ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What Are The Benefits Of Coconut Water?

Updated on March 22, 2014
If you can get it, fresh coconut water is best.
If you can get it, fresh coconut water is best. | Source

How Healthy is Coconut Water?

Published November 9, 2013 by Mary McShane

There has been a lot of hype about coconut water in the news, online and in print with claims for weight loss and hangover cures. Many people have replaced soda pop and sports drinks with coconut water, but is it better? Just how "healthy" is coconut water?

I visited over 15 merchant websites who sell coconut water, reading customer reviews and testimonials and comparing prices to volume. Then I set out to talk (and listen) to people in various online forums to see what their opinions were.

Why did I go to so much trouble?

Because my significant other, the man I spend my life with, is addicted to fizzy sports drinks and can't stand to drink water - bottled, tap or filtered. I wanted to know just how good this stuff is for you and what benefits people are getting from drinking it so I could present it to him as a viable alternative to the fizzy, high fructose corn syrup drinks he loves and drinks every day.

Before I could ask anyone questions, I had to get educated on just what coconut water was and why people are raving about it being so healthy for you.

Coconut water so good, it tastes like straws are directly inserted into the coconut.
Coconut water so good, it tastes like straws are directly inserted into the coconut. | Source

What Is Coconut Water?

Simply put, coconut water is the liquid inside the coconut when you crack it open. Coconut water is taken from young green coconuts, not the brown hairy ones you are used to seeing. It is so potassium rich, that many nutritionists say it has more potassium than bananas. It is very hydrating and naturally rich in electrolytes. In tropical climates, it is only made from fresh coconuts, (not the pre-packaged commercial drinks) and people drink it daily.

In its fresh raw form, it is not pasteurized so it retains its detoxifying enzymes and has no added sugars. It is considered low in calories and in densely populated cities, coconut water is a preferred pre-workout and post-workout thirst quencher. Some people even claim it is a great hangover cure, although I wouldn't know about that!

It has even been promoted as a miracle cure on a couple of websites because it was used in an emergency during wartime as intravenous solution when there was no saline available. I don't think this was meant to be a true substitution in today's world, but who knows? I guess it is good information to store away for future use.

Coconut water is not the same as coconut milk. Coconut milk is made from grinding up the meat of the coconut and squeezing out the liquid. It is high in fats and calories. One cup of coconut milk (240 grams) is about 550 calories, mostly fat calories.

Coconut water has a sweet nutty kind of taste and is harvested when green coconuts are between five and nine months of age. Coconut water is high in potassium and magnesium, has NO fat and has about 50 calories per one cup of coconut water (240 grams) from sugar.

Besides the sugar and calories, it sounds like Gatorade provides similar benefits with replenishing electrolytes and potassium.. If this stuff is so good, why isn't everyone drinking it?

Coconut Water Comparisons

I picked three of the best selling coconut water products for review and demonstration purposes. Take a look at these products which show the comparison of prices per 12 packs of nearly the same ounces in volume. Comparison shopping is a must when you are faced with same or similar product, but checking ingredients against each other is as if not more important.

Product Comparisons

Vita Coco promotes that their coconut water as 100% pure with natural fruit purees which I am assuming is added to their three flavors of mango, peach and pineapple and their blends. They claim they do not use concentrate. Their website uses the tag line that their coconut water is "just like sticking a straw in a coconut." They tout about their unique packaging system - basically they provide a straw on the container and line the container so the product stays fresh. What they line it with, I don't know. I found nothing in their literature or in the product description to explain how their "unique processing and packaging system captures and retains the exotic flavor." On several websites, consumers complained about the price inflation of $13 per 12 pack during the summer months and quite a few said they were changed their brand. Many consumers complained that the product smelled of rotten fish, tasted even worse and returned the product for refund. Overall satisfaction from over 1500 reviews: 45%. Product is made in Brazil.

