Coconut water is the clear liquid inside coconuts that supports heart health, provides super hydration and even has some antioxidant effects in the body. Coconuts grow on large palm trees known scientifically as Cocos nucifera. Despite the name, the coconut is botanically considered a fruit rather than a nut.
Coconut water is the juice found in the center of a young, green coconut and helps to nourish the fruit. As the coconut matures, some of the juice remains in liquid form while the rest ripens into the solid white flesh known as coconut meat (1).
Coconut water forms naturally in the fruit and contains 94% water and very little fat. It should not be confused with coconut milk, which is made by adding water to grated coconut meat. Coconut milk contains about 50% water and is very high in coconut fat.
In recent years, coconut water has become a very trendy beverage. It’s tasty, refreshing and also happens to be good for you.
Best Coconut Water
1Amy & Brian Coconut Water
Amy & Brian coconut water is our number 1 pick and for good reason. For starters it comes in a variety of different flavors including original, with pulp, lime, grape, and cinnamon. This coconut water uses all-fresh ingredients all the time with no concentrate and no GMO to stress over. Amy & Brian coconut water is formulated to taste great and to provide you with essential minerals and electrolytes to keep you tastefully hydrated.
Amy & Brian coconut water contains no preservatives or additives and absolutely nothing artificial on the ingredient label. You’ll be hard pressed to find a better tasting and more pure coconut water on the market.
2ONE Pure Coconut Water
ONE advertises their coconut water as “straight from the tree and never from concentrate”. This slogan tells you just how pure you can expect your coconut water from ONE to be. ONE intends for their coconut water to be an essential blend for refueling naturally, delivering necessary nutrition for your mind and body in a simple and refreshing formula that comes in a cardboard water bottle.
This coconut water is deliciously flavored in original, mango, or pineapple. Additionally, you can find flavors of tea wild orange or tea tropical colada. Each of these remains natural and nutritious with no preservatives, GMO, or gluten in the mix.
3Nature Factor Coconut Water
Nature Factor Coconut water was specifically formulated to replace your energy/electrolyte sports drinks. It a much purer option that does not contain excessive sugars or unhealthy additives and ingredients you simply don’t need to consume.
This coconut water is certified USDA organic. It has a light and refreshing flavor but is not available in additional flavors aside from original coconut flavor.
The Nature Factor coconut water is keto-friendly, vegan and vegetarian-friendly, kosher, gluten-free, and is relatively low in sodium. The key is to provide a hydrating option that you don’t have to worry about what else you’re chugging into your system when you drink it.
4Vita Coco Organic Coconut Water
Vita Coco has long been a highly recognized brand for coconut water. Vita Coco describes their coconut water as “like sticking a straw into a coconut”. They strive to maintain the nutrition and flavor directly from the coconut.
Their water is deliciously refreshing while also being rich in nutrients your body truly needs to thrive, particularly minerals and electrolytes. It is the perfect Non-GMO, gluten-free, and fat-free drink option.
5Zico Natural 100% Coconut Water Drink
Zico Coconut water is another great coconut water drink that does not contain concentrate. It is wholly natural and provides delicious flavor in a simple sports drink replacement option. Zico coconut water is dense in minerals and electrolytes. In fact, Zico boasts that their coconut water contains 6x more potassium than eating a banana. All of this in natural form with no added sugars or artificial ingredients.
Zico Coconut water is non-GMO, gluten-free, fat-free, and cholesterol-free.
6C2O Pure Coconut Water
C2O coconut water is a pure plant-based product that is harvested directly from young, green coconuts in the heart of Thailand.
This brand prides themselves on refreshing flavor with essential nutrients and electrolytes for your body delivered in a high-quality, pure form that is far superior to the typical sports drink. These were designed to replace sports drinks and can be optimal for any lifestyle.
C2O offers multiple flavors including original, pineapple, mango, ginger lime & turmeric, and even espresso flavored. There are no artificial flavors or colors and C2O is non-GMO verified.
7Taste Nirvana Real Coconut Water
The Taste Nirvana real coconut water is a premium coconut water with no concentrate that comes in slim cans. This coconut water is made from young coconuts in Thailand and is packaged at the source to ensure freshness.
Taste Nirvana’s coconut water contains 400 mg of potassium and does not contain preservatives or artificial flavors and ingredients. Taste Nirvana is a family-owned business that believes in quality ingredients.
