Coconut water is found on every supermarket shelf. It is a healthy replacement for sports drinks, is more hydrating than water, and tastes amazing. You can use it to make cocktails, create sauces or add it to your morning smoothie. Not all coconut water is created equally and sourced in the most ethical way.
When looking for a good coconut water brand, you want to find a product that is the least processed but with the most nutrients intact. Coconut water has a huge number of benefits, so it’s important to choose a brand that allows enjoying all the benefits to the fullest. H
Red Flags to Indicate a Coconut Brand Should be Avoided
When shopping for coconut water, here are some red flags that indicate the brand is low quality:
- Use concentrate instead of fresh juice. Don’t always trust a coconut water brand that says 100% coconut water as it may be made using a reconstituted concentrate. Some brands will heat up nutritious fresh coconut water and reduce it to a syrup. This makes it cheaper, as importing coconut water syrup can be costly. Any product that has been heated up to this level will lose its nutrients and its beneficial enzymes will no longer work.
- Mature coconuts: Young, green coconuts are filled with waters and ram packed with nutrients. As they start to mature, the nutrients seep out of the meat of the coconut. The fewer nutrients, the less health benefit. This also happens when young coconuts are picked and led out in the sun for a long time. Coconut water made using mature coconuts will not taste as nice and will have far fewer nutrients. Watered-down coconut water made using older coconuts is cheaper but not worth your time. Mature coconuts should only be used for oils and milk.
- Added natural flavors or sweeteners: Young coconut water is sweet and tasty enough how it is, it doesn’t need any added flavorings. Brands will use natural flavors or sweeteners to mask the acidic tastes of older, lesser-quality coconuts. If you see lots of additional flavorings in your plain coconut water, you can be assured it’s not worth your time or money.
- Pasteurized with heat: Coconut water is naturally perishable so it should be kept cold. So why do so many brands sell it outside of the refrigerated section? It’s because coconut water is often heat-pasteurized. This is where the product is cooked to a very high temperature to kill bacteria, extending its shelf life. It has been tested and proven that heat also destroys some of the vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and denatures enzymes. This means the coconut water will not be as tasty and will lose a lot of its benefits.
- Avoid coconut water bands that list puree in the ingredients. The only ingredient you should see listed on the label is coconut water. Anything more than one or two other natural additives is a huge red flag. Puree is a way for brands hide added sugars and other unnatural flavors.
Did you know:
If the coconut water is from concentrate, this will be the second time they have been heated up.
8 Worst Coconut Water Brands to Avoid
It is believed that Naked use mature coconuts that have been flash pasteurized using heat. The plain Naked coconut water has no additives, but the flavored ones are filled with natural flavors. Many customers complain about the artificial tastes that leave an unpleasant aftertaste.
The O.N.E Coconut Water is flash pasteurized with heat. Their flavored waters heavily use natural flavors and sugar to give the line more taste. As it doesn’t specify cane sugar, it is believed the sugary flavoring comes from GMO sugar beets. Many reviews complain that the taste is so overpowering that it no longer becomes hydrating.
Did you know:
O.N.E and Naked are both Pepsico brands. When asked by reporters, the brand was unsure what ingredients were actually used in their drink, other than it complies with all applicable food laws and labeling requirements.
Zico sells two different types of coconut waters. The water in the bottles is made from concentrate with natural flavors added. The variety that comes in the tetra-pak carton is a much better option for you as they are not made from concentrate, have no additives, are made from Thai coconuts and are packaged in Thailand! The problem with the tetra-pak cartons is that they are made using an ultra high temperature pasteurization process to ensure the product has a long shelf life
Made from concentrate, CocoZona coconut water is often badly reviewed for its bad taste. The taste of this drink has been compared to sweaty gym wear and dishwasher water. Another issue with this brand is that they use too much sugar plus some unknown ingredients the brand will not confirm the origins of.
Vita Coco is a household name thanks to its many celebrity endorsements. Vita Coco water is not made from concentrate, but it is pasteurized with heat. The flavored version is made using sweeteners and the Café version has carrageenan, which will destroy your healthy gut. Even the plain 100% pure version features fruit sugar. Considering this brand is aimed at children, it’s disappointing that they are loaded with such much added sugar and flavorings. Even worse, the Vita Coco Kids brand is ultra-high temperature pasteurized.
This coconut water brand sells heat pasteurized products that contain added preservatives. Some varieties they offer are sweetened artificially with sugar, which may be GMO. Another complaint about Goya is that it’s very expensive, considering how small the cans are.
C2O is probably the best of the worst. While this brand uses no additives or concentrates, the water is heat pasteurize for up to 120 degrees Celsius for as long as 5 minutes. This is far too hot for far too long for the end result to be quality coconut water.
