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Coconut water label claims questioned
August 5th, 2011
09:54 AM ET

Coconut water label claims questioned

Coconut water, which came to fame as a celebrity health fad, has become an increasingly popular way to stay hydrated or recover after a workout.

Filled with electrolytes like sodium and magnesium, the slightly sweet water has come to be seen as a natural alternative to sports drinks like Gatorade.

That reputation may not be entirely deserved. According to a report released today by an independent health-product testing firm, the nutritional content of some brands of coconut water doesn't live up to what's on the label.

Researchers at ConsumerLab.com tested the sodium, potassium, magnesium, and sugar content of three leading brands of coconut water, and they found that only one, Zico Natural, contained the stated amount for all four ingredients.

Health.com: POM-boozled: Do health drinks live up to their labels?

The sugar and potassium content in the other two brands, Vita Coco and O.N.E., also matched the label. But the amounts of sodium and magnesium—two nutrients key to hydration—were as much as 82% and 35% lower, respectively, than the listed amount.

Since the electrolyte content is one of the main selling points of these drinks, thirsty consumers may not be getting what they paid for, says Bonnie Taub-Dix, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

"When something like this becomes wildly popular, people have a tendency to look at the claims rather than reality," says Taub-Dix, the author of Read It Before You Eat It. "If you're working out and sweating a lot, this isn't going to do the trick."

Taub-Dix recommends hydrating with water instead and getting nutrients like sodium and potassium from foods such as bananas and almond butter. And unless you're running a marathon or climbing mountains, she adds, you probably don't need a sports drink.

Health.com: Best superfoods for weight loss

Tod Cooperman, the president of ConsumerLab.com, says the growing popularity of coconut water got the company's attention and prompted the testing. "This was really the first look into what's really in these bottles and whether or not they live up to their claims," he says.

"If you enjoy the taste of coconut water, they're fine, but I wouldn't rely on them for rehydrating after strenuous exercise," he adds.

Arthur Gallego, the director of communications for Vita Coco, said in a statement that he could not comment specifically on the report, as the company has not thoroughly reviewed it.

He noted, however, that Vita Coco is derived from coconuts grown in multiple locations in Brazil and Southeast Asia, and that the individual cartons tested by ConsumerLab.com aren't necessarily representative of Vita Coco's average nutritional content.

The company routinely conducts its own tests, and some variation in electrolytes between batches (or lots) is normal, he added.

Health.com: Health products you don't need

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not test the nutrient content of foods itself, and the agency does not specify how companies should do so. Nor do they do prohibit food and drink manufacturers from using average values if the nutrient content varies from batch to batch, as long as "a manufacturer is confident that the values obtained meet FDA's compliance criteria."

The test results don't mean that consumers should pass on coconut water altogether. Though some cartons may contain lower-than-expected electrolyte levels, the drinks are a healthy, low-calorie alternative to soda or fruit juice, Taub-Dix says.

"If you're looking to cut your calories and looking for something tropical, sure, but when it comes to hydration, it may not work as well as some other fluids," she says.

Follow @CNNHealth on Twitter.

Copyright Health Magazine 2011


soundoff (170 Responses)
  1. David Cassidy

    It's still much better to drink 100% natural product from the inside of a coconut than some man made sugary sweat!! nice try gatorade- I mean CNN!

    August 5, 2011 at 10:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • KenDiego

      Not sure if it was added in an edit after you read the story, but what I read seems to already cover your point.

      From the article:

      "The test results don't mean that consumers should pass on coconut water altogether. Though some cartons may contain lower-than-expected electrolyte levels, the drinks are a healthy, low-calorie alternative to soda or fruit juice, Taub-Dix says.

      "If you're looking to cut your calories and looking for something tropical, sure, but when it comes to hydration, it may not work as well as some other fluids," she says."

