What You Don’t Know About Coconut Water vs. High Fructose Corn Syrup

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You’ll find a lot of written in online marketing about the health benefits of coconut water, and there are definitely beneficial things in coconut water compared to soft drinks. However, most marketing pays all the attention to the benefits and misses the downside. The biggest downside – higher fructose content – is one of the things to be concerned about, and it’s one of the things I controlled while creating the Bulletproof Diet. But before we analyze the fructose content, let’s check out some of the other health claims for coconut water and compare them with actual numbers.

Claim 1: Rich in vitamins

People claim coconut water is “rich in natural vitamins (especially the B vitamins), minerals, and trace elements (including zinc, selenium, iodine, sulfur and manganese)” and “a rich source of electrolytes and natural salts, especially potassium and magnesium.” 1

But if you examine the label from coconut water, it only lists 10% of the low RDA of vitamin C and trace amounts of calcium and iron. And one cup of coconut water actually contains:

Calcium, Ca 58 mg
Iron, Fe 0.7 mg
Magnesium, Mg 60 mg
Phosphorus, P 48 mg
Potassium, K 600 mg
Sodium, Na 252 mg
Zinc, Zn 0.24 mg
Copper, Cu 0.096 mg
Manganese, Mn 0.341 mg
Selenium, Se 2.4 mcg
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid 5.8 mg
Thiamin 0.072 mg
Riboflavin 0.137 mg
Niacin 0.192 mg
Pantothenic acid 0.103 mg
Vitamin B-6 0.077 mg

To put that data into perspective, one cup of coconut water has very small amounts of the things that coconut water fans says are “rich.” For comparison, I take 200mg of thiamin and riboflavin per day, or the amount found in 2,700 cups of coconut water. The only things that are present in decent amounts are potassium and magnesium. I take about a gram of potassium a day with 800mg of magnesium because magnesium and potassium work together and are less effective taken separately. That’s only 12 cups of coconut water – which would have 72 grams of sugar. Oops. Double-oops if you pay attention to the Bulletproof Diet guidelines, or know anything about the aging effects of sugar!

Claim 2: Full of amino acids

Other online marketing says “coconut water is full of amino acids.”

But seriously, let’s look at what’s in there.

Tryptophan 0.019 g
Threonine 0.062 g
Isoleucine 0.067 g
Leucine 0.127 g
Lysine 0.077 g
Methionine 0.031 g
Cystine 0.034 g
Phenylalanine 0.089 g
Tyrosine 0.053 g
Valine 0.106 g
Arginine 0.283 g
Histidine 0.041 g
Alanine 0.089 g
Aspartic acid 0.168 g
Glutamic acid 0.396 g
Glycine 0.082 g
Proline 0.072 g
Serine 0.089 g

These are mostly negligible. It takes 5 grams of BCAA (branched chain amino acids, namely leucine, valine, and isoleucine) after workouts or during intermittent fasting to prevent muscle breakdown. That’s only about 18 cups of coconut water, or 108 grams of sugar. But all is not lost. There is enough arginine – about 0.283 grams to perhaps have a blood pressure lowering effect because arginine dilates your arteries slightly by increasing nitrous oxide levels. A biohacker like me takes about 4 grams of it before bed to increase growth hormone levels and for better circulatory effects, but maybe .283 grams is enough to move the blood pressure needle. To get my normal 4 grams, I’d need 14 cups of coconut water…again, almost 100 grams of sugar.

Claim 3: Coconut Water is Low in Sugar

You’ve probably heard marketing saying, “Coconut water is low in sugar.”

This is the claim that inspired me to write this post, because dietary fructose during the day is harmful (although I’m ok with a bit right before bed if it helps sleep…) There are 6 grams of sugar in a cup of coconut water, which contain exactly as much total fructose (55%) as the most common high fructose corn syrup.

Research from the Brazilian Pediatric Society identified the sugars contained in coconut water, detecting glucose, sucrose and fructose in the proportion of approximately 50, 35 and 15%, respectively, but their study did not relate whether these proportions remained constant during different months. The current study found that the proportions of these sugars varied depending on the stage of maturation of the coconuts: glucose, from 34 to 45%; sucrose, from 53 to 18% and; fructose, from 12 to 36%. (it was Paleo Hacks that turned me on to this research.)

Why coconut water works (probably)

There are documented beneficial effects from coconut water, but that doesn’t mean you should drink too much of it, or even drink it daily. It is ok as a work out drink, unless you’re in ketosis, in which case it’s a bad idea.

But the main benefits – like possibly lowering blood pressure – obviously come from the high potassium, moderate magnesium, and perhaps the arginine content. This is a classic anti-aging formula for controlling high blood pressure. The biohacker in me would argue that taking higher amounts of these in supplement form – with out the sugar – is a better long term strategy.

The other reason coconut water seems to work has to do with cytokinins (plant hormones) which are purported to have anti-aging, anti-cancer, and anti-thrombolytic effects. I haven’t done enough research on these to say how much they contribute to the effects, but I do know several anti-aging professionals who swear by fresh coconut water for a variety of powerful effects. But they always specify fresh, from the coconut, not the canned and pasteurized stuff you get from the store.

How I use coconut water

When I use coconut water, I get it fresh from young Thai coconuts, organic if possible. That naturally limits the amount I get, as the average coconut has less than 1 cup of juice anyway, and it’s a lot of work to open a dozen coconuts to get 12 cups of juice. I give the juice to my kids as a special treat and then we eat the amazingly good young coconut meat. Or if I’m on a day when I’m not limiting my carbs, I might blend the water with the meat and some ice to make an amazing smoothie. To make it more ice-cream like, I sometimes add a raw egg yolk (seriously, that’s what ice cream is made of…) and some erythritol or xylitol (sugar alcohols better for you than the fructose in coconut water) and vanilla. And if the kids are sick and need electrolytes, coconut water fresh from a coconut is great. (So is a pinch of salt in water…)

But I don’t normally give my kids the canned or bottled pasteurized coconut water just like I don’t give them soda. There’s little reason to waste your money – or your sugar intake – on bottled coconut water. Just take some potassium citrate and magnesium aspartate/citrate/malate and a quality mineral supplement like the one I recommend from Vitamin Research Products (I have no affiliate arrangement with them whatsoever).

