Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Coconut Water Craze!

I know that coconut water has been getting pretty popular everywhere, but I never felt compelled to jump on the bandwagon because I'm just not a fan of coconut.  Ever since I was like 5 and first tasted coconut milk, I just hated it.  And I've avoided all desserts with coconut flavor in it all my life.  So it was really surprising that when I was at this med spa a few weeks ago, they offered some coconut water to me.  I very hesitantly tasted it, and actually really really liked it!  And ever since then I've been obsessed with it. I have bought pretty much every brand my local grocery store carries to try them out, and I have to say that they can taste very very different!

Coconut water is supposed to be good for you, it has more potassium than a banana, and it's also considered as almost a sports drink because of the electrolytes in it - other than potassium, it has a little bit of calcium, magnesium, sodium and phosphorus.  The sugar content is not unacceptably high (normally around 10g) and it has 0 fat and under 100 calories for 1 serving.  But seriously I just drink it because of the taste.

Here's a pic of some of the ones I've bought!



So basically I can sum this all up in one sentence:  ONE coconut water is the only brand I will buy from now on, after trying out everything else.  



It's 100% pure coconut water from Brazil.  It tastes so light and refreshing, without a weird after taste that some other brands have.  Coconut water is supposed to be from young (green) coconuts, not older brown ones which can taste very different.  I have a friend from work who is from Vietnam, and I got him on the coconut water bandwagon too.  He tells me that the ONE brand coconut water tastes very similar to drinking it right out of a real coconut, which he used to do everyday in Vietnam.  The only difference is that it tastes more watered down, but it is pretty close to the real thing.  I also made him try some of the other ones and he agrees with me that ONE is the best tasting one by far.

Nutrition info:
Ingredient:  Natural Coconut Water
Serving Size:  11.2 Fl. Oz (330 ml.)
Calories:  60
Sodium:  60mg
Potassium:  670mg
Total Carbohydrate:  15g (14g from Sugar)
Protein:  1g


I also tried the ONE coconut water with mango splash, which doesn't have any coconut water flavor at all.  Just tastes like light mango juice to me.  It also has less potassium (about 277mg).  I wouldn't buy it again.



The runner up of the brand I like next to ONE, is Taste Nirvana, from Thailand.

I tried the Real Coconut Water, Real Coconut Water with Pulp, and Real Aloe.  They all taste similar, if you like a little bit of the coconut pieces, go with the one with pulp.  I normally like aloe vera in my drinks, but this one barely had any so it's not really worth it.  So my favorite would be the regular one.  This one also doesn't have weird after taste, but it has a stronger "coconut-y" flavor than ONE.  I was quite surprised at such a different taste.




Nutrition info (from the regular one, the others are similar):
Ingredient:  Natural Coconut Water
Serving Size:  9.5 Fl. Oz (280 ml.)
Calories:  50
Sodium:  42mg
Potassium:  600mg
Total Carbohydrate:  10g (9g from Sugar, 2g from Dietary Fiber)
Protein:  1g

On a side note, Taste Nirvana also has a really really good Thai Coffee Latte drink that I happened to grab out of curiosity.  It tastes amazing, but of course has lots of sugar so don't drink it too often.



#3 on my list would be the Blue Monkey coconut water.



This one is sourced from Southeast Asia, mostly Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia.  It doesn't taste bad, actually it tastes on the sweet side with a little bit of after taste.  But if you drink it really cold, you can't really taste that.  On a scale of 1-10, I would probably give it a 5.  And if you look at the nutrition info, it has less than half the amount of potassium as the previous 2 brands for roughly the same serving size.  It also has double the amount of carb from Taste Nirvana, and no protein.  So given the other choices, I don't see why I would buy this one again.

Nutrition info:
Ingredient:  Natural Coconut Water
Serving Size:  8 Fl. Oz (240 ml.)
Calories:  76
Sodium:  42mg
Potassium:  290mg
Total Carbohydrate:  19g (10g from Sugar, 2g from Dietary Fiber)
Protein:  0g


Next in line is CO2 coconut water.



I can't find much info about the source of this coconut water brand.  But taste wise, it's got the same weird after taste as the below 2 brands I am going to write about.  But slightly better.  The can is pretty big, it doubles the serving size of the other ones.  But same potassium amount, way more sugar, and no protein.  No thanks.

Nutrition info:
Ingredient:  Natural Coconut Water
Serving Size:  17.5 Fl. Oz (520 ml.)
Calories:  100
Sodium:  132mg
Potassium:  586mg
Total Carbohydrate:  25.4g (22g from Sugar)
Protein:  0g



Zico
 and Vita Coco.

These two brands here are probably two of the most popular brands.  They are both sourced from Brazil.  To me they taste exactly the same, and equally bad.  In fact, it's so bad that both me and my Vietnamese coworker could not finish one bottle.  The after taste is so weird, almost like the container they are stored in had soaked into the coconut water itself.  So it tastes like paper/plastic.  Or just coconut gone bad.  Or, they accidentally included the coconut skin with the water.  I don't know what it is, but I will never buy these 2 brands again.  I honestly don't know how you can drink these.


Nutrition info:
Ingredient:  Natural Coconut Water from Concentrate
Serving Size:  14 Fl. Oz (414 ml.)
Calories:  60
Sodium:  160mg
Potassium:  569mg
Total Carbohydrate:  13g (12g from Sugar)
Protein:  0g




Nutrition info:
Ingredient:  Natural Coconut Water
Serving Size:  8.5 Fl. Oz (250 ml.)
Calories:  45
Sodium:  30mg
Potassium:  515mg
Total Carbohydrate:  15g (11g from Sugar)
Protein:  0g

Lastly, I tried the Naked Coconut Water with Lychee.  