ZICO Natural Pure Premium Coconut Water claims to be hand harvested from Thai coconuts and is packaged in a "tetra carton." Before you ask me, the answer is No, I have no idea what a tetra carton is but many consumers said the coconut water in tetra cartons tasted far better than the bottled formula. Like Vita Coco, they do not explain the tetra packaging on their website, nor did any consumers I spoke to know exactly what tetra meant. ZICO has a number of flavored coconut waters but they claim their formula is not from concentrate, yet they add flavors to their formula. The flavored coconut water formulas are a little higher in calories. ZICO advertises their concern with the environment, carbon footprint and tries to appeal to consumers who workout that if they drink their water with 5 added electrolytes, it will prevent cramping and they will have a quicker hydration recovery. Of all the companies I investigated, this is one of five companies to utilize the key words "gluten free" and "kosher certified." Overall satisfaction from over 1200 reviews: 82% Product is made in Thailand.

C2O Pure Coconut Water prides themselves on providing a product that is "100% all natural with no artificial ingredients, colors or preservatives." This product is packaged in cans and says it is unsweetened. The consumers, on average, like this type of packaging better than the others. Only 4% of the consumers had complaints that the product was too sweet and also speculated that it might be possible that the company added sugar to its "unsweetened" formula. Upon reading the company's claim to their product being different from the rest, they may be correct in this instance. Where consumers of other coconut waters complained of a fishy smell and/or taste, C2O explains that their coconut water is made "from young green coconuts from an especially fragrant and tasty variety that are unique to the inland soils of Thailand. These coconuts are a fresh water variety that yield a more delightful taste than the salty flavor that accompanies more commonly used coastal coconuts." That may be wherein lies the problem with other companies - they are possibly using "coastal" coconuts instead of a "fresh water" variety. C2O professes that each batch is taste tested before packaging and goes so far as to say that other companies add extra sweeteners to mask the salty taste of their product. This company also uses the key words "gluten free" and "preservative free" on their label, which draws the eye of the average consumer. Overall satisfaction from over 1000 reviews: 97%. Product is made in Thailand.

Excellent Demonstration How To Open A Young Green Coconut

Or you could open a coconut like this!

Nutrients in Fresh Coconut Water (from green coconuts)

Nutrient
Unit
Value per 100g of edible portion
Water
grams
94.99
Energy
kcal
19
Protein
grams
0.72
Total Lipid (fat)
grams
0.20
Fiber (total dietary)
grams
1.1
Sugars (total)
grams
2.61
Calcium
milligrams
24
Iron
milligrams
0.29
Magnesium
milligrams
25
Phospherous
milligrams
20
Potassium
milligrams
250
Sodium
milligrams
105
Zinc
milligrams
0.10
Copper
milligrams
0.040
Manganese
milligrams
0.142
Selenium
micrograms
1.0
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
milligrams
2.4
Thiamin
milligrams
0.030
Riboflavin
milligrams
0.057
Niacin
milligrams
0.080
Pantothenic Acid
milligrams
0.043
Vitamin B-6
milligrams
0.032
Folate, total
micrograms
3
Folic Acid
micrograms
zero
Folate, food
micrograms
3
Fatty acids, total saturated
grams
0.176
Fatty acids, total unsaturated
grams
0.008
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated
grams
0.002
Cholesterol
milligrams
zero
Tryptophan
grams
0.008
Threonine
grams
0.026
Leucine
grams
0.053
Lysine
grams
0.032
Methionine
grams
0.013
Cystine
grams
0.014
Phenylalanine
grams
0.037
Tyrosine
grams
0.022
Valine
grams
0.044
Arginine
grams
0.118
Glutamic Acid
grams
0.165
Glycine
grams
0.034
Proline
grams
0.030
Caffeine
milligrams
zero
Alcohol, ethyl
grams
zero
Beta Carotene
micrograms
zero
Lycopene
milligrams
zero
Lutein
micrograms
zero
Source: USDA National Nutrient Database for Reference Standard, Release 16-1 (2004) http://www.coconutresearchcenter.org/nutrition-2.pdf

