It’s good to see a beverage manufacturer providing a solution for the unpleasant tasting coconut water on the market. Last year I reviewed Zico pineapple & citrus flavored coconut water and was impressed with how I felt (amazingly refreshed & hydrated), but could hardly manage to drink the entire beverage. Coconut water has bitter rancid fat note that I find unappealing. My thoughts are that coconut water needs some sugar or sweetener to mask the bitter rancid flavor.
The team at Sobe beverage must have thought the same thing. Because lifewater with coconut water contains sugar and Reb A (a natural high potency sweetner from Stevia extract). Sobe beverage also decided to lower the amount of coconut water, from 100% to 10%. This reduction results in a better taste, but lower nutritional benefit. I am disappointed to see that lifewater is much lower on Potassium, Calcium and Magnesium than the Zico coconut water I review last year. Although, I enjoyed the natural and authentic sweet coconut milk flavor in Sobe life water and found the slight tanginess of the lifewater gave the beverage a nice pinacolada flavor.
The calorie content of Sobe lifewater with coconut water is similar to Zico coconut water. There are 80 cal/ 20 fl. oz in the life water and 60 cal./ 14 fl. oz. in the Zico coconut water. The use of Reb A as a sweetner allows for a lower calorie content. I don’t mind the Reb A in this beverage. It might contribute a slight bitter aftertaste, but it is neglible.
Bevnet.com (http://www.bevnet.com/reviews/sobelifewatercoconutwater) reviewed Sobe lifewater and mentioned that they preferred the mango mandarin flavor. Sobe released three flavors: coconut, mango mandarin and pomegranate nectarine. Because of BevNet’s positive review, I decided to give the mango mandarin a try and compare it to the O.N.E. Coconut Water with a splash of mango. I found the mango flavor in the Sobe beverage to be sweet, slightly perfumey, sulfury with a heavy creamy coconut milk follow through. The first drink was delicious, but I could only drink a few ounces before I found this drink nauseatingly sweet and creamy. The sweetness of the mango mandarin coconut water lingered too long. I preferred the coconut flavor Sobe life water. Perhaps the lingering sweetness is due to the Reb A and is not an attribute of the flavor. Reb A isn’t my favorite high potency sweetener.
Thankfully, I had the O.N.E. coconut water with mango to wash down the Sobe life water. I love this beverage. It is juicy, sour and salty; yet refreshing. The flavor was an authentic cooked mango (like puree) and not much coconut water flavor. Nutritionally, the O.N.E. beverage pails in comparison to the Zico and Sobe beverage. It has 77 cal/ 8.5 fl. oz. The higher calorie count is due to mango puree and cane sugar. I’ll take the extra calories, though, if the taste is better. Besides, I felt refreshed and hydrated after drinking the O.N.E. mango coconut water.
It’s great to have lots of options for coconut water. Sobe has provided a good lower calorie option. For those of you interested in more coconut waters on the market, Foodeducate has a nice review of the market: http://blog.fooducate.com/?s=coconut+water