Are you one of the many consumers who reach for a brightly colored box of coconut water at the store? You're not alone: exports of coconuts have shot through the roof, and sales of the health-infused water have doubled since 2011. But while more companies have jumped on the coconut water bandwagon, NPR asks the question we all want to know: Is it really that good for you?
The health benefits most advocates tout about coconut water are its high amounts of vitamin B, sodium, and potassium. Vitamin B helps muscles recover and delays fatigue, while potassium is heart healthy. But the problem, NPR says, is that most people believe coconut water is the only source of potassium. Foods like spinach, lentils, and bananas pack a more powerful punch of potassium than a bottle of coconut water.
Others say that coconut water helps with rehydration and muscle strength after a strenuous workout; but experts say most people don't work out hard enough to require coconut water's nutrients. What you need after a true workout, said nutritionist Monica Reinagel to NPR, is sodium — of which coconut water has a surprisingly small amount.
Still, the hype for coconut water doesn't appears to be slowing down. Coca-Cola recently launched a Vitaminwater infused with coconut water, to compete with Pepsi's SoBe Lifewater addition of — you guessed it — coconut water. Even beer companies are getting in on the action, like MillerCoors with Coco Breve, a clear malt beverage infused with coconut water (and meant for the women's market). Looks like the hyped up H2O is more or less unavoidable.