What is the pH of coconut water?
In this brief article, we will provide you with the answer to the question: “What is the ph of coconut water?”, and share some of the benefits of coconut water ingestion.
What is the pH of coconut water?
The pH of coconut water typically falls within the range of 4.6 to 5.6. In terms of water activity, coconut water has a value of approximately 0.99.
These characteristics classify coconut water as a low-acid/high-water activity product, which creates an environment conducive to rapid bacterial growth under optimal conditions.
Coconut water derived from young green coconuts of dwarf palms contains approximately 5% sugar, consisting of fructose, glucose, sucrose, and sugar alcohols.
Additionally, it contains around 1% ash, primarily composed of essential minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and sodium.
While coconut water contains various components such as vitamins, lipids, amino acids, nitrogenous compounds, organic acids, enzymes, and phytohormones, their concentrations in coconut water are relatively low. (1)
What is pH?
pH expresses the concentration of the ion H+ , represented as [H+], of an aqueous solution as a logarithmic function; pH offers a convenient mechanism of expressing a wide range of [H+] in small positive numbers. The letter, p, is used to denote the negative logarithm to the base10 of.
The pH scale from 0 to 14 covers all the hydrogen ion concentrations found in dilute aqueous solutions and biological systems.
Pure water has a pH of 7 which is considered to be neutral. When pH < 7, the solution is acidic and when pH > 7, the solution is basic or alkaline. Because of the logarithmic function a change of one pH unit represents a tenfold difference in hydrogen ion concentration. (2)
What is coconut’s nutritional value?
One cup (240 mL) of coconut water obtained from a single coconut contains approximately 45-50 grams of calories, around 9 grams of carbohydrates, 1.5 grams of proteins, and 2.5 grams of fibers, along with 6 grams of sugar.
Additionally, coconut water is a rich source of essential nutrients such as vitamin C, manganese, calcium (providing 5% of the Daily Value (DV)), potassium (providing 17% of the DV), sodium (providing 10% of the DV), calcium, and magnesium (providing 15% of the DV).
Due to its electrolyte content, including potassium, sodium, magnesium, and calcium, coconut water is highly hydrating and aids in maintaining proper fluid balance within the body. (3)
How is pH related to the stability of coconut water?
Generally, the low pH and the high sugar concentrations in coconut water are factors that promote the development of yeasts in these beverages.
If the water is removed from the fruit and stored at room temperature, it deteriorates in just a few days. This is because coconut water has an average pH of 5, and therefore microorganisms can grow easily in this natural medium.
After some days of degradation, a rapid decrease in the pH is observed, making the coconut water very acidic and unsuitable for consumption. (4)
Does the pH and composition of coconut water make it a healthy drink?
Yes, because of these physicochemical properties coconut water has several health benefits such as rehydration, blood pressure regulation and digestion.
The carbohydrate and electrolyte content, particularly potassium, sodium, and magnesium, make coconut water an effective rehydration solution for preventing dehydration caused by various diseases or environmental factors, as well as after workouts.
Furthermore, coconut water can aid in reducing blood pressure among hypertensive individuals. Its high potassium content contributes to heart health and offers protection against stroke.
Additionally, the presence of magnesium in coconut water supports digestion by promoting regular bowel movements and preventing constipation. (5)
Are there side effects to coconut water?
The consumption of spoiled coconut water presents a risk due to potential contamination with harmful bacteria, such as E. coli, salmonella, and listeria. Infections caused by these bacteria can lead to symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, cramps, and diarrhea. (3, 6, 7)
Does too much coconut water also have side effects?
Yes, excessive consumption of coconut water has been linked to severe hyperkalemia, acute kidney injury, and rhabdomyolysis, as indicated by case reports. Therefore, it is important to exercise caution and moderation when consuming coconut water.
It is worth noting that coconut water contains fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols, which are short-chain carbohydrates. These substances have the potential to draw water into the intestines and cause digestive issues, including diarrhea, in certain individuals.
Considering its sugar content of 6.26 grams per cup, individuals with diabetes should avoid drinking coconut water. It is generally not recommended for people with diabetes to consume it on a daily basis. (3, 6, 7)
In this brief article, we will provide you with the answer to the question: “What is the pH of coconut water?” and share some of the benefits of coconut water ingestion.
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- Blackstock, J. C. The physical chemistry of aqueous systems. Guide to Biochemistry, 11–19. 1989.
- Kim Chin, Gavin Van De Walle,Does Coconut Water Cause or Prevent Diarrhea? Healthline Media LLC. 2021
- Costa, H. B., Souza, L. M., Soprani, L. C., Oliveira, B. G., Ogawa, E. M., Korres, A. M. N. Romão, W. Monitoring the physicochemical degradation of coconut water using ESI-FT-ICR MS. Food Chemistry, 174, 139–146. 2015.
- Wahauwouélé Hermann Coulibaly, et.al. Nutritional profile and functional properties of coconut water marketed in the streets of Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire), Scientific African, 20, 2023,
- Prithviraj, V., Pandiselvam, R., Babu, A. C., Kothakota, A., anikantan, M. R., Ramesh, S. V., … Hebbar, K. B. Emerging non-thermal processing techniques for preservation of tender coconut water. LWT, 149, 111850. 2021.
- Hakimian, J., Goldbarg, S. H., Park, C. H., & Kerwin, T. C. . Death by Coconut. Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology, 7(1), 180–181. 2014.