.

Get Fooducated

  • http://www.adavvy.com Erin

    My fitness instructor suggested cocunut water as a good remedy for extreme soreness. (Useful after she has dealt the class a particulary punishing routine and we can hardly walk the next day!!) I have tried it (the Vita Coco brand) and I do like the flavor, it’s just slightly sweet.

  • Flavred Delights

    Absolutely great! There are really a lot of uses for coconut. No wonder why it’s called the tree of life. I love its taste. Thanks for sharing these facts about coconut water. I enjoyed reading your article.

  • Amanda

    I also began drinking coconut water after the recommendation of my fitness trainer. Coconut is not only good for you but it tastes amazing. I’ve tried almost all of the coconut waters out there and the best without a doubt is the Vita CoCo coconut water. It’s been my go to drink after the gym for months now. I would recommend that everyone try it!

  • Kelly

    Unfortunately, my experience with coconut water wasn’t good. We bought two cans from a grocery while in California. I can’t remember the brand, wans’t the two mentioned in the this blog, but it came in a tall thin can that was a really creamy green color.

    Regardless, it tasted and smelled horrible. I think the smell was the worst though. While trying to drink it, my brother said that’s how it’s supposed to smell/taste, but it was impossible to finish. Every time I brought it to my lips, I caught a whiff and wanted to vomit. He drank it fine and said it was good.

    I love coconut — cc’nut flakes, cc’nut cream, cc’nut milk, cc’nut curry, cc’nut meat, cc’nut lotion, everything. Can someone explain why this tasted and smelled so bad? Is there some kind of gene contributing to how I’m perceiving the taste and smell (like those people that can taste that really bitter things from that paper test?)

    • Fivenises

      you must be crazy to drink coconut water from can.

    • Yoli

      I have also tried the canned coconut water and it tasted horrible. But I quit drinking canned drinks about 3 years ago and I think I could taste the aluminum. Especially since it was lemon flavor and I think the acid might have reacted w/the can. Never again. I just opened a coconut right now but I think it was past due. The water is kinda yellow but it tastes really good. The inside of the coconut was kinda grayish, so i came online to see if I should throw out the water. I’ve been buying the Zico brand, Naked, and O.N.E. Active for working out, but it’s too rich. I’m used to water! I LOVE coconut water and milk!

    • Tybless1

      Lot of us put lots of thing to our mouth but we don complain about the smell or taste but we deal with it same thing here it has a smell but the ingredient are so good for you.

    • jkfrasier

      Probably had that Goya bullshit. Stuff is nasty

  • Matheson

    Coconut water makes me happy, there’s no doubt about it. My favorite coconut water is definitely Vita Coco, it tastes amazing and gives me all the electrolytes I need. 1000x better than Gatorade and 100000x better in mixed drinks!

  • Marcus

    Kelly are you positive that you were drinking coconut WATER? I’ve been drinking Vita Coco for about a year now and have tried just about all the coconut waters on the market, they usually come in Tetrapaks (similar to juice boxes). I would definitely give coconut water another chance. (Definitely try Vita Coco) You’ll be surprised by how delicious it really is.

  • VanessaB

    I just did a search for coconut water smelly! And found Kelly’s post. I had the same experience. I have been a health and organic food nut for decades, and have tasted all kinds of foods, seaweeds, meat substitutes, etc… but I have only once previously been so turned off by the taste of something (and in this case, the smell). I purchased Vita Coco from my health food store, and it was not expired. I can only assume this is what it’s supposed to taste like, as your brother suggested. Yuck, I was hoping to use this for improving breastfeeding success, but I don’t think I can stand to drink another glass (I couldn’t finish the one I poured for myself)!

    • Chrishaz36

      I bought some Zico coconut water at a trader joes that was not expired and they all were sour. I returned them. They should not smell bad. I believe the ones I got were exposed to the high temperatures in the summer too long.

  • Courtney

    Coconut water is so good! My favorite brand by far is Vita Coco!

