While it’s been reported that coconut water isn’t better than plain water when it comes to hydration, and that most people who work out for about an hour or so really don’t need the electrolyte replacement, many of us still love the refreshing taste and potassium punch this much-talked-about beverage offers, even if it’s not a “super water.” Some coconut water connoisseurs who enjoy the taste, along with some coconut newbies, blindly tested 11 different coconut waters and narrowed it down to the top 5 best. Here are our favorites!
Image courtesy of Flickr user Rodrigo_Soldon
#1. Taste Nirvana Real Coconut Water
Taking the gold, Taste Nirvana’s coconut water was milky but light and had an “almost-toasted coconut flavor,” one tester said. Sweet and creamy, “it tastes like dessert.” Reviews were mixed as far as the pulp goes, but lucky for everyone, Taste Nirvana offers its coconut water with pulp and without. It also has a Coco Aloe variety, as well as Thai Coffee, Thai Tea and Green Tea drinks. Bonus: Taste Nirvana, a family-owned operation run by a father-son team, is socially and environmentally conscious, from employing locals at the eco plant located 40 miles outside of Bangkok, where it’s closest to the country’s best agricultural ingredients, to its use of recyclable glass bottles, which gives it a shelf life of two years.
Nutritional info per 9.5 fl. oz. serving: 75 calories | 1 g fat | 42 mg sodium | 600 mg potassium | 2 g dietary fiber | 16 g carbohydrates | 9 g sugar | 1 g protein
Image courtesy of Taste Nirvana
#2. Harmless Harvest 100% Raw Coconut Water
USDA-certified organic, this one really hit heavy with the coconut flavor. Reviewers agreed all around that the flavor was “very strong,” which some found enjoyable and refreshing, while others thought was a bit overpowering. Still, it ranked high to take the second-best coconut water we tasted. Harmless Harvest’s coconut water is also raw (meaning unpasteurized), and the coconuts are sourced from small organic agroforestry farms in central Thailand, then go through a cutting-edge, heatless, high-pressure process for food safety and extended shelf life in your fridge.
Ingredients: 100% raw coconut water
Nutritional info per 8 fl. oz. serving: 56 calories | 4 mg sodium | 514mg potassium | 14g carbohydrates | 1 g fiber | 12 g sugar
Images courtesy of Harmless Harvest
#3: Vita Coco Coconut Water
Possibly rated as the most “drinkable” coconut water, Vita Coco was described as “subtle,” “sweet and refreshing” and “light and smooth” by reviewers. “I could easily have this along with food,” one taster said. Using coconuts from Brazil that are an average age of seven months, Vita Coco is flash pasteurized and is Star K-certified kosher. We also noticed that this coconut water adds Vitamin C to its ingredient list, offering 175% of your recommended daily value.
Ingredients: Coconut water, vitamin c
Nutritional info per 8.5 fl. oz. serving: 45 calories | 30 mg sodium | 515 mg potassium | 11 g carbohydrates | 11 g sugar
Images courtesy of Vita Coco
#4. Blue Monkey Pure Coconut Water
While some reviewers thought this coconut water from Blue Monkey tasted like liquid sugar, others said it was a little more complex, like a wine, changing throughout the taste process – “it rounds out to a smooth taste,” one taster said. “It leaves a good taste in your mouth,” and has a “balanced sweetness,” said another The can says there is no added sugar or preservatives, and Blue Monkey even makes a crystallized, de-hydrated coconut powder, which was made for active people on the go – just add the packet to a bottle of pure glacier water.
Ingredients: 100% coconut water
Nutritional info per 8 fl. oz. serving: 76 calories | 40 mg sodium | 290 mg potassium | 19 g carbohydrates | 10g sugar
Images courtesy of Blue Monkey
#5. Amy & Brian’s All Natural Coconut Juice with Pulp
The Amy & Brian’s brand calls its coconut water “coconut juice” on the can. Unsweetened and free of preservatives, reviewers liked how natural and light this coconut water was. One reviewer said it was “soft and mildly sweet,” while another described it as “light, refreshing and a little tart and sweet.” Amy & Brian’s is also available with or without pulp. Reviewers actually enjoyed the pulp in this can!
Ingredients: Young coconut juice, young coconut pulp
Nutritional info per 8.75 fl. oz. serving: 70 calories | 85mg sodium | 470 mg potassium | 16g carbohydrate | less than 1 g fiber| 15 g sugar