It’s my sincere hope that this post guides you to drink coconut water on occasion, but not as some sort of magic health tonic with no downside. I’m not opposed to coconut water – I do give fresh stuff to my kids – but it has a downside and is best in moderation.  If you do drink it, remember you’re drinking 6 grams of sugar, which will have an effect on your metabolism. But definitely reach for coconut water long before you touch soda or orange juice!

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By Dave Asprey

  • I got interested in Mercola when he recommended egg yolks and sufficiently explained why consuming the raw whites wouldn’t result in B-vitamin deficiency.

    At some point, though, he became more interested in selling his STUFF and less interested in logical consistency or medically responsible advice. Which is kind of a dealbreaker if you’re trying to talk science.

    • Well said Naomi. As you said, some of his info is legit, but other things (like his “peak 8″ exercise routine”) are complete B.S.

      • Drsascha

        Hey Armi…….. I’m interested to know your thoughts on Mercola’s Peak 8 training. From the research it all looks pretty legitimate & logically makes sense in that it activates the super fast twitch muscle fibres which boosts Growth Hormone production & fat burning post exercise. Can you shed some light on why you think it’s BS????

        • Peak 8 exercises aren’t bad, but there is nothing special about them. Mercola is trying to make them sounds like some revolutionary new training method when there’s absolutely nothing new about them. I’ve been doing workouts like that since I was eight years old.

          There is also no such thing as “fast twitch” and “slow twitch” muscle fiber types. There is a spectrum from faster to slower, but the idea that there are three distinct types is completely wrong. There is no evidence the exact “peak 8” exercises are going to activate muscle fibers better than any other hard interval workout.

          Peak 8 is an okay workout, but its not magical or new. What bugs me is how Mercola is making it sound like something special – its not.

          Thanks for the question 🙂

        • Jade Othen

          I would like to let everyone know that to me, Peak 8 exercises ARE magic – I have cured myself of borderline diabetes and borderline addison’s disease to the point where I no longer need to take metformin, prednisolone or florinef. I am not the only one this has happened to. My husband coincidentally was also on prednisolone for low cortisol, until he started Peak 8 then he started to gain weight and stretch marks at an alarming rate as the exercises were increasing his own natural cortisol. He is also off his medication. When on pred he was so bad he had to stress-dose on a regular basis! Just my 2-cents. Mercola encourages people to take responsibility for their own health, and the information on his website is all FREE! I couldn’t criticise him for that.

      • Kira

        Armi, do you agree that raw eggs will not deplete you of Biotin? Also, do you think that the protein in the raw egg is digestible…there are some papers suggesting that not…Help:-))

        • Raw egg whites have an anti nutrient called avidin that blocks a small amount of biotin. Cooking the egg white removes about 30% of the avidin, but I don’t really worry about it. In order for it to make a significant difference, you’d have to be chugging massive amounts of raw egg whites – yuck. The only way egg whites are going to cause a problem is if you are already consuming super low amounts of biotin in the first place – something that doesn’t happen on the Bulletproof Diet.

          Egg whites are extremely digestible. The idea that they are “catabolic” or indigestible is a myth. Eat as many as you like, but I recommend you cook them first.

    • Sheila

      I totally agree with “at some point he became more interested in selling HIS STUFF”, but I do trust his science!!

  • Howard Lee Harkness

    My reading of Dr Mercola’s stuff over a period of about a year convinced me that he is right only by accident, much like a stopped clock is right twice a day. This guy thinks that microwaving anything (including plain water) renders it toxic (without specifying any particular mechanism, mind you). I think the guy is pretty much a quack, even though I agree with some of his stuff.

  • Guest

    What are your thoughts on steroids? It seems that, in moderation, they can bring a lot of benefits with minimal side effects.

    • Cool question! Its on the podcast:)

    • Dave Asprey

      synthetic steroids will do very bad things, but bioidentical replacement – even including cortisol, EPO, estrogen, testo, progesterone, dhea, pregnenolone – can be an amazing boost for longevity and quality of live for anyone over about 30. It is a far cry from “steriods” used by weight lifters.

  • I’ve been thinking that making kefir out of coconut water would be a win-win … it’d reduce the sugar and add some good bugs for the gut.

    • This sounds an excellent idea. I need to find some kefir starter and get on with it. Did you make any Beth?

  • Mike

    Dave, interesting article. I’ve been drinking coconut water post workout… After reading your article, I am not sure if I am doing the right thing or not. Is a cup of Coconut Water post workout ok, or did I fall into the trap?

    • I think a small amount of coconut water post workout is fine.

  • RadiantLux

    I started reading Dr. Mercola’s newsletter in 2003-04. I like that he teaches EFT to all of his patients. He recognizes the body-mind connection. I have tried a number of his ideas, some of which I still practice. I believe he was one of the charter members of the Weston A. Price Foundation. He was pro-saturated fat and teaching about pastured meat and dairy long before I heard it anywhere else. I live in the Chicago suburbs and I know people who have been treated by him personally. I attended his 2006 Health Conference. From what I can tell, he gets very excited about new things that he researches. Some of them do not stand the test of time and he stops mentioning them. His newsletter and website underwent a very commerical change around late 2006 – early 2007. I used to recommend his website for the excellent articles. It was my first go-to place to research anything healthwise. I had to unsubscribe because every headline was fear-based, like “What’s in your drinking water?”. I’m disappointed about this change. I think it has hurt his reputation and will tarnish the good that he has done and could still do.

    • Mercola does a lot of good, but he’s also extremely unscientific. Many of his products such as “Peak 8” exercises are bull shit. I think he is a net good in the world, but I can’t stand a lot of what he does.

      • Science

        Thats not truth they do the research, link to reports and videos all the time.

      • kamerdoc

        Peak 8 isn’t a “product” and why are you calling them bullshit?

    • Jet

      Well, i like the way he warns people about their health. To many people are unaware.. you want to hear good news only.. sorry, have to disapoint you again..

  • Expat

    I like this blog but you gotta lay off trashing Dr. Mercola. I have a feeling you are jealous of his fame sometimes and that is not good Karma. You know he has been doing this for many many years, when everyone thought he was a quack. For those of you who claim he is an alarmist I do not believe you understand what is really happening to this planet, to our health and to our personal liberty. I don’t see Dave’s blogs fight the good fight in protecting consumers from Gov Agencies and from Big Agra and Big Pharma. He could as he works in silicon valley… Mercola is putting is neck and wallet on the line. Regarding his selling products, he explained on Dr Oz he needed to pay for some of the expenses of running his site. I bought some of his products and will in the future because they are good products, just like I intend to purchase some from upgradedself to help out Dave and Armi.