I didn't get to try the regular coconut flavor from Naked.  But this one with lychee juice tastes very light so I would imagine the regular flavor to be even more mild.  I actually didn't taste as much lychee as I thought.  And it was not particularly good.  I might be tempted to try out the regular flavor later, but would not try the lychee one again.

Nutrition info:
Ingredient:  1 3/4 Coconut, 1 Lychee
Serving Size:  11.2 Fl. Oz (330 ml.)
Calories:  70
Sodium:  170mg
Potassium:  520mg
Total Carbohydrate:  12g (13g from Sugar)
Protein:  0g

So after trying all of these brands, I would definitely recommend ONE as my #1 choice.  But wouldn't mind Taste Nirvana either for having the best nutritional value.  I would not waste my money on any of the other brands.  If you are thinking about trying coconut water and start with the others you may never want to have it again!  






21 comments:

  1. I can only find one (yes, ONE!!) brand of coconut water here where I live (East coast, Canada). It is called Grace. I bought a can but haven't tried it yet, LOL. I will keep hunting and see if I can find the One brand that you say is your favourite. :)

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  2. I'm so glad to see this! I recently bought a few brands to try out for my blog too, though I want to try them post-run to see if they help to re-hydrate any better. Ironically, I bought your first and last picks!! Becky, I live in Eastern Canada too- I found the One coconut water at Starbucks (not the cheapest way to buy it I'm sure, but if you're only having it now and then it's not so bad!) and the other (Vita) at GNC. I think GNC had a couple brands, you might find others there too! The other place I've found them is at health and nutrition stores.

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    Replies
    1. I've had them after working out, and they are very refreshing especially when you drink them cold. I don't know about being more hydrating or helping with recovery, I just like the taste lol. I drink like one bottle a day now! Lemme know what you think of them...

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  3. @ RunItMyWay

    Thanks for the info, the nearest Starbucks is an hour away in Halifax, but I will definitely check it out next time I'm there! I found the Grace brand at........... The Bulkbarn, LOL!!

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  4. Does amazon ship to Canada? I see a lot on there. I haven't seen ONE at Starbucks here. I see Zico and Vita Coco like everywhere and cannot understand who buys them lol. Seriously there's so many diff brands of coconut water here now it's pretty insane how popular it is all of a sudden. Though I have not seen Grace!

    At my store, most of these cost $1.5 - 2.5 a bottle.

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  5. I can't believe there's someone else out there that felt the same way! I've always thought most of the brands you mentioned have some weird after taste (some are more obvious than others), but I thought perhaps that's just how coconut water is supposed to taste after you box a fresh coconut?! When I tried ONE one day, I thought wow, that tasted fabulously clean and good, so maybe I was just too thirsty? Didn't run into it again to give that another try, but I'm going to look for it on Amazon now! I guess the only drawback is ONE never have specials/sales, while the other brands do. Guess we pay for what we get. ;) Thanks for your review. :)

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    1. Wow that's so funny! It happened the exact opposite for me since the first one I tried was ONE! I thought they would all be equally yummy but boy was I wrong lol. At Ralph's where I got mine, they were selling these for $1.5. They also had a bigger bottle (33 oz) for $4.99. It's a little cheaper than amazon price but you don't have to pay tax on amazon so it prob turns out to be roughly the same cost.

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  6. I agree about the Zico brand, I thought the first bottle was expired, I tried four more bottles, all at different times and they all tasted like plastic to me!

    Coming from the Philippines and having our own coconut trees at our backyard, I know what coconut water should taste and it ain't Zico.

    I still can't understand why this brand is one of the most popular.

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    Replies
    1. Lol beats me too! It's the only brand my local Trader Joe's carries.

      Super jealous of your backyard!!!

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    2. Oh don't be jealous, I have been living in Bermuda for 6 years now, we don't have fresh coconut here.

      *I miss home.*

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    3. Bermuda still sounds pretty nice though. Hahaha.

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  7. Yeah coconut one is the best-pineapple,mango, guava flavors all good. Even the plain coconut water. I agree Zico taste like the plastic bottle container, not good.

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    1. Yeah I think I will stick with the plain flavor. I didn't dislike the mango flavored one, just thought it tasted like mango juice, not mango juice + coconut water. Lol.

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  8. ONE coconut water is on sale at WHole Foods 3 for 5$...=)

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  9. I have tried VitaCoco before and it is gross! It has a really bad aftertaste. Zico was alright but tasted pretty watered down. After reading your blog, I went out to try ONE and OMG, it is delicious! Thanks for the recommendation!

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  10. Just to let you know, vita coco, one, and zico are not as healthy as they say. Vita coco is now owned by dr. pepper, O.N.E is partnered with pepsi, and zico with coco cola. there is little coconut, and a lot of sugars, artificial flavors and added water in them. the health benefits start to falter with the preservation methods. Sucky that its not on the label or anything... I wish there didn't have to be so much effort and research into eating and drinking! :/

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  11. Hey! have you ever tried UFC Coconut water? Reasonable price, great quality, 100% Natural from Thai company.

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  12. In Singapore there is Wong Coco that says it is no added sugar but it tastes really sweet at 18gms of sugar per serving of 250ml. The taste is pretty good but it seems they have ADDED sugar?

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  13. you might want to check this out. O.N.E is heat pastuerized which destroys alot of the nutrients

    http://foodbabe.com/2014/07/15/how-to-buy-the-healthiest-coconut-water-and-avoid-the-worst/

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