This premium coconut water is slightly on the expensive side, but the flavor and quality of the drink is nearly incomparable to other brands.
8365 Everyday Value Coconut Water
365 is pure coconut juice with no concentrate and is 100% pulp free in all mixtures. It is not available in various flavors, only the original coconut flavor. This coconut water is nutritious and refreshing with simple detail. It comes in a single 33 oz. container and can be stored in your fridge much like milk might be.
Keep it simple and reliable with this coconut water option.
9Earth Circle Organics Coconut Water Powder
Take your coconut water to a new level with this coconut water powder that you can mix with any water or flavored drink and make your own. This powder remains 100% natural with no artificial additives or ingredients for you to be concerned about.
Experience intense hydration and boosted electrolytes with this refreshing drink powder. It’s convenient and tasteful and delivers all of the essential characteristics of your typical coconut water.
The powder makes this incredibly convenient and still provides all of the electrolytes and minerals that many people look for in coconut water without additives, sugars, or other harmful ingredients.
10Naked Juice 100% Organic Pure Coconut Water
Naked brand has long been known for producing natural juices with natural foods and limited additional ingredients. They use wholesome products to create delicious, refreshing, and nutritious drinks. Naked coconut water does not contain any added sugars and no concentrate. Additionally, it is certified 100% organic by the USDA. This coconut water contains 950 mg of potassium.
Naked Organic Pure coconut water is kosher, cholesterol free, non-GMO, organic, and gluten-free.
How We Rank
The first thing we looked at, when ranking the best coconut water, was for no concentrate. Coconut water is best in its purest form. When concentrate is added, it can add sugars as well as additional ingredients that are simply unnecessary. As such, we eliminated any brands that contained concentrate. For example, Bai is a well-known brand that is commonly used as a healthy drink. However, Bai’s ingredient list tells us that concentrate is used and thus we were forced to remove it from our list.
We also carefully reviewed nutrition labels and ingredient lists for added sugars, preservatives, and artificial flavoring. Companies like Vita Coco and One Pure Coconut Water ranked highly because they included very minimal artificial flavors and sugars. All companies making our list also need to be gluten-free, cholesterol-free, and vegan friendly. It was clear that if the information provided did not clarify these important characteristics then most likely the coconut water was not pure and not worthy of being on the top 10 list.
The next criteria we reviewed was flavor. We wanted a balance between good taste and low sugar, like our number 1 pick Amy & Brian coconut water. Products that tasted poorly were axed, while products that contained a lot of sugar to improve taste, were also axed.
Another thing we specifically watched for was the coconut source. Each of the brands we shared detailed the use of coconuts fresh from Thailand, the number one producer of coconuts. Taste Nirvana even disclosed that they built their production plant up against a coconut farm for the best results.
Lastly we looked at the pasteurization methods used. Standard pasteurization methods use high temperatures that kill some of the beneficial compounds in coconut water. To avoid this, we preferred companies that used flash pasteurization which is less destructive to the beneficial compounds found in coconut water.
After all this, we determined the top 10 best coconut waters on the market.
1Coconut water can help balance the body’s electrolytes. Coconut water contains a ton of electrolytes; specifically potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Electrolytes are the minerals your body needs for proper hydration and functioning (2).
Muscle weakness and cramps, an increased risk of high blood pressure and fatal cardiovascular events, and even chronic diseases have all been associated with a lack or imbalance of electrolytes in your body’s system (5).
The participants also said that coconut water caused less nausea and stomach discomfort (8).
2Coconut water may help lower blood pressure. Coconut water has been shown to have a positive effect on hypertension in humans. One study from 2005 reported a 71% decrease in mean systolic blood pressure after supplementing hypertensive patients with coconut water for two weeks (9).
Another showed that, regardless of why patients had hypertension in the first place, supplementing with coconut water significantly ameliorated it (10).
The researchers theorized that this was due to coconut waters’ potassium content, which causes vasodilation and improves endothelial health.
Such results have also been replicated in animal studies, with one showing that drinking coconut water resulted in significantly lower heart rates for hypertensive rats (11).
In people with hypertension, the heart has to work harder and faster for normal results because of the increased pressure, increasing the risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular conditions.
The two factors are very closely linked as precedents for heart disease (12).
Coconut water has a positive effect on both conditions, thereby lowering the risk for both high blood pressure and serious heart disease.