  • Claire

    Coconut water is sooo healthy for you! Since I’m a runner I always make sure to drink it before and after I go running to keep me hydrated and replenish electrolytes.

  • ziggy

    Vita coco is the best coconut water out there! I’m absolutely addicted to it ever since my brother (who’s a serious athelete!) introduced me to it. Not only is it great for recovering after physical activities, but it’s also just a great thirst quencher in itself

  • Donna

    I also had a horrible experience with coconut water. I bought O.N.E. brand after reading an article in Wellbella ( a magazine put out by GNC). I refrigerated it and then poured a glass, it looked like lemonade in color. I can’t even describe how nasty and salty it tasted. After reading these posts I think I will try once more and buy Vita Coco

    • CocoJunk

      The O.N.E. Active brand is for working out so it has salt added. Plus it’s sweetened w/stevia. it’s not my favorite but I drink them anyway during workouts. YOu need to try the plain ones with nothing added.

    • Guest

      I strongly recommend trying FRESH young coconut water before making up your mind. I tried the packaged kind once and wanted to barf, but the fresh tastes completely different. Whole Foods Market sells fresh young Thai coconuts with a hole in the top and a straw attached (but get a fresh straw too, because the attached ones usually have a hole in them).

  • Angela

    I drink coconut water wherever I could find it. I do not care what brand it is. But I do not drink it plain, I put lemon juice in it; tastes much better.

  • sloppyjoe susan

    camel back is amazing but i think that its better for those who are snowboarding, hiking, crosscountry skiiing, etc when it is filled with vita coco than with water. when you are at such high altitudes and dont want to get sick then i suggest vita coco since it is so healthy and nourishing for you!

  • Quinn Delzappey

    I drink coconut water a lot, and i’ve tried a lot of brands, but i’ve always come back to vita coco. I’ve found that their flavors are the best and their brand is the most pure. i really like putting it in my smoothies in the morning.

  • robert

    I love Vita Coco! I NEED it after workouts. Nothing refreshes me like vita coco does!!

  • Beth76

    I drink Vita Coco every day, it’s so good for you and tastes great

  • Mr. Local

    Make sure you only buy locally grown coconuts and locally produced coconut water. If you look hard enough, every community has some.

  • Tri-girl

    A friend of mine gave me 14 boxes of the zico coconut water but it expired May 28,2010.Today is August 16, 2010 I tasted it and it smells and tastes fine. Can you get sick from this? I hate to throw it away, but I am afraid to drink it, if it will be harmful to me.

  • Corey

    As long as you’re just opening it now it should be fine, expiration dates are only about the quality of the product not the safety. The flavors, colors, textures, etc. might be a little different than if it was new, but the safety of the sealed bottle should be fine. Hope this helps!

  • Jainey

    Vita Coco is my favorite coconut water! I Love all the flavors it comes in, pineapple is amazing. It keeps my energy up all day long, and has replaced coffee for me.

  • Hayley

    Coco Vita has kept me hydrated, refreshed, and energized…much better than any sport or energy drink which are usually a waste of calories or sugar. It’s affordable and worth every penny.

  • Mark

    Vita Coco leaves me feeling so refreshed and hydrated after a workout. I love all the flavors, but my two favorites are the natural and then the acai & pomegranate. Vita Coco is definitely has the most fresh tasting coconut water on the market, too.

  • Kyle

    I found out about Vita Coco this summer and haven’t stopped drinking it. I’ve been buying it in bulk and trying to get my whole family to drink it. Personally, I like to drink it before and after flying so that I don’t get fatigued and the electrolytes really help.

  • Mark

    11. Vita Coco will help you get over a hangover like NOTHING else. Try it!

    • Eden99dv

      That is because of the electrolytes. But yes, a great “healthy” way to combat a hangover! :)

  • Laurie

    I have tried coconut water a couple of times and it tastes very strange to me – undrinkable – I couldn’t finish it and I eat a wide variety of healthy food so my tolerance is quite high for different flavors. When I read how much others are enjoying it, I am puzzled! I know I can’t get used to it – the thought makes me queasy.