  • Kira

    Guys, try half a cup of coconut water from young Thai coconut blended into a smoothie together with the yummy tender coconut meat – I add greens, chocolate ect….amazing! Not much sugar in this combo and for me is the most innocent sweat treat… And then I ferment the heck out the rest of the water – which does as I understand eliminate the sugar from the water. The resulting probiotic water (Kefir) is also an great addition to drinks, smoothies or on its own…try it! The only hard part is opening the coconuts…

  • Payam

    Dave or Armi,

    Have you done, and if not.. could you do a blog or podcast discussion of the arginine before bed of boost growth hormone idea? I would love to hear your discussion of the mechanisms and research on this. Including, but not limited to arginine before bed as oppossed to after or before a workout. Thanks

    • Hey Payam,

      Great question – will answer on the podcast 😀

  • In the middle of discussing coconut water, you suddenly switched to coconut milk: “There are 6 grams of sugar in a cup of coconut milk, which contain exactly as much total fructose (55%) as the most common high fructose corn syrup.

    “Based on Dr. Mercola’s own advice, one cup of coconut milk is 1/8 of his daily recommendation for total fructose consumption. But somehow that didn’t make it into his post…”

    Are those typos? (I can’t help it, I’m an editor.)

    • Dave Asprey


      Good eye. Yes, typos. ?

  • tibbs

    Never tried it fresh out of the coconut. Packaged coconut water – I’ve tried many different brands and containers – makes me instantly ill. So ill that, for example, after one drink while driving I had to pull over and recover for 20 minutes. Nausea, headache, dizziness. Every time. I finally gave up. Something in there does’t agree with me. I have the same reaction to spirilina. Enemy health foods I call them.

    • Dave Asprey

      That’s probably a mycotoxin or biogenic amine response to coconut water. Fresh may be different…

  • tibbs

    I love Dr. Mercola, he saved my life by reaching out to me and others in places where we could see him, and educating us about the difference between science and observational study. He told us that we weren’t crazy when we felt sick after eating whole grains, and he was the first one out there doing it. Saying he put his neck on the line doesn’t begin to tell the story.

    In recent years he is focused on other projects. I don’t resent him for it.

    If you want to trash a doctor with a public profile, trash Dr. Oz. That guy should be arrested for some of the things he tells people on TV. I work in a large international health food store in the supplement department. That guy is likely going to get sued for causing someone’s death in the not-too-distant future.

    • Dave Asprey

      Yes – Dr. Mercola has often been the first to share some information widely; I don’t dispute that. The problem is that he doesn’t act like any other blogger out there – he doesn’t share links with people who create content very well. The facts here are very clear about what he did and he even messaged me about it beforehand. It would have cost him nothing to give credit where credit is due – and the fact he didn’t do that really did anger some people who supported him, and it wasn’t fair to me. I guess when you’re “top dog” of health sites, you don’t have to be respectful of smaller sites who create really valuable content.
      As The Bulletproof Executive grows, I don’t plan on behaving in this manner. People who do good work deserve acknowledgement for it.

      • Zorica

        Yes, as this site grows, I hope you remain compassionate and as helpful and genuine as you are now. I plan on visiting and referring to this site for years to come. (In addition to Jack Kruses’ site). I’m only 27, so I have many years and life phases still left (menopause lol). I feel like I have a very good foundation to work from right now that will help me in the future, but of course in those times it will be nice to still have access to these sites.

        • Dave Asprey

          Thanks Zorica. I feel physically younger now than I did when I was young and unhealthy…but I have the benefit of some experience, and major brain hacking, to keep my level. I really don’t think I’m going to go all Darth Vader on my readers. ?

  • I love coconut water and have it pretty much daily. I’m fortunate to live in the Philippines, a tropical country where I have easy and affordable access to fresh coconuts, so I just drink it straight out of the coconut 🙂 and then I eat the meat after! A fresh coconut here costs 25 pesos (a little less than half a US dollar), but it is even cheaper in rural areas. We always have a supply of young coconuts here at home. I’m also a big fan of virgin coconut oil, especially for topical applications.

    I do believe that packaged coconut water is totally different, because of the added sugars and preservatives. I’ve tasted a few bottled and canned coconut water products and they don’t come anything close to the real thing which is just pure coconut water straight out of the fruit. Depending on the season, fresh coconut water varies in sweetness, but it usually only has a tinge of sweetness. Even though I have a sweet tooth, I actually prefer it when it’s less sweet– I don’t know how to describe the taste exactly, but it’s just so refreshing. And it’s amazing to think that I am drinking water that nature has purified and enriched for me– through the mechanism of the coconut tree’s roots and trunk.

    It’s great that Mercola and others are bringing so much attention to the benefits of coconuts, but I would only really recommend coconut water to people who live in a tropical country where you can get it fresh easily. You can still enjoy the benefits of coconuts with virgin coconut oil if you like, but maybe it’s better if you find a good natural oil that’s available in your area.

    Since I live in the Philippines, I take advantage of the local “super” fruits and veggies here like coconuts and moringa. It’s nothing special because every place in the world has their own array of “super” fruits and veggies. If you stick to what you have locally, you’ll enjoy it fresh, pure, and probably in the same manner that the culture in your area has enjoyed it for many generations. 🙂

    • Dave Asprey

      Well said! Fresh is way better.

    • crazymotherof2

      You are lucky to have it fresh in your hands at all times, yes I love fresh juice as well, but isnt available to me, so unfortunately I pay b t by e pr I ce and buy canned wster or juice. Cheers after reading the article I will drink less. As the sugars sound high, still b etter then other drinks

  • douglas gray

    This article switches from talking about coconut water to coconut milk, in the middle, then goes back to the water. Did you just make a mistake there? These are two different products.

