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Whats with canned Coconut water?

by (164)
Updated about 6 hours ago
Created August 06, 2012 at 2:48 AM

Naked, VitaCoco, ZICO, Amy & Brian - with pulp, no pulp.

I grew up on and island in the pacific, eating fresh coconuts whenever possible. When I moved to the continental US, I missed it - and then a few years ago, it seems like coconut burst into the dieting "scenes" and more and more coconut water brands pop up weekly. I jumped at the chance, and drank these canned/packaged drinks expecting the sweet, sweet nectar of life itself - but instead got a weird.. coconut-like drink instead. These drinks taste/feel nothing like coconut water - are they even good for us? A local paleo food place sells amy&brians, and i feel like that brand is the worst of the bunch - it tastes like sugar sugar sugar.

Whats all your feelings about this? Are these brands good for us or has their processing removed all benefits?

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164 · May 18, 2013 at 6:21 AM

Most of the brands now use paper cartons, but there are 2 or 3 popular ones in the can. Those canned ones are not the ones I meant, since those ones typically also contain quite a bit of sugar. Fresh unopened coconuts are also quite common outside of india :)

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6229 · August 07, 2012 at 11:17 PM

I've heard they dehydrate the coconutwater so it tastes sweeter -concentrating the natural coconut sugars.

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6229 · August 07, 2012 at 11:16 PM

BPA in cans perhaps?

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7275 · August 06, 2012 at 5:40 PM

Yeah, the aloe is weird. I like the plain, though.

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164 · August 06, 2012 at 4:36 PM

I've tried that, once. I believe they also do an aloe drink? I didn't enjoy it, as I was expecting coconut, but out of all the brands, Taste Nirvana has a more acceptable taste as a sweet drink.

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164 · August 06, 2012 at 4:34 PM

I have heard that the these brands are pasteurized, which accounts for the flavor problem. Makes no sense to me - there is no reason to pasteurize something that is pure like coconut water.

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164 · August 06, 2012 at 4:33 PM

Sara, I've tried Taste Nirvana - still not close :(

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164 · August 06, 2012 at 4:33 PM

I'm not sure if it's harmless harvest that i've tried, but I have tried the raw bottled coconut water, and it's just as good as fresh. But it's the same price as a fresh coconut, with less liquid :(

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164 · August 06, 2012 at 4:31 PM

http://www.be-healthy-with-coconuts.com/how-to-open-a-coconut.html like the video on this page, but less choppy.

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164 · August 06, 2012 at 4:30 PM

if you use a sharp knife, you can slice the top part of the husk of a young coconut off, exposing the 'cap'. Every coconut seems to have a natural cap-like top, and if you stab your knife into the shell, it should easily slice the top off. I do this almost every day. I learned it by watching the prep work at raw restaurants :). Use a sharp knife though.

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3501 · August 06, 2012 at 3:10 PM

How to open a young coconut http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPvhxeg_PUA&feature=youtube_gdata_player

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4266 · August 06, 2012 at 2:01 PM

I second Harmless Harvest. Tastes exactly like a fresh young coconut. I tried the other crap and oh my god, that's like canned cooked gross ew disgusting.

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7275 · August 06, 2012 at 1:06 PM

How does it compare to Taste Nirvana?

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4875 · August 06, 2012 at 3:14 AM

+1 for a good question. I'll chime in with the fact that they're awesome for hangovers, but 25g of sugar dissolved in 18oz of water with some electrolyte powder is probably equally beneficial in such a scenario...

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12 Answers

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3501 · August 06, 2012 at 3:18 AM

I like the real stuff in the young coconuts...but occasionally when I'm parched and a can of the no added extras type is available it's good. It's companies making a profit on the new food thing. There are trends in food, and coconut is the new "little black dress". Use moderately, make sure there's nothing "added" and enjoy once in awhile.

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3501 · August 06, 2012 at 3:10 PM

How to open a young coconut http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPvhxeg_PUA&feature=youtube_gdata_player

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30 · August 06, 2012 at 4:41 AM

Harmless Harvest 100% raw coconut water is the best on the market. Not sure how it would taste to a guy who grew up drinking fresh, but it beats the hell out of any other brand I've tried.

Dear god VitaCoco is just awful.

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164 · August 06, 2012 at 4:33 PM

Sara, I've tried Taste Nirvana - still not close :(

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164 · August 06, 2012 at 4:33 PM

I'm not sure if it's harmless harvest that i've tried, but I have tried the raw bottled coconut water, and it's just as good as fresh. But it's the same price as a fresh coconut, with less liquid :(

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4266 · August 06, 2012 at 2:01 PM

I second Harmless Harvest. Tastes exactly like a fresh young coconut. I tried the other crap and oh my god, that's like canned cooked gross ew disgusting.

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7275 · August 06, 2012 at 1:06 PM

How does it compare to Taste Nirvana?

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187 · August 06, 2012 at 3:34 AM

Chiming in and agreeing - I can't stand canned/tetrapak coconut water, it tastes terrible to me. Coconut water should NOT tastes like that. Instead, my husband and I buy the shaved coconut at the asian markets (9 for $8, can't beat that) and open them at home.

Aside.. Coconut water is definitely the new hotness, recommended during labor as an 'energy drink.' I gave birth at home and drank only coconut water during my labor, haha! When my husband wasn't comforting me, he was in the kitchen hacking the coconuts.

