Is coconut water really everything it's cracked up to be?

My first memories of drinking coconut water involve strolling the beach in Puerto Rico with my abuelita and sister and thinking, "Geesh, this thing is really heavy!" (hey, I was like 6) then I took a single sip of that delicious liquid and knew I'd be hooked for life. So imagine my surprise when coconut water became super trendy over the last few years. For me, coconut water was something that was only to be enjoyed while on a vacation in the Caribbean somewhere. I was super surprised when my grocery store started carrying it by the gallon. Honestly, it felt a little blasphemous.

I wondered if the coconut water would taste the same out of a carton as out of a coco (um, it totally does not). I was also just confused as to the sudden proliferation of so many different brands of coconut water. Turns out, celebrities are to blame. Surprise!


The first celeb I heard talking up the merits of coconut water was Madonna. About two years ago, she was quoted talking up the health benefits of the fruit and eventually she put her money where her mouth is and invested about 1.5 million bucks in Vita-Coco, a New York based coconut water brand.

Since then, a bunch of other celebs have jumped on the bandwagon from Rihanna to Jessica Alba. I guess it's cool. I mean, very rarely is something so delicious actually good for you, so I'm psyched about that. But here's the thing: I've tried just about every single coconut water brand out there and it just doesn't taste the same. I guess it's because of the processing, or the fact that a ton of brands actually add high fructose corn syrup and other nasty stuff to the water, effectively negating all the health benefits. But I have yet to find a single brand of coconut water that tastes as good as the real thing.

Sigh. I guess I'll just have to accept the fact that nothing I could ever buy here in New York will ever taste as good as that first sip of coconut water I had on the beach in Puerto Rico. At least I can always go back to La Isla del Encanto and relive that childhood memory, albeit with a shot of rum to up the ante! Hey, I never actually said I loved coconut water for the health benefits, I just love the taste.

What do you think about the coconut water craze? Do you drink it or serve it to your kids?

Image via JorgeBrazil/Flickr