      August 5, 2011 at 11:15 | Report abuse |
    • MikeH

      And picking up a rock out of the garden works as well as air gun to repair the fence. That is not to say that unadjusted natural substances cannot be better, but to state that something is inherently a superior product simply because it is purely natural is quite foolish.
      Are you going to argue against pharmaceuticals next? I try to avoid taking drugs as much as I can, but I will take the doctor’s prescription for something in a little white bottle over chewing on a few leaves grown in the backyard.

      August 5, 2011 at 11:32 | Report abuse |
    • Gatorade is better, Water sucks

      You must be high on coco, completly coco nuts, drunk off of pina coladas, or found that lime sack in your coconut and mixed it all up.

      August 5, 2011 at 12:27 | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      A blanket statement like yours tends to communicate an almost complete lack of understanding regarding the subject up for discussion. I'd wager a large amount of money that, in this case, that inference is 100% correct.

      Gatorade is designed using scientifically proven, athlete-tested technologies (gastric emptying speed vs. soluble solids content, electrolyte needs under different sporting conditions, effect of flavoring and flavor levels on consumption patterns, etc.). No beverage will always be the right answer, but Gatorade does an excellent job in a wide range of physically demanding situations.

      Nobody likes a blind parrot/sheep.

      August 5, 2011 at 12:38 | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      I'll take the recommendation of a registered dietician over that of a former member of the Partridge Family. Besides, I tried coconut water, and I don't like the way it tastes.

      August 5, 2011 at 13:30 | Report abuse |
    • DP

      I agree with the sentiment that the sellers of some kind of formulation is behind the hunt for something not cool about coconut water. I'm sure factories can identify their product's exact contents more accurately.

      August 5, 2011 at 13:54 | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      I wonder if Gatorade was behind that? lol

      August 5, 2011 at 14:16 | Report abuse |
    • Jeff S

      MikeH, are you decrying the idea of arguing against pharmeceuticals? To each their own, and I know plenty of people who will pop whatever their doctor prescribes to make them feel better from whatever ails them, and that's fine, but while some people need some pharmeceuticals to survive/thrive, many of them are simply toxic symptom-adjusters. If you knew enough about the human body and about pharmeceutical drugs, you would know that those "leaves from the garden" are likely a much better, safer solution than those toxins your doctor is prescribing.

      A glaring example would be one of the arthritis drugs or psoriasis drugs they're constantly advertising. One of the side effects of those meds is cancer, because it suppresses the immune system. There are foods and nutritional regimens which can be just as effective, without that nagging cancer side effect. Does anyone go that route though? Sure, maybe about 1% at best, but the cancer-giving drugs work faster, and its easy.

      August 5, 2011 at 14:46 | Report abuse |
    • UCFKnightman

      Last I checked, human beings are an naturally evolved species on earth, like all the others. So, it can be argued that any degree of which we manipulate the environment can be easily argued as natural. Who's to say that another species won't evolve in the future that would take the waste that we make and turn it into something else? At the quantum level, ANYTHING that happens in reality is natural. The benchmark for what determines "natural" is completely arbitrary. I take my hands and build a house, that's natural. If I compressed carbon into a diamond, that uses technology that we've developed via evolution...it's natural. Sure there are "man-made" chemicals that are poisonous. Well, look at permethrin, a chemical found naturally in chrysanthium flowers...drink some of it. It will kill you. Guess what, it's 100% natural. Snake Venom? How about crude oil? That's natural also. We aren't the only species in the history of this planet that has harmed the environment either. Swarming locusts and other insect swarms are a good example since they lay waste to anything with water...

      August 5, 2011 at 14:50 | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      I don't drink it right out of the coconut, I drain it into a glass. Then, later, enjoy the fresh coconut.
      It DOES taste better than the canned stuff or bottled stuff to me, but it's also more expensive
      But then, I prefer a balanced diet to supplements, even in hydration solutions. In short, I even avoid gatorade, in favor of veggies, fruits and water.
      But, to each their own.

