I have already made my feelings clear about coconut water. And even though I feel like a pawn in a giant, coconut-tree-cash-crop-probably-terrible-for-the-planet industry which targets people exactly like me (young-ish, female, sporty, into yoga, eater of kale), I can’t stay away from the stuff. However, Rockstar has managed to develop the one coconut water-ish product I could definitely avoid. It is called Rockstar Coconut Water.
This new drink takes everything I love about coconut water–it doesn’t contain added sugar, it has electrolytes for after a long run or particularly sweaty Bikram class, it tastes good, and is generally free of science and processed chemicals–and adulterates it with a bunch of crap. Just look at this nutritional label:
The first ingredient? Water. The second ingredient? Sugar. Then comes the coconut water. Then comes a bunch of caffeine and vitamins and other stuff. Then, a little later one, some more sweetener. And, for good measure, some “caramel color,” which is the same sketchy, misleadingly-named stuff that Coca Cola and Pepsi recently changed up because it may cause cancer.
This is not my delicious coconut water. This is a terrible bastardization that includes tons of uppers and twice as much sugar as regular coconut water–and not the good kind of naturally-occurring fruit sugar, either.
Rockstar Coconut Water isn’t a surprising development at all; it’s Rockstar’s answer to one of 2011′s most popular beverages, which has continued to retain top drink status into the new year, because their original flavors and recipes, just like regular soda, have begun to fall out of fashion as weight-conscious consumers turn toward Vitamin Water and other “healthier” beverages. So a coconut water-flavored Rockstar makes sense, from a marketing standpoint. In fact, I’m kind of surprised it took this long.
But for anyone who takes the time to read the label (and doesn’t want to slurp down oodles of taurine and added sugar), it’s a poor substitute for the real stuff.