You’ve probably seen coconut water on the shelves at your grocery store, often marketed as a healthy, hydrating beverage.  Coconut water is the liquid inside of a coconut and has sparked an interest among consumers over the past few years. Keep reading to find out the facts about coconut water.
 
Does coconut water have added sugar? Similar to juice, all coconut water has naturally occurring sugars. Depending on the brand, commercially-prepared coconut water may have added sugar to it. Check the ingredients list to see if it has added sugar. On average, coconut water has between 45-60 calories for an 8-ounce serving. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, added sugars should be less than 10% of your total caloric intake. Just like other sugary drinks, coconut water should be consumed in moderation.
 
What nutrients are in coconut water?  Besides carbohydrates, coconut water is a good source of potassium, sodium and magnesium. These nutrients can also be found in fruits and vegetables. When you consume these nutrients from fruits and vegetables, you are getting other antioxidants, vitamins and minerals along with the potassium, and fiber. Focus on eating a variety of foods to ensure your nutrient needs are met.
 
Is coconut water hydrating? At this time, there is no scientific evidence that coconut water is more hydrating than regular water. The electrolyte content of coconut water varies considerably from brand to brand, which makes it difficult to know what you are drinking. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends drinking regular (tap) water and eating a healthful variety of other foods throughout the day to stay hydrated.

The cost of coconut water: Another thing to consider is the price of coconut water. A typical price for coconut water ranges from $1.00-$3.50 per 12 ounces. This is considerably more expensive than tap water, which costs just a few cents per day.  Drinking tap water from reusable containers will save your family money.
 
 The bottom line:  Focus on hydrating with water and consuming important nutrients like potassium from eating a variety of fruits and vegetables. Consume coconut water in moderation if your family chooses to drink it. For more information about healthy eating patterns, visit www.choosemyplate.gov.