If you have stepped into a health food store in the last couple of years, or a regular grocery store in the last few months, you have undoubtedly been bombarded by coconut water displays. It seems that there is a new coconut water brand popping up every day.
If you believe the media hype, coconut water is the best electrolyte replacement drink in the market, boasting “15 times the electrolytes of sports drinks.”
So is coconut water really that great of an electrolyte replacement? An answer to that very same question was recently pursued by ConsumerLab.com and the answer isn’t exactly what the makers of all those brands were hoping for. In fact, that report by ConsumerLab.com was the catalyst for a pending lawsuit against Vita Coco, the biggest coconut water brand on the market.
The lawsuit cites the study, which found “at least some” Vita Coco flavors had significantly less sodium and magnesium than advertised. Hmmm.
The other question not specifically answered by the ConsumerLab.com study concerns the nutritional benefit of coconut water. The sporting community has gone to great lengths to understand the delicate balance of electrolytes necessary for optimal hydration. Coconut water may have 15 times the potassium of other sports drinks, but without a proper ratio of sodium—which acts as a transport mechanism for other electrolytes—all you have is a really expensive bottle of potassium.