Years ago, we were traveling with our grown son in Costa Rica. On one of our road trips he told us to pull over to the side of the road.

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He jumped out and came back with these little clear bags of liquid tied with a knot at the top. It looked like water with a piece of white something in the bottom. I tasted it and thought “that tastes different!” He said, “Are you kidding? This is the best stuff around”.

I often reflect on my first introduction to pipa fria and wonder what I was thinking. I now drink it daily — several times a day! I crave it.

I was working with a client just last week and offered him a taste. His response was similar to mine initially as he returned to his diet Coke and a return of the familiar He commented “I will try anything once”. I thought to myself, “Oh… you will be back my friend… you will be back.”

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So what is pipa fria and why the rage?

Well in other parts of the world you may know it as coconut water and can likely only taste it out of can and are particularly lucky if you can find it without sugar or high fructose corn syrup added. Whole Foods and the like are doing a better job of making it more regularly available as it has become very popular, however very pricey.

In reality, the way to drink it is straight from the coconut or from someone who has bottled it — drinking it in the tropics is optional but preferred! This natural beverage will change your world.

Pipa fria is particularly well suited for the warm climes of Costa Rica. Here in the tropics both tourist and local alike can easily become dehydrated and not even know it. It can sneak up on you and then next thing you know you are lethargic, have a headache or even worse.

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Costa Rica Map Samara

Costa Rica Map Showing Location of Samara

Skip the Gatorade and head for pipa fria, which is full of electrolytes and packed with calcium, magnesium, and potassium. The water is low in calories and fat and has no cholesterol.

Research shows that drinking coconut water improves immunity, increases metabolism, and improves your HDL cholesterol. It also works as an intestinal regulator. It is low in sodium and sugar so this could be a good option for diabetics also.

For all those pH fanatics, coconut water is also believed to help balance the body’s pH to help fight illness more effectively as it is antibacterial and antifungal. It also helps you better absorb the nutrients in your food. I could go on…

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A few more interesting facts about Pipa Fria:

  1. Coconut water is used as an alternative to breast milk in a number of tropical countries.
  2. During World War II in the Pacific theater coconut water was used as an alternative for saline infusions and is still used today in emergency situations.

Are you now convinced this tasty little gift from the coconut tree is good for you?

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Well, here is one last pieces of good news. You can find them for sale on the streets of Samara for 500 to 1,000 colones ($1-$2) or head to Samara Organics at the Natural Center in town where they bottle it almost daily.

For 1,500 colones you will find a tall bottle that contains the juice of 2-3 coconuts. You can also find smoothies made with pipa fria there too! La Pura Lo Cura has body care products made with coconut oil and you can also buy the oil alone which is great for the body – inside and out – but this is another story!

Or if you are feeling adventurous, climb a tree and cut your own young green or yellow coconut then find a machete to open it and drink your own. One warning: it isn’t as easy as it looks but well worth the hard work or take it easy and find someone that sells them.

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The Power of Pipa Fria. What in the world is “pipa fria”?

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