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Should I Drink Coconut Water?


Welcome to Should I Eat This?—our weekly poll of five experts who answer nutrition questions that gnaw at you.

Coconuts Illustration by Lon Tweeten for TIME

4/5 experts say no.

Coconut water—salty, sweet, translucent—gets many health freaks amped up. Electrolytes! Potassium! A natural hangover cure! But it also sets 4/5 experts’ eyes a’rolling.

“I’d rather spend my money on natural foods and not an expensive, over-hyped fluid,” says Nancy Clark, a registered dietitian and sports nutrition counselor. “It is a good source of potassium, but so are bananas and potatoes. ”

In fact, manufacturers do love to claim that coconut water packs as much potassium as a whole banana. It also has as much sugar as a banana—even an unsweetened version can run you 15 grams of sugar per bottle. But it packs none of the fiber the fruit does.

Coconut water is famous for nutritional posturing. Tod Cooperman

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