Zico Pure Coconut Water

I love coconut stuff.  And without water, I’d be dead after two weeks, max.

Yet in 28 years, I had yet to taste the marriage of the tasty tropical treat and liquid survival, so I was very happy when I came home the other day to find a big box full of coconut water on my doorstep, courtesy of Zico Pure Coconut Water. Thanks Zico!

[zico photo]

Coconut water, by the way, is not the same as coconut milk.  While coconut milk is derived from the meat of the coconut (one meat I’m down with eating), coconut water is the clear stuff in the middle of the coconut.  So it doesn’t have any of the fat of other coconut products; it’s a juice.

But not just any juice — called “Nature’s Sports Drink” by Zico, coconut water boasts five essential electrolytes and more potassium than a banana, in an 11-oz carton.  And that same 11-oz carton contains only 60 calories and 14 grams of sugar.

This stuff is really growing on me.  I thought the taste was a little strange when I first drank it, sort of like a thinner version of the syrup you get in a can of fruit cocktail or peaches.  But as I drank a few more cartons, I really started to enjoy it.  It’s very refreshing, kind of sweet but not overly so.

I tried three flavors — plain, mango, and passion fruit.  The plain is probably my favorite since it’s the least sweet, followed by mango, then by passion fruit.  But they’re all good.  Now I just need to work out some sort of endorsement deal, because I can put down one of these 11-ouncers in a matter of seconds!

So what about that “Nature’s Sports Drink” claim?  Well, Erin and I tried some after a run today, and found that we liked it even better than before.  It was perfect after a short, easy run, but I don’t think I’ll likely be drinking coconut water during or after most of my workouts.  The problem isn’t the taste; it’s just that I’d have to drink a whole lot of the stuff to get the amount of sugar that I want during and after workouts that last more than an hour or so.

So if you’re curious about coconut water, I highly encourage you to give Zico a try (or two).  And if you’re looking for a light, low-calorie workout drink, even better.  For serious carbohydrate replenishment though, stick to something like homemade lemon-lime sports drink.

Here I am enjoying some Zico after the run with my new Vibrams and my girl Sascha!

[matt with zico photo]



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  1. Thanks for the honest review! The coconut water does have some great benefits. How are you liking the Vibrams?
    .-= diana´s last blog ..Maintenance =-.

  2. I saw this in a healthfood store the other day and was curious about it. Since I’m a fan of short, easy runs it would probably suit me!


    Oh, and my dog’s name is Sacha too! She’s a lab mix, though and not so into running.
    .-= J.´s last blog ..Moskowitz Monday =-.

  3. Your pups is way too cute!! Looks like she had a good workout too by the looks of the tongue!! HA!

    Was curious about coconut water as I’m a little leery of the powerade I like to drink, thanks for the review!

    Adventures in Tri-ing
    .-= Courtney´s last blog ..BLOGIVERSARY and a GIVEAWAY!!!! =-.

  4. hahahaha i LOVE the shoes! i like coconut water too – its just so expensive, that i can’t rationalize buying it 🙁

    the pineapple flavor of another brand (vitacoco?) is my fave!
    .-= Holly´s last blog ..Cool Hand Holly =-.

  5. Hello! I know this is probably really weird, but were you driving into Baltimore this morning? I saw a car with this site’s bumper sticker and it looked like you. I was heading to work.
    I love Zico, I just had the mango flavor yesterday. 🙂

  6. i love coconut water! i don’t really like the taste of the flavored varieties though-i’m a plain jane!
    .-= Elizabeth´s last blog ..We Be Boggin’ =-.

    • Giamarisa says:

      Its concentrated. Doesn’t anyone get this. When you buy concentrated O.J. instead of fresh squeezed it makes a BIG difference in taste ,quality and price. No one ever mentions this in a ZICO REVIEW????

  7. Awwww…cute pup! Thanks for the review. I’m just kinda “meh” when it comes to coconut water. Maybe I’ll enjoy the flavored varieties. Thanks again!
    .-= MelissaNibbles´s last blog ..Not So New News About Teens =-.

  8. OMG…… I literally JUST tried coconut water for the first time at whole foods this weekend. Honestly I wasn’t a fan…. but maybe I should try it again right after I workout.
    If you get a chance take a look at my blog. I put up pics of my new NMA shirt. Thanks again!! I LOVE it! Anyone else reading this comment- BUY THE SHIRT! You won’t be sorry 😀
    .-= A´s last blog ..No new foods but something else new… =-.

