Feeling depleted after an intensive exercise routine or a long day working at the office? Don’t resort to buying high-sugar energy or sports drink. Despite short-term benefits from the electrolytes, these sports beverages often come with a sugar crash. But there’s another option that helps hydrate you when your body is craving nutrients most: coconut water.
Even though water will consistently be your best option to hydrate, choosing coconut water to enjoy an electrolyte-packed drink with an addictive flavor is hard to pass up. Coconut water contains minimal amounts of sugar, and more than often, it is not processed, unlike other popular hydrating beverages.
For when you visit the grocery store’s coconut water section after your next run, we put together a comprehensive guide ranking these coconut waters for taste and health to make your decision as easy as possible.
Sipping coconut water is excellent after a night out, fighting a cold, or just outside on a hot summer day. This simple yet refreshing beverage will easily become a part of your daily routine. And even though coconut water is perfect by itself, you can add coconut water to several recipes to craft cocktails or make smoothies. Try making a coconut water lemonade when warm weather rolls in. There’s nothing better than a drink that’s hydrating, tasty, and highly versatile.
What is Coconut Water?
Coconut water contains several important minerals including manganese, potassium, and calcium. On average, coconut water holds 9.9 milligrams of vitamin C per 100 grams. Most importantly, coconut water is extremely low in sugar content and calories.
Coconut water is also extremely low-fat, and should not be confused with the much fattier coconut milk. This beverage typically contains 94 percent water and minimal fat derived from the coconut. Coconut water has been associated with lowering blood sugar levels and minimizing the risks of diabetes, according to a study. However, more research is needed to confirm the health implications for humans.
In general, drinking coconut water is a hydrating option after a long, exhausting day of any kind. Although more research is needed to understand the extent of coconut water’s benefits on heart disease, diabetes, and other illness, research suggests that coconut water is a smart choice when it comes to hydration.
Here are the best coconut waters to buy, taste-tested for flavor and ranked for health.
The Best Coconut Waters to Buy
365 Whole Foods Coconut Water
Next time you find yourself at Whole Foods, grab a 33.8-ounce coconut water. Not only will it help you stay hydrated and energized for the rest of your day but it’s a relative bargain, compared to other coconut waters. Priced at only $4 for a container, 365 by Whole Foods Coconut Water is three times the size of its competitors for less. Use this coconut water instead of tap water to add electrolytes to your morning smoothie.
Total Sugars 11g, Added Sugars 0g
Bai Antioxidant Cocofusion
Bai’s signature Cocofusion is not 100 percent coconut water, but it deserves a place on this list for shoppers looking for a more exciting beverage. Bai Cocofusion is slightly thicker than other coconut drinks, with one gram of sugar and caffeine. However, those looking for more hydration should stick to other coconut waters. This is a decadent variation, sweetened with stevia and with a little caffeine kick to keep you energized throughout your day.
Total Sugars 1g, Added Sugars 0g
Harmless Harvest Organic Coconut Water
Harmless Harvest is tough to beat. Our testers loved the ultra-hydrating, perfectly sweetened taste. Packed with natural electrolytes including potassium, this coconut water is the top choice for anyone looking to rehydrate after running or working outside for long hours. With no added sugar, Harmless Harvest still contains 20 grams of natural sugar per bottle, so take that into account.
Total Sugars 20g, Added Sugars 0g
Naked Coconut Water
Naked’s website advises its customers, “After you’re done working your body into shape, treat it to a tropical getaway,” and we have to agree. Naked’s organic coconut water is a great refreshment packed with magnesium and potassium to help replenish the body after exhausting exercise or a stressful work day. Each 16.9-ounce bottle contains the natural juice from 2 ¾ coconuts. Split one of these bottles with your running buddy to cool off. And take note that each serving only contains 6 grams of sugar, which is way better than the top sports drinks!
Total Sugars 6g, Added Sugars 0g
Pure Brazilian Coconut Water
Made from 100 percent raw Brazilian coconuts, this company remains true to its name and provides customers with one of the most sustainable coconut water options available. Pure Brazilian helps replenish one square foot of the Amazon rainforest for every bottle purchased, and after you try this authentic coconut water, you will likely return for more. The brand ensures that all its coconut water is always raw––never heated, concentrated, or compromised in any way. And note, there are no added sugars!
Total Sugars 6g, Added Sugars 0g
Vita Coco Coconut Water
Purchasing a four-pack of Vita Coco’s original Pure Organic coconut water for approximately $10 could be the best thing you do this week. This coconut water is packed with electrolytes and vital nutrients including vitamin C and potassium. This beverage has even more potassium than a banana! Most importantly, Vita Coco provides thirsty customers with an authentically refreshing taste of the tropics. Compared to sports drinks, this is a healthy low sugar, and low-calorie option for everyone to enjoy.
Total Sugars 13g, Added Sugars 1g
Zico Coconut Water Drink
Sold in a bottle more reminiscent of your favorite performance beverages, Zico’s coconut water is pure juice that does not come from a concentrate. This refreshing drink is packed with five natural electrolytes and delivers a light, sweet flavor that is nearly identical to the freshest coconut water. And to top it all off, this hydrating drink contains no added sugars and 15 percent of your daily value of potassium.
Total Sugars 9g, Added Sugars 0g