Which Brand of Paleo Coconut Water/Juice Is Best? Vita Coco vs Zico vs Amy & Brians Naturals

A & B Coconut Juice

What do I mean by Paleo Coconut Water? Coconut water that has no added sugar. Coconut water/juice is already pure sugar so why add more?! It makes no sense.

To this date I have had the “luxury” to enjoy 3 different paleo brands of coconut water.

During the summer of 2010 I first took a sip of Vita Coco Coconut Water and fell in love immediately. I knew I just discovered a drink I would love for the rest of my life.

About a month ago I discovered I was aloud to drink the Coconut Water we have at work as much as I please – the Zico brand.

Two weeks ago Amy & Brians Naturals sent me their coconut water so I could write an honest review on it. I am sure they are glad they did!

I am going to review each one individually in the order of my discovery and finish by telling you the winner. Enjoy!

Vita Coco Coconut Water

This brand is pure coconut water. I love it. My favorite is the 100% Pure Coconut Water but I have also enjoyed the Peach & Mango as well as the Pineapple flavors. All 3 were great but the one without the added flavor was my favorite.

Cost: $1.81 per 100 calories on Amazon

Zico Coconut Water

I strongly recommend you AVOID the Zico brand. Why? It’s from concentrate. It is watered down. If you want to water down your coconut water then just add regular water to it! This is what  I don’t get about “lite” coconut milk. If you want lite coconut milk then buy the full fat kind and add water – you will save LOTS of money. I always enjoy full fat but I am just sayin…

This is currently the brand I drink more than the others. Why? I get it for free at work. It’s by no means terrible but is simply not the same as pure coconut water which the other 2 brands bring. And you will find out soon that it is much more expensive than the brand I discuss below. Avoid if you are able to buy one of the other 2 brands!

Cost: $2.95 per 100 calories on Amazon

Amy & Brians Naturals Coconut Water

The winner hands down.

I tried the one with pulp, without pulp and with lime. I loved them all but especially loved the one with pulp. Coconut “juice” with pulp? Sweet!! It adds a “soothing” coconut flavor. It allows you to imagine you are actually drinking from a young coconut! I had no idea this brand existed until the company tweeted me and asked if I would write an honest review. I have NO affiliation with this company as of today. If you click on the link within this text and you buy, then I get a commission of about $1 to $2 from Amazon.

This is also the cheapest of all the brands. How about that? The best brand will hurt your wallet the least. I am all about saving money as you know from my primeal posts.

Cost: $1.26 per 100 calories on Amazon

Out of these 3 brands it’s an EASY decision. You will save a lot of money as well as enjoy the taste a hell of a lot more if you buy Amy & Brians Naturals. Vita Coco is very ideal but it does not have any pulp or lime flavor! You have to put the lime in the coconut!

Coconut Water is a Luxury

To me Coconut Water is a luxury. It is very costly when you determine the cost correctly. I have enjoyed an entire paleo meal for $1.94. If you buy A & B’s brand you will only get 154 calories at a cost of $1.94 from coconut water. When I have more money down the road I will buy coconut water a little more frequently. But, if you are on a budget then be careful! Buy a bunch of avocados instead or even a 12 pack of shredded coconut (only 9 cents per 100 calories!).

Coconut water is the best source of electrolytes and is pure sugar – pure natural sugar. If you can afford it then I don’t see why 70 calories worth of the water a day would hurt. Just don’t stress over not being able to afford it.

As you can tell I love Coconut Water. Amy & Brians is by far my favorite due to the pulp factor. Which brands have you tried? What is YOUR favorite? Why?

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Comments

  1. Stephen says

    Nice, thanks for the summary!

    I agree that it is a luxury. I am buying fresh coconuts at the moment, and the coconut water I get from one (medium-small size coconut) fills up about half a glass. So I wonder if the production of the coconut water by-itself is sustainable?

  2. says

    When I spent three days in Brazil in November, the breakfast bar was mostly fresh, local tropical fruits, with juices and always a big dispenser of coconut water. I particularly appreciated the coconut water the morning that I was horribly hung-over from the party at a cachaca distillery the night before….

    • says

      Jealous… When I travel around the world I will definitely make a stop in Brazil and/or other coconut rich countries!

  3. TS says

    Taste Nirvana (purchased from Whole Foods) is awesome – they also offer a “with pulp” brand that is really good.

  4. says

    I agree with Amy & Brian’s is the best. I had been drinking the Vita Coco. I can find it on sale for pretty cheap. But now that I tried Amy & Brian’s for the first time yesterday, I am hooked. It is so good. I just wish the can wasn’t so big. I like the size of the Vita better.

    • says

      I also like the size of Vita Coco better. They say it only keeps 24 hours. But, A & B’s is way better so I will stick with them.