  • ollnx

    Well, I don’t think Dr.Mercola is wrong about coconut water vitamin content. First of all, you should know that average availability of artificial vitamins (in pills) somewhere around 5%. There some really good researches out there on this topic. On the other hand, getting you vitamins from food is much more effective. Taking “artificial” vitamins in mega doses can and will through your system off balance. What you are doing here is comparing apples to oranges. Totally wrong approach. Plus you are switching from coconut water to coconut milk in your post… This makes no sense. And yes, coconut water is RELATIVELY low in sugar and free fructose (compared to soda and canned juices).
    I don’t really want to start discussing your unsupported claims about rising your IQ level and lowering you biological age. These claims are based on nothing but pseudo science and just plain silly.

  • danyboy

    i would just like to add that i think Dr. Mercola was talking about 100% coconut water not the cheap 10% coconut water. it’s like comparing sunny delight orange juice which has like 5% real juice and “simply orange” orange juice.

  • Justin

    The advanced essential minerals formula says it has folic acid. In your bulletproof supplement post, you say folic acid can cause cancer. Which one is correct? http://www.bulletproofexec.com/optimize-your-supplements/

  • acratillo

    so switching between coconut milk and water as it suits you is sound science? i find it only embarrassing

  • Tricia

    My coconut water doesn’t resemble the nutrition facts you have above, maybe you should be specific about the poor quality water you picked up, if you are going to publish facts do it properly and don’t take one low grade product and use that. I’m sure it doesn’t even come close to coconut water fresh from a coconut either. Do more research!

  • superbadkitty

    There are contradictory points in your article and whether it’s you or Mercola, I find it appalling how many people in this day and age live a life based on fear as a result of fear-mongers such as yourself and the likes of Mercola. Coconut water, according to you, even in its natural/organic form, is not to be taken regularly or else (or else…what, exactly?) but artificially manufactured supplements are ok to be taken religiously (which guarantees… what, exactly?). First close your eyes and tackle your fears. Then take a leaf out of Jack LaLanne’s book and eat nothing man-made and see how your body responds to nature. After that, come back and write a helpful article.

    • A garcia

      The author is a high fructose corn syrup promoter. I’ll drink coconut water any day over that corn syrup nonsense.

  • Leelee

    What about Coconut water Kefir? Wouldn’t that remove or reduce the “sugars” and magnify the benefits?

  • brothersun

    Dude! The fact that you are equating “fructose” (which is simply sugar from fruit) with “high fructose corn syrup” which is a serious health threat tells me that you are most likely being paid by Big Ag.

    • bob

      or hes an idiot

    • Venida

      Actually, fructose and HFCS have the same affects on the pH balance of the gut, which is where the problems due to sugars/starches thrive and exasperate. Most sugars, except for coconut crystals and a scant few others (that I do not use as coconut crystals have been everything to me), will contribute to the acidity of the gut. To stave off disease and most symptoms associated with aging, keeping the body’s system as alkaline as possible is the vital secret to longevity in wellness. When the gut becomes excessively acidic, it becomes the prime environment for yeast to thrive and start attacking your body from within. As far as pH balance in the gut is concerned, and we all should be vitally concerned about pH balance, a potato is the same as a banana is the same as a Snickers bar is the same as a bag of peanuts is the same as a bowl of chili…. sugars and starches that do not digest well (due to overconsumption, preservatives, vinegars, and other factors) result in acidity and disease. I feel this article is one of the most objective and well-researched arguments about the benefits of coconut water. I was drinking up to 5 cans of CoCoAloe each day and noticed a tremendous amount of bloating. I will definitely cut it down and reach for distilled water with Oxygen supplements to keep me alkaline throughout the day. Good luck everyone! And no,The Bulletproof Executive is far from being an idiot, at least just by going from this article.

      • Jordan

        You’re right, we all should be concerned with the pH balance in our gut, but the whole “keep your body alkaline” is a pseudyscience myth that is truly pretty ridiculous. First off your stomach is SUPPOSED to be acidic in order for the stomach enzymes to function properly and for the physical breakdown of foods by the acid. In fact a less acidic stomach would be a better habitat for yeasts to thrive you should know. As for the rest of your body, well, you’d be dead long before any significant changes were made to the overall pH. The body has its own mechanisms that often regulate themselves and pH is one of those. The pH of your blood is ~7.4; change that and oxygen will no longer bind or release properly.

        • Venida

          Enjoy your rectal yeast infection. Seriously, when you come at someone who is healing herself as “truly pretty ridiculous” indicates you really haven’t considered the message, only looking for buzzwords that get your opinions in a bunch. I’m pregnant now, at the age of 43, for the first time because I have kept my body at the proper pH. I noticed as I progress in my pregnancy, that I am able to process fruits that I couldn’t before. I am in tune with my health because I am paying particular attention to how food affects me. It may be pseudyscience (sic) to you, Jordan, but I’ll be making a good living spreading the joys of zero acid cuisine while loving my new family as a first time mother.

        • ModernEsther

          Prednisone is not an antibiotic. Use that to assess the trustworthiness of Vendia.

        • Venida

          It’s a steroid. Used google. Trusting the process.

        • Evan_Beezy

          You’re mistaking the stomach with the rest of the digestive system, guy and yards of intestinal tract. Too much sugar, nutrient deficiency, and processed food leads to an acidic gut (intestines) and becomes a breeding ground for a bad balance of good vs bad bacteria. These imbalances also lead to women having female problems due to unhealthy amounts of bad bacteria close to that area. Anyways the main point is the difference between the stomach and the intestines.

      • hkq999

        i thought fresh fruit had an alkaline effect on the body?

        • Venida

          From the research, and experience, I’ve done with Candida Diet, only tomatoes, limes and lemons are fruits that have an alkaline effect on the body. Here is a link that lists other fruits that are low enough in sugars to be added with moderation to a Candida-ending diet.


          Personally, I can’t eat any fruits without suffering some sort of reaction, albeit mild. I can do a day eating fresh strawberries but have to refrain the rest of the week, kinda thing. Our bodies all go through their own traumas in life, so please be kind and open to what your body is telling you about your lifestyle. I learned hard and fast and am still learning that daily adjustments is way healthier, and happier to manage, than lifelong boycotts.

          Good luck everyone! Just hitting my 2nd trimester mark now, and feeling so strong 🙂 Thanks definitely to my commitment to the candida diet. And now for some Coco-Aloe Taste Nirvana style.

        • A Karamichalis

          Best of luck and much health and happiness to you for the remainder of your pregnancy and beyond!

