Health benefits of coconut water: A 5 brand showdown


I’ve always wondered – where does all the coconut water come from? The craze didn’t pick up here until early this year and the increasing demand has drawn many a supermarket to carry not just one but multiple brands of coconut water. So if all coconuts are made equal (clearly, they are not), what are you willing to shell out for that over-hyped, purported health benefits of coconut water?

I’m not going to proclaim myself as an expert in this field but by doing some research, here are some health benefits of coconut water:

  • Excellent for hydration – Besides the obvious fact that it’s mostly water, the electrolytes in coconut water help replenish the ones lost by perspiration, plus the fact that it’s isotonic to human plasma means it’s absorbed faster.
  • Cures hangovers – The loss of electrolytes from alcohol dehydration and frequent urination is rapidly replaced by coconut water which contains potassium, magnesium, phosphorous, calcium and sodium.
  • Low calorie sugared drink replacement – Craving for that sugar rush after a workout? Coconut water is low in sugar (all natural sugars anyway) but quells the desire for sugar-based drinks, making that workout totally worth it.
  • Promotes smoother, youthful-looking skin – They found that coconut water possess a natural source of cytokinins which help to balance pH levels, strengthen and hydrate connective tissues and decelerate age-related ailments. SOLD.
  • Good for digestive and urinary health – Known as a cure for healing all kinds of digestive disorders ranging from indigestion to constipation. As well as a natural diuretic, coconut water helps prevent urinary tract infections and kidney stones.

So, assuming they are all from ‘natural’ sources, they should be relatively similar in terms of mineral constituents but are they really? Here’s a breakdown of what’s available on the packaging:

The green shading indicates the highest proportion of the individual constituents, but it’s definitely not a reflection of “the more, the merrier” – especially for ‘Total sugar’. The prices listed are subject to fluctuation due to in-store promotions but these are absolute rack rates – what’s quoted here is from Cold Storage.

While the price per 100ml may not be indicative of the quality, and also the fact that certain brands don’t share the same volumes on sale, the impression is that UFC Refresh is a winner for a post-exercise drink – high in energy, potassium and other minerals, and yet moderate in even natural sugars. And it’s also the priced the lowest!

The choice is clear, or is it?

Health benefits of coconut water aside, which is THE favourite?

So, with practicality parked aside, we want to know which tastes the best (regardless of its price), and so we got a ‘panel’ of 4 coconut water aficionados to rank the drinks in a blind test from 1 to 5. Here are the results! (The lowest the total, the better)


And we have a clear winner!


This is not a sponsored post in case you’re wondering. It’s coconut water, and unlike red wine, there really aren’t that many dimensions to differentiate. However, some of them did register a much more thirst-quenching effect from UFC Refresh, and it may be because of its high(er) carbohydrate content, and second-to-the-rest potassium content which helps replenish those lost electrolytes.

When you’re reaching out for that Gatorade or 100Plus that’s full of sugar (artificial or not), think about coconut water as an extremely healthier alternative that really doesn’t cost all that much more. You’ll definitely feel better after knowing that workout didn’t go up in smoke!

About St. Huan

Travel keeps me alive, and food fills my soul.
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  1. I have always wondered which brand is the best! Thanks for publishing this. It’s UFC for me from now on!

  2. Great review for the layperson!

  3. I believe not all the brands featured here are pure; some have sugar(artificial) added. Do read the labels!

    • Just by the nutritional content on the labels, the sugars, artificial or not, are in quantities far less than any juices or sports beverages. Everything in moderation, Mr Skeptic. 🙂

    • I agree. Love coconut water. There are some made from concentrate and others with artificial flavourings. Came across this one from vitacoco explaining the process of how they maintain the freshness and natural nutrients. Quite easy to understand.

    • Yes some skepticism is warranted here.

      Especially since these tetra pack ones undergo ‘ultra high temperature pasturisation’. One of the sellers on amazon stated they are not pasturised but also added that they are high-heat packed at a 135-140 degrees – which according to the ‘scientific american’ kills just about most or all of the positive nutrition.

      So the best alternative is to go for organic which are shipped frozen and refrigerated. Simply put, if it is in carton pa ks, and not refrigerated in stores, steer clear. Of course, the best is to go for the real coconut itself.

  4. The best one was not oncluded though, Coco Wong.

  5. My two favorite brand are not listed – coco max & tipo.
    Tried one of them listed in the test – taste like pee!!!!

    • Tipco doesn’t taste half bad actually, and is actually one of the more affordable brands. And Cocomax was one of my first loves, used to make health shakes with it!

  6. most of us are already getting more than enough sodium from our daily diet as it is…. sodium should be used to rate negatively and not positively

  7. What about coco max? The ingrendient stated on the bottle is just 100% coconut water & it even state no added sugar on the healthier choice logo!


  9. Maybe you would like to include the ingredients of the different brands.

  10. I was just thinking which brand should I buy! Thank you for taking the time to enlighten this. Definitely useful!

  11. UFC 2 x 1,000ml at $5.95 at Cold Storage! Promo ends 1st Oct

  12. My question is – is UFC pasteurized? Has formaldehyde been added to the coconuts to preserve them? Most of the names listed here have no nutritional value as they’ve been so processed.

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