  5. says

    This is good timing, I got a can of the Amy & Brian’s for free and hadn’t tried it yet. (I’ve been volunteering at the local natural food co-op and I get to keep dented/damaged stuff, haha.) Maybe after my workout tonight I’ll open it up!

  6. says

    Nice review. I’m a huge fan of cocnut water! I drink coconut water all the time, much better to have around than soda. I love Amy & Brians when I buy it from whole foods. However when I get it from amazon by the case the cans come all dented and it doesn’t taste the same. Amazon recently had a special on vita-coco for $13/case(12) 50% off, so I picked up 3 cases! Vitacoco is the best from Amazon I think(I have ordered(One,A&B, and Zico as well from them)

    • says

      Damn, I wish I would of caught that special. I havent ordered Amy & Brians from amazon yet but will do so soon. I have never tried the “One” brand.

  7. says

    I’ve been brand loyal to VitaCoco for years but this post has me dying to try Amy & Brian’s, i’m going to order some thing weekend- can’t wait! #BLISS

    • says

      If you do end up trying it then let me know how you like it. Go for the one with pulp as that is why I like it so much. The lime is also great.

  8. says

    Have you ever just bought a Thai Coconut? My roommates get them for me from the Asian store and they are AWESOME. Seriously, the smile of bliss on my face drinking it right out of the coconut is priceless. I also have this mental image of someone finishing a workout at a gym then busting out a whole coconut for re-fueling … okay, sorry … back to reality. Great info you have here!

    • says

      I have not. However, I wish to asap. Drinking the coconut water straight from a coconut is by far the the best way. But, I don’t have that option… yet.

    • says

      Vita Coco is NOT watered down. That is the Zico brand. And Amy & Brians is NOT syrupy. I have never tried C20 but unless they give me free samples I am sticking with my favorite – Amy & Brians with pulp.

  9. says

    Just ordered off Amazon. Have found ones that use Thai young coconuts to be best. I liked that you said that you got a commission from Amazon, the transparency on your end made me click through and buy right away.

    • says

      Hey Kamal,

      Let me know how you like it. Again, its my favorite brand over Vita Coco simply because of the pulp.

      Really? I guess I will have to say that more then. I claim to be the most honest person anyone will ever meet. I guess I need to start being more upfront. I link to a lot of products and a lot of sites. I sometimes make a commission and I sometimes don’t. I am trying to make money from this blog because, well, if I don’t then I am stuck at a job. That prevents me from spending the time I wish to spend with this blog that will allow me to help millions around the world live a better, healthier, more fun, vibrant lifestyle. I don’t care how much I make. I just care about living a fun, healthy, vibrant lifestyle myself. If I start to make A LOT then I will be giving a lot of it away.

      Thanks again for your comment!

  10. Wenchypoo says

    I went with the brand that had fewer ingredients (just pure coconut water) and the least amount of sugar–that meant Naked brand. I see it wasn’t in your line-up.

    • says

      I have never tasted Naked brand. But, there is NOTHING like A & B’s. Naked does NOT include coconut pulp. A&B’s and Vita Coco is pure coconut water…

  11. says

    Well, I think Coconut water is good, however I haven’t tried it before, but it looks promising from the first look.

  12. Whapanese says

    If you do a blind taste test you’ll probably figure out that O.N.E. Coconut Water tastes the best. It’s less expensive than Vita Coco too and is a totally natural product… it’s not from concentrate. It’s packed with essential electrolytes and doesn’t have all that added sugar and artificial stuff like those popular sports drinks. A lot of active people I know are switching from those sports drinks to O.N.E. and some are even mixing it with their protein shakes. You can find it at any Whole Foods and I’ve seen it a Raley’s, GNC and Vitamin Shoppe as well.

    • FallenAngela says

      I know this is an older thread, but the ONE Coconut Water I just purchased has added sugar (it’s listed on the side) which frustrates me because I had assumed they wouldn’t add sugar to an already sugar-filled drink. Vita Coco is the tastiest in my opinion and I too love the capped containers of the 17oz drink. I didn’t care for Naked brand Coconut water at all, which was disappointing because I like what Naked brand stands for but I couldn’t even swallow the stuff (I can literally chug a 17oz Vita Coco in a few minutes!). I’m going to search for A&Bs with pulp. It sounds wonderful.

    • says

      Costco does? Seriously? Thats awesome. I am going to have to check it out immediately! I am a big fan of vita coco too. I like their containers better. But, I do love the pulp from Amy & Brians… I’ll have to check out VC at Costco! Thanks for letting me know!

  13. says

    A&B’s is in my local grocery store and I love it…but I wanted to try a different brand, so I ordered the Vita Coco. It’s pretty good, but when I do a taste test against A&B’s, there is no comparison! A&B’s is so much sweeter and just overall, more refreshing!

    • says

      I agree with you 100%! I like the containers that vita coco uses. The 17 oz ones with the caps. But overall, A&B’s is way better!