"Not A Product Endorsement" but this video shows you how to get coconut water from Melissa's brand pre-packaged raw coconut

Benefits of Coconut Water

  1. Rehydration
  2. Has at least five electrolytes your body needs: potassium, magnesium, calcium, sodium and phospherous
  3. High levels of potassium which may prevent heart attacks
  4. Can lower blood pressure
  5. When used under a doctor's care, can reduce size of kidney stones
  6. Helps balance glucose and insulin levels
  7. Anti-aging properties
  8. Can prevent abnormal blood-clotting
  9. Diarrhea and constipation remedy
  10. Helps prevent osteoporosis

These are only a sampling of the many health benefits of coconut water.

Your Coconut Water

Did this hub comparing coconut waters influence your decision on brand choice?

See results

Conclusion

After reading all the reviews and talking to people in various forums, C2O seems to win out over the other two brands I reviewed for packaging, taste, value and customer satisfaction.

For myself, I prefer everything fresh as opposed to bottled or canned whenever possible. As far as my conclusion regarding weaning my guy, Rob, off his fizzy sports drinks, I think he might actually go for the coconut water. For him, it might be a great substitute especially since they have several flavors.

Thank you for visiting my hub. Your comments are appreciated.

© Mary McShane

Considering the review format in this hub, how would you rate it in comparison to other hubs who review products?

5 out of 5 stars from 2 ratings of The Review Format In This Hub

If you see this article anywhere else on the internet, please leave a comment with the name and URL of the webpage. TYVM

© 2013 Mary McShane

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • Mary McShane profile image
    Author

    Mary McShane 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    @iguidenetwork - I'm sorry I didn't see your comment earlier. Thank you for sharing your experience with coconut water. Good health to you!

    Mary

  • Mary McShane profile image
    Author

    Mary McShane 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    @brakel2 Hi Audrey, In the time since I wrote this article, I have seen 3 or 4 Amazon reviews on other brands where it has fermented and the consumer returned it to the store. However, on the brands I reviewed, I didn't see any complaints about fermentation. I did see one about a damaged package but as the consumer wrote, it could have happened in transit when it was shipped to him from Amazon. In any event, Amazon gave him a replacement product in due time.

    Thank you for your compliments, for pinning the hub and for sharing your experience with your favorite brand.

  • brakel2 profile image

    Audrey Selig 3 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

    Hi again I am a coconut fan but just had to take my favorite brand back due to fermentation. It is also sold at Whole Foods where the taste is always fresh. It is called Harmless Harvest. Your hub is very thorough with a nice chart and pics and good information. I need to try your recommended brand. Keep up the good writing. Blessings. Audrey. Pinning.

  • iguidenetwork profile image

    iguidenetwork 4 years ago from Austin, TX

    I've been drinking this a lot since my doctor told me to. I was having problems with my kidneys and he advised me to drink this a lot as part of my diet. And you know what... My pains have significantly reduced. And peeing is easier for me.... Yes, fresh coconut water (not the packaged ones) is still the best. Thanks for your wonderful information :)

  • Mary McShane profile image
    Author

    Mary McShane 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    I don't know where to write this, but THANK YOU HubPages for selecting this hub for "Editor's Choice!"

  • Mary McShane profile image
    Author

    Mary McShane 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    @peachpurple (love your name), I didn't know all about it either until I started investigating if it would be a viable alternative to all the sports drinks that my significant other, Rob, wolfs down daily. Coconut water has another convert in our house. :) Thanks for your visit and your comment.

  • peachpurple profile image

    peachy 4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

    i love coconut water. Didn't know has so many benefits

  • Mary McShane profile image
    Author

    Mary McShane 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    Thank you billy! It was great to talk to people and get all points of view. My guy, Rob already likes it, but I like drinks very cold. Mine is chilling in the fridge. I hope to give it a try tomorrow. :) TY for your support

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

    Considering the fact that I'm not much for healthy foods, I have actually always liked coconut water and have been drinking it since I was a kid. We have it in the house most time. Nice research, Mary!