New Hope 360 Blog

Does coconut water pack the nutrient punch that it promises?

A recent study calls into question the hydration capabilities of two coconut beverages, but can the information be trusted?

After a particularly vigorous workout session, I'll occasionally treat myself to one of the bevy of coconut waters on the market. Naturally high in hydration-supporting electrolytes and potassium, coconut water is like nature's Gatorade sans the artificial colors and sugar—at least, that's what I've been happy to believe. A recent report from ConsumerLab.com potentially bursts my electrolyte bubble.  

The independent testing company investigated three popular brands: O.N.E. Coconut Water, Zico Natural Pure Premium Coconut Water and Vita Coca 100% Pure Coconut Water. While all contained significant amounts of potassium, two of the products had significantly less sodium than was claimed—18 percent and 59 percent of the listed amounts. Sodium, of course, is key for hydration as any sweat-drenched gym rat can attest. The same two beverages also fell short on magnesium—77 percent and 64 percent of the listed amounts.

While this information is a bit of a blow, I'm not kicking coconut water from my post-workout regimen just yet. ConsumerLab.com is a noted controversial figure within the natural products industry. The Westchester, New York-based company relies on third-party labs for data, and testing methods and standards have been characterized as dubious within the industry. Additionally, the agency is accused of selecting standards that encourage negative results. Company president Tod Cooperman acknowledged in a sworn testimony before the Senate select committee on aging, that companies that pay to participate in ConsumerLab's testing program can prohibit their test results from being published. 

I'd be interested to hear what another research body has to say on the subject and would welcome comments from those coconut beverages that were called out. After bringing up the study at a recent editorial meeting, this is exactly what my colleagues and I plan to do. Expect more coverage on the coconut beverage category including an in-depth look at nutrition claims on NewHope360 later this month. 

Discuss this Blog Entry 5

on Aug 12, 2011

Coconut waters have had such a huge swing up, this news could have a big potential impact on consumer confidence. I will be curious to see what's next.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Aug 13, 2011

Your questioning of the work ConsumerLabs.com ("ConsumerLab.com is a noted controversial figure within the natural products industry. The Westchester, New York-based company relies on third-party labs for data, and testing methods can be dubious. Additionally, the agency is accused of designing studies to encourage negative results. Companies can pay to keep information from being published.")does seem quite self serving. Questioning the work of a "watchdog" organization with some very strong allegations as to the legitimacy of their studies and their business ethics is quite reckless. If NewHope 360 had any real intention of being a responsible voice in the industry rather than pandering to their advertising base, they'd do the research to support or refute the allegations before reporting slanderous comments.

on Aug 13, 2011

Interesting product. I have to wonder how many coconuts it takes to provide the amount of product supposedly being sold. It should not be too hard a calculation. Are there enough coconuts on this planet to satisfy this volume? Will there be any left by next week?

Christa (not verified)
on Aug 13, 2011

I think the only pure coconut water you can get comes right from the coconut itself, UNPROCESSED.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Aug 18, 2011

yes, you are right Christa, the only pure coconut water comes from the coconut itself.!!!!

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