by Associate Clinician Kate McNerney

coconut water

It seems like every time you walk through the water aisle or a health food store, there are new coconut waters popping up. They come in cans, boxes, plastic bottles, glasses bottles. They are flavored with pineapple, mango, and other tropical fruits. You may be asking yourself, “What is coconut water? Should I be drinking it? Are all coconut waters the same?” Here is a quick reference, a go-to guide when it comes to coconut water…

What is coconut water? Coconut water is exactly what it sounds like…water from coconuts. Coconut water is great for attaining electrolytes and other vitamins, including vitamin B and vitamin C. Good quality coconut waters use young coconuts. This is key. Water from young coconuts has great electrolyte and nutrient benefits. As coconuts age, the nutrients in the water are absorbed by the meat; therefore the coconut water derived from mature coconuts lacks the nutritional benefits.

Should I be drinking coconut water? As with many beverages, you want to make sure you discuss your personal consumption with your clinician before going crazy for coconut water. As a general note, coconut water is good for those who need an extra boost of hydration and/or electrolytes. It is also a wonderful alternative to Gatorade for the athletes out there.

Are all coconut waters the same? Absolutely not!! In reality, there are more bad-quality coconut waters on the market than there are good. You have to be very cautious when choosing and purchasing coconut water. Some things to look out for when reading the label are: “natural flavors,” “concentrate,” and “citric acid”. It is VERY important that you know how your coconut water was made/bottled. Some modalities of pasteurizing deplete the water of most nutrients. After doing so, they add preservatives, such as citric acid, to keep the water on the shelf. Look for brands that use safe and efficient modalities such as High Pressure Processing and Steam Sterilization. Both methods create a high quality, yet delicious product.

What brands of coconut water are safe to drink? Harmless Harvest and Taste Nirvana are two of the best coconut water brands on the market! The quality of both products is extraordinary, and the flavor is wonderful as well. Vital Juice, Harvest Bay and Suja are also good brands to consider.

Enjoy!!