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4266 · August 06, 2012 at 2:03 PM

What we really need are street vendors selling fresh coconuts like they have in India. I'd be all over that every day. It's too hard to cut up a coconut at home. I only do it rarely when I want a really special treat. I get out the hammer and screwdriver and pliers. Bits of coconut fly through the kitchen. Can't figure out another way to get them open.

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164 · August 06, 2012 at 4:31 PM

http://www.be-healthy-with-coconuts.com/how-to-open-a-coconut.html like the video on this page, but less choppy.

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164 · August 06, 2012 at 4:30 PM

if you use a sharp knife, you can slice the top part of the husk of a young coconut off, exposing the 'cap'. Every coconut seems to have a natural cap-like top, and if you stab your knife into the shell, it should easily slice the top off. I do this almost every day. I learned it by watching the prep work at raw restaurants :). Use a sharp knife though.

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370 · August 06, 2012 at 4:35 AM

sometimes the taste of coconut water reminds me of non-fat milk, more specifically skim "cereal milk" -- the sweetish milk leftover from a bowl of slightly sweetened breakfast cereal, like honey-nut cheerios or something. i haven't had cereal for years, but that's what i think of sometimes. i still like it though. i definitely think coconut water tastes much more like cow milk than coconut milk does.. or soy milk, for that matter. similar viscosity etc.

i buy fresh young coconuts often, and reckon any fresh juice is superior to cooked and bottled, but i do not think the processing affects the electrolyte benefits. i do prefer to buy any canned stuff i can find that's unsweetened over the tetra-paks - for taste as well as recyclability; plus i don't trust/avoid buying anything owned by Coke (Zico).

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164 · August 06, 2012 at 4:34 PM

I have heard that the these brands are pasteurized, which accounts for the flavor problem. Makes no sense to me - there is no reason to pasteurize something that is pure like coconut water.

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7275 · August 06, 2012 at 3:51 AM

I agree that they all taste nasty, except for one. Taste Nirvana actually taste good to me. They come in glass jars, which probably helps.

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7275 · August 06, 2012 at 5:40 PM

Yeah, the aloe is weird. I like the plain, though.

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164 · August 06, 2012 at 4:36 PM

I've tried that, once. I believe they also do an aloe drink? I didn't enjoy it, as I was expecting coconut, but out of all the brands, Taste Nirvana has a more acceptable taste as a sweet drink.

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0 · August 28, 2013 at 12:51 PM

You should look for organic coconut water, which would contain minimum additives and be as beneficial as natural coconut water. Take a look at this organic coconut water for example. I often drink fresh coconut water right from the coconut but I must admit I like the taste of store-bought one more.

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0 · May 17, 2013 at 11:52 AM

Coconut water is acidic, so reacts with the can and the taste can be a spoiler. Plastic though an environmental concern, preserves it better. I'm from India, so I don't worry about the packaging stuff since it comes inside the nut for me. He! He!

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164 · May 18, 2013 at 6:21 AM

Most of the brands now use paper cartons, but there are 2 or 3 popular ones in the can. Those canned ones are not the ones I meant, since those ones typically also contain quite a bit of sugar. Fresh unopened coconuts are also quite common outside of india :)

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30 · August 06, 2012 at 8:39 PM

I like Exotic Superfoods coconut water (frozen section at Whole Foods) It's pricey so I don't get it too often, but in my opinion it's pretty yum.

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370 · August 06, 2012 at 3:40 PM

I'm relatively new to Paleo, and after seeing how popular Coconut water is in the community I decided to give it a whirl, so I picked up two boxes of Naked's Coconut Water from Whole Foods. Literally almost vomited, it tasted like tangy piss. Mind you there are a ton of different brands of coconut water out there and this is the only one I've tried, so maybe others are better, but that experience has been enough to make me shy away from it ever since. I mainly stick to water and coffee, with a Steaz Organic Tea or Kombucha thrown in a couple times a week as a treat.

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17103 · August 06, 2012 at 9:38 AM

I've had young coconut once, for some reason the local supermarket had it one time and not again. Wish it was more available here, but we're far away from tropical areas, so it is what it is.

VitaCoco tastes ok to me and I do have it almost daily, and is fairly clean, unlike the canned stuff that has cubed chunks of coconut flesh in with the water and also has added sugar and preservatives.

I don't believe that coconut water is acidic, so it wouldn't be reacting with the lining of the tetrapack/can.

I've had Zico once, and don't remember if it had preservatives, but I don't think it had added sugar. I did have concerns that it was bottled in plastic, so I tend to avoid those. I'm not sure if the tetrapack is going as harmful or more than plastic, but so far no issues. (I'm less worried about recyleability since we do recycle plastics here, as the negative effects on health.)

In a pinch, if I had nothing available but tapwater, and sweetened coconut water, I'd find a deli and buy a liter of S. Pellegrino because of the glass bottle.

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868 · August 06, 2012 at 3:24 AM

I agree that I haven't been too impressed so far. I've tried just about every brand there is, but haven't found one that really tastes great. I don't mind them though. They work for those days when I need something that tastes more rejuvenating than water but isn't coffee, but most days I'd rather go for a nice unsweetened iced tea.

I think this fad has hit its stride since energy drinks became so super popular but now people are realizing just how much sugar they have in them, so they're looking for other beverages to fulfill their craving. These will go out of fashion soon enough, just like the agave nectar boom seems to be sizzling out.

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