Coconut water exposed: 9 brands to avoid due to harmful chemicals

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coconut-water(NaturalHealth365) As one of the healthiest drinks in the world, coconut water is exceptionally beneficial for health. Its unique compilation of vitamins and minerals help protect your body.

For example, better than sports drinks, coconut water provides athletes a natural potassium and magnesium-rich drink that rehydrates the body while reducing inflammation and balancing blood sugar. A scientific review published in the Molecules journal also showed benefits ranging from lowering high blood pressure, preventing heart attacks, and healing cancer. It also contains a plant hormone called “trans-zeatin” that may be helpful in treating dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

In fact, the anti-aging benefits of coconut water are numerous, and food manufacturers have taken advantage of its popularity. However, not all are created equal – since many brands have been ruined by harmful chemicals or processing.

Are you drinking this type of (toxic) coconut water?

For packaged coconut water to retain its nutrients, it should come directly from fresh coconuts. However, some manufacturers have adopted several methods of packaging that ruin its purity:

1. Adopting water from mature coconuts: Nutrient dense water comes from young green coconut. As the one-seeded drupe ages, the nutrients seep into the meat of the coconut. Therefore, the water loses its nutrition value.

Not only are the nutrients severely watered down, the taste is different from that of young coconuts. Mature coconuts are better for making coconut milk, oil, and other products. They are also cheaper for the manufacturer to buy.

2. Using reconstituted concentrate instead of fresh coconut water: Heated and reduced to a syrup, regular water is later added to this coconut water syrup for packaging. When coconut water (or any fruit) is heated to this extent, it loses its nutrients and its beneficial enzymes are denatured. Importing coconut water syrup is also cheaper for the manufacturer.

3. Pasteurizing coconut water with heat: Due to its delicacy, coconut water is naturally perishable. It should be kept cold. However, several manufacturers use extremely high heat to kill bacteria and extend shelf life.

This process destroys its vitamins, minerals, and enzymes – as well as flavor. While there are other ways to kill bacteria and still keep nutrients intact, manufacturers disregard more healthful methods. If coconut water is also from concentrate, it will have gone through the heating process twice!

4. Adding preservatives to flavor and sweeten coconut water: Young coconut water is sweet and refreshing. However, some manufacturers add “natural flavors” or sweeteners. The only reason they would need to do this is if they are using mature coconut water that has an acidic taste.

5. Dipping coconuts in chemicals for transport: Many non-organic coconuts are preserved for transporting to the United States by dipping them in known carcinogens – formaldehyde or sodium metabisulphite. These chemicals may seep into and poison the coconut meat and water.

Have these brands of coconut water earned your trust?

The following is a list of brands that may have touted their drinks to be “100% Coconut Water” or “All Natural Coconut Water.” But, let the buyer beware!

  • C2O – This brand uses high heat pasteurization up to 120 degrees Celsius with the product in their cans. They use both steel and aluminum cans.
  • Coco Libre (Organic) – While this brand is labeled organic, it uses coconut water from concentrate. Their processing practice uses flash pasteurization with heat. Natural flavors are also added.
  • Cona Zona – This brand’s nutrition label reveals its coconut water is made from concentrate.
  • GOYA – This brand spent mega dollars on fighting GMO labeling in California. They use heat pasteurization with added preservatives, including sugar.
  • Naked Juice Coconut Water – This Pepsico brand uses water from mature coconuts and then flash pasteurizes using heat. They have faced a class action lawsuit for using synthetic substances and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in their product while labeling deceptively.
  • O.N.E. Coconut Water – This is another Pepsico brand that uses flash pasteurization with heat. Their coconut waters contain natural flavors and sugar. The sugar ingredient isn’t classified as to the type, but it may very well be a GMO type as used in their other brand Naked Juice.
  • Purity Organic – While this brand is labeled organic, it doesn’t use the best practices. It uses concentrate and flash pasteurization with heat in processing their coconut water.
  • Vita Coco – Touted as being “100% pure,” this brand pasteurizes its coconut water with heat and contains added sweeteners. They also have a Café version which contains carrageenan – which is an emulsifier that may wreak havoc on gut health.
  • Zico – This is a Coca-Cola company who is a big GMO supporter. Their coconut waters are made from concentrate, pasteurized with ultra-high heat, and added with natural flavors.

O.K. – now what?

The absolute best coconut water comes straight from an organic coconut tree. It should be young and green. If you must opt for packaged water, choose raw and organic or organic using high “pressure” processing (HPP). Like anything else (when it comes to food) – know your source.

Editor’s note: If you want some of the best produced coconut water – that I’ve discovered – check out Exotic Superfoods (they’re expensive, but really good) or Harmless Harvest.  And, no, I don’t get paid any money to make these suggestions to you.

