There Is Only One Good Reason to Drink Coconut Water

Slate's Culture Blog
July 29 2014 5:39 PM

There Is Only One Good Reason to Drink Coconut Water

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Dhaka, BANGLADESH: Bangladeshi cricket captain Habibul Bashar drinks green coconut water during a net practice session in Dhaka, 06 April 2006. Banhladesh are scheduled to play two Test and one One Day International (ODI) matches with Australia, starting 09 April. AFP PHOTO/ Farjana K. GODHULY (Photo credit should read FARJANA K. GODHULY/AFP/Getty Images)

Photo by FARJANA K. GODHULY/AFP/Getty Images

When it comes to explaining what’s in packaged food, no one’s better than Salt Sugar Fat author Michael Moss. The New York Times’ multimedia department has been putting Moss’ expertise (and sonorous voice) to good use lately in a video series called “What’s in It,” in which Moss has deconstructed pumpkin spice lattes, Cookie Dough Oreos, and Doritos Locos Tacos, among other tempting foodstuffs. The reporter’s latest target is coconut water, the costly, savory, ubiquitous liquid refreshment that’s become a $400-million-per-year industry.

If you sip Vita Coco after Bikram class because you think it’s especially rehydrating, steel yourself: Coconut water’s ostensible health benefits have been repeatedly disproven.

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Moss makes the point that coconut water is likely no better for you than plain old tap water. Which means that no matter what kind of health claims you’ve seen on bottles, there’s really only one solid reason to drink coconut water: taste.

L.V. Anderson is a Slate assistant editor. She edits Slate's food and drink sections and writes Brow Beat's recipe column, You're Doing It Wrong. 

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