The first time I tried coconut water, I hated it. I thought it tasted like stale sweat. Nevertheless, when boxes of Vita Coco started appearing in my internship kitchen last fall, I was intrigued. Coconut water couldn’t really be that bad, right? How could so many Whole Foods patrons be wrong? How could a terrible drink be a favorite of so many of my friends? Maybe the problem was me and my closed mindedness. I decided to give it another shot. This was a different brand than the one I had tried, and it came in several different flavors. I chose Tangerine, and to my surprise, I actually liked it.
Tangerine, a mild citrus flavor, is an excellent companion to the strong taste of coconut water. It added an appreciated sweetness to the drink without overpowering the taste of the coconut water. I could still taste the coconut water but it was considerably less pronounced and, consequentially, no longer off-putting. In addition to unflavored (they call it Pure) and Tangerine, Vita Coco comes in Acai & Pomegranate, Passion Fruit, Peach & Mango, Pineapple, and Tropical Fruit. If you had a similar experience to mine the first time you tasted coconut water but are interested in trying again, I suggest picking up one of these flavors to acclimate your mouth to the coconut water taste. The more you drink it, the less it bothers you, and before you know it, you’ll be able to drink it plain!
Coconut water is very popular due to its hydrating nature and many swear by it as a hangover cure. Vita Coco is fat-free, cholesterol-free, high in potassium (15% of the daily recommended amount), and low in sodium with 30 to 90 milligrams (3% of the daily recommended amount) per serving. Aside from Pure, which has 45 calories, each serving of Vita Coco contains 60 calories. The downside is that these drinks contain a significant amount of sugar. Each serving has between 11 and 20 grams; considering that there are two servings in each box, that’s a lot of sugar to have in a beverage. So if you are drinking Vita Coco, it’s in your best interest to try to have one serving at a time rather than drink the whole thing in one sitting. I have found that by drinking it through a straw, you’re more likely to sip and pace yourself rather than down it all in one sitting.
You can find Vita Coco at supermarkets across the country. Check the store locator to find your closest retailer.