      August 5, 2011 at 15:44 | Report abuse |
    • Henry

      wow i immediatly thought gatorade paid some PR firm to write this story lol

      August 6, 2011 at 06:38 | Report abuse |
    • Chartreuxe

      Lived all my life in the Land That Made Gatorade (Florida) and I can't bear to drink it. It tastes nasty and greasy to me. Y'all can have mine.

      August 6, 2011 at 16:40 | Report abuse |
  2. Zico is yummy but expensive!

    3 dollars a bottle? not thanks...

    August 5, 2011 at 10:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • w2lucky

      Plus it tastes like bathwater. I was raised with coconut trees around me and this does not taste like coconut water.

      August 5, 2011 at 11:22 | Report abuse |
  3. narf zort

    all i care about is that this stuff is probably good with rum.

    August 5, 2011 at 11:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • rob

      Hey narf zort: Drink coconut water with booze and your hangover will not be so grusome the next morning I drink Vita-coco and it works great in eliminating a hangover also use ru-21 hangover pills the two work like a charm...........r.

      August 5, 2011 at 12:31 | Report abuse |
  4. John

    I thought it was traditionally called coconut MILK, not coconut water. When did that change take place?

    August 5, 2011 at 11:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • blah

      coconut milk is when you shave off the white meat inside the coconut and press out the liquid, that looks like milk. coconut water is just the liquid that was sloshing around in it to begin with

      August 5, 2011 at 11:20 | Report abuse |
    • KenDiego

      Not a change in name but something slightly different. Coconut milk is what you get in older coconuts, but in younger coconuts it's water. I've had both. If you try coconut water you'll notice the difference.

      I feel like I should point out that I do NOT work for any coconut water company; I'm just a person who is familiar with it because I drink it sometimes.

      August 5, 2011 at 11:21 | Report abuse |
    • happyday

      Coconut milk is from a mature coconut. It is white and creamy and well, milk like. Coconut water is from young coconuts and it is transparent with thinner consistency and well, more like water. Two different things.

      August 5, 2011 at 11:22 | Report abuse |
    • arthurrrrr

      John,sorry-it happened while you were sleeping. I was supposed to wake you up when this happened but you looked so peaceful, i dared not. I knew you would find out later, on your own, so i believe that my decision not to wake you was the right one.

      August 5, 2011 at 11:23 | Report abuse |
    • MoodyMoody

      Coconut water is the stuff that comes straight out of the coconut, which is very watery. Coconut milk is made by pounding coconut meat (the solid white stuff), adding water, and filtering out the pulp.

      August 5, 2011 at 11:26 | Report abuse |
    • Stacey

      Both young and old coconuts have both coconut water and coconut milk.

      Coconut water: When you crack open the coconut, you'll find that there's a reservoir of water in the nut. That's the coconut water and it tastes better in young coconut. Coconut water from mature coconuts is usually discarded.

      Coconut milk: It's a bit harder to get coconut milk out of young coconut flesh because the flesh is so soft. Generally the flesh is scooped and eaten as it is... firm, and chewy. Coconut flesh from mature coconuts is very hard and pretty much impossible to chew. It's what you use for grated coconut (used in macaroons etc). To get coconut milk, you grate the coconut flesh and mix it with water in a bowl and knead it (much like you'd knead bread dough). Then you squeeze the heck out of it to get the creamy coconut milk.

      Coconut milk is white and coconut water is clear.

      August 5, 2011 at 15:14 | Report abuse |
  5. dave

    i tried one of these once and I didn't taste anything significant.. its like water, with a pinch of sugar thrown in. Really didn't have the flavor and it dissapointed me. Id rather just drink a gatorade post work out..

    August 5, 2011 at 11:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. sean

    I've been drinking coconut water for years and years, straight out of fresh coconuts. Costs less than getting it in these fancy little packages, plus you get the benefit of getting the coconut meat too.

