Coconut Water Review from ConsumerLab


Hi, I’m Dr. Tod Cooperman, president and founder of ConsumerLab.com, which has been testing healthy foods and dietary supplements for the last 20 years, and reporting on them at ConsumerLab com. And today I’m here to talk about coconut waters — which we recently tested, looking at the amounts of sugar potassium, magnesium, and sodium in these products, and tasting them, etc. And so I want to talk to you just quickly about what we found and really what is coconut water and should you even you be using it? Well, first of all, coconut water is basically very safe. None of these products contain anything that would be of concern. However, there were varying levels of sugars and other other nutrients in these that I’m going to talk about. Keep in mind, with coconut water what you’re getting really is potassium. Few people are really deficient in potassium, so it’s not like you really need to go out of your way to get potassium, but it does contain about anywhere from 300 to 500 milligrams of potassium [per 8 fl oz cup] which will give you, for a man roughly about 20% — I’m sorry — about 13% of the potassium you need; for a woman about 20% per day. The other thing you’re going to get from from coconut water is some magnesium, but only a small amount. You would have to drink a whole bottle’s worth — about 500 ml of one of these — to get even 10% of what you need in terms of magnesium per day. The FDA considers that a “good source” of magnesium when you hit 10%. At just a cup, if you’re just drinking a cup, You’re not going to even get there; you’ll have about maybe 5% of the magnesium. The other important thing is it also contains some sodium but also a small amount, only about 10% of the amount of potassium do you get in terms of sodium. So if there’s 400 milligrams of potassium, you might get 40 milligrams of sodium. That’s not a lot of sodium. If you’re out there sweating, you need to replace sodium as well as water. So if you’re out there out doing heavy exercise for a couple of hours coconut water is not your best choice. You’re better off with something like a Gatorade which has probably twice or more of the amount of sodium than you’ll find in most of these products. The other thing that we looked at was sugar, and be aware that when you’re when you’re drinking, you know, coconut water, which has a kind of a mildly sweet, nice kind of coconut taste, and this is just one of the products, and you’ll see some variation in color, I wouldn’t… you don’t need to worry about that. Some are a little more yellow, some a little more clear or hazy, sometimes they’re a little bit pink, and this is the water from the immature green coconuts — very different from coconut oil which is made from a mature coconut and contains all types of fats including the MCT oils (and we have a whole review on ConsumerLab of coconut oils and MCT oils), but you’re not going to get fats from from coconut water, but you are goibg to get sugar, and the amount of sugar that you find in these products ranged from … what we found was about almost seven grams of sugar per cup in Naked versus about 11 grams of sugar in [a cup] of Trader Joe’s coconut water, and the others fell in-between, and the amount of sugar we’re talking about is — so per cup if this were a full cup — we’re talking about anywhere from about half a tablespoon of sugar to, with Trader Joe, a full tablespoon of sugar almost — that’s about 12 grams and we found about 11 grams in Trader Joe’s [per cup]. So be aware that when you’re drinking coconut water, you’re also taking in sugar. So if you just need to hydrate yourself, you know basic hydration, you’re better off drinking water unless you’re willing to take in that extra sugar — and willing to make that sacrifice, you know, for the nice taste of coconut water. Be aware that you can overdo it with coconut water — you can overdo it with anything. There was a report of a man — a 42 year-old man in the US — who drank the equivalent of about 8 bottles of coconut water this size and ended up in the hospital because his potassium levels were too high, which can affect your heart, your heart rate, etc. So don’t overdo it with coconut water. Again don’t substitute it for just water. Another reason not to just substituted it for water is the expense. Coconut water is somewhat expensive. The price for these products ranged from a low of about seventy or seventy two cents for Trader Joe’s per cup to as much as almost two dollars for Taste Nirvana, so that’s a lot of money, you know for a cup of basically water with some sugar and potassium in it. Nevertheless it is enjoyable! If you want to get our full results, see our report on ConsumerLab.com [linked below] And if you have any questions or comments, please post them where you see this video. Thanks very much. This is Dr. Tod Cooperman for ConsumerLab.

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