Coconut water? You’re better off
eating a banana, says Choice
PEOPLE who buy expensive branded coconut water drinks because of their advertised health benefits are wasting their money, says the consumer group Choice.
Choice says there is little evidence that coconut water – commonly sold at gyms and yoga centres – has the health benefits claimed by marketers.
These include that it assists with rapid hydration, weight loss, can improve skin tone and help with digestion.
Choice spokeswoman Ingrid Just says gyms are selling coconut water, which retails for up to $4 a bottle, as an alternative to sports drinks.
“While coconut water does contain electrolytes and a small amount of carbohydrates, it’s not specifically formulated in the same way a sports drink is for athletes,” Ms Just says in a statement.
“It is not the best way to recover lost fluids after intense exercise.”
She says it is much cheaper for consumers to buy a banana than a bottle of coconut water if they wanted a good source of potassium – another claim made by advertisers.
“For a fraction of the cost, eating a banana will give you the same amount of potassium as many of the coconut water drinks on the market,” says Ms Just.
She says there are more than 15 brands of coconut water on the Australian market, with most made by Coca-Cola Amatil and PepsiCo.
The value of the industry in Australia has not yet been calculated, but in the United States the market was estimated at $350 million in 2012, Choice says.