    August 5, 2011 at 11:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MoodyMoody

      But it's so much easier to open a carton or bottle than a fresh coconut, straight from the tree. You first have to get the husk off, then crack the shell.

      August 5, 2011 at 11:28 | Report abuse |
    • A.S.kunk

      You will need to climb the tree first.

      August 5, 2011 at 11:57 | Report abuse |
    • BeerBrewerDan

      You need to get to the tree first.

      August 5, 2011 at 13:59 | Report abuse |
    • Dee

      You need to get to a region where there are palm trees first. Lol.

      August 5, 2011 at 14:27 | Report abuse |
  7. Debra

    They should be more concerned with the crap called Red Bull, Amp, Monster and other ilk passed off as "energy drinks". A generation of kids will be suffering from more health diseases than ever before.... We're an obese nation, obviously "energy drinks" aren't working do anything more than allow you to stay up later to watch more television.

    August 5, 2011 at 11:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Me

      Some of us use them responsibly to stay up and play video games until 3am!

      August 5, 2011 at 13:12 | Report abuse |
    • RN ICU

      Agreed.

      August 5, 2011 at 14:59 | Report abuse |
    • RN ICU

      Agree with Debra, that is. 🙂

      August 5, 2011 at 15:00 | Report abuse |
    • Henry

      you have to be born first

      August 6, 2011 at 06:45 | Report abuse |
  8. jms

    the one time I tried fresh water form a coconut it was NASTY! not sure Im brave enough to try it from the bottle yet

    anyone esle think coconut water is gross??

    August 5, 2011 at 11:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sarah

      The stuff from the bottle was disappointing. It's very oily and I'd much rather have a glass of water.

      August 5, 2011 at 11:38 | Report abuse |
    • KA2011

      I grew up with drinking coconut water fresh from the tree. There are two types of coconuts, one is the one you would use to get coconut milk and it's out side is green (the coconut water in these also good before they ripe). Other type is used mainly to drink the water and it's outside is orange. It has the sweetest coconut water ever when it is fresh, and it also has a plain layer of coconuts which you can add to the drink, which makes it mote sweeter. (Asians drinks these specially during a revovery of a minor ilness, as they digest better, and gives you hydrated.)

      If you keep these coconuts in the sun after plucking them, they get a bad taste.

      I never tried the ones in bottles, however, I don't expect the same taste from the fresh ones.

      If you try the coconut water from the coconuts from the ones you get grocery stores, I am sure they are disgusting : )
      Just my 2 cents.

      August 5, 2011 at 12:47 | Report abuse |
    • imsorrysir

      Was it a fresh coconut? Maybe you didn't get the right one. The taste depends a lot on the type of coconut and the ripening stage. The more mature the coconut, sweeter is the water. Some hybrid varieties are grown for the coconut flesh only and the water from them is very sharp (almost acidic). I know that it's hard to tell when you buy it from the market but my point is that you have to give it few tries before writing if off.

      August 5, 2011 at 12:50 | Report abuse |
    • Coconita

      I love coconut water... probably the one you tasted was not from a ripe coconut.. at the right time, coconut water is slightly sweet, refreshing and very good for your kidneys.. however it contains higher amounts of cholesterol, so you should cosume in moderation if you have problems related to cholesterol... I grew up in the caribbean and we always were encourage to drink this water... Couple of years ago, I was surprised to find an american Dr. who suggested drinking coconut water to help with a urinary infection (togeher with antibiotics) I thought that the kidney thing was an urban legend back in my country.. but apparently there is truth to it...!

      August 5, 2011 at 14:27 | Report abuse |
    • GoldenIdaho

      Coconut water does NOT contain any cholesterol, as mentioned above. It does, however, contain some carbohydrates (good to know if you're on a no-carb diet). I use Zico in place of milk or juice in smoothies. Fewer calories, and mixes perfectly with fresh fruit.

      August 5, 2011 at 15:17 | Report abuse |
  9. Yes1fan

    Caprylic Acid pills are made from Cocoanut Juice. Caprylic Acid contains the component in alcohol (1-Octanol) that stops my wife's Essential Tremor quite well. So someone might take a look at whether cocoanut water also steadies nerves, as a side-benefit.

    August 5, 2011 at 11:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • A. Goodwin

      The oil in Coconut (MCT – medium chain tryglyceride) is also fantastic for those on the ketogenic diet or modified atkins for epilspy. The actual milk – not so much:)

      August 5, 2011 at 11:47 | Report abuse |
  10. Cornholio

    You want to get Lakewood Fresh Pressed Organic Coconut. It's juice, not water.

    It's got electrolytes! Just like BRAWNDO!

    August 5, 2011 at 11:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. MarileeBob

    Its great for hangovers. =)

    Brawndos got what plants crave! Good one Cornholio!

    August 5, 2011 at 11:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. asgardshill

    You're usin' coconuts! You've got two empty halves of coconut and you're bangin' 'em together!

    August 5, 2011 at 11:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The Knights of Ni are going to come after you.

      August 5, 2011 at 12:01 | Report abuse |
    • asgardshill

      'ELP 'ELP! I'M BEIN' REPRESSED!

      August 6, 2011 at 21:10 | Report abuse |
  13. Mr. Bones

    I'm just gonna skip the $3/serving coconut water and eat a couple packs of Hostess Sno-Balls after every workout.

    That'll do the trick, too, right?

    August 5, 2011 at 11:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Just Me

    Years ago I learned the best thing with coconut water is coconut RUM! Makes a delicious summer drink and not too much alcohol!

    August 5, 2011 at 11:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Cristalskyy

    ZICO IS THE WINNER YAY! I LOVE THAT STUFF:)

    August 5, 2011 at 11:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. JFWilder

    Well, when will someone start selling dog water and claim it healthy.

    August 5, 2011 at 12:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mr. Bones

      The heck is "dog water?" I'm pretty sure you can't crack open a dog and drink the contents the same way you can with a coconut. Plus, there's the whole "wrath of the ASPCA" thing to consider.

      August 5, 2011 at 14:12 | Report abuse |
    • Chartreuxe

      Get your GD hands OFF my dog! You leave her ALONE!

      August 6, 2011 at 16:48 | Report abuse |
  17. gatorade is gross

    gatorade is gross. every once in a while on sporting events i will run into people that are just sick and i ask them what they ate and they say gatorade. one high school teacher calculated how much he would need from the label for a bike ride and looked like death. another guy did the same thing just last week...complaining that he was sick and he mixed it double strength. Quarter strength as a last resort short of death for me. i hate the stuff. corn makes me sick.

    August 5, 2011 at 12:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • gatorade is gross

      look at how many of those sports drinks are loaded with high fructose corn syrup. gross. too fast of a sugar. plus the allergies just make it look like an infection and mess up your blood sugar. i hate the stuff.

      August 5, 2011 at 12:05 | Report abuse |
  18. Chris

    Hmm, must be a "trendy" west-coast thing. If celebrities do it, MUST FOLLOW.

    August 5, 2011 at 12:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Sarge

    Hmm, a nutritionist says coconut water doesn’t have enough sodium and magnesium, so they instead recommend water for better hydration... How do I get paid for spewing crap to consumers?

    August 5, 2011 at 12:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • dontbeadork

      Oh, that's easy! Either become a newscaster or a politician.

      August 5, 2011 at 12:22 | Report abuse |
  20. timestickin

    I drink Mommy water after a good long workout.......100% natural..

    August 5, 2011 at 12:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. mauigirl

    Fresh coconut juice tastes totally different from the bottled kind. It is actually far simpler to obtain the water from the fresh young coconuts. You take a machete and slice off the top and it yields a lot of juice. We lived in the islands and had ample supply. $3 a bottle is steep and it doesn't taste very good.
    From an athletic point of view, it does contain sugars which power you along more than simple water, however, the gatorade and power gels seems to give the body more endurance, while the coconut water seems to quelch the thirst only.

    August 5, 2011 at 12:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • drewcadia

      "It is actually far simpler to obtain the water from the fresh young coconuts.
      You take a machete and slice off the top and it yields a lot of juice."

      ha ha... oh, is that ALL i have to do?
      it sounds much simpler to walk to the bodega next door and buy 12 ounces pre packaged...

      August 5, 2011 at 15:05 | Report abuse |
  22. Brenda

    The best coconut water is from coconuts on Juhu beach in Mumbai, they cut open a small hole in the coconut and stick a straw init. Also works well to chill the coconut in your fridge and then cut the small
    hole in it and put the straw in.

    August 5, 2011 at 12:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. shob

    I do like coconut water straight from the coconut. I tried these packets. Though they say 100% coconut water, it does not taste like it (taste very artificial to me).
    Investigation needs to be make to verify if they are 100 % coconut water , and not some 5 % coconut water mixed with some sugar water.

    August 5, 2011 at 12:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. d

    how about just some water? You fools will buy anything that has media hype and makes you think you are special.

    August 5, 2011 at 12:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. pstchaseki

    If you read the nutritional info on the carton of Vita Coco it states that minerals are added, not exactly pure. Additionally, not to mention the sugar content.

    August 5, 2011 at 12:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. SixDegrees

    It's got ELECTROLYTES!

    August 5, 2011 at 12:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Jasper

    Nothing but average Janes and Joes fleeced by a FAD that capitalizes on already mega rich celebrities who throw their endless money supply and retouched images at a product that does MUCH LESS for the consumer than a cup of tap water ($0.00) and a Banana ($0.33). Save your money people...

    August 5, 2011 at 12:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Dakota

    Just to clarify the water vs. milk options; Coconut water is the fluid that is inside the coconut, but it is only refreshing if the coconut is "green" and then you just slice off the top of the nut and drink the water. It is slightly sweet, and I always thought, slightly efervecent (sp?). Coconut milk is the white juice produced from the white meat of a mature (brown) coconut which we used to grate into a cheese cloth and then wring out the milk. It is very good and creamy, especially in coffee.

    August 5, 2011 at 13:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. WOBH

    If you are eating a balanced diet and you are not an ultra-marathoner or working out in the heat of the south, then there is nothing wrong with plain old water.

    August 5, 2011 at 13:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. MyFavCoconut

    Simply put, there isn't a a drink better, purer, healthier and tastier on this planet. Coconut water out of a coconut is used to cleanse the digestive system and the skin. Try it for a urinary track infection and see. Also, no electrolytes and intravenous fluids can match the properties of this modest drink. Outside color is different for different varieties of coconuts. Coconut milk and coconut water are as different as milk and water. You cut a coconut open, the colorless water is there for you to drink. Crush the white nut and squeeze the white milk out, it is coconut milk that we use to cook. Young coconuts are used for their water, mature coconuts are used to make the milk. Mature coconuts are dried up in the sun and then crushed to extract coconut oil. Love my coconut!

    August 5, 2011 at 13:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jasper

      They used to call people like you snake oil salesmen! Yeah, it cures cancer too and acne and athletes foot and and and and....please!

      August 5, 2011 at 13:30 | Report abuse |
  31. Debra

    Forget the rest, besides water, there is nothing more refreshing that an ice-cold beer in a frosty mug. Fills you up and makes mowing the lawn more fun....

    August 5, 2011 at 13:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chartreuxe

      Drinking beer in the sun gives me a migraine every single time. No, thanks, you may have my beer.

