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Product Review: Vita Coco Coconut Water

I have been looking for new ways to re-hydrate after my long runs, so when Smile.ly offered to send me a complimentary case of Vita Coco coconut water to review, I was thrilled! I had been using powdered Gatorade, but my stomach just doesn’t do well with sports drinks for some reason.

The story behind Vita Coco:

One evening in a Manhattan bar in February 2003, childhood friends, Ira Liran and Michael Kirban, were speaking with a couple of girls they had just met from Brazil. When asked what they missed most about their country, one of the girls, without hesitation, answered “agua de coco.” Coconut water, she explained, is the most nutritious and delicious drink in the world.

Two months later, Liran traveled to Brazil and started researching the prospect of branding coconut water for the American market. He realized the girl’s enthusiasm for the beverage was not exaggerated—Brazilians just can’t get enough coconut water. After spending several months working with coconut plantations and producers, making connections, and learning the politics of production in Brazil, Vita Coco was born.

Meanwhile, Kirban started the initial market research in New York. Meeting with distributors and beverage insiders, he quickly realized the tremendous consumer interest in “functional beverages.” He spoke with several distributors who then introduced Kirban to some of their key accounts. The response was fantastic.

Two years later in 2005, the two successfully brought Vita Coco to market in a handful of stores along the East Coast. Since that fateful night in Soho in 2003, Vita Coco has not only carved a new market in the non-carbonated beverage business and redefined the alternative sports beverage category, but has also created the one of the fastest growing lifestyle beverages in North America.

Vita Coco’s popularity only continues to increase. Now available in over 10,000 retail stores nationally, Vita Coco is a major beverage brand with a cult-like brand loyalty.

Vita Coco flavors:

100% Pure Coconut Water

Coconut Water with Acai & Pomegranate

Coconut Water with Peach & Mango

Coconut Water with Pineapple

Coconut Water with Tangerine

There wasn’t a flavor I tried that I didn’t like, though I do have a favorite and it is the Coconut Water with Pineapple – it reminds me of a Pina Colada! Nothing like finishing off a great long run with a Pina Colada, huh? ;) I have not had a headache after running since I started drinking coconut water to re-hydrate. I used to get headaches that I think were due to being dehydrated, even though I would drink what I thought was plenty of water & all the Gatorade I could without feeling pukey.

Some benefits of Vita Coco from the website:

Did you know that coconut water has 15 times more potassium than that found in sport drinks? It’s also naturally loaded with the five key electrolytes: potassium, magnesium, phosphorous, sodium and calcium. It’s what you need to stay hydrated. On a diet? No sweat! Vita Coco is also fat and cholesterol free.
Sure, you may not be a marathon runner, a football player or Tour de France winner, but your every day life is hectic enough—you should be hydrated while you live it. Go ahead, get hydrated and remember that life is a sport!

Here is a list of other things coconut water can do for you:

Helps keep the body cool and at the proper temperature.
Translation:Now when you get noticed it’s not ’cause you’re sweaty and gross.

Promotes weight loss.
Translation: You still have to cut back on the fried chicken and hit the treadmill, but we’re there for you to enhance your diet program.

Helps carry nutrients and oxygen to cells and boosts poor circulation.
Translation:See, everyone needs a boost from time to time.

Regulates the function of the intestine, helping promote smoother skin.
Translation: Doing something good for your insides can make you prettier outside! But you still need to wash your face properly, exfoliate and moisturize (don’t forget the SPF).

Helps replenish your body’s fluids after exercising.
Translation:Your body needs plenty of fluids after the gym. Fluids free of barley and hops. Go figure.

Helps detoxify your body and boost your immune system.
Translation:Keeps your immune system tough. Grr. And, yells at viruses to back off. “Back off viruses!”

Helps ease stomach pains.
Translation:Calms your stomach, unlike your in-laws’ chili cook off.

Aside from tasting good, the Vita Coco didn’t upset my stomach at all. I consistently have been drinking these after my longer runs (6+ miles) and love them! Have you tried Vita Coco? I will be having one this morning after my long run – perhaps a Coconut Water with Peach & Mango is on tap today. ;)

If you are interested in trying Vita Coco, you can find it by clicking here. You can also purchase on Amazon.com as part of their “Subscribe & Save” program for $17.85/case of 12 (down from $24/case).

41 comments to Product Review: Vita Coco Coconut Water

  • I can't do coconut water, it's a little too sweet and a bit thick tasting for me. However Scott loves it! And that's what he drinks as his sport drink of choice for working out. :D

  • I got introduced to coconut water in Brazil, straight from the coconut. Vendors used to sell the green coconuts at the park and many runners would grab one after a run. It took me a while to get used to the taste, but now I love it. It really does make you feel refreshed and hydrated. I'm definitely a believer in it for exercisers. I didn't take advantage of the fresh ones nearly enough, but I did buy it packaged from stores there. I haven't tried it from the companies selling it in the US yet, mainly due to price (a whole coconut was about 1 USD in Brazil!), but I'm glad it is available.

