Anyone who has looked into the organic, fitness, or dairy-free lifestyles has probably come across about a BILLION different brands of coconut water all claiming to be delicious and super hydrating. Yes, coconut water is wonderful as a recovery drink (I use it after jogs due to a tendency toward leg cramps) and also as a healthy and tasty treat every once in a while outside of the gym. If you have ever had the crisis I’ve had about ten times already, you will understand this scenario immediately:
Standing in front of the aisle at Whole Foods, maybe even an innocuous gas station on a road trip, you are confronted with several options of coconut water, all Whole30 compliant with no ingredients except coconut water and maybe some fruit for added flavors to jazz things up a little. You reach for a can/bottle/tetra pack, unsure, only to draw your hand back indecisively. You might try comparing nutrition facts, but (damn!) they’re all quite similar nutritionally. You end up playing eeny-meeny-miney-moe and slurping your uncertainty down in the car or at home, wondering if you really made the right choice.
Never fear, dear reader. I have braved as many brands as I could find in the last month and am now here to give you what you never knew you wanted… The ultimate…
COCONUT WATER COUNTDOWN!
Now, here are some quick tips from the beginning:
In general, the tastiness and price are proportionate, meaning that the better it tastes, the more it costs. Shocking, I know. The best advice I can give you outside of price is that, as a personal rule, I find that the order of maximum tastiness goes:
Harmless Harvest: For $5/bottle it damn well better be the best. And it is. The flavor is totally unique, smooth, and amazing. After my first sip, I literally stopped and looked at my husband, demanding to know what this pink magic was in my bottle.
Invo: Also extremely tasty delicious, but not quite as magical as Harmless Harvest. Although I did drink HH when I had been out hiking all day and Invo while helping a friend try on wedding dresses, so it may be more memory association than anything…
- Tetra packs
O.N.E.: This stuff was top notch for looking like a disco juice box. Nearly as good as the bottles and a LOT friendlier on the wallet. Approved.
Naked: I will admit, I didn’t really want to like Naked’s brand at first. Their juices strike me as pretentious sugar-bombs and these tiny cardboard drink containers took the place of my favorite flavored brand at Safeway. It was an emotional day for me. But I rallied and bought one to try for the countdown and it was OKAY. I did it for you.
Zico: This brand was decent but a tad chalky, bordering on what I found less tasty in the canned varieties. Still, it was affordable and palatable.
I really enjoyed tasting all the varieties of this brand, so I have included them in order of preference for you here:
Vita CoCo Pineapple: This stuff is the BEST. It’s my go-to recovery drink after a jog, and I keep it as a reward for good behavior. The more I sweat, the more I enjoy filling up my potassium tank with this deliciousness. Seriously. Yum.
Vita CoCo Pure: This is the Plain Jane original flavor, and it’s mega-decent. Better than Zico, now that I think about it… But my formatting is already done, so we shall march bravely onward!
Vita Coco Orange: This is my second favorite flavor after the pineapple. Just a nice blend of tart and naturally sweet.
Vita CoCo Peach and Mango: This is my husband’s favorite flavor. If you like things on the sweeter side, the mango flavor is going to be right up your alley.
“Real” Coconut Water: The flavor is good (for a can), but the main reason this brand gets first place is because my husband gets them for free at work. I was born a poor white child – I’ll learn to love anything that’s free.
C2O: This will be a nice review. I respect this brand… because it was palatable… and affordable. Okay, that’s about as nice as I can get.
(There was one more brand I refused to review on principal because it was an opaque can and it had surprise coconut flotaies in it and it almost made me throw up because I was thinking about all those articles where people found mice in their Monster and stuff. *shudder*)
It may seem a little like overkill, but I wanted you to fully grasp the amount of this stuff I drank in the name of science for you people.Until next time…