      August 6, 2011 at 16:52 | Report abuse |
  32. chase

    not sure i understand the dietician in this article... even if you drink coconut water from vita coco with lower levels of electrolytes, that's still superior to water. Zico appears to be the best obviously (also tastes the best). They say out one side of their mouth that most people don't need anything other than water, and then say that coconut water is not good enough to do the job... even though coconut water IS water, with added electrolytes. Don't get it.

    August 5, 2011 at 13:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jasper

      They're saying that they don't live up to the claims! If someone is telling you that an ounce of B has S amount of U and it doesn't then they're B. S. ing U

      August 5, 2011 at 14:00 | Report abuse |
  33. James

    Gatoraide has high frutose corn syrup in it......

    August 5, 2011 at 13:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chartreuxe

      Gatorade.

      August 6, 2011 at 16:53 | Report abuse |
  34. Alex

    when are you people going to figure out that things that are Sold...in bottles... to replace Water... are snake-oil-water? there is no profit in water. humans evolved on water! not coke, not vita crap, not sugarwater. but keep buying what companies sell because they say it's good for you. keep getting fatter and going for the quick fix.

    August 5, 2011 at 14:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jasper

      If they want to throw $3.00-$5.00 for a little box of water that's really worth 5 cents because Rihanna or Madonna drink it then let them. Rihanna and Madonna looked like they did way before they started drinking this snake oil and now they want you to believe that they look like this because of it! If you have $500,000,000 then you can pay for the doctors and trainers to make you look like them. But in reality we all have to work. Their full time job is to work out all day, get surgery and stay looking beautiful so companies will pay them to tell you they look like that from drinking this!

      August 5, 2011 at 14:12 | Report abuse |
  35. Kraznodar

    It is interesting that the chemical images of various compounds posted on the FDA web site are generally wrong. Why is it that an organization that is supposed to keep food safe is staffed by incompetents that failed basic chemistry? Add in that they don't actually do any testing and you have an organization that is of no real value at all.

    August 5, 2011 at 14:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. enigma65

    "...an independent lab..." just happened to have a bunch of over-paid, under-worked scientists sitting around and decided to test coconut water out of sheer boredom. Reminds me of the movie "Idiocracy" where a sport-drink company takes over the world. Just because they're an independent lab doesn't mean they weren't paid by someone for the study. Guess they think we're all willing to drink the "Gator-Aid"!

    August 5, 2011 at 14:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. rlq1667

    Coconut water that's sold in cans or plastic in the US are mostly with added ingredients like sugar and preservatives. In places where you can get 100% natural, if you bottle it you have to keep it refrigerated and even like that, it will only be good for about 10 days. But it does taste great as long as it is 100% natural, not the canned stuff, that's nasty.

    August 5, 2011 at 14:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Gezellig

    My question is did the Consumer Lab test multiple samples of each product over time and batch numbers? The company's web site does not say (perhaps in their report, but you have to pay to find out). So what we have is (1) Lab says products are deficient, (2) Company says there is variation in the product, and any given bottle can be deficient, (3) FDA says variation is OK. So that leaves the question, did the Lab only test one bottle of each product? I mean if a Company can get off the hook by claiming that "the individual cartons tested by ConsumerLab.com aren't necessarily representative of Vita Coco's average nutritional content", then why did the Lab not test multiple samples, or did they?

    August 5, 2011 at 14:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Aeromechanic.

    What bunch of a$$clowns have time to test this crap?

    Heres the deal: work out, get thirsty, drink coconut water. IF it hydrates you, buy it again.

    If I were one of those companies, I would change the label to reflect the actual content and tell this group of sorrya$$ researchers to find a real job.

    August 5, 2011 at 14:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. RN ICU

    I love the stuff. Even the products with the single ingredient of young green coconut water are heat pasteurized though, presumptivly destroying the beneficial micronutrients. I've been looking for an unpasteurized pure coconut water product but can't find one, except actual young coconuts at 2.99 a pop. I buy either Naked brand or Nature Factor (can), both with no added ingredients but pasteurized, or actual coconuts. I like it all.

