Is Bottled Coconut Water Healthy?

Wednesday Jul 13 | BY |
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Screenshot 2016-07-12 15.12.54I’ve always loved young, green coconuts.

Drinking fresh coconuts is something I do daily when I’m in the tropics.

Coconut water is Nature’s perfect refreshment in hot weather, but also during exercise. It’s low in calories but contains just enough natural sugar to give you a little boost. It’s also very rich in electrolytes (sodium, potassium), but in just the right quantities.

There’s a popular belief that coconut water has been used for blood transfusions.

It’s true that in some countries, coconut water has been used to replace IV fluid in intravenous rehydration (but never for blood transfusions!)

Medical literature does document quite a few cases where coconut water was used for that purpose, but usually in remote places with little medical technology.

What are the benefits of coconut water?

First, it’s loaded with potassium. It’s got just enough sodium to maintain electrolyte balance. So it’s the perfect drink to use as a refreshment in tropical countries, and for light physical activity. For really heavy physical activity, such as running under the hot sun for long period of time, more sodium would be needed than what is found in coconut water. This is where a sports drink such as Gatorade would have an edge, in terms of rehydrating the person and preventing heat strokes.

However, in most cases, coconut water is much better.

First of all, most people need to take in more potassium because their diet is pretty high in sodium. Potassium balances out sodium intake.

Also, coconut water is low in calories compared to other refreshments.

A can of coke contains about 140 calories, while the same can filled with coconut water contains about 60 calories. A huge difference.

So when should you drink coconut water?

  • During exercise: it’s the perfect rehydrating fluid, containing just enough sugar to keep you going. However, like I said, if the exercise is very intensive and you sweat a lot, slightly more sodium would be needed.
  • As a great “Pick me up” drink. The dose of potassium and the little natural sugar is great for energy.
  • To avoid dehydration, in hot weather, and when doing light activity.

Now, how does coconut water compare to Sports drink such as Gatorade?

Let’s use a “can” of 330 ml as a reference. In this case, let’s compare:

Coconut Water
– 60 calories
– 40 mg. sodium
– 680 mg. potassium
– A significant quantity of magnesium (10% of your daily needs)
– Source of vitamin C

– 70 calories
– 42 mg. potassium
– 153 mg. sodium
– Not a source of any other nutrients

So as we can easily tell, coconut water is nature’s Sports Drink, but is richer in potassium than sodium. In fact, we could consider it a very rich source of potassium. It contains slightly less calories per ounce than Gatorade, which has been formulated to contain more sodium.

Although completely artificial, a product like gatorade would only be more effective, as mentioned previously, in cases where more sodium is needed. But most people already get far too much sodium in their diet already. Unless you exercise like crazy, more is generally not needed.

What About Bottled Coconut Water?

In the past, coconut water wasn’t trendy. In fact, it only started being marketed recently by companies such as:

  • Vita-Coco
  • ZiCo
  • O.N.E.
  • Amy and Brian’s Coconut water
  • And many others

In the past, the only way to drink coconut water outside of the tropics would be to buy young coconuts from Asian markets.

I personally find that the taste from both young coconuts from Asian markets AND bottled coconut water is just not right.

Real green coconut water is an acquired taste. It’s supposed to taste a
little grassy and not extremely sweet.

Bottled products have been pasteurized, and sometimes vitamin C has been added. Is that a big deal?

Not necessarily, if you can handle the altered taste.

However, some companies now market bottled raw coconut water.

I’ve tasted it and I must say I was impressed with the taste and quality.

However, at close to $4 a bottle, it’s just not an affordable way to drink coconut water!

My Coconut Water Summary

Here’s my advice:

  • When in the tropics, drink plenty of coconut water to avoid dehydration
  • If you’re exercising a lot and don’t live in a tropical country, you can use bottled coconut water instead of sports drinks. Even if it’s pasteurized and not as tasty, it will do the job. If you can afford it, raw coconut water is best.
  • Otherwise, drinking coconut water adds extra liquid calories that are not necessary.

If you decide to buy bottled coconut water, make sure it only contains coconut water (and perhaps vitamin C), but no added sugar. Most Asian brands of coconut water will contain added sugar.

Enjoy your next coconut!


PS: Get started on the raw food diet. Get all my books in a bundle. Go to:

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.


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  1. Sandi says:

    In the early 1980’s, when I was taking my Natural Health Counselor (in Canada), I was taught that in the war, in the tropics, when they ran out of blood for transfusions, they used coconut water and it worked very well.
    It would be sterile, right out of the coconut and into the soldier.

    This was so good to know, after having worked a number of years as a Registered Nurse. Giving blood transfusions is something you have to be very careful with and be certain to keep a close eye on your patient, watching for any reactions to the blood product.

    As a nurse, I knew I did good in some ways, but a lot of things just didn’t make sense to me. I knew that it was fine to work with the symptoms the patient was experiencing but you had to deal with the CAUSE of the health challenge(s). Otherwise, the symptoms keep coming back.

  2. Mindy says:

    Thanks, Frederic.

    O.N.E. was the first to come out with the bottled coconut water and I met the owners years ago, at The Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim. I drank it for years and even did some coconut cleanses with it that documented on their site. They actually sent me cases of free products for years. I actually did a 42 day coconut water cleanse in December 2009 that is documented on my site: with a day-to day account using O.N.E. brand. I actually felt fine, except for one day early one (I do not recommmend anyone try what I did and I had a lot of experience with coconut cleanses and water fasts since 2004 before embarking on this cleanse). Unfortunately, they sold it to a large soft drink company) and I had already stopped drinking it by then. I believe that Vita-Coco and Zico are also owned by large soft drink companies. I do not know how I was able to drink the pasteurized coconut water and think it tasted good. After trying those 3 brands, I tried Taste Nirvana brand, and definitely tasted like real coconut water (not sure it is pasteurized).

    When Harmless Harvest came into existence, a few years ago and found them at Expo West, they are the “real deal.” Pure, organic, sustainable and even some had the natural pink color (high antioxidant). I actually received product from them to do a coconut cleanse and reviewed them on my youtube channel: TheRawsomeVeganGal. What was very interesting when I did the written review on my blog, is that I did not have enough product to do it for a week and had to use some of the pasteurized coconut water and was able to do a comparative review and there was a big difference in the results.

    Now there are a couple of companies selling the coconuts (not the ones with plastic wrap in the stores that are usually dipped in formaldehyde before being shipped and have mold on the bottom) and one I tried at Expo West this past March from a company called Hamona – amazing! and will be reviewing them soon on my youtube channel. The other one I found online is called Nu Coconut and hope to get in touch with them, as well to review.

    Of course, there is nothing like getting the young green coconuts from the tree and I find they taste great and not grassy.

  3. fatima says:

    The best coconut water comes frozen in a bottle from Thailand or Jamaica.

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