  14. says

    +1 for Taste Nirvana. Found it on Amazon for $22.64 for a 12-pack of 16.2 oz cans. Makes it 12-cents an ounce. I use the subscribe & save on Amazon which includes free shipping. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the taste of this brand. It is by far, my favorite. And I’ve tried most of them! I wasn’t thrilled with the Naked brand, it tasted bland to me. Vito Coco is my standby since I can find it at most grocery stores around here.

    • says

      It is by far the best! I met a dude at whole foods the other day who grabbed the brand next to Amy & Brians… I was like “you like that brand?!” He looked at it and said he meant to grab A & B’s! He of course bought the A&B’s brand and was a happy dude because of it!

  15. Senrab says

    Just had to chime in: a previous poster said that ONE contains added sugar and this is not correct! Coconut water NATURALLY contains sugar. ONE is 100% young coconut water with no additives (check out their website). ALL coconut water lists sugars on the nutrional value because they all have it (whether naturally occurring or added).

    Nice to see other Americans jumping on a good bandwagon. Although higher in carbs then I would like being paleo, it is GREAT. Also as mentioned by another poster it is a GREAT hang over hydrator. The wife and I stocked up on it for St. Patty’s day! LOL

    • says

      You are right in that coconut water naturally contains sugar. It’s almost pure carbs without any protein or fat. But, as you stated it hydrates your body like nothing else due to the electrolytes like potassium and magnesium.

      Coconut water may be high in carbs but don’t let that stop you. Paleo is NOT low carb! Coconut water is awesome but it is best to be careful since it is a liquid.

  16. Greg C says

    I was born in the islands of the Pacific and grew up with coconut water. I still drink it, I have been drinking it all my life. When I tried VitaCoCo last year I almost vomitted! It does NOT taste like real coconut water to me. I now live in California and coconuts run about $1.00 to $1.50 and I buy them by the crate and drink the coconut water and produce coconut oil from the remainder of the coconut.

    • says

      Well, NOTHING will ever beat the water from a fresh coconut. Have you ever tried Amy & Brians? They have one with pulp and it is awesome. Tastes just as good as the water from a freshly cracked coconut. But, like I said, nothing beats fresh. But I live in Michigan right now so A&B’s is great!

  17. WiddoMouse says

    Could you explain to me why you use cost per 100 calories, when you are comparing the Prices of the various coconut waters.? Why would you not use cost per fluid ounce? I know I’m not the brightest bulb in the chandelier but I just don’t understand. Thanks

    • says

      Because at the end of the day I am going to consume about the same amount of calories if I am maintaining my weight. So being able to consume 2000 calories for $7 beats consuming 2000 calories for $10 if they nutritional profile is equal. Do you understand now?

      • WiddoMouse says

        I do. Thanks for explaining it to me. I’m a Pharmacist so most of my cost comparisons were based on price per unit, or price per 100, etc. Both your method for comparison and my method for comparison are valid based on what we are comparing.

        I’m an old broad. It’s nice to know that I can still learn.

  18. Mardi Gras says

    Your statement that ZICO is made from concentrate is untrue for all ZICO coconut waters. I regularly purchase ZICO Natural in the cardboard containers, which is 100% coconut water NOT from concentrate. The ZICO Natural in the plastic bottles IS from concentrate. I rencently purchased Vita Coco from Costco. Waiting for it to cool in the fridge so I can compare to ZICO Natural.

    • says

      Well I did consume the plastic bottles so I guess I was right without adding in that detail. All I know for sure is that I enjoyed Zico dozens of times as well as the other brands I recommend and Zico tastes watered down.

      • Nalini P Montri says

        I don’t get it. Zico tastes watered down to you so you just go ahead and claim it is despite contrary labeling stating “100% natural coconut water”? Wow, impressively irresponsible “reporting”. It’s not watered down, nor is it from concentrate, at least not the original variety. Shame on you.

  19. ColoradicalYeti says

    I heard amy and brians is cooked, which is why they dont list any potassium on their can. REAL raw coconut water (name of brand) is the superior choice and isnt cooked

    • says

      It’s funny you mention Harmless Harvest. I recently discovered this brand and it is hands down the best. No other brand compares. I did a blind taste test with 20 folks and all 20 picked Harmless Harvest as the winner! There were 5 competing brands – Zico, Naked, Amy & Brians, O.N.E and C2O.

      Too bad HH is so damn expensive…

  20. Rachael Sutherland says

    me myself I much rather drink naked coconut water or maui and sons. coconut water has helped me,in so many ways from.losing weight,to hydration during my gymnastics meets. its everybody’s own taste buds. its costly but so worth it. its your body and good health has no value. drink up :)

  21. BC says

    Your Amy & Brian’s link, Cost: $1.26 per 100 calories on Amazon, goes to “taste Nirvana” on Amazon.

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