Coconut water is the most disgusting and overpriced drink on earth
So why does everyone love it?
I wanted to like coconut water. I really did. It’s the avocado of the water world. Did you know a single bottle of the tropical stuff contains more calcium than a herd of cows, and more potassium a thousand bananas? Of course you did, because coconut water is everywhere: in supermarkets, in gyms, in sexy adverts on beaches featuring Rihanna.
So eventually I caved in and bought a bottle. But instead of lapping it up like everyone else, I spat it out. It was disgusting. It tasted like salt, sweat and dirt mixed together. Then the aftertaste kicked in. It was as if someone had somehow bottled that city sewer stench on a hot summer’s day and turned it into a drink. Thinking about it still makes me gag. I was told I was wrong and to try a different brand, so splashed out on Innocent. I spat it out again. The litre bottle is still in my fridge going off. Not that would make any difference to the taste.
I would love to say brands like Vita CoCo and Innocent are responsible here. I want to say it’s a classic case of Western companies exploiting an abundant natural ingredient to sell us the dream of tropical beaches and organic produce and Rihanna to line their pockets. I want to blame them for commercialising nature and destroying the delicious, original taste in the process. But the truth is real life coconut water from a real life coconut tastes just as bad.
How can something that tastes so foul be so popular? I accept everyone’s taste buds are different, and that the health benefits are good for athletes – if a little questionable. But I will never understand the obsession with something that is 97 per cent water and three per cent nutrients. Even if this stuff made you look like Chris Hemsworth and live for a hundred years, I still wouldn’t drink it – let alone regularly splash out the £4 on a litre bottle of Innocent. Throw in the fact nearly two-thirds of Filipino coconut farmers live in poverty, and the coconut water craze seems more and more difficult to swallow. But with celebrity investors and a mainstream following the coconut business shows few signs of slowing down. For now I’ll stick to more traditional ways of consumption: bananas for potassium, the tap for water and Bounties for a coconut fix.