Is coconut water good for you?

I have seen several health experts talk about the benefits of coconut water that comes straight from a young Thai coconut. However, I have read conflicting information about the coconut water one can get in packages (such as Vita CoCo)…These days, coconut water is hugely popular. Is it just another form of unhealthy empty calories marketed as something healthy?

scorpiomoon / Originally posted in The Dangers of Broccoli?


Vita Coco just settled a $10 million class action lawsuit for claiming its coconut water was “super-hydrating” “nutrient-packed” “mega-electrolyte” “super-water,” yet independent testing showed that the actual electrolyte levels were a small fraction of what the label advertised. Earlier this year a study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition compared coconut water to a manufactured sports drink and found no difference between the two in terms of hydration or exercise performance, and in fact those drinking the coconut water reported feeling more bloated and experienced greater stomach upset–and the study was funded by the Vita Coco!

Image credit: Phú Thịnh Co / Flickr

Dr. Michael Greger

About Michael Greger M.D.

Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial. Currently Dr. Greger proudly serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States.

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  • tete1

    Does Kefir has any healthy benefits or is just
    a sweet fermented water?

    • WholeFoodChomper

      I hope you do not mind me chiming in on this one, tete1. I’m not sure about the health benefits of Kefir, but I do know that it is more than sweet fermented water. Kefir is a fermented milk drink (see the Wikipedia on it). My guess is that since it is a dairy animal based product, it is best to avoid it like all other dairy products. Although, I have fond memories of drinking it as a kid.

      • Meir Lazar

        I believe tete1 meant Water Kefir, not to be confused with Milk Kefir, they are not the same.

        • WholeFoodChomper

          It looks like I have learned something new today. Before this post, I have never heard of “water kefir” before. Very interesting. I’d be interested to hear what the scientific research say about it, as well.

          • Meir Lazar

            I’ve learned a lot about it, and brew it nightly. I add hibiscus tea to the secondary fermentation…Well anyway, I would be interested to see what the studies conclude about consuming it.

          • Brent

            I assume they are talking about coconut water kefir. It is a strain of kefir that grows well in coconut water vs. milk. It lives on the sugars in the coconut water. There is no kefir that grows in plain water.

    • Don Forrester MD

      Based on the science surrounding dairy products I would avoid them. There are many better options such as soy and almond milk although. You can view the over 90 video’s on the website which show the wide ranging effects of dairy

  • Dusty

    How about actually drinking the water that is from the inside of an actual coconut that you opened? I do that from time to time, with the good fortune of being able to spend time in Central America, and I can say that I personally feel very rejuvinated by it but don’t know much of the “why”.

  • Vegachick

    what about young thai coconut water that is unpasturized?

  • Tobias Brown

    I recall a video on this site on coconut water where it is compared to blood plasma and could be used in an emergency transfusion. Yet it’s hard (or impossible to find this) in the search. No?

  • steven bucelato

    thank you again,for all this info on natural health
    i live in costa rica, fruit is everywhere and all kinds
    we have mangosteen… is the fresh friut good for you?
    also coco palms all over, we call them pipa , orange or green
    sweet and fresh are they good, for ones health?¿

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