Coconut water: miracle drink or miracle marketing?
In the past decade, consumers have pulled packages of coconut water off the shelves in a full blown craze. That craze accounts for a $400 million global industry. Even Coca Cola owns a coconut water brand.
New York Times journalist Michael Moss recently broke down coconut water in his series ‘What’s In It?‘
The short video leads us through the history of coconut water and what exactly it has going for it that other drinks don’t, which as it turns out, isn’t very much.
Coconut water has gone through a variety of evolutions. As the video explains, first it was sold as a super food, then as a sports drink replacement and now it’s simply billed as a healthy drink that’s more exciting than good ole tap water.
In 11.2 ounces of coconut water, there are 12 grams of sugar (definitely better than your average soda), 19% of your recommended daily dose of potassium, 4% of calcium, sodium and potassium. As Moss points out, those exact nutrients can be had by downing a banana and a glass of water.
Which means that the only reason that you’re drinking coconut water instead of regular water is a question of marketing. And that comes at a cost. There’s no denying that pouring yourself a glass of water is much cheaper than a carton of coconut water, so why do we continue to do it?
We think that there are health benefits that we’re not getting from our glass of water, obviously. Let’s break those down. In 2012 a study found that coconut water was as successful at rehydrating after exercise as sports drinks. That study, however, was funded by coconut water company Vita Coco. Brands like Vita Coco have been sued for their misleading marketing claims.
Then again, maybe we keep consuming coconut water because we like its taste, but if you do, then it’s important to acknowledge that this is the reason, and not anything else.
When it comes to drinking coconut water, there aren’t any crazy side effects. Drinking it hasn’t been associated with any real negative outcomes, well, except for your overly skinny wallet and the fact that you’re consuming a product that’s sold in a single-use disposable package.
You can rehydrate with water. If you want the added vitamins and minerals, then grab some fruit. You certainly don’t need to be handing over your money to the three giant companies that dominate the coconut water industry. Reach for the tap water instead.
Photo Credit: Health Gauge