20 Things That Have Been Called ‘The New Coconut Water’

Rachel Krause
"Happy Young Woman on Beach with Coconut," Getty Images, 2016

“Happy Young Woman on Beach with Coconut,” Getty Images, 2016

The year is 2010. Regular water, the kind that springs from the earth and flows from the heavens (rain), is no longer good enough; nor is Gatorade, the go-to post-workout drink of actual athletes and anyone who’s ever been devastatingly hungover. We need something new, something vaguely “healthier,” something trendier and more expensive. And then, like a thief in the night, coconut water swoops in, and it is all of those things. “Why Is Every Celebrity Drinking Coconut Water?” asks E! Online. “Is Coconut Water the Celeb Drink of the Summer?” People wants to know.

Answer: Yes. Coconut water, which has been favored in tropical countries for centuries, suddenly becomes the celeb drink of that summer and beyond. Marketed as a low-fat, low-carb, low-calorie, potassium-rich, electrolyte-packed alternative to traditional energy and sports drinks for replacing nutrients lost during exercise, the health and fitness-crazed crowd goes wild. They conveniently ignore its sugar content on par with high fructose corn syrup, and the actual nutritional facts, which show that its electrolyte value is not, in fact, particularly high.

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The flood of backlash arrives soon after, when one of the first mass-marketed coconut water vendors faces a class action lawsuit over their false advertising claims, which totally blows up their spot. Super-hydrating? Nutrient-packed? Mega-electrolyte, with 15 times more sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium than the leading sports drinks? Lies, lies, and more lies—enough lies to cost them $10 million. “They’re loco for coco,” quips the New York Post, somewhat disparagingly. “Celebrity-endorsed coconut water may be less healthy than you think!” crows the Daily Mail. Whoops.

Coconut water may no longer be the celebrity fad drink of choice, but that doesn’t mean it’s gone out of vogue completely; it’s just been gently shoved aside by a seemingly endless parade of beverages proclaiming themselves to be “the new coconut water.” There is birch water. There is maple water. There is cactus water and watermelon water and and so very many more. Below, all of the equally hydrating, equally nebulously “good for you” beverages you can now drink instead of coconut water for your paparazzi-friendly post-gym kicks.

1) Birch water

2) BIRCH water

3) Humble birch sap

4) Rose water

5) Aloe vera juice

6) Sugarcane juice

7) Sugarcane juice

8) Maple water

9) Maple water

10) Maple water

11) Maple tree sap water

12) Cactus water

13) Cactus water

14) Cactus water

15) Beet juice

16) Watermelon water

17) Watermelon water

18) Watermelon water

19) Artichoke water

20) Gatorade