        • Saira

          Thank you for the post. I do agree with alot that you wrote. I myself am working on my asthma and GERD. Lemons and limes are good as far as being more alkaline but tomatoes are not good for GERD and promote acidity. I have done these experiments with foods on my body so am speaking with experience also. There is research done on tomatoes being bad when you have acid reflux. I think coconut water is awesome and even though high in sugar if one eats healthily throughout the day with more veggies and vegetable proteins then I do not see why some coconut water will do any bad. Thanks.

        • phissith

          I did a PH balance test and Vitacoco comes out 4.0 on the scale. How can it be alkaline with it is the opposite??

        • Venida

          It’s like lemons and limes, I’ve read, that they are acidic on their own but when we digest them, they have an alkaline effect on our system. This is why lemon water is often recommended as an anti-inflammatory before tea or coffee, even though tea and coffee have their researched benefits, caffeine and fungus have an acidic effect on the gut, so it’s about best managing the underlying problems specific to your health and wellness. Best of luck and keep researching — so much great information out there. I find it best to refer to a few resources and always put your experience as the determining factor of which foods help and which hurt.

        • Venida

          How are you doing with your asthma and GERD? I’m back to enjoying about 2 cans of Taste Nirvana CoCoAloe water and so happy! While I was pregnant I found that I could get away with eating and drinking some foods that aren’t the best for me (or my baby) and now that I have gotten off the candida diet, it is terribly difficult to get back on it (will power affected by carb cravings) — it’s truly best to stay on your course and not cheat, even though that week of chocolate cake was marvelous, my hands are so dry and my scalp is itchy. I celebrate anyone who can eat cake in moderation 🙂

        • Doro Rund

          All that you are sensitive to and describing sounds like histamine intolerance to me! Especially that you fpund relief during pregnancy.

        • Venida

          Yes, I do have an intolerance to histamine, as well as a host of other things LOL but getting it under control is truly as easy as managing my diet. The Candida Diet has turned my life around and I am aging more slowly now, plus I don’t have hay fever or rashes that plagued my for most of my life. Adolescence was NO BUENO!! Fortunately for my son, he’s being breast fed and we limit our fruit and grains intake eliminating gluten and corn, caffeine and all sugars except coconut crystals.

          There are so many maladies that can be managed by the Candida Diet. I’m just fortunate to have discovered the truth that doctors and most people really do not ever discuss — yeast is killing our gut’s flora, and that’s a manageable problem.

        • Doro Rund

          Wow, my greatest respect for you! I got my lifelong eczema and chronic fatigue under control with a diet low in histamine, fructose, oxalates…, also most of the things I ate boiled and steamed. hm I mostly ate like the autoimmune protocol but with some white rice, eggs, butter and with my restrictions. It was very hard and I didn´t have much time for social life during that time and I still have to be careful (but ascorbid acid IVs gave me another boost in health so that I tolerate much more now) but I gained so much! My life is not the same, I´m a total different person! Hm but I can tolerate Saccharomyces boulardii which is a yeast. But I definetely have a candida problem but the anti-candida diet plus nystatin didn´t help at all. What helped was giving my gut some rest. I´m 28 now and I feel and look better than when I was 18! Thank you so much for sharing your story!

        • Robtechno

          except tomatoes they promote acidity. If you are so health conscious why did you drink 5 can of coconut water a day and didn’t do your research before you started.

        • Venida

          zzzzzzzzz life, live it as a process, always be leveling up, recognize automatic responses as clues to where change may manifest. drink 5 cans of coconut water if it means not drinking 5 cups of coffee. research your experiences backed with support from others going through the same challenges, and be aware that many symptoms are camouflaged. Above all, see haters for what they are and hug your healthy 1 year old a little tighter when he wakes from his nap. zzzzzzzz

      • Jonathan Seidman

        1, why were you drinking 5 cans? that’s excessive in and of itself, yes?
        2, maybe the excessive drinking was the cause of the bloating?
        3, perhaps it was all the fiber from drinking 5 cans of coconut water that was causing the bloating?

        • Venida

          Hi, Jonathan 🙂 Yeah, 5 cans was totally excessive and I have since cut back to 2 max. When I first came across this article, I was on the candida diet to help reverse over 4 decades of abuse and systemic yeast overgrowth. I am proud of what I have been able to heal on my own, and to the outright confusion of medical professionals none of whom have provided any additional insight or assistance in my turnaround. I now am at a normal weight and more importantly, my dis-ease of skin, immunity and gut have all vanished. I am also a very happy first-time mother of a 6 month old, naturally, at 44 years old. I think I was overdosing on Coconut water because it was in my nature to overdo things. At the time, I was seriously malnourished and I was overcompensating with vitamins. When I was able to moderate my nutrient intake, cravings ceased, my body seemed to be able to process nutrients more efficiently, and I am the healthiest I have ever been in my life, as well as the healthiest member in my family (none of whom are on the candida diet). Best of luck and yeah, no more bloat… only baby bump #2…

        • raxram

          Hi venida. looks like i am in the same boat as you. suffering malnutrition and malabsorption. please guide me with the details of your symptoms and treatments. doctors and medicines are not helping and my organs are at stake. ‘preciate. please connect with me on facebook.

    • Robin

      The thing that makes high fructose corn syrup bad IS the FRUCTOSE and NOT the CORN. HFCS is cheap, so we are being inundated with fructose because people eat/buy more of their products when sweeter. Also, heavy metals have been detected in HFCS, probably due to the processing done to turn the glucose from the corn starch into fructose.

      Yes, fructose does NOT raise blood glucose (or blood sugar) because there is no test that measures blood fructose. It makes you insulin resistant, and leads to fatty liver,diabetes, hypertension, irritable bowel, etc., etc.

      Yes, fructose is “merely” fruit sugar. The problem is the unprecedented quantities of fruit sugar we are eating, much more than anyone could eat from real fruit because of the fiber in it. Example: No one could eat 5-10 oranges, but it is easy to get the sugar from that many oranges in a glass of orange juice.

      BTW because of people like you with this misunderstanding, corporations are NOW CALLING HFCS “FRUCTOSE” instead on their labels.

