Coconut water, coconut milk, coconut oil, coconut butter (yup)... we've collectively become a culture of coconut. Why can't we get enough of this palm tree fruit? Simple: It's a healthy alternative that still tastes satisfying.  

Coconut water continues to be the most popular and healthy coco byproduct, and by 2021, coconut water will be a $7.09 billion-dollar global industry. Here are all the questions people have about coconut water and the coolest new trends making this healthy drink extra delicious.  

What counts as real coconut water?  

Coconut water is the liquid extracted from young, green coconuts aged roughly 6-9 months. Yes, mature coconuts also hold water but it tends to be bitter. Mature coconuts are cheap to buy, and many mainstream coconut water brands mask the taste with globs of sugar. So the best coconut water comes from young'uns, especially those bottled at the source in Vietnam and Thailand. Soil type can alter the taste of coconut water too, ranging from sweet to acidic.  

Is coconut water from concentrate legit? 

Coconut water by any other name... isn't as good. Coconut waters at the store may specify their product is made from "concentrate," and it means they're using coconut syrup. That's how concentrate is made; coconut water is pulled from coconuts and then turned into a syrup and later mixed with water. Concentrate loses a substantial amount of the natural boom-shakalaka benefits of pure coconut water. Making coconut water from concentrate is cheaper, but not worth your bananas.  

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How many calories does coconut water have? 

More flavorful than water, coconut water is naturally low in calories. It's common for ready-to-drink (RTD) coconut water to add sugar for taste but sugar adds calories. Quality coconut water won't have added sugar. The light tropical nature of the water itself is refreshing enough to quench and satisfy the desire for hydration with flavor.  

If your coconut water tastes like soda, chuck it.   

Are there added benefits? 

Many. Apart from taste, coconut water is loved because it hydrates and has extra nutrients and minerals. Namely, potassium. Coconut water is naturally potassium-rich- a nutrient missing in the American diet, despite its abundance in real fruits and veggies. Potassium is vital for the body, fortifying both cellular and electrical functions. It "regulates the water balance and the acid-base balance in the blood and tissues" in a way similar to sodium, but can enter the cells more readily. Potassium is essential for the metabolism and muscle growth also.  

Coconut water naturally contains calcium and magnesium in addition. So you might be thinking... 

Is coconut water a workout drink? 

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Bring a bottle to your next workout. Studies show coconut water is as beneficial as a carbohydrate-electrolyte sport drink in promoting rehydration after exercise. Of course, that all depends on how much you're sweating (5k or ultra-marathon?). Some experts say that coconut water can rehydrate from even the most grueling, sweat-drenched workouts. Just pair with a handful of salty pretzels. This is great news, considering sports drinks tend to contain sugar and artificial additives.  

Wait, there are more benefits...  

It's also worth noting; coconut water has been proven to fend off oxidative stress; contains biologically active compounds used that benefit the gut and promotes rehydration; and can benefit the circulatory system that can be hindered by high fructose diets.   

Health benefits associated with coconut water are driving the drink's popularity- especially in non-tropical regions where coconuts don't grow from trees. Busier lifestyles, heightened awareness of personal health, and the desire to 'hydrate-plus' is driving coconut water to new heights.  

Can coconut water be flavored? 

Heck to the yes, coconut water can be flavored. Adding real fruit juice to coconut water is delicious and doesn't add artificial or chemical ingredients to an already natural, good-for-you drink. Some people struggle to adjust their palates to the earthy, subtly sweet taste of coconut water, so adding fruit flavor can be an entry point.  

Flavors can add calories, but not many. In fact, bottled flavored coconut water is trendier than plain coconut water, growing faster and innovating the category. "Improving" the taste of plain coconut water has brought a new fan into the coconut crew, and new options to diversify our coconut water addictions. Just remember: go with a splash of real fruit juice- avid adding non-fructose sugars.  

The coolest trend is sparkling coconut water... 

Sparkling water has become the unofficial drink of our age. It's crisp, refreshing, light, and hydrating. Fusing sparkling water with coconut water was a wild dream for a while but now it's a reality. This CO2-infusion is revolutionizing the way we hydrate. Sparkling coconut water , especially served cold, is proven to be more thirst-quenching because of its carbonation. Meanwhile, flavor variations with lime, peach, and natural fruit juices are taking the place of sugary cocktail mixers.   

Sparkling coconut water has been called one of the key trends leading the growth of the category, and we're happy to report the drink is as satisfying as it sounds.   

What's coconut milk then? 

Rewind. Coconut milk is not coconut water. Coconut milk is physically made by people from the coconut flesh when the meat is ground and squeezed, resulting in a milk-like drink that is higher in calories than the water but lower than most traditional milks. Coconut water, meanwhile, is the liquid already existing in the coconut.  

When's the best time to drink coconut water? 

As an enzyme and mineral-rich beverage, coconut water delivers an instant boost of energy. It's especially great to drink early in the morning on an empty stomach, before or after a workout, pre and post-meals, before going to bed, and even as an aid to overcome a hangover. 

In fact, people have rallied behind drinking this natural palm beverage all day, every day. 

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Celebs and fitness experts swear by coconut water. 

Drinking coconut water has become a modern metaphor for having your life together. And who better to verify the power of coconut water than musicians and actors. Famous people have the dough to figure out what makes you fit, healthy, and glowing. They get diamond facials, personal trainers, and they swear by coconut water.