Where does coconut water come from?
In this brief article, we are going to answer the question, “Where does coconut water come from?”
Where does coconut water come from?
Coconut water is a liquid endosperm, which accounts for approximately 25% by weight of the whole nut.
It is a drink with a somewhat mildly sweet and acidic flavor (pH 5.6), the color-less clear liquid inside the young green nuts, containing total solids of around 5% by weight. In natural form, the liquid endosperm is present in a hermetic cavity and is sterile in nature.
It contains minerals, amino acids, phytohormones and beneficial bioactive compounds, such as vitamin-C, vitaminB, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, glutamic acid, lysine, arginine, alanine, cytokinin. (1)
How does the harvesting of the coconut change the coconut water?
Each variety of coconut is subdivided into green, yellow and red varieties; however, the coconut water from the green variety is the most consumed as it is sweeter than that from the yellow and red varieties.
The young (tender) coconut (7 months) is preferred over the mature fruit, which is ripened for 12 months. The young fruit also has a larger volume of liquid. (2)
Tender coconut water (TCW) refers to the water when the nut reaches 7–9 months of maturity, and the liquid at this time tastes the sweetest and is also termed as young coconut water.
The water from a nut that is 10–13 months old is the mature coconut water (MCW). TCW has been mainly used as a natural drink while MCW is usually discarded. (3)
What is coconut water’s composition?
Coconut water extracted from young green coconuts contains approximately 5% sugar, comprising fructose, glucose, sucrose, and sugar alcohols. It also contains around 1% ash, primarily consisting of essential minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and sodium.
Additionally, coconut water contains vitamins, lipids, amino acids, nitrogenous compounds, organic acids, enzymes, and phytohormones, albeit in relatively low concentrations. (2)
What is coconut water’s nutritional profile?
The nutritional profile of coconut water are, per 100g of coconut water:
- Dry solids, 5.01-5.82g;
- energy value, 19 kcal, protein,
- total lipid, 0.07-0.2g,
- ash, 0.39-0.87g;
- carbohydrates by difference, 3.71-4.76g;
- sugars, 2.61-5.23g;
- calcium, 24-27mg;
- magnesium, 6-25 mg;
- sodium, 2-105 mg;
- potassium 204-250 mg.
- Vitamin C as ascorbic acid, 2-7 mg;
- vitamin B group (less than 1 mg) traces for tender coconut water.
Delta lactone is responsible for the typical flavor of coconut water; auxin and cytokines are growth hormones present in coconut water. The water content is 206-565 g/nut. (4)
What are the benefits of drinking coconut water?
Coconut water offers numerous health benefits, including rehydration, blood pressure regulation, and improved digestion. (5)
Is coconut water a good source of rehydration?
Yes. Thanks to its carbohydrate and electrolyte content, which includes potassium, sodium, and magnesium, coconut water serves as an effective rehydration solution, guarding against dehydration caused by various diseases or environmental conditions, as well as after physical workouts. (5)
Is coconut water good for blood pressure?
Yes, coconut water can aid in lowering blood pressure among individuals with hypertension. The presence of potassium in coconut water makes it a suitable beverage for supporting heart health and offering protection against strokes.(5)
Is coconut water good for digestion and weight loss?
Yes, the magnesium found in coconut water plays a role in enhancing digestion by maintaining regular bowel movements and preventing constipation.
Furthermore, coconut water hydrates the cells in the body, inducing a feeling of fullness and reducing the tendency to overeat in order to satisfy hunger. This practice of reduced eating, in turn, aids in weight management and water loss. (5)
Is coconut water good for your skin?
Coconut water also contributes to skin health. Dehydration often leads to various skin issues such as itching, scaling, and scars.
By incorporating coconut water into one’s diet, skin health can be improved as it contains vitamin C and antioxidants that promote collagen synthesis, resulting in more radiant and firmer skin. (5)
Are there any disadvantages of coconut water?
Excessive consumption of coconut water has been documented in case reports to result in severe hyperkalemia, along with acute kidney injury and rhabdomyolysis.
Another potential risk associated with coconut water arises from consuming spoiled or contaminated varieties. Contamination with harmful bacteria, such as E. coli, salmonella, and listeria, can occur in spoiled coconut water.
Infections caused by these bacteria can manifest in symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea. (3, 6)
In this brief article, we answered the question, “Where does coconut water come from?”
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- Walter, E. H. M., Kuaye, A. Y., & Hoorfar, J. Case study on the safety and sustainability of fresh bottled coconut water. Global Safety of Fresh Produce, 367–382. 2014.
- 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.
- L., Sunil & Appaiah, Prakruthi & P K, Prasanth Kumar & A.G., Gopala Krishna. Coconut Water – A Nature’s miracle health drink: Chemistry, Health Benefits, Packaging, Storage, and Technologies: A Review. 1-11. 2020.
- 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,
- Hakimian, J., Goldbarg, S. H., Park, C. H., & Kerwin, T. C. . Death by Coconut. Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology, 7(1), 180–181. 2014.