    • Rhuey

      I agree with you, Vivo and Zico have an odd taste..the only one I have found that I enjoy is sobe coconut water but it isn’t just coconut water it contain sugar and sea salt…it’s pretty delicious though!

      • Meri

        I don’t like Zico at all. Never tried Vivo. I like Zola and if it’s cold, it’s really good but I don’t like anything too cold or too hot. So I drink it room temp and most people that try it just don’t like it. One girl said it tasted buttery??? It is soft though and drinking regular water after drinking coconut water seems harsh.

        • CactusJack166

          Zola is the best. Drink cold. It’s great.

    • emily

      try the brand “naked”. I have had the same issues especially with the “vita coco” brand. Its waaaay to sweet. The “naked” brand only has 15g of sugar and you can get different flavors like lychee, mango peach, pineapple or original. Super good.

      • Hello

        Purchased Vita a few days ago. You’re right. It does have a strange salty taste. I’ve been mixing it with bottled water and the occasional lime. I will try naked if I can find it.

  • Stephanie

    This is a great post-workout beverage for many reasons. Coconut water, as mentioned, is a great source of postassium. Potassium is great for muscle function, as well as to prevent muscle soreness. It’s low in calories, no artificial ingredients, and actually cheaper than those sugar/dye/chemically infested beverages that we call “sports drinks”. I will admit that at first try, i was also repulsed by the smell and taste, but it turned out to me simply disliking the “mango coconut” variety. Original plain coconut water is delicous!

    • Unsheepled

      But … It contains SUGAR. The absolute last thing you want to ingest after a workout.

    • Jkfrasier

      Lol that’s funny. Very much agree. Tasted like crap the first few times then it just grew on me which is a good thing cause it’s healthy and now have been drinking for a few months now. Yea the mango coco is freakin horrible. Even the pineapple one and tropical punch. Rather jus stick with the o g

  • http://www.foamrollerguide.com/ Zachary

    well, i love coconut water, they taste great and makes me feel fresh and hydrated, and i love believe it has lots of nutritional benefits for the body. For more information, check out http://www.coconut-water-benefits.org/.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VSWQYDHS7EZPO7IRUWJDDOFMFY Asiatic Agro

    Asiatic Agro Industry Co., Ltd.

    Asiatic, your best source of coconut products.

    All are fresh from the coconut plantation.

    Website: http://www.asiatic.co.th

  • Anonymous

    Check this article out:  http://www.primaltoad.com/coconut-water-review/    I Like C20 (www.c2o-cocowater.com/) and Amy & Brians Naturals. They are found in Whole Foods Markets or Sunflowers Farmers Market where I live…   Also on Amazon too…

  • Nongmodiva

    if people have a hard time drinking it straight, jus dilute it with plain water, but make sure you drink one serving with the plain water. Coconut water will give you amazing health benefits when you drink it on a regular basis. More of a health benefit when you stop drinking soda & artificial juices.
    My fav is C2O and Amy & David, last is Naked. there is nothing added not even vitamin C, or from a concentrate!
    Read labels people, you want the most purest form.

  • Rachaelbuckeyefan

    I just took my first few sips of Zico coconut water in the “natural” flavor… DISGUSTING! Like many who’ve commented on this thread, I have tried many organic/healthy/different flavors in my quest to eat healthfully and this is terrible… consistency of snot with a strange smell and salty flavor… I think I may just go for the fresh coconut and see if that changes my mind… yuck

  • Lmeschke

    I tried water straight from a coconut in Hawaii when I was 20, I thought it was terrible and spit it out in the middle of a luau. I’m now 29 and just purchased the mango pineapple Vito Coco…..It was still Terrible!!! I’m so sad because I am a health food nut, who now has 3 containers of it and there’s no way I can drink it. Two gulps and I was about to gag. Should I try it in a smoothie?

    • jen

      i also think it’s gross, but you can add about 1 cup into a smoothie and you won’t taste it.

