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The first time I tried coconut was at my cousins house in Honduras. Coconut is everywhere, and I mean everywhere there. If you’re not buying it on the side of the road.. then you’ll find shreds of it in your soup or it’s milk in your drink. All I can say is I didn’t care for it and left the memory of its awful taste there.

Well, recently I haven’t been able to get away from it. t In the past year, drinking coconut water has become the “in” thing. Manufacturers are calling it the “healthier alternative to sports drinks.” I became suspicious.. was this an advertising gimmick? or is it really that beneficial that its worth downing the horrid taste?

In August, a class-action lawsuit was filed against both the makers of Vita Coco and O.N.E , for bogus health claims. The lawsuits claimed that each company is deceiving consumers about the actual nutrient levels in their products, and, by extension, the companies’ claims of their products providing superior hydration benefits amount to fraud and false advertising.

The lawsuit recently ended with a settlement. The manufacturer, All Market Inc., agreed to pay up to $5 million in refunds AND to change its labeling in order to reflect more accurately the electrolyte levels and nutrients in the beverage.

Coconut water is the clear liquid inside a coconut, it is extracted from young coconuts,when the proportion of water to meat is highest. In countries like Central America, coconut water is served fresh directly from the fruit. In recent years, the coconut water fad has caught on in the United States, with several popular brands giving it the status of the “better” version of the neon sports drinks.

An article on Huffington Post said that a new study from the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition concluded that there is not much difference in hydration or exercise performance when one drinks  plain water, Vita Coco coconut water or an unspecified carbohydrate-electrolyte based sports drink.

When it comes down to it, coconut water is not necessarily the healthier alternative. It does its job, but it’s not better than water. So pay no attention to the marketing claims by company A or company B. The truth is always much less sexy.

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