  • jaime

    I can't wait til these hit the stores near me so I can try it, knowing my luck I'll order a whole case and not like it haha. I stay away from the gatorade stuff too, it seems the extra vitamins they add to it don't play well with my stomach either.

  • Lisa

    Yum! The pineapple sounds really good. I think their website is hilarious! LOL! Will have to try to find these next time I go to the store! :)

  • I can't remember if you have Whole Foods there or not, but they have the small & large sizes. They were on sale this week, too!

  • MJ

    I bought an individual size of VitaCoco to try, but it's a bit pricey, and I wasn't looking for that many calories, so if I like it I'll perhaps have it as a treat when my miles get back up.

    Kimberly, you and your son may wish to try another electrolyte drink product…I personally highly recommend, based on years of use by both me (GF) and my DH (gluten-eater), the Ultima Replenisher electrolyte drink mix. We both think the Lemonade flavor is the best. (used to be a special edition called Lite Lemon or Lemonade but now they have it all the time) Comes in 2 sizes of canisters, plus packets which I can say are GREAT for travel and are good if you just want to try it out. Available at retailers and online (and you can find it discounted online if you look). I use it every day during my workout, and if I don't have it, I can feel the effect of missing it through the day (I'm sensitive to lack of electrolytes even if I'm not doing big workouts). It is sweetened with stevia and Lo han Guo fruit extract, and is not overly sweet if made as directed.

    http://www.ultimareplenisher.com/ http://www.ultimareplenisher.com/ultima-faq.php http://www.ultimareplenisher.com/comparesportsdri

    From their web site: It is very important to us that we use no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners. We also do not use any stimulants (like caffeine) and our products are all gluten-free, vegan, and use only 100% non-GMO ingredients.

    Other electrolye no/low sugar products that we didn't like as well as Ultima are all tablets – Nuun (who also makes U Hydration, which I haven't tried), Zym (which we liked better than Nuun), and Camelbak Elixir.

    Enjoy!

  • MJ – Thanks for the info!! I will look into the ulitma replenisher.

  • Lisa

    Kim, no, unfortunately the nearest Whole Foods is 2 hours away in MA, although I'm trying to convince the family that it would be fun to take a road trip there some weekend! There's a Trader Joe's there too. On the VitaCoco website, they list Hannaford, which we have right near us. I mentioned it to Mark and he said he's like to try it. Thanks for the review! :)

  • I don't like coconut water by itself so much, but I do enjoy it in smoothies as I was telling you. I've only had the 100% coconut water though … I didn't know there were other flavors. I like the sound of the "pina colada" one. ;-)

    Shirley

  • Kim

    The pina colada one is really good!!

  • Kathy

    Andrea, Vita Coco is not thick at all and is purely coconut water. And if you try the original flavor, it's not as sweet as the fruity ones. I'm a huge fan!

  • Amanda Leigh

    Vita Coco is amazing! My favorite is the peach mango. I was introduced to Vita Coco by my personal trainer and now I can't work out with out making sure that I have one with me.

    I've never tried it in a smoothie but it sounds delicious. I will definitely be trying it out soon.

  • [...] it is not gluten-free. That was fine by me, as I did not train drinking any sports drink other than Vita Coco coconut water after I finished to replenish electrolytes. I wore my Zensah compression sleeves that I have worn [...]

  • Gina

    If you're looking for a drink that can replenish electrolytes without the unnecessary sugar content, Vita Coco is the one! Not only is it low in sugar but it is also low in calories! I HIGHLY recommend it!

  • Cynthia

    Always on the go, I found myself becoming dehydrated on a daily basis. Although I don't necessarily mind drinking water, I'd rather prefer to drink a beverage that was rich in nutrients and flavor. After a friend recommended Vita Coco to me, I decided to give it a try. Enjoying the taste, I began drinking it with both my breakfast and lunch. Not only had my problem of dehydration ceased, but I had found my new favorite drink!

  • isabella

    Sports drinks like gatorade just do NOT go well with my stomach. They put too many artificial ingredients in those drinks. And that has always infuriated me, because I run a lot and need to constantly stay hydrated. Vita Coco is a dream come true. It tastes wayyy better than any other sports drink I've had and does not upset my stomach one bit. Recommend it to everybody!

  • Terry Hill

    There are so many different Vita Coco flavors that I haven't met anyone who doesn't like AT LEAST one! They are also great in mixed drinks, or you can freeze them and eat them as a sorbet. I have replaced daily desserts with a glass of Vita Coco and found that I am just as satisfied. So happy I made the switch from a serving of sugar to a simple glass of coconut juice!!

  • pennylovescoco

    my favorite flavor is the natural! i love its refreshing taste and the refreshed feeling and health benefits that i get from drinking it after i work out! i have yet to try try the pineapple but i have heard great things about it!

  • Liza

    My personal trainer recommended me to try these drinks to give me a boost before our sessions. It absolutely works! My favorite is the pineapple flavor.

  • Ashley

    VITA COCO IS THE BOMB.COM! Refreshing and delicious, I drink it every single day! :)

  • big foot exists

    i think big foot drinks vita coconut water. i mean it would only make sense given that he is always running and hiding in the woods (if that's really where he lurks) and what better way to rehydrate ones self and replenish the lost electrolytes than with vita coco's coconut water?