3Coconut water can help manage blood sugar levels. Research has shown that coconut water can lower blood sugar levels and improve other health markers in diabetic animals (13).
In one study, diabetic rats treated with coconut water maintained better blood sugar levels than the control group. The same study also found that the rats given coconut water had lower levels of hemoglobin A1c, indicating good long-term blood sugar control (14).
Another study noticed that providing coconut water to rats with diabetes led to improvements in blood sugar levels and reductions in markers of oxidative stress (15).
It’s also a good source of magnesium, which may increase insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes and prediabetes (16).
However, controlled studies are needed to confirm these effects in humans.
4Coconut water can support cardiovascular health. It also helps lower the risk of serious cardiovascular disease by lowering your cholesterol/triglyceride levels. This protection may extend even to severe cases like heart attacks. One study on rats found that coconut water helped them recover more quickly from the adverse effects after a heart attack happened (17).
In addition, another study showed that a dietary intake of coconut water results in changes in the lipid metabolism of rats. Even though they had high-cholesterol diets, lipid levels in the liver, kidney, heart, and aorta significantly decreased once their diets were supplemented with coconut water (18).
The addition of coconut water also resulted in higher blood plasma levels of L-arginine (an antioxidant that’s also good for cardiovascular health). There was also less fatty tissue in the aorta and the liver.
5Coconut water is high in calcium which helps with bone density. The high calcium levels of coconut water are good for your bones and skeletal system (19).
Calcium is an integral part of the material bones are made of. Without adequate calcium levels, there’s a higher risk for skeletal diseases like rickets, osteomalacia, and osteoporosis due to lower bone density. In other words, your bones get weaker if you don’t have enough calcium, which can lead to chronic diseases (20).
6Coconut water can help prevent kidney stones. Drinking enough fluids is important for kidney stone prevention. Although plain water is a great choice, one study suggests that coconut water may be even better.
Kidney stones form when calcium, oxalate and other compounds combine to form crystals in your urine. These can then form painful kidney stones. However, some people are more susceptible to developing them than others (21).
In a study in rats with kidney stones, coconut water prevented crystals from sticking to the kidneys and other parts of the urinary tract. It also reduced the number of crystals formed in the urine (22).
8Coconut water is high in magnesium, which helps keep your muscles loose and relaxed. Magnesium’s one of the human body’s most abundant minerals — but that also means it’s very important for a wide range of different functions. DNA and RNA synthesis, protein synthesis, muscular contractions, blood pressure, the way your body manufactures and processes insulin, and nerve transmission are all in some way managed by your body’s magnesium stores (24).
Magnesium also regulates muscle contractions (25).
If you don’t have enough magnesium, you’re likely to get muscle cramps or to feel like your muscles are tense/sore all the time. By making your diet more rich in magnesium, coconut water can help prevent the onset of such diseases and keep your body functioning properly.
9Coconut water can help fight inflammation through antioxidant activity. While not quite as well-researched as other prominent antioxidants, like those found in red wine or in carotenoids, coconut water is theorized to have antioxidant effects (26).
The “green dwarf” variety of coconuts especially seems to have potential as an antioxidant. In one study from 2014, scientists found that young coconut water was more effective than mature coconut water in terms of inhibiting inflammatory processes in the bodies of rats (27).
They noted that younger coconuts also had a higher concentration of salicylic acid than mature ones, which might have been the main component in their anti-inflammatory effect. Salicylic acid is the main component of Aspirin and many other common painkillers. It’s an active ingredient that stops both pain and inflammation (28).
10Coconut water may be a good weight loss drink. Coconut water is low in calories and easy on your stomach. It is packed with bio-active enzymes that are known to ease digestion and boost metabolism. The higher the metabolic rate, the more fat you burn. And the best part is that even though coconut water has a very low concentration of carbohydrates, it still gives you a feeling of being full.
11Coconut water is super hydrating. Coconut water contains potassium and glucose, making it a good source for medical professionals who need to rehydrate their patients suffering from disease or trauma, but don’t have normal electrolyte solutions on hand. Coconut water has been theorized to be an effective treatment for gastroenteritis and cholera, especially with the addition of table salt to make up for the other electrolytes (sodium, chloride, bicarbonate) which it doesn’t have (29).
