Loved by sports nuts and superstars, coconut water is the hot new health drink. But is it all it's cracked up to be?
Madonna, Demi and Lara Bingle all swig it, but opinion is divided as to whether coconut water is the wonder health drink some claim it to be.
Advocates say coconut water - the clear liquid inside a young coconut - is a nutritional goldmine. Already popular in Brazil, where sales top $300 million a year, coconut water is one of the fastest-growing new food categories in the UK and sales doubled in the US last year, thanks to investment by Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Madonna, who poured $1.5 million into the brand Vita Coco and convinced Matthew McConaughey and Demi Moore to do the same.
Not to be confused with coconut milk, the fattier, pulped coconut meat, pure coconut water has been available fresh from health food outlets and in pre-packaged form in Asian supermarkets for years, and has just made its Australian debut in general supermarkets.
The Jamaicans use it as a heart tonic and the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation says it's full of natural electrolytes.