The purity part of the name is very misleading. Many customers complain that Purity Organic Coconut Water isn’t actually very pure tasting, it’s so sweet it tastes more like soda. It has a strong artificial taste that is cloying and persistent. The sweetness lingers for too long, making it bad to pair with food.
6 Coconut Brands We Recommend
There are lots of fantastic coconut bands on the market. Many smaller brands that aren’t owned by big companies like Pepsico value the sustainability and quality of a product. Here are six coconut brands we think are worth your time and your money.
A newer coconut water brand to hit the shelves, Rebel Kitchen sources their coconuts from small Filipino farms. The British company uses non-thermal, high-pressure processing to pasteurize the product without harmful heat. They also deliver a nutty, savory and crisp flavor that has been praised by many.
Harmless Harvest has a unique pink color. This is because they don’t use any additional ingredients. It has a light and crisp flavour as it’s less concentrated compared to other brands on the market. This brand is widely available, so it’s easy to find in your local store.
Did you know:
The coconuts used to make this brands water are directly sourced from Thailand using community-centered farming initiatives and traditional agricultural methods.
Vital Juice Co adds absolutely nothing more than young coconut water to their drink. Their coconut water is never frozen or heated during the manufacturing process. It’s left to be as raw, delicious, and nutritious as nature intended. The only issue is that is can be hard to find this brand in shops, but you can buy in bulk online!
Tate Nirvana is a family-owned business that bottles its coconut water in small batches without hours of the harvest. This means the taste is seriously light and refreshing. Run by a Thai father and son team, they work with local Thai coconut farmers and use quality Thai Nan Ham coconuts. This coconut is considered the sweetest and most nutritious in the world.
Did you know:
Taste Nirvana’s coconut water comes in recyclable glass water making it a sustainable product.
Bottles and cans are known to leak in handbags and cupboards plus they are not a very eco-friendly packaging solution. The dried coconut powder from this brand comes in a resealable package which helps the product stay fresher for longer. With no added sugars, this formula has been praised for being highly refreshing. Simply add 1.5 tablespoons of powder to a glass of water. One powder package is equal to 12 bottles of coconut water, making it an affordable option as well.
MOJO Pure Coconut Water only has one ingredient on the label and that is coconut water. Without fillers and sweeteners, this product hydrates naturally and rapidly. Every can has 18 grams of carbs and is full of potassium, making it a fantastic alternative to sugary sports drinks. MOJO tastes and smells like a real coconut product, with a naturally sweet taste that comes from the natural coconut flavor.
What are the benefits of drinking coconut water?
Drinking high-quality coconut water has a range of benefits for your looks, your body and your mental health. Here are just some of the reasons you should be drinking coconut water.
- Hydration: Thanks to the electrolytes like potassium, magnesium, and sodium, coconut water delivers superior levels of hydration. Electrolytes are recommended as part of a post-workout routine as they regulate your pH and control muscle contractions.
- Supports healthy digestion: Coconut water has a high magnesium and fiber content. Fiber is crucial to healthy digestion and magnesium helps to relax your muscles.
- Improves skin: A well-hydrated body will also have better skin. Coconut water is filled with skin-enhancing vitamin C which supports the natural production of collagen. This can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
- Good for the heart: Because coconut water is a rich source of potassium, it could benefit your cardiovascular system. Scientific evidence has found that it can lower the risk of stroke and heart disease.
- Improve bone health: The calcium in coconut water is directly linked to helping keep bones and teeth strong.
Did you know:
There are some cases of remote doctors in the tropics using coconut water instead of saline in IV bags to keep their patients hydrated.
What is the difference between coconut water and coconut milk?
Coconut milk and coconut water have different tastes, textures, and benefits, although both are very delicious. Coconut milk is creamy and is often used as a dairy replacement or alternative in hot drinks, desserts, and yogurts. Coconut water is a little saltier and is used as a way to better hydrate the body.
Generally, coconut milk has a higher calorie count than coconut water. Coconut water is made of carbs, whilst coconut milk is primarily fat. Both are fantastic sources of minerals and vitamins.
Are there any negative effects of drinking coconut water?
Yes, but they are minimal in comparison to the many benefits.
Whilst coconut water has high levels of potassium, which can help lower blood pressure, those with kidney disorders may want to either reduce their intake or avoid drinking it. Impaired renal functions often lead to elevated blood potassium levels because the kidney can’t excrete it.
Also, while coconut allergies are rare, they can occur. Coconut water should be avoided If you think you may have this allergy. Also, avoid coconut water brands with added sugar as they are linked to obesity and type 2 diabetes.
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