Sodium-enriched coconut water has been studied as a possible rehydration agent. One 2007 study studied its effects in comparison to plain water, sports drinks, and regular coconut water, finding that sodium-enhanced coconut water was just as effective as commercially available sports drinks after dehydrating exercise (30).
12Coconut water provides a ton of beneficial nutrients. One of the most impressive features of coconut water is the level of nutrients you can consume through natural means. From a fresh coconut, you can expect to find significant sources of fiber, healthy carbs, protein, magnesium, potassium, manganese, vitamin C, and calcium. Coconut water also has pure forms of sodium.
13Coconut water hops to restore electrolytes. Coconut has become one of the highest recommended sources to restore electrolytes when maintaining solid workout routines or playing sports and engaging in regular physical activity. According to studies, coconut water can be more restorative than Gatorade and other sports drinks.
1Coconut water can cause IBS like symptoms. Though coconut water is generally a good drink for gastrointestinal discomfort, it can occasionally cause bloating or discomfort in some people (31).
While it’s better than artificial soft drinks in terms of bloating, it could cause slightly more discomfort than normal water in some cases, though such side effects are relatively uncommon.
2Coconut water may cause potassium toxicity in very high doses. One 42-year old man who drank more than eight 11 oz servings of coconut water while playing tennis was rushed to the hospital after passing out. He had abnormal heart rhythms and low blood pressure. He was also warm, lightheaded, and disoriented (32).
Such symptoms are the result of too much potassium in the body. Your body needs it to function, but drinking too much coconut water in a short period of time (especially during an intense workout, which also increases potassium levels) could result in toxicity.
3Coconut water may increase blood sugar, which can be an issue for diabetics. Coconut water may not fall under sugary drinks, but still, it does contain carbohydrates and calories (33).
4Coconut water may lower blood pressure too quickly. Coconut water might lower your blood pressure, and in case you are already taking medications for high blood pressure, it might cause your blood pressure to go way too low.
5 Coconut water is not recommended for individuals who suffer from cystic fibrosis. While coconut water contains natural forms of sodium. Cystic fibrosis often requires individuals to find ways to boost sodium. However, coconut water is not the recommended method in this scenario.
Coconut water can actually reduce the sodium levels in your bloodstream and cause a high boost to your potassium levels. This could be a dangerous mix for someone who has been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis and therefore it is recommended they seek other means.
6Coconut water may not be healthy for those with impaired kidney function. The potassium in coconut water can significantly raise your potassium levels. This is typically not an issue if your kidneys are functioning properly, however if you are prone to kidney issues, it is recommended you refrain from coconut water.
7Coconut water should not be consumed before or after surgery. Because coconut water is extremely effective at lowering blood pressure, it is recommended that you cease drinking coconut water at least 2 weeks prior to any surgical procedure. Additionally, if you have recently undergone surgery you should refrain from using coconut water until the healing process is complete. This is to ensure that your blood pressure levels do not interfere in any way with the procedure or the recovery.
Coconut water intake should vary depending on what it’s being used for. That said, if you live an otherwise healthy lifestyle, drinking coconut water every day shouldn’t be a problem.
Simply limit your intake to only a few servings of 10-12 oz a day (no more than four) to avoid the possibility of potassium toxicity. If you’re pregnant, have low blood pressure, or have any kidney-related medical conditions, a lower dose is probably more appropriate.
How much coconut water is safe to drink? Coconut water is safe to drink on a daily basis, but average users should limit their intake to no more than a few 10-12 oz servings per day. Excessive coconut water consumption could lead to unsafe potassium levels in your body, though it would take quite a lot of it to do so.
Is it possible to overdose on coconut water? It is possible to drink so much water that your body has too much potassium, though such cases are unlikely.
Can I replace normal water with coconut water? You can sometimes, but not completely. Coconut water works equally well for hydration, and it even contains a lot of electrolytes, unlike plain water. But drinking coconut water in excess can be dangerous, so the safest option is to simply drink both if you’d like to stay well-hydrated. That said, replacing a water bottle you bring to work, or the gym with coconut water is a safe, easy move.
Is it okay to drink coconut water while working out? Yes, it is okay to drink coconut water while exercising. Athletes who suffer from some other kidney condition, however, should make sure to contact a doctor beforehand; working out while drinking a lot of coconut water could be unsafe if taken in excess.
