What is Coconut Water?

Mary McMahon

Coconut water is a nutrient-rich fluid which is found in young coconuts. It is also sometimes known as coconut juice, and it is a popular food in many regions of the tropics, where coconuts are grown. Outside of the tropics, some markets carry pasteurized canned or bottled coconut water, and sometimes it is also possible to buy whole young coconuts which can be sliced open for their water. Health food stores sometimes prepare coconut water fresh for their customers by request.

Coconut water is commonly added to homemade fruit juices.
Coconut water is commonly added to homemade fruit juices.

Young coconuts are very distinctive, and easy to identify. They have pale green skin which is mottled with dark spots, and their husks are much thinner and less fibrous than those of mature coconuts. When cut open, a young coconut has gelatinous flesh and a clear fluid inside. Over time, the flesh slowly grows solid and the fluid is absorbed, and if the coconut were allowed to germinate, the seedling would feed on the nutrients in the coconut flesh until it was established.

Ginger can be added to give additional flavor to coconut water.
Ginger can be added to give additional flavor to coconut water.

The nutrients include potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C. The liquid has a clear, simple flavor which some people find very refreshing, and it can be adulterated with various spices and seasonings, like ginger, cinnamon, and sugar. It can be drunk chilled or at room temperature, and some people tout the juice as an energy-rich beverage which can be consumed to restore the balance of electrolytes in hot weather or during heavy exercise.

Coconut water may be used to combat low blood pressure.
Coconut water may be used to combat low blood pressure.

When a fresh young coconut is available, there are two ways to drink the coconut water. In one technique, a hole is bored into the top of the coconut, and a straw is inserted, so the juice can be drunk straight from the coconut. Once the water has been consumed, the coconut can be split open to access the meat. It is also possible to remove the top of the coconut, creating a lid and reaching the interior, or to crack the coconut open over a bowl to collect the water and spoon out the coconut meat.

Some companies outside of the tropics sell bottled coconut water.
Some companies outside of the tropics sell bottled coconut water.

In addition to being consumed, coconut water has also been used an intravenous fluid in some situations, typically during military engagements, during which medical supplies are sometimes not immediately available. When other fluids are not available for intravenous transfusion, coconut water can be used to raise the volume of the blood, combating low blood pressure while providing some useful electrolytes.

In emergency situations, coconut water can be given intravenously to raise the volume of blood in a person.
In emergency situations, coconut water can be given intravenously to raise the volume of blood in a person.
Coconut water can be extracted from young coconuts.
Coconut water can be extracted from young coconuts.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discussion Comments

cougars

@ Framemaker- The zico coconut water sold in stores is god, and it is almost the same as fresh coconut water, but as GenevaMech said, the jelly is part of the treasure. I went to Maui once for a wedding and they were selling fresh coconuts at the farmers market for a buck. To get the same amount of coconut water in a store you will pay at least $2.50 and you do not get the jelly. If you cannot get baby coconuts, the store bought cans are worthwhile, but if you get the opportunity try the real deal.

FrameMaker

@ GenevaMech- Does raw coconut water taste like the coconut water that you can buy in stores? I like the stuff you get in stores, but I wonder if fresh water is different from the canned stuff.

GenevaMech

I was born in Jamaica and I grew up in Hawaii so I have had my fair share of coconut water. I find that the best way to get at the treasure inside of a young coconut is to hold the coconut in one hand and slice the top off at an angle with a machete in the other hand. You can then slice a small spice of the green husk off the coconut to use as a scraper to get the jelly out after you have enjoyed the juice. Green coconut water is a great free treat that quenches your thirst on a hot and humid island day.

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register: