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.