    August 5, 2011 at 14:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Jason Sobczak

    Does the group who performed this study have any relationship with Coca Cola, the owners of Zico? I have used Vita Coco as my hydration drink during multiple 50k trail runs and during the Pinhoti 100 ultramarathon in 2009 and 2010 and it seemed to work fine for me. The only thing it lacks for an extreme endurance athlete like myself is sodium so I have to supplement with natrual sea salt. I will be using it again in the next few months. Now what I would like to know is why Coca Cola is using coconut water concentrate in some of their bottled coconut water instead of pure unadulterated coconut water? Maybe because it's cheaper and not as good, just like high fructose corn syrup. Makes you wonder doesn't it?

    August 5, 2011 at 14:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. RN ICU

    Correct me if I'm wrong but didn't cocount water pique the interest of researchers when they came across an incidental finding that plants fed with coconut water stayed younger longer. They traced it to a nourishing component they called cytokinin. The benefits of coconut water are more complex than simply the electrolyte content. Stick with fresh young coconuts for the most benefit. Heat Pasteurization destroys nutrients.

    August 5, 2011 at 14:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Semper Fi

    Excuse me...Came on the scene lately??? As a kid in Puerto Rico in and in New York and Jersey Coconut water or drinks were as popular as Coke...If anyone doubts it...look up a drink called "CoCo Rico" Why is it everytime some dumb celebrity swears by something everyone jumps on it like it was the best thing since Toliet paper!?!?!?!
    People be unique and stop being led around by fake people!!.

    August 5, 2011 at 14:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Aeromechanic.

      I'd rather be without coconut water than toilet paper.

      August 5, 2011 at 16:30 | Report abuse |
  44. CatfishMammy

    I be allergic to cocnut an it be give me the dyarear an I will fill up a turrlet with corn and bubbagum!!!!

    August 5, 2011 at 15:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Pino

    It should be simply logical to any one drinking coco water whether from the bottled kind or the straight from the tree type that nature does not do quality control. Your report confirms that what's in the bottle comes directly from the tree; pure and unadulterated. So what if it's not perfect every time, that's nature.

    August 5, 2011 at 15:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      ...and if the claims on the label are grossly different from what's actually in the container, that's fraud.

      August 5, 2011 at 15:30 | Report abuse |
    • Aeromechanic.

      It's not fraud if there was no intent to "defraud" people. It could be a simple batch thing. maybe the coconuts were screwed up. Whose fault is that now?

      August 5, 2011 at 16:32 | Report abuse |
  46. Centerlink

    Water right from a coconut is sooooooo much better tasting than the boxed drinks. Once you try a fresh coconut, you can't even palate one of the packaged coconut drinks. Plus the young coconuts have tasty meat that is high in healthy medium chain saturated fats that displace long chain saturated fats.

    August 5, 2011 at 15:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. WaterBoy007

    Water Sucks, Gatoraaaaaade!!!!!!! My mama said, my mama said, my mama said..........

    August 5, 2011 at 15:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Henry

      how can anyone say gatorade is good for you it makes your sweat glow the same color of your drink WIERD!

      August 6, 2011 at 06:49 | Report abuse |
  48. SixDegrees

    Some people would drink yak amniotic fluid if a brain-dead celebrity said they drank it.

    August 5, 2011 at 15:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chartreuxe

      You're welcome to have mine. I tried my first and last coconut water in a can this afternoon. We have coconut trees but I don't care for coconut.

      August 6, 2011 at 16:57 | Report abuse |
  49. Fresh Prince of Bel Air

    Who cares about the facts? Just as Açai berries have the same nutritionalo properties of a strawberry... but don't tell those MonaVie cultists that.

    August 5, 2011 at 15:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. the_dude

    FYI this report was co-sponsered by Gatorade and Coke.

    August 5, 2011 at 15:49 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.