Is Coconut Water Good for You?

Real coconut water is Nature's own sports drink.

Real coconut water is Nature’s own sports drink.

Coconut water is a natural thirst quencher with several health benefits. In tropical countries it is used as a diuretic and to help treat urinary disorders and intestinal worms. It has even been used for IV hydration in emergency situations because it has a similar electrolyte balance to our blood (and it can be sterile when used directly from inside of the coconut). Pretty cool!

One cup of coconut water has about 46 calories and 10 grams of natural sugar. It is high in electrolytes, phytochemicals and minerals and even contains cytokinins which show promise in helping to reduce the growth of cancer cells.

As you can see, coconut water has nourishing benefits, but not all coconut water is good for you. Back in the days before consumerism, if we wanted this “natural Gatorade” we’d drink it right from the womb of green coconuts. Nowadays, you can find a sea of coconut water on store shelves in a plethora of packages (bottles, cans, cartons, etc.). This is where the nourishing benefits can get a bit cloudy!

Most of the coconut water on the market is made from concentrate. This involves boiling the coconut water down to a thick syrup and then diluting it with water. This processing destroys all of the nutrients that occur naturally in coconut water. High heat pasteurization also destroys the natural enzymes and nutrients, as well as the flavor. Another problem with quality is using coconuts that are too old. When coconuts mature, the nutrient-rich water is resorbed to form the meat of the nut and the remaining water is less nutritious.

If you’re not able to drink coconut water from its source, in its own nature-made container (Oh, how I miss my coconut trees!), your best bet is to buy a brand that uses the least amount of processing to keep the most nutrients. The 4 best brands I’m familiar with are: Harmless Harvest, Vital Juice, Amy & Brian and Taste Nirvana.

The 4 worst brands (because of over processing, high heat pasteurization, and/or added sugars & flavors) are: Goya, Vita Coco (with fruit blends), Zico (Coca Cola Brand) and O.N.E. & Naked Juice Coconut Water (Pepsico brands).

I’ll leave you with a delicious recipe for Pineapple Coconut Water. When you can, explore your Mexican or Asian supermarkets for the real thing (and it’s cheaper too!) Cheers!

Pineapple Coconut Water

I found this refreshing recipe on The creator uses a juice extractor for the pineapple juice. He suggests you could also use a blender, or Vitamix, then straining the pulp. To juice ginger, peel the ginger, grate using a microplane grater, then press through a strainer. Or, alternately, use a juicer.


3/4 cup / 180 ml fresh pineapple juice
1/2 cup / 120 ml pure coconut water
1/2 teaspoon pure ginger juice
1 teaspoon runny honey, if needed
1 lime


Combine the pineapple juice, coconut water, and ginger juice in a cocktail shaker or mason jar filled with ice. Shake well, taste, and if needed, add a bit of honey to sweeten. If your pineapple is sweet enough, you won’t need much honey, if any.

Fill small, chilled glasses with lots of ice cubes, and razor-thin slices of lime. Pour the pineapple coconut water into the prepared glasses, and finish with an extra squeeze of lime if you like.


2 servings

About Annette Cain

Annette Cain is an award-winning author, endurance athlete and certified personal trainer.

Known as the Longevity Lady™ Annette helps baby boomers age stronger so their bodies can keep up with their lives. Her ageless lifestyle products and programs provide an easy and balanced approach to becoming lean & limber and living younger longer.

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