  • Jainey

    I think Vita Coco is great! So refreshing I will never go back to sugary sports drinks again. I feel so much better after drinking it Im hooked for life!

  • some say i'm a

    while i do love the flavors that are available i would love to see a banana flavor come out on to the market! i love bananas. some people may even go as far to sat that i am a monkey man and to read that vita coco has more pot. than a bunch of B's gives me the confidence to broaden my pallet.

  • Delna

    There is nothing like a chilled bottle of Vita Coco in the summertime. It’s healthy and contains no artificial flavors, cholesterol or fat and it cures hangovers. I swear by it.

  • Rita

    I am obsessed with Vita Coco! I can't imagine drinking anything else these days since it's such a thirst quencher and 100% natural. Great for post work out!

  • Casey

    LOVE Vita coco. The pomegranate and acai flavor is my favorite, but I think the original tastes great too! I find Vita Coco to be really smooth in comparison to other brands of coconut water that are on the market, and the most fresh tasting. You need to try this stuff.

  • Anisha

    I agree with Casey. other brands of coconut water include zico, O.N.E and zico has this awful Metallic/plastic taste. it used to be okay before coca-cola bought it over but now i just dont know what went wrong. Either way its not half as healthy as Vita Coco. Vita coco is the way to go guys.

  • Alex

    I hate drinking water and due to that I have faced several health issues in the past. My nutritionist has heavily recommended VITA COCO for me. He says I can almost replace it with water in my diet because its so healthy and good for you and for the first time ever drinking water is not such a pain for me. THANK YOU VITA COCO.

  • Brianne

    Hi Casey, I totally agree with you. The pomegranate is amazing and so refreshing. I love the tangerine flavor too. I used it as a detox last week and had it e times a day and believe me it was amazing. I did not feel sick or dizzy even once, in fact it gave me that extra energy boost that I have really been needing these days. Apparently its all the electrolytes it contains that keep the body properly hydrated through out the day. I highly recommend it to anyone whose looking to shed a few pounds quickly and feel great!

  • LO

    Wow, Brianne! I didn't know you could use coconut water as a detox booster! I love it (but don't drink the stuff as often as I should). I usually find myself at Whole Foods every Saturday am reaching for a Vita Coco to help me get rid of the pounding headache my hangover brings on haha. It's amazing. I want to try and do the whole detox thing with it though!! Thanks for the tip.

  • Brianne

    Hi lo!

    yes you should try it for sure. Not only does it fill you up and help you quickly shed a few pound. but also prevents you from feeling lethargic and drowsy during the day. i swear by vita coco it never lets me down regardless of how exhausted i am. try it and let me know what you think.

  • Dan

    My doctor recommended Vita Coco! I hate drinking water and that has given rise to many issues so I've been told that in order to stay properly hydrated throughout the day i should be drinking VITA COCO! I have been drinking it religiously for the last week and i absolutely love it, however I'm afraid substituting it for water is not the best idea. any thoughts. let me know! But anyone who has not tried vITA COCO yet you need to hop right to it. This stuff is amazing!

  • Varun

    Vita Coco is like gods gift to mankind. I had the worst hangover of my life this weekend and all i did was drink vita coco and i felt like a gazillion times better in a few hours. I cant help but love vita coco. I felt guilty for drinking so much because I've really been binging these last few days but then i realized its all natural and super healthy. Almost too good to be true.

  • Leanne

    I have read so many amazing things about Vita Coco in the last few days. I am now determined to try it. I'm looking forward to changing my diet and becoming a healthier person!

  • Now you have your new website online and also you're keen to begin getting a few clicks -me too.

  • Damon

    I’m hooked on Vita Coco and I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing considering the cost. It certainly isn’t cheap, but its just too good not to drink. I hate drinking water so this has become an excellent alternative and the crazy part is that my body seems to crave Vita Coco. It might just be crack in a bottle. Seriously though, this stuff rocks… no pun intended. Lol

  • Dean

    I take part in triathlons and ironman races. Can I use vita coco instead of water?

  • Lauren

    I live in the UK and I have seen many celebs in America drinking the 100% Coxonut water, not being a huge fan of coconuts myself, I am willing to give this a go, can anyone else tell me what it is like, whether it’s sweet or not or anything like that. I’m definately willing to give a try tho.

  • [...] have tried some other brands of coconut water in the past – one I loved, one I really disliked.  I hadn’t heard much about Zico before I bought it, but thought it [...]

  • I absolutely love vitac. I was turned onto it by a yoga instructor. I told him I already drink coconut water by Goya but I never realized how many ingredients like sugar they added to it. So I gave vitac a chance and I love it. Only 2 things bother me is the cost. I only drink one a day so not to break the bank. And the container. It feels a bit awkward to drink from, so I usually pore it into a cup.

  • [...] with Tylenol after the race.  I focused on hydrating like crazy 2-3 days before the race with VitaCoco coconut water and SmartWater.  I figured it couldn’t hurt, [...]

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