Coconut water- it’s the water we’ve all grown to love. We drink it because we think it hydrates us better than regular water, it’s natural, it’s got healthy minerals, and we still think it’s healthy enough to warrant the $3-$4 price tag per bottle.
How true is all of that? Is coconut water really good for us or have we bought into a clever marketing campaign? Here are five facts about coconut water you may not have known- will it change your mind?
1. Global coconut water sales reach $400 million a year, which isn’t much considering Pepsi’s Naked Juice brand pulls in over a billion dollars a year or Gatorade’s $3.3 billion in annual sales.
2. We get more salt but less sugar in coconut water. The typical coconut water has around 50 milligrams of sodium and around 10 grams of sugar per 11.2-ounce container. By comparison, Gatorade has around 150 milligrams of sodium and 19.6 grams of sugar while apple juice has 10 milligrams of sodium and as much as 33 grams of sugar.
3. A pack of coconut water still has more potassium than a banana with 660 milligrams per container compared to the 422 milligrams found in a banana. Coconut water contains 19% of the daily recommended intake of potassium, 4% of calcium, and 4% of magnesium.
4. Remember when coconut water marketed itself as better than sports drinks? Brand Vita Coco had to stop saying it hydrated better than sports drinks after a 2011 class-action lawsuit that found it’s mineral contents were exaggerated. Vita Coco’s publicist, Arthur Gallego, says, “We don’t try to compare ourselves to much of anything anymore.”
5. In a 2012 study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, it was found that neither coconut water not sports drinks were better than plain water hydrating young men after an hour long workout. This study was funded by Vita Coco.
Coconut water is now just one of the first of many “natural waters” to hit the market. According to the New York Times article, the next big health waters you are going to be seeing are maple tree water, birch tree water, barley water, cactus and artichoke waters; they are all suppose to be “amazing” for your health. It just goes to show us how we easily fall in love with healthy marketed foods.