    • Eden99dv

      I know I’m jumping in here a little late (since this post was months ago) but I just wanted to add that, if I were any of you, to avoid the chance of additional odd flavors added to any coconut water, simply avoid the “flavored” coconut waters all together. Just the sound of it is unappealing. “Plain” coconut water, the way it is created “naturally” is the best (you’re also eliminating extra calories and sugar by having the unflavored). But yes, to avoid any unpleasantries with ANY of the coconut waters that many seem to be experiencing, adding it to your smoothies is always a great idea. Blended with all your other ingredients, it will not only be camouflaged, but you will be adding such wonderful health benefits to your smoothie. Also, everyone has dif. taste and so you’ll get many dif. opinion on which is the “best” tasting. I personally like Vita Coco, but again, that’s me. Also, if ever cracking open a young coconut (it’s really easy, just google how to and you’ll see, OR search how to on YouTube), every now and then , even with a fresh “young” coconut, you can get a bad one. If it has a pink tinge to either the coconut water or the flesh on the lid of coconut, it’s most likely a bad coconut. Just return to store. But always (ALWAYS) taste it first. It should taste fresh and sweet! And it is always best COLD! ~Happy coconut drinking. :)

    • PonderingJustNow

      Really? Spitting? At 20?

  • megamind038

    If you are asking the
    question: What is coconut water, then I assume you aren’t from the tropics,
    Where coconuts grow commonly in the tropics and it is normally a common drink
    for the inhabitants. Do they drink coconut water for the health benefits? Maybe
    not, many are probably unaware of the many nutritional benefits inside that
    green skin. Do they drink it because it taste great? I think so. It is really
    delicious to drink. And most people drink it as because it is delicious but
    they really do not know the benefits of it. Here you will get more information
    about What is coconut water?

     

  • Carib Queen

    One thing to keep in mind, TEMPERATURE is very important.  The colder the coconut water, the better! 

    I grew up with coconut water being from the Caribbean.. we would buy coconut water off the truck…..the coconuts would be in ice so the water would be chilled……now that I live in the midwest…vita coco comes the closest to the real thing (but I haven’t tried all the brands out there)….but just yesterday I tried some before it was chilled properly and I literally poured it down the sink….today, I tried it again  (really chilled)  and gulped the whole thing down…..

  • http://wholefoodsconnection.com/coconutwaterjuice.html Coconut water juice

    I love coconuts so much and just wish I could get more into my diet!

    • Unsheepled

      Try tropical traditions website .. Coconut oil to cook , moisturizer skin, anti fungal even, and hair treatment . Coconut cream instead of peanutbutter…

  • http://wholefoodsconnection.com/coconutwaterjuice.html Coconut water juice

    Some people say coconut water is better than real water!

    • Tryad

      And some say it tastes awful, and is terribly overpriced.

      • Jkfrasier

        Stuff very beneficial for te body. Has a ton of benefits. Look it up. Some 3rd world countries also have been known to treat certain diseases with the use of coconut water and milk

  • Christine

    I recently became addicted to Zico Coconut water.  I liken the taste to a very skim milk with a very slight taste of coconut.  It is not sweet, but to me it is refreshing and addictive.  I went through 12 in 3 days.  When I was out, I bought more from another store (I bought the 12 pack from costco).  It was sour!  Somehow it had gone bad and the expiration dates were all different from that store, from November of 2011 to February of 2011.  The expiration date on the costco packs are April of 2011.  So, if the coconut water you try for the first time tastes tangy (non flavored), it is no good.

  • Amandamiller101

    Just tried it to try it, and i’m not a big fan of it.

  • Coconut crap water

    Another trendy drink that utterly tastes like crap!

    THE TASTE IS RIDICULOUSLY BAD!

    Don’t believe me, buy one!
    Bet you won’t finish the whole thing.

    Distributors are laughing all the way to the bank!

