Coconut water is gaining popularity due to it’s excellent hydration ability. I use coconut water to make my vitamin water. I also use it as a base for green smoothies and chocolate smoothies (instead of water) as it contains extra electrolytes. Here are my top tips for choosing coconut water:
Source – check the source of your coconut water. All of the coconut water products (large bottles, small bottles, flavoured bottles, etc) from a single brand should be sourced from the same country to ensure consistency.
Organic – fresh young coconuts can be dipped in chemicals (notably formaldehyde which is a known carcinogen) to extend their lifespan for transportation. If you’d rather not risk consuming carcinogenic chemicals that may have soaked into the coconut water, choose an organic product.
Ingredients – some brands have hidden nasties reducing the nutritional benefits of the coconut water. Avoid added sodium, sugars and flavours (even ‘natural flavours’). Regularly check the ingredients list of your favourite coconut water as some companies change their ingredients.
Packaging – don’t drink coconut water out of cans as they may be lined with BPA. If you do purchase canned coconut water, ensure the cans are free from BPA. Coconut water sold in glass bottles is the safest packaging option.
Age – do some research to find out the age of the coconuts. You may have to phone or email the company. The older the coconuts are, the less nutritional value they contain. Young green coconuts are recommended. Companies often have to add sugars and flavours to older coconut water to ensure it tastes nice – be aware. Older coconut water tastes acidic.
Fresh – avoid buying coconut water products that have been derived from concentrate. Some coconut water companies heat fresh coconut water at a high heat to reduce it to a syrup. It’s cheaper to import a syrup and then add water before packaging. However, heating significantly destroys nutrients and enzymes resulting in less nutritional value.
Cold – choose coconut water that is stored in the refrigerator section of your supermarket and has not been pasteurised. Pasteurised coconut water has been heated to kill bacteria and extend it’s shelf life significantly. Heating lessens the nutritional value of the coconut water. Coconut water is naturally perishable. Raw unpasteurised coconut water is best. Good companies will use HPP (high pressure processing) to kill bacteria and extend shelf life slightly, rather than pasteurising the water.
Do you have any other tips to add to this list?
Image: Rachel Cooks Thai