Beat the Heat with Coconut Water

There’s something about the first couple days of heat that always gets to me. Even though summer hasn’t officially begun, it’s been unseasonably hot here in Missouri. After sweating all day on the farm, I come home feeling worn out and dehydrated.

The one thing that really helps me adjust to summer temperatures is coconut water.

Coconut water – not to be confused with coconut milk – is the juice from young, green coconuts.

It’s higher in electrolytes than artificial sports drinks and has more potassium than a banana, making it the perfect beverage for summer.


In addition to being a natural sports drink, coconut water is fat-free, low in calories, and super delicious. It’s flavor is sweet-salty, slightly tart, and decidedly coconut-y.

You can find coconut water at Whole Foods, health food stores, Asian markets, Mexican markets, and larger grocery stores. Two of my favorite brands – O.N.E. and Vita Coco – come in juice boxes, which I’ll admit is kind of fun in itself. You can also find organic brands such as Nature Factor.

I like to drink chilled coconut water straight from the box, but it’s also wonderful in smoothies. Try it in this Mango and Passion Fruit Smoothie.

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Top image courtesy of snowpea&bokchoi via a Creative Commons license. Bottom image courtesy of Mik Canavan via a Creative Commons license.

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About the Author

I’m an ecologist turned journalist turned farmer-in-training. I’m currently working on an organic farm and creamery in Illinois.

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  • Zach

    i absolutely love coconut water. was drinking it like crazy the last year i lived in the states — was working outside a lot that year and this stuff was so refreshing. i liked the Zico brand a little more, but essentially the same as “O.N.E.”. Of course, you can always try getting it out of young coconuts — normally available at Whole Foods.

  • Carl

    I do not like it at all. The smell and taste remind me of rotten milk.

    • I wasn't too crazy about it the first time I had it either, Carl. Definitely an acquired taste for some of us! :)

    • Rachel Shulman

      Which brand did you try? There is a ton of variability in coconut water. Some brands are pretty yucky!

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  • britteny

    i agree that coconut water is amazing.. but vita coco is the absolute best one. there are some that are gross, and alot of the coconut waters claim to be pure but aren't. vita coco is the only one i've found that actually is pure!

    • Interesting! Man, there sure are some nasty ones out there. Do you think variation in coconut water flavor has to do with purity?

  • I don’t think I could have made it through this summer without Vita Coco. I’m a long distance runner, and the combination of heat and humidity this summer made running pretty difficult, fortunately Vita Coco helped me feel hydrated after a workout pretty quickly. I would drink one before and after, Vita Coco alwasy helped me feel refreshed and energized! Love this stuff

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