Years ago (OK, like six), I loved to rehydrate after my runs with VitaCoco Coconut Water with Pineapple. I used coconut water because it has a lot of potassium, and I sweat so much while running that I get leg cramps if I'm not careful about replacing the potassium - if you've ever woken up with a massive Charley horse in your calf in the middle of the night, you know what I'm talking about. I loved this drink, and even got Jeff hooked on it, but a couple of years ago it disappeared from the grocery store shelves in our town. Honestly, I wondered if VitaCoco had gone out of business, but nope - apparently the powers that be in our area decided we weren't worthy of such a delicious drink. We tried some other brands of coconut water but didn't like them, so eventually I switched over to either Gatorade or Nuun (and we know how Nuun has ruined THAT now, ptooey).
Cut to a couple of months ago, when we were at a grocery store in Dallas - I couldn't believe it when I saw my beloved VitaCoco pineapple on the shelves! I bought a couple of cartons and proceeded to hoard them, telling Jeff we had to save them for a particularly sweaty post-run reward. Then he wondered if, since it had been so long since we'd had the VitaCoco, if we'd really notice that much of a difference between that brand and other brands, so we bought a couple other cartons of coconut water proceeded to have a taste-test throwdown.
Naked, Vita Coco, Yaco - all coconut water with pineapple puree added.
The throwdown scene - about 6:30 am, after a steamy 2.5 mile run:
Interestingly, the Naked brand looked the most colorful...but how would it taste?
Jeff stood with his back to the table, so he didn't know which brand I was handing him. He guessed the VitaCoco correctly right away. The one he liked the least was the Naked, which I thought was interesting considering it looked the most flavorful, in terms of color vibrancy. He said the Yaco could do, but still, the VitaCoco was far and above the best-tasting of the three.
As for me, I started with the Naked brand and hated it. I thought it had a bit of a dirt taste - it was not good. Then I tried the Yaco brand. The flavors were faint, like there just wasn't much to it at all. I saved the VitaCoco for last, and of course I loved it, but I did feel like it was pretty heavy, and I'm not sure if that was because A) it is; B) I had it after two lighter-tasting drinks; or C) I'm not used to drinking it anymore.
So, the VitaCoco pineapple flavor is still our favorite, but even if I could easily purchase it, I'm not sure I'd drink it after a run now, just because it seemed so heavy to me. Now, for a fun drink on a hot afternoon, over some crushed ice? Sure thing!