Coconut Water and Keto: A Refreshing Choice or a Carb Trap?


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Ever found yourself yearning for a refreshing, tropical drink while navigating the strict paths of a ketogenic diet? You’re not alone.

Many of us have pondered whether the sweet, clear liquid from young green coconuts, affectionately known as coconut water, can be a part of our low-carb lifestyle.

After all, it’s a popular drink, known for its hydrating properties and electrolyte content. But is coconut water keto?

Does it align with the principles of the ketogenic diet? Let’s dive in!

What Is Coconut Water?

Coconuts, in their early stages of development, contain a clear liquid known as pure coconut water, sometimes called coconut juice. This is harvested from young, green coconuts. It’s often referred to as “nature’s sports drink” due to its natural electrolyte content.

Unlike sugary sports drinks or fruit juices, coconut water, also known as coconut juice, is low in calories and carbs, making it a popular drink among health-conscious individuals.

It’s a healthy drink, but can it fit into the rigid guidelines of a ketogenic diet which suggests a low carbohydrate intake for weight loss? Let’s explore.

Why do people drink coconut water?

People drink coconut water for a variety of reasons. It is a low-carb alternative to drinks with added sugar or fruit juices, and it contains fewer calories. It’s also packed with electrolytes, making it a popular drink for athletes seeking to replenish nutrients lost during physical activity.

However, the sugar content in coconut water might make you wonder whether it’s suitable for a low-carb diet.

Here are the main reasons that people drink coconut water:

  • Coconut water is a low-calorie, electrolyte-rich drink that can be part of a ketogenic diet in moderation. (source)
  • Coconut water has natural sugars and low net carbs making it an ideal choice for those on the keto diet.
  • Coconut water has plenty of other benefits, see this article for me information.

Let’s delve into what makes a food keto-friendly next.

What Makes a Food Keto-Friendly?

keto-friendly foods

The keto diet is a meal plan that involves lowering your intake of carbohydrates and increasing your healthy fat intake. This shift in nutrients encourages your body to enter a state of ketosis, where it burns fat for energy rather than carbs.

Keto-friendly drinks and foods are low in net carb and minimally processed.

They help maintain stable blood sugar levels and fit within a daily carb intake limit that allows your body to stay in ketosis.

In order to know your exact daily carb limit and the other macronutrients that you should target, you need to use a keto calculator.

With its natural sugar content, it might seem that coconut water doesn’t fit the bill. But the whole picture is a bit more nuanced.

To explain more, we need to examine the nutrition label for coconut water.

Analysis of Coconut Water and the Keto Diet

coconut palm tree

To determine if a food is keto, you need to look at the nutrition facts.

Coconut water certainly brings a lot to the table in terms of hydration and nutrients. However, when it comes to fitting it into a keto diet plan, we must take a closer look at its nutritional value, particularly its carbohydrate and sugar content.

Will it fit within your daily carb limit? Can it maintain stable blood glucose levels? And most importantly, can it keep you in ketosis?

Let’s start by examining the nutrition information and net carbs.

Coconut Water Nutrition Information and Net Carbs

Let’s dive into the nutritional value of coconut water. Coconut water contains varying amounts of net carbs, depending on the brand and serving size. Net carbs are calculated by subtracting the grams of fiber from the total carbs.

How many net carbs can you have on keto? Use our keto calculator to find out.

Unsweetened coconut water is an excellent example of a low-carb beverage. A 240 ml serving contains only 10.5 grams of carbs.

However, it’s important to note that coconut water also contains natural sugars, adding to its total carbs. This is crucial information for those who follow a keto diet, where monitoring carb intake is key.

Is Coconut Water Keto?

Given its the number of net carbohydrates, one might wonder, is coconut water keto-friendly?

While it might not seem like the best choice for a ketogenic diet, it could be incorporated in moderation.

Although it’s not as low in carbs as plain water or green tea, it’s certainly a healthier, more refreshing choice than sugary drinks or fruit juice.

You should avoid coconut water in general, but you might be able to include it in moderation. Be careful to select a quality brand that doesn’t contain any hidden sugars.

Can Coconut Water Kick Someone Out of Ketosis?

While coconut water can offer a refreshing change from plain water or herbal tea, consuming it in large quantities could potentially kick you out of ketosis. This is due to the natural sugar and carbs in coconut water.

