“Quench your thirst with naturally hydrating GOYA Coconut Water,” the company webpage invites. “[T]his delicious tropical drink is the clear liquid found when you crack open young coconuts. 100% natural, it’s cholesterol free and low in fat, carbohydrates, and sugar.”
Sounds like just what consumers want nowadays. Coming from sunny, tropical places where people eat and drink what grows naturally, it’s got to be good for you—right?
We’re not entirely sure. Are companies like Goya that produce coconut water being entirely honest about the ingredients and the health benefits of this drink? We’re investigating their claims.
Goya sells food products from the Caribbean, Mexico, Spain, and Central and South America. Its website presents it as a socially conscious company, one that donates food during disasters, collaborated with Michelle Obama and the USDA on the My Plate/Mi Plato campaign, and is “one of the top corporate solar users in the U.S. food and beverage industry.
Goya makes a number of varieties of coconut water:
- Coconut Water
- Coconut Water Juice Sweetened
- Coconut Water with a Guava Twist
- Coconut Water with a Lychee Twist
- Coconut Water with a Mango Twist
- Coconut Water with a Pomegranate Twist
- Coconut Water with Chocolate
- Coconut Water with Pulp
- Organic Coconut Water
- Pure Coconut Water
- Roasted Coconut Juice
Coconut water should not be confused with coconut milk, the milky-white liquid that can be extracted from adult coconut pulp. Coconut water is the almost-clear liquid inside of young, green coconuts. In fact, it’s possible to make a hole in the young coconut rind, poke a straw through it, and drink the water straight from the coconut.
Coconut water in general has about nineteen calories per 100 milliliters and is about 95% water and 4% carbohydrates.
Coconut water has a reputation as a good rehydrating sports drink, since it contains a lot of potassium plus sodium and manganese. It contains no fat, and normally contains less sugar and fewer calories than most fruit juices. An article on the Mayo Clinic website says, “Ounce for ounce, typical fruit juices have twice as many calories as unflavored coconut water.”
However, some companies mix coconut water with fruit juices, fruit pulp, or other substances for flavoring. These added ingredients may negate some of the quick-hydration and other claims made for coconut water.
Many of the claims originally made for coconut water have been proved false or have not been verified. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned companies not to make disease-related claims for coconut water, such as that it is antiviral, regulates blood glucose levels, or can cure illnesses. Previous class actions have taken on some other excessive claims, such as that coconut water is “super-hydrating,” “nutrient-packed,” or “mega-electrolyte.”
Are the producers of coconut water telling the whole truth about ingredients, nutritional content, and health benefits of their products, whether straight-up or flavored? We’d like to find out.
Have you bought any of the Goya coconut waters? If you’d like to hear about the results of this investigation, fill out the form on this page.Article Type: Investigation