  • Jay Wilson

    I have no idea who this Mercola clown is — or you for that matter…. but to my mind, you have not clearly outlined the downside of coconut water at all here. Nor have you explained why canned or bottled coconut water isn’t just as awesome. Besides… 14g of carbs per pint of an otherwise very healthful fluid should not be considered an issue for you or your kids. A can of coke (about a half pint) has nearly four times the carbs. Just sayin’.

  • rk

    Hello! As someone who healed through taking Organic whole food supplements! It seems wise not go try and take large amounts- say 50-100 mg of B-vitamins! I would say source is the most important factor in choosing what form of Vitamin and minerals one will take! I healed from whole food ( standard process supplements) in these supplements they contained on average of all b- vitamins- between 2-10 mg, So It is not by weight ( mg) that one should look, but to source ( organic) non chemically altered or bonded ( citrate, malate) that one should look! I say this as 1000’s of people have healed through food sources not Isolated sources of Vitamins and minerals!

    I have had numerous people who were taking 100 mg by many different brands ( b- vitamins) who’s levels were still coming up low- it weight ( mg) If this was the answer, their levels would of most likely be in the healthy range! So it is source of where you are getting your b-vitamins, not weight that is most important!
    So finalizing food it is seems is almost always the best source for Nutrients- Coconut water had trace amounts of minerals ( besides large levels of potassium), but the body utilizes this form so much better- You are what you assimilate- not what you eat- We each have different bio chemistries!

    If one truly want to understand Coconut water look to Dr. Bruce Fife! Some people say he is the foremost expert in the world on Coconut water and Coconuts ( oil) and it’s health benefits in general. His Book Coconut water for health and healing won the Nautilus Book Award! Good read!
    If one studies the tropical cultures of the world, you will see the healing and health benefits of these cultures- its called observation- someday science will most likely prove most of it. But for Now I will continue to feel fantastic using Hydro Cocco’s ( coconut nutrients) to add to my water!

    • Zorica Vuletic

      Hi RK,

      After last Fall having sat with an infection that lasted for ~4 months and using no ‘supplements’ of any sort I ended up introducing various supplements starting in late Nov. I continued with an array of supplements until about May. In that time I greatly benefited from these supplements and ‘recovered’.

      Now that I’m back on track and fully healthy again I do not need any extra supplements outside of good food.

      I think supplements have a time and place and should be used and/or considered wisely. In my case, I used them as medicative/curative.

      I prefer to be able to only rely on whole foods, but if situations arise where something happens and food alone is not adequate, then by all means, I adjust accordingly.

      There’s a few things I’ve learned over the last two years which I think will lesson my chances of running into issues.

      Of course, my goals for life in general are a bit different from Dave Asprey’s, but I am very happy for many tips which he has imparted.



  • Kathleen

    One comment – you are discussing coconut water through the information and then at the end when you discuss the fructose you then compare with coconut milk instead of coconut water. Is this a typo or purposeful deception given there is a considerable difference between the nutrition of coconut water and coconut milk?

  • Michael Paladino

    After training last week I had a combo of protein powder,createn powder and coconut oil in my shake. After 40 minutes my eyes blew up and my throat started to close up. I called ambulance and took antihistamine . At hospital they gave me some steroids and finally after 2 hours my eyes went down. Took me 3 days to be back to normal,,doctor thinks the combo of powders and coconut did me in…ps. I’m fine with peanuts.

  • Daniel

    Re: L-Arginine, article should say “increasing nitric oxide levels” rather than “nitrous oxide”. They are not the same.

  • Recent convert

    I have recently started drinking coconut water, the canned stuff that is 99.9% pure. Pandaroo is the brand. Love the taste and it’s got to be better than coke.

  • Coco queen

    You are full of bs. I grew up with coconuts for 21 years and had large amts of every kind of coconut, water, milk, jelly, you can imagine, I am 83 and take no
    Vitamins or minerals. I have lots of energy. Only take a blood thinner. I am diabetic but for 20 plus years I take no meds. Get blood test e ery 3 mos. coconut is a miracle food. You seem to be a know it all.

    • Oldbag

      Could you be diabetic from all the sugars you consumed early in life?

      • Rinish Raj

        U wont have diabetes even if you consume a bag of sugar…….Diabetes happens when your Pancreas stops working thus stops making insulin. I was diagnosed when I was 8 yrs old……

  • Luke

    From personal experience know that coconut water is awesome! I trained thai boxing in Thailand for ten months. Training in Thailand is 6 hours of hardcore training a day in 35 to 40 degree weather and 100% humidity.. Sweaty to say the least. I would come out of a day of training completely exhausted and feeling really dehydrated. There was nothing like fresh coconut water to make me feel full of energy and rehydrated. Coconut water is pure magic potion straight out of Asterix and Obelix. I think you go a little overboard sometimes with the fructose thing. Coconut water has many great benefits which is easy to tell just by drinking it and seeing how it makes you feel when you are low on energy and dehydrated.

  • cynthiab_77504

    I drink one 8 oz. glass of coconut water a day. All of them are not created equal. I use Cocohydro. It comes as a powder and has 5 g sugar per serving. The packaged ones contain 12g to 22 g and they don’t taste good to me. We must all read labels. I also use coconut milk and oil but I u
    se them by the measured tsp.

  • julie brennan

    I drink several cans a day of coconut water, more then I drink water, its more refreshing, what is the downside apart from the natural sugars. I love mine ice cold from the freezer. Its expensive but worth it to MN e to keep my fluids up, ive gone off diet, coke, cordial and othrr drinks, no cofee or alchohol, so I justify the cost. However it hasnt made me lose weight, but my skin us nicer. Keeps the bowels open. And feel really refreshed after its been so hot, or with my hot flushes…cheers

  • Jana

    you said ‘coconut milk has 6g of sugar’. coconut milk is not the same as coconut water. so how many grams of sugar does coconut water have?

  • Sophie

    Health is health not something to fight over ‘who knows the facts’.

    Petty! And extremely unattractive. Especially for someone who is portraying health. Dr Mercola seems genuine whereas there is something so unnecessarily narcissistic about this entire website that is very unattractive. ‘Macho’ mid life crisis’ please!

  • Eric

    Given the crap fruit drinks parents give children coconut water is very low in sugar. The other nutritional parts of the water are better than most of the other crap. Gotta live the poison parents give kids with sports drinks that are loaded with sugar.

  • l3it3r

    Drinking a can of coconut water right now. Looking at the ingredients : 100% natural coconut water. Where’s that added sugar, the preservatives?

