Gwyneth Paltrow says drinking it as an ‘on-the-go snack’ helps keep her slim. And Madonna loves it so much she bought a company that makes it.
Hollywood stars Courteney Cox, Demi Moore and Matthew McConaughey are also said to be devotees – which may explain why coconut water is taking off as the post-exercise drink of choice with ordinary mortals.
Last year, one manufacturer reported a 600 per cent jump in UK sales in just 12 weeks.
Not to be confused with coconut milk – a creamy substance made from grated coconut flesh and water – coconut water is the juice found inside young, green fruits.
Coconuts are hollow in the middle, and the water can be obtained simply by cracking the husk.
You may have had the pleasure of sampling it fresh from the tree on an exotic holiday.
However, thanks to canny manufacturers, today the curious-tasting liquid – often described as slightly metallic – can be found in cartons at High Street supermarkets, often sweetened with natural fruit juices. Brands include Vi ta Coco ( the one that Madonna invested in), Zico and Dr Antonio Martins Coco Juice.
It is thinner in consistency than the sweeter milk. And as a 100ml serving contains only 39 calories, 0.25oz sugar and just a trace of fat, it is easy to see why it is popular with the diet-conscious celebrity set.
‘Coconut water is almost sour-tasting,’ says Dr John Berardi, a nutrition coach for elite athletes. ‘It’s a bit like Marmite – people love it or hate it.
‘Each serving has four to five times less sugar compared with cola and fruit juice. It’s also a good source of Vitamins C and B as well as protein, calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium and zinc.
‘It contains another group of nutrients called cytokinins, which many scientists think can play a role in human health – slowing ageing and lowering the risk of cancer.’