It’s been a few years since coconut water came onto the market and it’s no surprise this deliciously fresh alternative to plain water has become increasingly popular. Used for a long time as a hydrating drink in South and Southeast Asia and South America, coconut water is noted as “the superstar of hydration” by nutritionists.
What makes this beverage special? Well for starters, how about its clean taste and nutritional boost? You can sip on it any time of the day, it’s packed with essential electrolytes including potassium, magnesium, and calcium, and it helps with digestion and prevents bloating after meals.
Coconut water is made from fresh young coconuts grown under a tropical sun that are picked and opened to extract the precious water within. Refreshing and nutritious, perhaps the best thing about coconut water is the taste.
We narrow down the five best coconut water drinks you can buy online. Read on to find the one that suits you best.
Top Pick Most Affordable: Vita Coco Coconut Water
You consider yourself to be a bit of a health nut – proudly so. You work out every day, play team sports and eat a healthy, junk-food-free diet. Water is your beverage of choice, but with so much exercise, you worry about balancing your electrolytes. Most sports drinks are filled with color and additives, which is not your style. If you’re looking for a natural, healthy and affordable alternative to sports drinks, then this is the product for you.
We recommend Vita Coco Coconut Water for all your coconut water needs.
You can almost taste the tropics in this organic coconut water. Packed with vitamins, including Vitamin C, nutrients and five essential electrolytes, this product will keep you properly hydrated all day long. Fat-free, gluten-free and non-GMO, there is only 60 calories per bottle.
This 100 percent coconut water is responsibly sourced from small family farms. The fresh young coconuts are picked, cracked, and packed directly at the source. After they are cleaned, the delicate water inside is flash pasteurized (and occasionally mixed with all-natural fruit puree) then poured into a shelf-stable Tetra Pak. The entire process from tree to Pak doesn’t exceed 72 hours. The ingredients are coconut water, less than one percent sugar, and Vitamin C.
As for the taste? It’s like sticking a straw directly into a coconut.
- Packaged in shelf-stable Tetra Pak
- Contains sugar
Top Pick Best Taste: Harmless Harvest Organic Coconut Water
You consider yourself a purist – only the best organic ingredients go into everything you eat and drink. You are also a socially responsible individual and try to follow fair trade guidelines. Recently, you’ve decided to train for a marathon, running every day to build stamina. With that level of activity, you’re looking for more than just plain water to keep hydrated. Top on your list is coconut water with no additives or sugar, made from a clean, organic source.
We recommend Harmless Harvest Organic Coconut Water for clean, natural and great-tasting coconut water. Each bottle of Harmless Harvest coconut water contains water extracted from fragrant, organic Thai coconuts. A proprietary filtration process maintains the delicious flavor without using any preservatives.
USDA and social and fair-trade certified, this brand of coconut water is packed with naturally occurring electrolytes and has 10 times more potassium than a sports beverage. This product is never thermally pasteurized, has no added sugar, and is naturally pink in color. Although all the coconut water is clear when packaged, coconut water contains naturally occurring variations in levels of antioxidants, such as polyphenols, that can turn pink.
- Organic, fair-trade, USDA certified
- No sugar added
- Clear fresh taste
- 10 times more potassium than an energy drink
- Perishable and must be refrigerated after receiving
- More expensive than other brands
Top Pick Best Versatile: Pure Hydration – Coconut Water Enhancer
You’re always on the go. Busy at work and at play, you don’t have time to think about buying specialty drinks or carting around extra bottles. But you do get thirsty, a lot, and although you drink plenty of water, you’re thinking of upping your nutrient game with coconut water. That being said, you don’t want to be carrying around anything more than your regular reusable water bottle. If you’re looking for something convenient and portable that has a little more flavor than what you’re used to, then this is the product for you.
We recommend Pure Hydration – Coconut Water Enhancer for instant coconut water whenever you want. These coconut water infusion drops are so convenient. Take the bottle with you anywhere. Just pop it in your purse, gym bag, the glove compartment of your car and you can even bring it with you while traveling by plane.
With just a few drops, you can infuse regular water with the fresh, sweet and delicious flavor of coconut juice extract that has trace amounts of naturally occurring electrolytes. No waste and buying extra bottles – you can use this in your regular reusable water bottle.
Sweetened with Lo Han and Stevia leaf extract, these drops have been developed by nutritionists and perfected over the past 15 years. Free of sugar, calories, artificial sweeteners, caffeine and gluten, just squeeze in a few drops and mix how you like it for a refreshing drink. Enjoy it in cold or sparkling water; the drops are low glycemic and diabetic friendly.