  9. I love love love this stuff!! I got my husband hooked on it and would ship flat rate boxes full of it to him in Iraq when he was recently deployed. I’ve switched to purchasing the larger size containers and freak out if there are less than 3 backups in the pantry… WF is 2 hours away!

  10. So does the plain flavor have any additives or preservatives, or is it JUST coconut water?
    .-= Caleb´s last blog ..Smoothie Tuesday – Cosmic Explosion =-.

  11. I’ve tried all the coconut water drinks on the market, and Zico is by far the best. The content is all natural – unlike many other coconut water products and the taste is great – very replenishing after a workout – or a long night partying!

  12. I wonder if you can get this stuff in Canada, I haven’t seen it at any of the natural food stores yet, it sounds good though, I find the standard sports drinks are too sweet for me, but then I’m not a harcore runner.
    Can’t wait to hear your review on the Vibrams.

  13. I haven’t tried coconut water yet but now that I am a running machine (haha!) I will need to drink more than just water. Great, honest review!
    .-= Whitney @ Lettuce Love´s last blog ..Spaghetti Squash equals Awesome =-.

  14. We love coconut water!!! Although we prefer fresh out of a coconut but Zico is a great alternative. We like the plain flavor as well, I not really tried the other flavors.
    .-= Pure2Raw Twins´s last blog ..Last day of 7 day cleanse =-.

  15. I just tried coconut water recently to check it out and I actually really enjoy it. It settles well for me and I like it because it’s not too sweet. The only thing that bothers me is that they claim they are a ‘sports drink’ and only have 40-60mg of sodium (depending on the brand) per serving. This really isn’t enough for intense activity and it’s pretty expensive if hydrating properly. I’ve been looking at this for a thesis topic to see how it compares to water or traditional sports drinks for hydration. It’s weird because the USDA database says coconut water has a little over 200 mg of sodium per serving.
    .-= EatingRD´s last blog ..amazing experience =-.

  16. Julian Chan says:

    Hey if you have the chance to try out coconut water OUT of the coconut, I think it’ll taste better! I had a try of the Zico at the Nike HUman Race last Sunday, I didn’t like it as much, taste-wise. Coming from tropical Malaysia, we really dig our coconut water!

    IF you get a chance to visit some of the Asian fruitstalls (if you have a Chinatown-like place), and if they sell one of those young coconuts, they’d be selling it like selling lemonade in a stall. Check those out…chances are they’d be Thai coconuts, but still taste real great nonetheless. But of course, best tasted at the onset of summer… ahah..

  17. I love coconut water, but am not a fan of Zico. I believe Vita Coco has a superior taste, and isn’t owned by a major company like Zico or One. Coca Cola originally approached Vita Coco and tried to buy them out but were refused. Zico accepted, but Vita Coco is still owned by the original founder.

  18. Where do I buy this coconut water in Canada?

  19. Zico has changed… used to be #1 in taste of all coconut waters on the market, but they sold out and now the company is partly owned by Coke (bad karma – see killercoke.org) and is now in a plastic bottle and is reconstituted from concentrate. Completely different product. They should change the name.

    • I agree with Shali!! They should change the name if the product is no longer all Natural. I drink Vita Coco now.

      • Giamarisa says:

        Have you got a funky tasting and or bad Vital Coco? Wait I was addicted to Vita Coco now I’m pissed I keep getting more bad ones than good.so I’m searching for another brand but don’t like Zico and its concentrated and says fresh n pure. ???

  20. Coca-cola ruined Zico! Don’t believe what you hear. It is no longer all natural. I used to drink it everyday before my morning run but have now switched to Vita Coco. It’s a great substitute and actually 100% natural!!!

  21. Agree with Lauren. Zico’s quality has dropped big time.
    I drink Vita Coco too now.

  22. Bob Shaffer says:

    Zico is HORRIBLE NOW! COKE DESTROYED IT! Plastic bottles and from some nasty concentrate. Buy ONE or Vita coco or any other brand of natural coconut water. Not some dried up shit, packaged, processed and re -constitued with tap water. DAMN YOU ZIIIIICOOOOOOO!