The goal of keto is to stay in ketosis as long as possible so that you can burn the most fat.

On the other hand, coconut meat – the white, fleshy part inside the coconut – is more keto-friendly. This is because, despite its carbs, it is higher in fat and fiber, which can help satisfy hunger without a significant impact on blood sugar levels.

Therefore, it’s crucial to enjoy coconut water in moderation and keep an eye on your overall daily carb limit to ensure it fits within your keto lifestyle. For a more keto-compatible option, consider incorporating coconut meat into your diet.

Is Coconut Water Good for Relieving Keto Flu Symptoms?

When first transitioning to a keto diet, some people experience what’s known as “keto flu” – a collection of symptoms like headaches and fatigue caused by the body adjusting to its new fuel source. Here, coconut water might come to the rescue with its hydrating properties and nutrient content.

However, as with its general consumption on a ketogenic diet, coconut water should be consumed cautiously due to its carb content.

The Nutritional Profile of Coconut Water

is coconut water keto?

Beyond its carb content and refreshing taste, coconut water boasts a rich nutritional profile. It’s packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes, making it more than just a tasty beverage.

Let’s dive into the details of its nutritional composition.

Vitamins and Minerals

Coconut water is a good source of several vitamins and minerals. It contains essential nutrients like potassium, known for maintaining fluid balance, nerve function, and muscle contractions.

It also provides a dose of calcium, which is vital for bone and teeth health, and magnesium, which assists in regulating blood sugar levels. These nutrients contribute to its status as a healthful beverage.

Coconut water is an excellent choice for those looking to stay hydrated and get a drink. Here is a good list of the vitamins that you need on the keto diet.


Electrolytes are minerals that help keep the body’s hydration levels in check and ensure proper muscle and nerve function. Coconut water naturally contains electrolytes like calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

These electrolytes not only aid in hydration but also help balance the body’s pH level and transport nutrients into cells.

Health Benefits of Drinking Coconut Water

coconut on the beach

Aside from its beneficial role in hydration and potential compatibility with a keto diet, coconut water offers a range of other health benefits.

Its high potassium content can contribute to maintaining healthy blood pressure levels, while its natural sugars and electrolytes make it an excellent post-workout recovery drink.

Furthermore, its nutrient profile can contribute to overall wellness and even aid in weight management.

Coconut water, rich in potassium, may help lower blood pressure by balancing sodium effects and reducing tension in blood vessels.

With its natural enzymes and fiber content, coconut water may promote better gut health by aiding digestion and preventing constipation. Keto constipation and diarrhea are common problems.

I hope that this helps you to see the value of coconut water.

The Difference Between Coconut Water and Coconut Milk

coconut milk keto

It’s worth noting that coconut water and coconut milk are not the same. While both are derived from coconuts, they have different nutritional profiles and uses.

Coconut water is the liquid that can be found inside young coconuts, while coconut milk is obtained by blending the coconut meat with water. It is low-calorie and low-fat and has a clear appearance.

On the other hand, unsweetened coconut milk is a high-calorie, high-fat product made by blending water with the white flesh of mature coconuts.

With its higher fat and calorie content, coconut milk is more commonly used in cooking rather than as a standalone beverage.

How to Incorporate Coconut Water into Your Keto Diet

While coconut water comes with a caveat for keto dieters due to its carb content, it can still be added to a keto diet with certain precautions.

The key lies in moderation, careful brand selection, and an awareness of one’s daily carb intake.

Let’s take a closer look at these factors.

Moderation is Key

The saying “too much of a good thing can be bad” definitely applies to including coconut water in a keto diet. While it offers hydration and essential nutrients, its natural sugars and carbs mean that it should be consumed in moderation.

It’s best to stick to small servings and consider it as part of your daily carb limit to ensure it doesn’t interfere with your ketosis.

Drinking coconut water on a keto diet can be beneficial, but it should be consumed in moderation.

Which Brands of Coconut Water are Ketogenic?

Choosing the right brand of coconut water is crucial when incorporating it into a keto diet.

Look for brands that offer 100% organic, unsweetened coconut water with no added sugars.

You want plain coconut water. It’s even better if you can find fresh coconut water.

Some keto-friendly options include Harmless Harvest, Taste Nirvana, and Zico.

Remember to always check the nutrition label for carb content to ensure it fits within your daily carb limit.

Is Vita Coco Keto Friendly?