About the author: Abby Campbell is a medical, health, and nutrition research writer. She’s dedicated to helping people live a healthy lifestyle in all aspects – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Abby practices, writes, and coaches on natural preventive care, nutritional medicine, and complementary and alternative therapy.



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  • Zirah B L Hearn

    Great article and input. Thanks!

  • Barbara N

    Coconut water is one of the most refreshing drinks. Many of the packaged drinks aren’t very good. I have tried quite a few and they aren’t near the real thing.


    This is a very poor article because it doesn’t mention any brands making good coconut water. Just slamming a bunch of brands whilst not offering any alternatives save picking your own coconuts from the trees is not helpful.

    • kathleen

      This is a great article – I had been buying some of theses brands. Thanks Abby
      She says in the article buy ones that say raw and organic. Aren’t you capable of reading a label on your own.

      • StevenCee

        She mentions brands where the labeling is deceptive, or it may be organic, yet use old coconuts, poor processing methods, etc. I see labels, even in health food stores, that are obviously bogus. If there are brands that meet all her criteria, it would be quite helpful for her to simply share those with us.

        • John J. Mulrooney

          agreed 100%. Solutions are needed.

      • John J. Mulrooney

        She is also saying raw and organic may not get you the best product. Reading in not enough, Kathleen, the world has become more complicated than taking corporate info as reliable truth.

  • Donna

    Not sure what to believe now. I’m looking at a Vita Coco, and it says “Never from Concentrate” right on the package.

  • Donna

    Oops, sorry! It’s Zico that uses concentrate, not Vita Coco. My mistake, folks.

  • MaryKay Simoni

    I believe the best is from http://www.exoticsuperfoods. com It is fresh frozen organic and is shipped frozen. Expensive but awesome.

  • Coconut man

    I buy the Festival brand …. It is good says nothing added.

  • Kibbelhs

    Well…whatever that’s not bad should be good to drink…no?

  • roundthings

    I use Taste Nirvana Coconut water, supplied in glass bottles

  • Does anyone know about Nativas?

  • MikeC

    Mike Robbins,

    What a joke of a comment! . Check out the mice studies and you’ll be appalled unless you work as a shill…GMO ‘s wreck your DNA and RNA and your reproduction line is over within 3 generations, the the last offspring twice as big and covered with tumors……Do the research and then talk…In the meantime, you can have all the GMO’s intended for me!

  • ERB

    What amazes me is how much more they charge you for something that goes through little to no processing.

  • rr

    Nothing beats living in one of these countries just for healthier options (heck even Cancun had a great coconut store by the road on the way to Ek Balam. And just a buck I think for a huge one !) Why do these countries have all the luck and we get the GMO’d and other chemical crap added by these darn businesses.

  • rr

    what about MOJO Organics ?

  • pam r

    About a month after this article Zico announced they will stopped using concentrate and their transition will be complete by March 2016. However, if you go to their website under FAQ it states they still use High Heat pasteurization and added flavors apply to ones that have fruit flavors. Raw is still best so you don’t kill all the good stuff.

  • Michelle M Walker

    How about Grace unsweetened coconut water?

  • Kelven

    I like to clarify that this article is not 100% true of how coconut water are being processed as it portray a biased view.

    As an experienced food technologist, i would like to point out that any product or raw material exposed to high heat will destroy any micro-organism, nutrition and minerals.
    However, UHT (Ultra high treatment) is a process whereby products pass through high heat treatment at extremely high temperature but short duration that kills micro-organism to sterilize it for safe consumption but not long enough to destroy nutrients and minerals. (Yes granted there might be 5 – 10% reduction of it but it does not affect overall nutritional benefits)

    It would be wrong to say products gone through UHT loses it’s nutrients.

    Also, UHT products that are packed in sterile condition and sealed properly does not require any preservatives. You can read the labels to see if there’s any preservatives or flavorings.

    We should do more research before concluding on whether such article is worth believing or not.

  • Joan Zietlow

    Some of the juice stores and places like Whole Foods sell the baby coconuts and you just pop them open and you have unadulterated coconut water and pulp for making coconut milk.

  • roundthings

    It’s the only one I like

  • Dalton

    I enjoy Zico – it says it is NOT from concentrate and is 100% natural coconut water with noting added – yet this article states the opposite…is this not true?

    • Travis Doupé

      zico is heat pasterized to extend shelf life which kills a lot of nutrients.

  • Denise Jean-Marie

    I love Coconut water and changed brands so often because of bad press. I’m now drinking Tropical Sun coconut water but don’t know if it’s one of the best. Please help

  • Jack

    Try CHI (in the UK) – they do a RAW organic coconut water – best I’ve tasted in the world –

  • But the FDA tried to shutdown http://www.harmlessharvest. com/ just read letter on their website ha