Feb 16, 2011

Coconut Water Comparison and Review

For those of you who suffer from chronically low potassium like me and are sick and tired of synthetic sources like Gatorade, consider giving coconut water a try. It is nature's Gatorade, free of artificial colors, flavors, and excess sugar. My friend Nikki is into holistic nutrition and recommended it for me. She is one of those inherently smart individuals who is probably much smarter than my actual doctor and I hope to someday make her my nutritionist. So I trusted her opinion and gave it a try.

To my surprise, coconut water tastes good chilled and delivers an instant punch of potassium similar to the effects of V-8 juice. Although V-8 is still great, it is sometimes a bit too strong and tomato-ey for me to stomach when I am already feeling sick. So it is nice to have coconut water on hand as a back up. It agrees with me well and does not make me nauseous like Gatorade often does. It also contains A LOT more potassium, not to mention potassium from a natural source. It also contains other essential elements like phosphorus, magnesium and calcium, and of course, some sodium too which is great for most POTS patients.

There are currently two major brands of coconut water being sold and distributed in the U.S.: Zico and O.N.E. In terms of quality, price, nutrients, and even taste, they are both comparable and it is probably a matter of personal preference for most people. I picked up a few bottles of Zico first at my local Trader Joe's. My first sip was refreshingly reminiscent of a shot of Malibu Coconut Rum, which was nice considering drinking and dysautonomia don't exactly go hand in hand. So now I can drink coconut water to be reminded of a simpler time: that one blissful year between twenty-one and twenty-two before I got sick where I got to drink the occasional social Malibu and Coke without fear of health repercussions.
The one advantage O.N.E. has on Zico is better flavors. That's right: flavored coconut water. An instant trip to the tropics for your tastebuds available in three tantalizing flavors: pink guava, pineapple, and mango. These flavors also remind me of the tropical trio of Malibu Rums: Pineapple, Passion Fruit, and Mango. Of course, don't be confused, this is not a review of Malibu Rum, nor would I advocate drinking any kind of rum if you have dysautonomia. That would be very bad. Coconut water, however, is harmless and the health benefits are undeniable. The only downside I have discovered about coconut water is the price: 14 fluid ounces of Zico will run you about 2 bucks unless you are lucky enough to find it on sale somewhere and stock up.


  1. Check out taste nirvana, it is by far the best tasting(in my opinion anyway, however I am to understand I am in the minority on this). Dont trust Zico, there are many brands far better(and less corporate, zico is partially owned by coca cola and they use sub par coconuts from many regions of the world to keep their costs low)

  2. Thanks Dan, will definitely give it a try!!! Since I posted this blog I have tasted a few more brands of coconut water including VitaCoco which was also pretty good. I haven't tasted one I dislike yet. Thanks for the info on Zico though, quality of the coconuts is important!

  3. Additionally, give C2O Pure Coconut Water (my personal favorite) and Amy & Brian's Coconut Juice. Both use freshwater coconuts (as opposed to salt-water/coastal coconuts) which means NO ADDED SUGAR (almost all others add sugar to mask their saltier taste).

  4. Thank you, have never heard of or tried those but will have to check them out! I defnitely don't need any added sugar haha. :)

  5. Will absolutely second rhinosoul's recommendation of Amy&Brian's -- particularly the green can (with pulp). My absolute favourite coconut water, just tastes amazing and not overly sweet. Somewhat pricey at $2.99 per 17-oz can, but it can be found at Sprouts markets in the West in buy-one-get-one-free sales. Here in Austin, TX they also routinely have $1.99 sales too.