    • Kulau

      Cock Monkey

  • 23ro82y3i923ydi3d

    I had been told that C20 was the best coconut water around. After purchasing a can from a local grocery store I was less than impressed. The smell alone is bad enough, it smells 100% like cornflakes…which is bizarre. The taste is somewhere between diluted urine and old flat diet soda.

    • Yoli

      You may just not like coconut water. Not everybody does. However, I LOVE coconut water and I ONCE bought it canned in 2 different flavors and it was the NASTIEST stuff I ever tasted. I know it was because of the can. Just sayin’.  I could taste the metal. Bleah…

  • Eins

    To everyone who is going on about the taste, I think you’re completely missing the point. Some people enjoy the taste, but I would imagine most (including myself) drink it for recovery/energy purposes. I don’t sit down and go, “Gee, I could really go for a nice, refreshing protein shake right about now!” I drink protein shakes for additional protein. If you want an enjoyable drinking experience, there are plenty of unhealthy options at your disposal.

  • guest

    If you’re having a hard time you might want to give one or two more brands a try. I had fresh coconut water in Thailand and Naked brand coconut water tastes exactly like the stuff straight from a green coconut. I love it, and it doesn’t have a strong taste at all. The other brand I just found is called Real Coconut Water and looks like it will be very similar. Both of them list their only ingredient as pure coconut water, so give them a try before you give up ;)

  • DK

    It is INCREDIBLY annoying how obviously someone from Vita Coco is polluting this message thread!?!?!

    I happen to love coconut water (including vita coco), but look at the posts at the bottom. A dozen glowing comments in a row, all for Vita Coco. They all sounds like they are written by the same person attempting to be someone else.

    Seriously Vita Coco? Seriously?

  • Sexyteeroy

    Like many of you I have tried lots of varieties of coconut water (I work in the Produce Dept in a grocery store) and have thought they tasted like garbage.  Recently I got a free coupon to try Zola brand coconut water in the can.  The ingredients are 100% coconut water so I was expecting more garbage like before.  To my surprise it tasted fantastic.  I have no idea why but it is really good.  To see if my taste buds maybe switched and started to like it I tried Naked’s brand and it still tasted like crap.

    • Meri

      I like Zola too. It is from concentrate which some people believe is bad. I started drinking Zola when my brother in law bought one for me at safeway. I love Zola but can drink Naked. It’s not as good in my opinion but the health benefits are great. A year ago my kidneys were not functioning to full capacity. The women in my family have all had kidney issues. I started with taste nervona at the advice of a health food store when I started peeing blood and the doctors couldn’t tell me what was wrong. Today all bood tests have come back with good kidney function and I stopped bleeding almost immediately. I don’t have periods either so it wasn’t that. But I was scared and now I drink Zola because I truly love it. And if any of you have problems with kidneys, put it in a smoothy, mix it with pure water or whatever and it will help. The only bad thing is I can’t find Zola anywhere else but Safeway and buying it online is over $7 a carton where it’s 4.99 at safeway. That’s for the 33 oz size which is usually gone in 15 minutes.

  • fdsfddfd

    dangit guys it tastes much MUCH better when it is from the coconut itself, Zico’s and the canned coconut water sucks…

  • Unsheepled

    Tap water contains at a minimum chlorine and fluoride , together they cause a mirad of health issues. Nothing healthy about tap water . Drink only pure/ filtered water! Research it, THEN argue!

    • Art Salmons

      I researched it. It turns out that you’re a moron.

  • reefannie

    There is nothing fresher and better than a REAL coconut, not box or can. They are easy to open, but do smell first, then straw and enjoy! I’ve lived in the islands for nearly 20 years. Coconut water is an acquired taste and not for everyone, but the benefits are fabulous! I also agree with other posts, NO flavors. Just as it comes to us from the tree. Don’t drink too much, though! It is a great laxative!