- Diabetic friendly
- Can customize intensity of flavor
- Taste may be more mild than other brands
Top Pick Best Powder: powbab Coconut Water Powder
You’ve been drinking coconut water for the last few years and really enjoy the taste, plus the benefit of replenishing electrolytes. All those bottles and individual containers create garbage or go into the recycling bin, something that you’d like to change. Lately you’ve been thinking that making your own coconut water at home using a powder is the best way to go. If you’re looking for a coconut water powder made from 100 percent organic coconut, then this is the product for you.
We recommend the powbab Coconut Water Powder. This pure and unsweetened coconut water powder derived from organic sources provides hydration and electrolytes with no added sugar, and is a good way to help your body recover after a workout or for relieving cramps.
Full of potassium and a good source of iron, this powder is not freeze-dried but instead, is made with a unique natural drying process using low heat that retains all the phytonutrients and offers up a delicate coconut taste. Instantly dissolved in water, there is no clumping. Just mix one tablespoon into a glass of water, stir, and you’re ready for a refreshing glass of coconut water, any time, anywhere. For a stronger taste, use less water.
Contains no added sugar, no maltodextrin or fillers, this 100 percent natural coconut powder can also be mixed in a smoothie for added nutritional benefits. So convenient, no refrigeration necessary.
- Dehydrated from 100 percent organic coconut water
- No added sugar or fillers
- Portable, make coconut water any time, anywhere
- Taste is not a strong as non-dehydrated coconut water
Top Pick Best Sustainably Sourced: Eliya Organic Young King Coconut Water
You are a serious environmentalist and have rid your house of anything made from plastic. Now you’re looking for a brand of coconut water that comes in glass bottles. You also respect the earth and prefer a product that is harvested in a way that does not harm the environment. If you are looking for a premium-tasting organic coconut water bursting with nutrients, then this is the brand for you.
We recommend the Eliya Organic Young King Coconut Water, 10.1 fl. Oz. Glass Bottles (Pack of 12). Non-GMO, certified USDA organic with no preservatives or sugar added, this coconut water comes in 100 percent plastic-free packaging, including a custom frosted glass ergonomic bottle to preserve not only the quality and taste but also the Earth.
From beginning to end the process is eco-sensitive. The coconuts are hand-harvested while young and tender for optimal taste. Harvesting by hand avoids damaging the tree, fruit or young saplings. Each coconut is then hand-cracked and poured and bottled in small batches within four hours of harvesting. The shells are composted to help expand and grow more king coconut trees.
King coconuts from Sri Lanka are orange, not green like the ones found in Thailand. Water in king coconuts contain twice the electrolytes and 35 percent less sugar than brands made from green coconuts. Each bottle contains more potassium than a banana, the same amount of magnesium as two cups of raw spinach, the same amount of calcium as a half a cup of milk, an amount of iron equivalent to 2/3 cup raw kale and as much phosphorus as an ounce of peas.
And the best part? It tastes great.
- Made from 100 percent organic Sri Lankan king coconuts
- Harvested by hand
- Processed in small batches
- Non-GMO, certified USDA organic
- No preservatives
- More expensive than other brands
Things to look out for:
Consider these things when looking for coconut water so you will choose one that best suits your needs:
To maintain the nutritional benefits of coconut water, it’s best to look for a brand that is the least processed. This means the drink should come directly from a fresh coconut.
Coconut water made from concentrate:
It’s important to read the label and see how the coconut water is processed. While some coconut water companies claim their drinks contain “100 percent Coconut Water” that’s “All Natural” it can be made from a reconstituted concentrate. This means the fresh coconut water is heated and reduced to a syrup, which is done because it’s less expensive to import. Water is then added to the coconut water syrup prior to packaging. The problem with this is that the heat reduces the amount of nutrients, and the beneficial enzymes are not as effective.
Taking water from mature coconuts:
It is the young, green coconuts that have a lot of water in the center, filled with nutrients, and these are the ones that should be used to make coconut water. As coconuts age, the nutrients in the water seeps into the meat of the coconut, and the water becomes less nutritious. This also happens when young coconuts are picked and lie on the ground in the sun for an extended period of time. It’s better to choose a brand that makes its coconut water from young coconuts, with the water extracted and packaged within hours of harvesting.
Adding “natural flavors” or sweeteners:
Generally speaking, the water from young coconuts is refreshing and sweet, so there is no need to add sweetener or flavors. Choose a brand that has nothing added to it for the best taste, purity and nutritional benefits.
Pasteurizing with heat:
A lot of brands of coconut water have a long shelf life, mostly because the coconut water has been heat pasteurized, or cooked at a high temperature to kill bacteria and extend the shelf life. Unfortunately, heat also destroys some of the vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients and denatures the enzymes, reducing their effectiveness. If possible, try and find a brand that is unpasteurized raw coconut water.