It’s marketed as “liquid Viagra” with the “perfect concentration of electrolytes,” and you’ll find many celebrities (like Madonna or Matthew McConaughey) sipping it after Bikram yoga. But coconut water’s appeal may be the allure of the Hollywood elite who drink it, rather than any real health advantage.


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Sold in 11-ounce packages, coconut water provides about 60 calories and 3–4 teaspoons of natural sugars per container. It is relatively low in sodium and extremely high in blood-pressure-lowering potassium, providing well over 100% of the required daily intake for the electrolyte.

Though it is often advertised as a natural sports drink, you can probably get the same post-workout benefit from drinking water and eating raisins, PowerBar gels, or other energy boosters.

There are no scientific published studies to back up the claims of being a libido lifter, hangover helper, or great hydrator, but it is lower in calories and sugar than sodas or fruit-flavored beverages. Some of the blended coconut waters that have essence of mango or passion fruit improve the flavor too. I’m in the camp that they are all, well, an acquired taste.

If you want a beverage that gives you a punch of potassium without overloading calories or sodium, give one of the coconut waters a try and be sure to tell me what you think.

Product (per 11 ounces)
Calories
Carbs (g)
Sodium (mg)
Potassium

Harvest Bay Original Coconut Water 65 16 35 660
Naked Juice Coconut Water 60 14 20 650
O.N.E 100% Coconut Water 60 14 60 670
Vita Coco 100% Pure Coconut Water 60 14 40 680
Zico Pure Coconut Water 60 14 60 670