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Coconut water is a newbie to the performance drink market . While some enjoy the flavor of coconut water, others find it to be an acquired taste. You’re probably wondering, is coconut water a Rich Food or a Poor Food? Well, that depends. There have been plenty of days when we were hiking for miles through hot rainforests and were very happy to have one of our guides chop off the top of a coconut and hand it to us. This natural, delicious, micronutrient-dense liquid is obviously a Rich Food. But what about the coconut water in the grocery store?

While it is probable that it has lost some of its original essential micronutrients on its long trip from jungle to market, pure coconut water is still a Rich Food, bursting with electrolytes such as potassium and magnesium. However, we should caution that although it is a natural, coconut water is similar to juice in that it still contains a lot of insulin spiking sugar.

Coconut water can be a great substitute for sports drinks during or after heavy exercise, or during a long day in the sun, and  a better option than a plastic bottle filled with sugar! Slap a G on the label, pay big endorsement fees to famous athletes, and you have a recipe for a successful advertising campaign. Don’t buy into the non- sense—no one needs to gulp down 56 grams of sugar from a 32-ounce bottle. It is loaded with yellow #6 and brominated vegetable oil, which are banned in other countries. 

You may not want to guzzle coconut water like it’s like water, and be sure to watch out for some of the sugar laden coconut water concoctions. These hybrids are good examples of Poor Food distortions of the real thing encased inside its tough shell.

You can find out more about our favorite coconut water brands in Rich Food Poor Food, and don’t forget to check out the Rich Food Resource Center for coupons!

To read more about how coconut water stacks up to Gatorade, check out this article, where we did a side by side comparison! Screenshot 2014-05-14 21.15.05