    C2O Pure Coconut Water, LLC makes this one and I HIGHLY recommend it.

  • Missy

    Omg I love the sound of that recipe for coconut milkshake! This article is also an interesting one.

  • Ayodigi Burse

    I’m sorry but obviously this article isn’t speaking of coconut water directly from the coconut which would not have and ingredient label. Im willing to bet that Mercola was speaking of coconut water that you personally crack the coconut and pour the water from and not some product from a package with a label. STOP CONSUMING PROCESSED PRODUCTS.

  • persistentone

    You discuss making your own electrolyte mixture from potassium citrate, sodium, etc. Do you have an article that discusses the exact proportions and quantities?

  • Rinish Raj

    In the middle…u jumped from coconut water to coconut milk. There is a big diff between the two so if you think water is also called “milk” then you are wrong sir.

  • Rinish Raj

    As a child in a tropical Island Fiji……I never saw people dying or
    getting sick from coconut water. When one got sick….we would go in the
    backyard & get diff herbal plants, bush, lemons, lemon leaves, paw
    paw ……name it & it was there….all green home grown vegies,
    fruits, herbs etc & one would heal in few days. No doctors needed,
    no antibiotics etc. The minute we came to Australia….a world of health
    problems. Infact today I’m alive by having dialysis 3 times a week in
    hospital & am in a wheelchair plus I have another incurable disease.
    Am not even 40 yet. I believe if we were still in Fiji…..I would have
    been much better than my present state.I Think the more scientists & doctors dig into this in the name of research , the more problematic it gets. One day they say pizza is bad for you, next day in the news it says ” research shows that pizza can stop heart attacks” BS…..Just stick to the natural world & all will be good. Go live in Fiji people….it’s paradise..

  • Organic wholefoods

    Wow, what a load of rubbish. And Mr Mercola is just as bad. A sucker born every second, reading blog posts like this and the responses just makes it even more obvious.
    Sad really.

  • Random Viewer

    You, sir are a jealous shambles.

  • Jay mans

    Coconu water is awesome for pushing hard workouts. I use it for my HIIT,and so far,hasnt affected my fat burning.On higher carb days,Ill drink 50 carbs worth,just to spike metabolism. Moderation really is the key overall on the balances of life. Too much or too little = negative.

  • shan

    Dr. Mercola’s article was about fresh coconut water from the young coconut fruit directly. Not the store bought processed kind.

  • Sam Bond

    Dear Sir/Madam

    I am Sam from Thailand

    Frist, We would like to introduce our company, Thai Coconut. It was established in 1992 is a manufacturer who (OEM) produces products from coconut (Non organic), which we transformed to various products such as coconut milk, coconut water/juice, coconut water concentrate 60 Brix, desiccated coconut and etc.

    1. Canned Coconut Milk / Cream

    2. Tetra Brik Coconut Milk

    3. Coconut Milk For Industry -Aseptic Bag

    4. Coconut Juice/ Water

    5. Pure Coconut Water

    6. Coconut Water For Industry -Aseptic Bag

    7. Coconut Milk Beverage

    8. Desiccated Coconut

    Please looking the attached file.

    The coconut milk, we have produce in various percentage of fat such as CCM 5-7%fat, 8-9%fat, 10-11%fat, 12-13%fat, 14-15%fat, 17-18%fat, 19-20%, 21-22%fat, 22-24%fat packed size 165ml, 400ml, A10 and the size 20 kg, 200 kg pack in aseptic bags and packed in Tetra brick size 250ml , 1000 ml. The minimum of printing under ” Private Brands” of the tin cans and aseptic bags is 1×20’ft, UHT 250ml and 1000ml is 5×20’ft.

    The coconut water/juice, we packed in tin cans are the size 350 ml, 520 ml and aluminum cans are the size 310 ml, 480 ml, UHT 1000 ml (Prisma shape) and we also pack in bulk packing in aseptic bag 20kg, 200kg (single strength). The minimum of printing under ” Private Brands” of the tin cans is 2×20’ft. and the aluminum cans is 5×20’ft, Aseptic bag is 1×20’ft, UHT 250ml and 1000ml is 5×20’ft.

    Term of payment : 100% T/T 7 days before loading

    If you have any questions please let me know.

    I have look forward to having you as our new customer soon.

    Any question, please let me know.

    Email: santipot@gmail.

    Tel: +6686-999-4177

    Skype: teflsupreme

    Kind Regards



    Tel: +6686-999-4177

    Skype: teflsupreme

    Head Office

    Supreme (TEFL & Placement), Thailand

    71/4 Moo.1 Muban.Rung-Piti-Win Tambon.Tha-Sala

    Amphoe.Mueang Lopburi 15000 Thailand

  • same here

    You must be using a brand of coconut water that is not pure coconut water. The label in the article does not reflect that of 100% coconut water

  • Venkatesh

    Only Young Coconut Water is meant for drinking! on other hand mature coconut water is left over after coconut bi-products are made, it is very cheap in comparison to Young Coconut Water. You need to watch out, it is common that majority of the coconut water products in the market use either mature coconut or mix of both. You may want to try DCOCO Young Coconut Water to taste the real difference. Don’t be surprised to know taste of the coconut water will vary from country to country depending on the breed of the coconut, soil, water and climatic conditions and people generally prefer to the taste what they are used to..

    DCOCO Young Coconut Water

  • john taylor

    I have just found this article,the moment i had finished drinking more than half litre of a carton of pure coconut water called Nyogi.I have been in the Philippines for 4 months and started drinking fresh coconut water one every day.I noticed how much healthier I was feeling.Although Coconuts are growing everywhere here it is not so easy to get hold of them as they seem destined for some other production purpose.I now crave this water.I hope this is sound advice and will research further.This has just ruined my day.What I have noticed is the great health and increased growth of my fingernails.I also have noticed a great improvement in my intestines which I have always had problems with.I notice the improvement as soon as i drink the water every day as sometimes the carton is not available also and I have a week or 2 without.


    Nice collection of data and firm conclusion. Thanks. btw – cytokinins seem to be conflicted in their effects on humans. In addition to rejuvenation properties, I believe they may promote metastasis by melanomas.