Vita Coco, a popular coconut water brand, isn’t generally considered keto-friendly due to its carbohydrate content.

A typical serving contains approximately 11 grams of carbohydrates, which is significant for a ketogenic diet, typically limiting carbs to 20-50 grams daily.

Despite the nutritional value of coconut, including fiber and MCTs, Vita Coco may not be the best choice for those on a keto diet due to its sugar content.

Keto-Friendly Alternatives to Coconut Water

keto-friendly coconut water alternatives

If you find that coconut water doesn’t quite fit into your diet, don’t worry. Some of the best drinks are also keto-friendly and low in sugar.

There are plenty of other hydrating keto drinks that are low carbohydrate and offer their own unique health benefits, including water on a keto diet.

Let’s take a look at some keto-friendly alternatives to coconut water.

Unsweetened Almond Milk

almond milk is keto

Unsweetened almond milk is a fantastic low-carb alternative to coconut water. Made from ground almonds, it’s low in carbs and high in healthy fats, making it a great fit for a keto diet.

It can be used in recipes or enjoyed on its own as a refreshing drink.

Herbal Teas

keto herbal tea

Herbal teas such as chamomile, peppermint, and ginger offer the hydration benefits of coconut water without the carbs.

Plus, they come with their own unique health benefits, including antioxidants and potential appetite-suppressing qualities.

They can be enjoyed hot or cold, making them a versatile addition to a keto diet.

Infused Water Recipes

keto lemon infused water

If you’re looking for flavor and hydration without the carbs, infused water recipes are a great option. By adding fruits, veggies, and herbs to water, you can enjoy a flavorful, refreshing drink that’s low in carbs.

Take it up another notch by using sparkling water to add some fizz to your infused cocktail.

Popular ingredients for infused water include cucumber, lemon, and mint, all of which are keto-friendly.

These ingredients are easy to find and can be combined in a variety of ways to create delicious recipes.

Final Thoughts: Incorporating Coconut Water into Your Keto Lifestyle

Having coconut water on keto requires some thought, but it’s certainly not impossible. With careful consideration of serving size, carb content, and the quality of the brand, coconut water can be a hydrating addition to your diet.

The value of coconut water is that it contains helpful vitamins and minerals to keep you healthy in ketosis.

If coconut water doesn’t quite fit, remember there are plenty of keto-friendly alternatives to explore. The key is to find a balance that suits your individual needs and preferences while staying within your keto goals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is coconut water high in carbs?

Coconut water contains 10 grams of carbs, most of which is sugar, so it is quite high in carbs. This makes it a less than ideal choice for those on a low-carb diet.

Is coconut good for keto diet?

Coconut is a great addition to the Keto diet due to its high healthy fat and low net carbs content. It also contains protein, small amounts of B vitamins, important minerals, and more, making it a nutrient-rich superfood.

What kind of water can I drink on keto?

Water is essential for a keto diet and should be your main beverage. You can also drink unsweetened teas, coffees, sparkling or seltzer waters, flavored waters with natural sweeteners, or even low-sugar drinks like diet soda in moderation. It’s recommended that you drink half of your body weight in ounces of water per day.

Is coconut water good for ketosis?

Although coconut water contains minerals that can benefit your health, its carbohydrate content makes it unsuitable for a ketogenic diet.

What is the difference between coconut water and coconut milk?

Coconut water is the clear liquid found inside young, green coconuts and is low in calories and fat, whereas coconut milk is made by blending water with the white flesh of mature coconuts, resulting in a high-calorie, high-fat product.

What Coconut Products Can You Eat on Keto?

On a keto diet, coconut flour is a great low-carb alternative to regular flour. Coconut cream and coconut oil are excellent, too; they’re high in healthy fats and low in carbs. Coconut flakes can also be included but opt for unsweetened versions to avoid added sugar.

The Bottom Line on Coconut Water and the Ketogenic Diet

Coconut water certainly poses a conundrum for the keto dieter – it’s a refreshing, nutritious beverage, but its carb content requires careful consideration.

Consumed in moderation and chosen from the right brands, it can be a part of a balanced lifestyle. If not, there are a multitude of keto-friendly alternatives to ensure you stay hydrated and healthy.

Remember, the keto diet is not about deprivation but about finding delicious, healthful foods that meet your low-carb goals.

Here’s to your health and hydration on the keto journey!