Is drinking coconut water safe for pregnant women? Drinking coconut water is usually safe for pregnant women since it has a lot of essential minerals that your body needs, and it may help soothe any inflammation or stomach upset. That said, always check with your medical professional first before consuming anything when pregnant. It is also extremely important to get the highest quality coconut water if you are consuming this when pregnant.
Will drinking coconut water interact with any drugs I’m taking? Patients who take drugs that alter kidney function (those who live with renal disorders) should consult their doctor, as drinking coconut water could raise your body’s potassium levels to an unsafe amount if consumed on a regular basis.
In addition, coconut water can interact with any drugs designed to lower blood pressure because it has the same effect. People who have hypertension and take medication for it should contact their doctor and stay on the low side when it comes to daily intake.
Is there a difference in types of coconut water? Yes. There’s a difference between water that comes from tender coconuts vs. water that comes from more mature coconuts. More mature coconut water has higher sugar levels, but less of the essential minerals that make coconut water so good for you, like potassium and calcium.
Also, coconut water that you’d find in the grocery store may vary by brand. Some manufacturers may add sugar and other ingredients, so carefully reading the label is important.
How do I find a low-sugar coconut water? While the science shows that higher levels of sugar make coconut water more acceptable to those drinking it, a sugary drink isn’t necessarily the best choice if you’re seeking coconut water for the health benefits. The best thing you can do in this case is research and thoroughly read the labels of different brands at the grocery store. Look for high levels of glucose, sucrose or fructose on the ingredients label. If you can’t find such information on the label or if you’re buying online, many manufacturers also have nutritional information on their product pages.
Can you drink coconut water every day? Yes, you can drink coconut water every day. However, limit your intake to a few servings a day to avoid coconut water disadvantages such as high levels of potassium.
Is coconut water good for weight loss? Coconut water is low in calories and easy on the stomach. It is packed with bio-active enzymes that are known to ease digestion and boost metabolism. The higher the metabolic rate, the more fat you burn.
Is it good to drink coconut water in empty stomach? Yes, you can drink coconut water on an empty stomach.
Is coconut water better than water? While coconut water is low in calories, rich in potassium, and fat and cholesterol free, the evidence that it is actually better than plain water for simple hydration is unfortunately lacking. However, compared to typical sports drinks, coconut water has fewer calories, less sodium, but higher amounts of potassium.
Can coconut water be consumed during a fever? Yes. Compounds called tannins that are present in coconut water may help to reduce this inflammation. Coconut water is also high in minerals such as sodium and potassium. One study found that coconut water may provide the same level of hydration as a sports drink – perfect for when electrolyte loss is high during a fever. It is also more healthful, containing no added sugar.
Why are the sugar levels so high in coconut water? As with many fruits, coconuts contain natural sugars. You will notice in the top ranked coconut waters that each one’s nutrition label contains at least 9 grams of sugar. These are not added sugars or unnatural sugars. These sugar levels are from the natural sugar of the coconuts.
Is coconut water good for your hair and skin? Coconut water is a natural source that is beneficial for both hair and skin. With routine coconut water in your regimen, the minerals and nutrients can promote healthy hair growth as well as give you glowing skin. Coconut water is one of the most natural ways to improve your hair and skin and take on a natural glow.
Is coconut water hard on your liver? While coconut water is not recommended if you experience kidney problems, it is extremely healthy for your liver. The electrolytes, magnesium, and calcium are essential nutrients that promote optimal liver health.
Why is coconut water lower in fat? Coconut water is essentially fat-free, because it does not mix with the meat of the coconut. The meat of the coconut is where all the fat is.
Is coconut water good for diabetes? Coconut water is helpful in controlling blood sugar levels and, as such, may be beneficial for diabetics.
Does coconut contain bacteria? Yes, coconut contains bacteria. In fact, many of the powerful antioxidant benefits can be derived from the bacteria found in coconut.
Does coconut water actually taste like coconut? Yes, pure coconut water does have a coconut taste. However there are a variety of flavors on the market that mask and change the taste if you are particularly fond of the natural coconut flavoring.
Coconut water is a great way to increase your potassium intake, especially as potassium is hard to find in modern diets. It’s high in the other electrolytes your body requires to function properly as well, such as magnesium.
Coconut water is also just as effective as regular water or specialized sports drinks for athletes, and its anti-inflammatory effects may help treat diseases and upset stomachs. Though buyers should be wary of varieties that contain a lot of sugar or additives, in general, coconut water provides a safe and healthy way to stay hydrated.