  • blastoffgirl

    I think all of this is total crap – so this man is giving his kids supplements, yet there is no solid evidence that vitamin and mineral supplements work. Secondly, where is Venedia getting her “secret to life” information? Blood alkalinity is a diet practice – not a recognized secret to longevity. Ask any one who is 90 y.o. if they measured their blood pH on a weekly basis. Jordan is 100% correct -as a biochemist – i.e. not reading Wikipedia – your body has a pH of around 7.0 – your stomach has a pH of 2.0 – and long as HCL is present – which it always will be – this will not change. Let’s talk about fructose – naturally occurring fuctose is just fine – period. The crap they put into anything in wrapper on a shelf is processed, although there plenty of studies that show high fructose corn syrup doesn’t do squat. I find it ironic that this gentleman limits a natural occurring subtance and then substitutes it with stuff in a bottle – how about eat a banana? I have no idea how any of this is relevant for the products he pushes – which are,once again, manufactured food. Period. I have been traveling to the Mediterranean area for years and will stay 2-3 weeks at a time. They have ZERO snacks. They eat pasta, melon, dryer hams, a shot of expresso and some meat, but not much. I eat like this when I am there and at home. Every one in Italy for example, is thin. There is no obesity epidemic in these countries. Why? Because they eat. Thay is why. They do not over think it – they do not go on this insane diets like we do here – they do not listen to BS science and run out and start measuring their blood pH levels, and they enjoy life. They live long and look damn good right up in their 80s and plus. They do not apples, strawberries, etc. It is melon, figs, and bananas, lots of bread (homemade) and tons off the best olive oil money can buy (you should try to avoid cheap olive oil here)

    • Respectfulguest

      I agree…as one who goes to Greece often throughout my life–just like in Italy, they eat well, home cooked food, even in small restaurants, lots of olive oil, only fresh and not processed food, no junk food snacking, and lots of vegetable dishes AS WELL AS salads–also one thing that Greeks and Italians do that Americans do not do is WALK–as evening entertainment, to go to the stores, to do chores, etc. They don’t have to put on special ‘work out’ clothing and sneakers to establish a ‘look’ like Americans do to exercise. They just do it –all day and every day. I also try to do that back in the US, and yes, when I don’t have a dog with me, and I am dressed for the day, I may look out of place taking that quick walk around the block for exersise, but seriously, who cares–and YES, you can walk in shoes that are not sneakers, and you can walk in real clothes. JUST DO IT!

  • blastoffgirl

    Sorry for clogging this thread – as you can tell, I am very against these websites and their
    ridiculous claims. This man is talking 100% about no one else – just him and his family. If you are getting up and feeling good, you are most likely eating the right mix of complex carbs, protein and naturally occurring vitamins, minerals and electrolytes. Go to any tribe or indigenous people living in remote places on this planet – they don’t know about any of this BS. They do not need books written. In how to eat – they eat what they need. Lastly -if you are pregnant at 43 it is most likely due to the fact that the father of your child has a very high sperm count, and you are still churning out eggs and not going thru menopause any time soon. Stop reading Wikipedia (yiu have no idea what makes the pH and the role and function of K and Mg in protein pumps, the heart and in every cell of our body and the chemistry and physics behind it) and get a good cookbook and start cooking all your meals, do not buy any food thay comes in packaging and yiu will be great. AND stop eating processed sugar – like Chips Ahoy of Prep cookies, do not elimate watermelon – these are pure fruits and vegetables and they are broken done to glucose and amino acids – the fuel of our body – easily. The most important thing we pay attention to in matters HCL is over secretion of gastric juices, which has nothing to do with pH but rather an overproduction of acid – the pH of the stomach doea change – if it does, there goes our abimity to breakdowb food. When overproduction. Of acid occurs (such as heartburn) people most often take PPIs (nexium for example)- proton pump inhibitors – stop the overproduction of gastric juices. These are not the best remedies for heart burn or reflux. The food you eat when yiu have GIRD or ulcers will cause you to buckle.over I pain. SO this article is bogus. Yiu don’t give supplements to kids, and stop measuring blood pH and eat like yiu live in a place that does not have a Target or Doritoes and I guarantee you will feel better. Oh, and don’t let the high fructose corn syrup in nature our ring food scare you. At all.

  • JC1982

    You said, “For comparison, I take 200mg of thiamin and riboflavin per day, or the amount found in 2,700 cups of coconut water.”

    100% DV of Thiamin is 1.5 mg and for Riboflavin it’s 1.7 mg.

    How is the fact that you’re taking over 100 times the DV of Thiamin and Riboflavin daily any kind of valid comparison?!

  • libby

    No food contains 200mg of thiamine. It just doesn’t exist naturally. So comparing the thiamine contents of coconut water to a vitamin pill is not an appropriate comparison at all. And 8 grams of carbs in coconut water is awesome compared to 27 grams of carbs (26 grams of sugar) in apple juice. In fact, nutrition wise, coconut water tops apple juice too.

  • mauiskye1

    You stick to your supplements, I’ll take my coconut water in moderation anytime!!

  • mauiskye1

    HFCS means that I immediately can not hold my pee. Coconut water does not. So what’s the diff??

  • Suzan Wright

    God bless Dr. Moonlight for his marvelous work in my life, I was diagnosed of Diabetes since 2014 and I was taking my medications, I wasn’t satisfied i needed to get the Diabetes out of my system, I searched about some possible cure for Diabetes then i saw a comment about Dr. Moonlight, how he cured Diabetes with his herbal medicine, I contacted him and he guided me. I asked for solutions, he started the remedy for my health, he sent me the medicine through UPS Courier Service. I took the medicine as prescribed by him and 3 weeks later i was cured from Diabetes, Dr. Moonlight truly you are great. Do you need his help also? Why don’t you contact him through moonlightherbalremedy@gmail.com Thanks.

  • Paula Fye

    Hi. I just want to add that not all brands of coconut water have the same sugar content. some companies actually add a lot of fructose to it, as I found out. I drink it for only one reason, hydration. And I don’t care what your experts say, I KNOW that it helps in this regard. I have a problem with hydration, and water alone just doesn’t hydrate me well. So I drink coconut water. I like Zola Brand the best.

  • Stella Childress

    I drink the coconut water for the potassium, and the coconut water I buy, for the ingredients says coconut water only. I make sure it has no added ingredients like high fructose or sugar and other items I do not like.