  • http://www.facebook.com/sissysanfrancisco Mark Daniel Snyder

    Taste Nirvana is the best tasting by far

  • Tina

    I have tried a few brands, best by far is O.N.E. I like the mango and pineapple. I drink it for the potassium, 425mg/ serving. Wish the sugar,19 g was lower. It’s refreshing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jbutz1 Jennifer Butz

    Why doesn’t coconut water have saturated fat in it if coconut has saturated fat? Is it how they make it?

    • http://www.fooducate.com/ Fooducate

      The saturated fat is from the coconut meat which is not used in coconut water products.

  • mikey

    drink from a fresh cracked young coconut…so good, all those brand drinks are not comparable and taste like sweat to me ;]

  • Bob

    Try Foco 100% Pure Coconut Water. Its all natural with no added sugars and the taste is great. I’ve tried both Vita Coco and Zico and Foco beats the atase of these two hands down.

    Bob

  • vinoth

    Dear Sir

    We “Webb Distribution Network” from Pune (INDIA) looking for importer

    for different kind of beverages.

    The following are our products range :-

    I) Tetra Packed Coconut Water having shelf-life of 08 months without

    added sugar and preservative. This is a fresh coconut water made by

    UHT process and it is 100% natural.

    II) Kiwi Fruit Juice which is imported from Newzeland. The product

    comes as follows:-

    Ø Pure Kiwifruit Juice;

    Ø Kiwi fruit juice with Aloe Vera.

    III) Different Types of smoothies

    Ø Mango Pineapple smoothie;

    Ø Pineapple Coconut smoothie;

    Ø Dates-Almond smoothie.

    IV) Beetle Nut Plate

    Its comes under different size 12”,10”,8” and 6”.

    And also we are doing design and fabrication work (Engineering Field).

    Please visit our website http://www.webb.net.in for the clear picture about

    our products.

    For inquiry please contact undersigned.

    Thanks and Regards

    Vinoth K

    +91-9503790794

    http://www.webb.net.in

  • ashton

    I have had water straight from a brown coconut and loved it. Nevee from a young one tho. Anyhow thought id give it a try. Bought both zico and naked and wanted to puke. It didnt taste sweet at all or anything like coconut! It was bitter and gross. So I tried the Grace brand with pulp that has quite a bit of added sugar and it was delicious! Its the only kind I will drink now. Sweey but not too sweet and the added young pulp makes it even tasyier

  • Musashi

    Wow you all could use some fooducation. All the brands that you guys mentioned in the comment DO NOT have real coconut water. Its like saying tropicana orange juice tastes like the real thing. Its far from it. If you are buying a coconut drink with a long expiration date its fake.

    Maybe try a real coconut for a change … Or you can pay for the really expensive Harmless Harvest Raw Coconut Water (usually available @ Whole Foods)

  • Meri

    I have tried all kinds of coconut water. My favorite is Zola and I can only find it at Safeway in the produce isle, not with the regular coconut water. I drink it for health reasons as it is really good for kidneys and now that mine are fine, I am living proof of that. I don’t like Zico at all. Naked is pretty good but the unflavored is a lot less sweet than Zola. For those that don’t like too much sweetness, Naked is really good.

  • Jaymee

    I drink this T.A.S brand coconut water and its pure 100% coconut water straight from the coconut it self. I buy it from Asian market (Heip Thai, Hong Kong market, Saigon). They go for .89cents to 99.cents a can but if you buy the case of 24 its cheaper. I like this brand because its pure no added water of sugar. All it has is the natural sweet in it. I have tried a lot of different brands but most of them has added sugar in it.

  • Meg

    If you haven’t traveled to a tropical place before and drank a fresh coconut from a local farmer than you might not know. Coconut water is supposed to be slightly bitter with almost a rotten aftertaste. That’s the way they taste. People assume that coconut water should taste like the pulp of the coconut, but it does not.

  • Sylvia Hobbs

    A customer of mine runs a food pantry, she gave me a boat load of raspberry flavored coconut water. As I was drinking it iced cold I noticed how good it tasted. At my last swallow I happen to notice the expiration date.. It had expired a year ago!!! OMG

  • Name

    two sips of it cured my hangover…amazing