  23. Gordon Smetanuk says:

    I’ve searched everywhere but are unable to find the quantity you should drink everyday.
    We have just purchased a case of Zico Pure coconut water for electrolyte health problems. We are both in our 80’s and your product was recommeded to balance our electrolyte system. Can you advise daily amount we should be drinking

    • I’m not really sure if there is an amount of coconut water that you should have every day. It’s a nice addition to most diets, as long as you’re not already eating too much sugar, but I don’t think there’d be much benefit to drinking more than 16 ounces or so each day. The exception would be if you’re using it for sports drinks and putting in a lot of hours of activity.

  24. You have a Shiba puppy!! She is cute!!!!!
    Do you know if Zico is available in Canada?

  25. Kayna Hogue says:

    Matt, I’ve been drinking Zico coconut water for a few years now, I put it in my smoothie every morning…until tomorrow morning that is. I just read that Zico is now a Coke product and this is the skinny on their “concentrate”.
    Natural Flavors – Trick Consumers To Drink More

    By producing zero or low calorie drinks that taste like the “real thing,” Coca-Cola is “hijacking” your taste buds one by one. Food scientists can engineer natural flavors to cause the inability to stop eating or drinking. All of the Coca-Cola products listed above have added natural flavors. These flavors scientists synthesize trick your mind into wanting more and more. They don’t want you to have the full essence of the strawberry or real coconut – they want you to only experience the best 1 millionth part of the taste – so you get “addicted” and keep having to go back for more and more, searching continuously for gratification – eating more of that product which in turns fills Coca-Cola’s pocket, as well as other big food companies.

    This is an industry trick that is used in so many products – beyond drinks – but is the most prevalent in low calorie beverages. In a few versions of Coca-Cola’s product Zico – a coconut water – they have to use natural flavors to cover up the fact that they are getting coconuts from all over the world, that taste different, which they then process into “concentrate.” The coconut water is heated down to syrup and then reconstituted with water. To keep the flavor consistent – they have to add back in natural flavors and what you end up with is an inferior product that is a mix of several different species of coconuts that have lost their original integrity, taste and nutrition.


    Here is the website link http://foodbabe.com/2013/01/25/coca-colas-low-calorie-beverages-will-kill-you-before-they-solve-obesity/


  26. I first tried coconut water straight from the coconut that was cut open by this guy with a machete! I was hooked! Since then I’ve had a hard time finding packaged coconut water anywhere near the same! In my opinion the natural flavor of the zico coconut water taste like card board. You can find young coconuts at pretty much every oriental store/market. Cutting them open isn’t hard as long as you have a good big knife! I’m sure you could even drill into it and that would be easier! But seriously it’s better and you get the tasty meat that’s inside as well!

  27. Barbara Faye says:

    I just tried Zico coconut water for the first time and had to spit out the first sip. It is nasty and does not taste like real coconut water at all … and I should know: I have holidayed regularly in the Caribbean and I know how coconut water should taste.

    The uninitiated might believe they are drinking coconut water when they drink Zico, but it is far from it. A truly disgusting taste!

  28. Hi Matt,
    I like yourself and many others love coconut water. Growing up in the Caribbean and being able to enjoy it regularly you might say I’m perhaps a bit picky when it comes to Coconut water. I first learned about Zico in the late 90’s and drank it religiously through the mid 2000’s. My father in-law drove the trucks that would bring their product into a small warehouse in North Bergen NJ. Zico was not even in stores yet. No one knew about Zico or how it would taste. I would bring it to my baseball games. This made me very popular with my baseball buddies many of whom longed for that coconut water taste that would transport us to younger years growing up. Zico had nailed it!!!!! it was great!! As you may be able to tell my love affair with Zico began a while back but in recent years whenever I tried it the taste I learned to love was not there anymore and I stopped drinking it…recently I saw it in the store and you could say that almost out of nostalgia I grabbed a bottle and again I was disappointed. I did not know that the guys who started it all sold the company to Coca Cola. Now it all made sense to me…I think that even the original location where the got the coconuts has changed. I was under the impression that they came from Costa Rica or Nicaragua but from their website I know no they are using coconuts from Thailand. I am not an expert on the coconut subject and I don’t know if coconuts from the Caribbean are different from those in other parts of the world. I also don’t know if Coca Cola is adding anything extra to their drink. All I know that what I first loved about Zico is no longer there when I drink it. I do swear by coconut water and all of it properties but Zico is no longer my first choice. 🙁

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