Coconut Water & Coconut Milk

After reading yesterday’s post on coconut oil and its amazing health benefits, has anyone gone out and bought some yet? I hope so!

If you venture into Whole Foods, Safeway, or even your local yoga studio, you have probably seen cartons or cans of coconut water flying off the shelves. It’s easy for me to figure out new health food trends – just by sitting in class. We are allowed (encouraged, almost!) to bring food to class, and it’s where I get a lot of my ideas for what to eat or drink next! My classmates were drinking Kombucha tea and eating goji berries long before they became popular. The newest beverage I’m seeing around the classroom, though, is coconut water.

Coconut water is the natural liquid found in a coconut. It has many of the same health benefits as the coconut oil, but has no fat and contains sugar. However, it’s 100% natural if you buy the right kind. Ingredients should say “young coconut juice” or something similar. Coconut water is most often taken from a young coconut because these coconuts have the most liquids. As a coconut matures, the water is replaced by the meat, and a coconut becomes much denser and less liquid. Young coconuts are typically green, while the more mature ones are brown.

No preservatives, added sugars or other additives need be added to coconut water, so (again) read labels carefully. Some reputable brands include Vita Coco, Zico Pure, O.N.E., and Amy & Brian Naturals. Coconut water is full of electrolytes and is considered very refreshing and hydrating. This is why you see it in gyms and yoga studios. In some countries where medical saline is unavailable but coconuts are abundant, coconut water is used as an intravenous hydration fluid in hospitals.

Other health benefits associated with drinking coconut water regularly include: healthy immune system; intestinal health; increased metabolism; weight loss; supports those with diabetes or high blood pressure (and has even helped lower blood pressure); increased circulation; helps to break down kidney stones; and calming of an upset stomach.

Coconut water is high in potassium, salts and minerals, so it helps restore the body’s balance after vigorous exercise or in times of dehydration. It also contains the lauric acid I mentioned yesterday, which helps detoxify and protect the body. It is safe for children because it is 100% natural and does not contain any added sugars. It may be a good substitute for regular juice for kids. You can get coconut water in little cartons (similar to a juice box), and it is just sweet enough that they may love it!

Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is a mixture of equal parts of the natural liquid found in a coconut and shredded “meat” of the coconut, boiled together and strained. This is why coconut milk appears thicker and whiter than coconut water. Coconut milk is higher in fats and sugars (all good, natural ones though) than coconut water, and is often used for cooking or baking. My brother makes an awesome curry (which I hope he blogs soon for us!) and he uses coconut milk.

Coconut milk also contains lauric acid (same nutrient found in breast milk) and has many of the same benefits as coconut oil and water. It is high in vitamins, including B-vitamins, protein, zinc, phosphorous and iron. Coconut milk can be a great ingredient to add to homemade baby food recipes, and is also great for kids. As with the introduction of any new food, give your baby or child a small amount of the coconut milk first to make sure they don’t have an allergic reaction.

I hope you all go out this weekend and buy some fresh, natural coconut water or milk! I find it very refreshing – about 6 ounces is enough to rejuvenate me after a long run or a pilates session. And if you can get fresh coconut water while on a tropical vacation, lucky you… fresh nutritious water from a newly picked coconut; lots of vitamin D… what more could you ask for???


  1. Awesome news on coconut water and milk! Do people eat it with cereal?

    I know coconut water is a great morning drink after a late night in the battle zone.

    1. Hi there, Coconut water is the very stuff of Nature, biologically Pure, full of Natural Sugars, Salts, and Vitamins to ward off fatigue… and is the next wave of energy drinks BUT natural! More info on coconut water benefits please visit:

  2. Yes, good point Ed. Coconut water is perfect for curing a hangover!

  3. When I fainted in Bikram Yoga in February, they gave me Zico and I felt better. I still have yet to go back though because I am embarassed.

  4. I lova de islandsApril 30, 2010 at 9:48 AM

    Drinking it straight from the young coconut is fun too. Perhaps you could provide an instructional video on how to open one? hint, hint..

  5. I love my Vita Coco! tastes so good and it's healthy too. And in response to ed, I have used it several times to cure my hangovers and it works every time.

  6. Ann,

    We have a 13 month old daughter, and prefer not to give her cow's milk. Do you have any concerns about giving her coconut milk on a regular basis? I am an R.N. and spend much of my time reading and researching the healthiest choices for her. I have not found any concerns.



  7. I have coconut water when I get tired, to replenish the energy. It boosts my immune system and body metabolism that enables me to work better and for longer duration. I recommend everybody this Coconut Water. However, buy coconut water only from a reputed company such as Natural Juices & Vitamins Ltd.

  8. Awesome post! Coconut oil can be used in various ways. There are a lot of benefits for our health when using coconut oil.

  9. Very well written, I also agree with you that coconut water is very beneficial for everyone. There are very few ingredients which give you so many benefits and coconut water is one of them. The benefits of coconut water are numerous but the most important benefit is that by this you can stay hydrated which is very important thing. There are also other benefits and if you want to know what the other benefits are, visit this site.