Is Coconut Water Keto-Friendly? Benefits of Coconut Water

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 01/21/2024

Coconut water is a rich source of natural electrolytes and is linked to several health benefits, including blood pressure regulation and kidney stone prevention. But is coconut water keto-friendly?

While small amounts of unsweetened coconut water won’t kick you out of ketosis, many sugar-sweetened coconut water beverages are high in carbs and not keto-approved. 

Let’s look at the health benefits of coconut water and find out how to choose a low-carb coconut water that’s safe on the ketogenic diet.  

Coconut water

What is coconut water?

Coconut water is the clear fluid found inside young coconuts. It’s a rich source of nutrients and serves as nourishment for green coconuts as they mature. 

This explains why an average green coconut contains significantly more coconut water than ripe coconuts, which have developed a hard and woody outer husk. 

Pure coconut water has a refreshing taste with a slightly sweet and nutty flavor and is often consumed as a hydrating beverage in tropical regions. 

Coconut water is also an excellent liquid base for smoothies and shakes, can be incorporated into various sweet and savory dishes, and works well in sauces and marinades. 

Because of its pleasant taste, high nutrient content, and potential health benefits, coconut water has become a trendy beverage that’s widely available in supermarkets and grocery stores.  

It’s important not to confuse coconut water with coconut milk. While coconut water is a clear fluid low in fat, coconut milk is a creamy, high-fat liquid extracted from coconut meat.  

Watch the video below to find out if coconut milk is keto-friendly. 

Is coconut water keto-friendly?

According to data published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), one cup (240 ml) of plain coconut water contains six grams of net carbs, which won’t significantly impact your blood sugar balance or kick you out of ketosis

However, don’t forget to include coconut water in your net carb count so you don’t exceed your overall daily carbohydrate limit, which typically ranges between 20 and 50 grams of net carbs per day for most people.  

In contrast to plain coconut water, many commercial coconut water beverages are packed with added sugars and can contain as many as 21 grams of net carbs per cup, making them unsuitable for a low-carb diet.

“Be cautious with products labeled tender coconut water, which is derived from very young coconuts and typically contains more carbs than plain coconut water,” explains Dr. Berg.  

It’s important to carefully check nutrition labels and opt for low-carb plain coconut water without added sugars.

Woman drinking coconut water

5 benefits of coconut water

Coconut water is highly nutritious and rich in vitamins, minerals, growth factors, amino acids, and antioxidants. 

Research published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Science suggests that the use of coconut water as a medicinal remedy dates back centuries and was typically utilized to support digestion, manage urinary tract issues, and promote fertility.

Here are five health benefits of coconut water. 

1. Replenishes electrolytes and promotes hydration

Coconuts are rich sources of electrolytes, including potassium, sodium, and magnesium, and drinking coconut water can boost hydration and help replace lost electrolytes. 

Potassium and sodium are critical to maintaining the body’s fluid balance and facilitating the movement of water into and out of cells.

Because of its high electrolyte concentrations, coconut water makes an excellent natural sports drink that replenishes electrolytes and promotes optimal rehydration after physical activity.

A study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology confirms the benefits of coconut water for electrolyte replacement and fluid balance and concludes, Consuming coconut water, a natural refreshing beverage, can be used for whole body rehydration after exercise.”

Coconut water is an excellent alternative to plain water or sports drinks that can cause weight gain and dehydration due to their high sugar and caffeine content.

2. Supports cardiovascular health 

Coconut water is exceptionally high in potassium, an essential electrolyte that’s vital in maintaining heart health by regulating vasodilation and blood pressure.

Potassium is an often overlooked electrolyte that counteracts sodium's water-retaining effects, which balances the body’s fluid levels and helps prevent high blood pressure.

In addition, potassium supports the relaxation of blood vessels, associated with lower blood pressure and a reduced risk of stroke and heart attacks. 

Kidney stone illustration

3. Lowers the risk of kidney stones

Evidence published in BioMed Research International suggests that coconut water consumption is associated with a reduced risk of kidney stones.

Coconut water promotes electrolyte balance, which helps prevent dehydration and oversaturated urine, a primary cause of kidney stone formation. 

In addition, coconut water is a natural source of citrate. This weak organic acid can inhibit the formation of calcium oxalate stones, which are among the most common types of kidney stones. 


4. Helps maintain a healthy weight 

A high-carb diet and the consumption of sugary drinks are leading causes of excessive weight gain and obesity. 

Plain coconut water is low in calories and contains significantly fewer carbs than sugary juices, sodas, sports drinks, and energy drinks, making it a refreshing beverage that can promote weight loss, especially if combined with a healthy diet.

5. Promotes skin health 

Not only does coconut water promote optimal hydration, which is crucial for healthy and radiant skin, but it also contains various anti-inflammatory polyphenols that help combat chronic inflammation linked to eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, and acne.

In addition, certain amino acids in coconut water promote collagen synthesis, a vital structural protein that supports skin elasticity and helps prevent wrinkles.  

Coconut juice splashing

How to enjoy coconut water without stopping ketosis

The key to enjoying coconut water without stopping ketosis is to consume moderate amounts of plain coconut water without added sugars. 

You can use coconut water in your favorite keto shake, freeze it into ice cubes to add a hint of coconut flavor to low-carb drinks or dilute it with sparkling water for a refreshing beverage that won’t kick you out of ketosis. 

Coconut water can be incorporated into many keto recipes, works especially well in soups, stews, and braised meats, and adds a subtle sweetness to sauces and dips. 

While it’s not recommended to substitute coconut milk with coconut water, you can use coconut water to replace regular milk when preparing keto-friendly desserts

Two glasses of coconut water

Key takeaways

Coconuts are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes, but is coconut water keto-friendly? 

While plain coconut water contains some carbs, it’s not enough to impact blood sugar levels, and consuming small amounts won’t kick you out of ketosis.

However, sugar-sweetened coconut water drinks can quickly exceed your daily net carb limit, and it's crucial to check nutrition labels to avoid high-carb coconut water products that can interfere with fat burning.


1. Is coconut water healthy? 

Coconut water is incredibly nutritious, has been found to lower the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease, and may help prevent kidney stones.

In addition, coconut water is a rich source of electrolytes, including potassium and sodium, which play an essential role in maintaining the body’s fluid balance and muscle function. 

2. Is coconut water keto-friendly?

Plain coconut water is relatively low in carbs and won’t push you out of ketosis if consumed in moderation. 

However, check nutrition labels to avoid sugar-sweetened coconut water drinks that can quickly exceed your daily net carb limit and interfere with ketosis. 

3. Is coconut water high in carbs?

One cup (240 milliliters) of plain coconut water contains six net carbs. However, many commercial coconut water beverages are packed with sugar and can have as many as 21 grams of net carbs per cup. 

4. How much coconut water will kick you out of ketosis?

How much coconut water you can drink before it kicks you out of ketosis depends on your daily net carb count and how many other carb-containing foods and beverages you have consumed.

One cup of plain coconut water has around six grams of net carbs, which won’t kick you out of ketosis.   

5. What happens if I drink coconut water every day?

Drinking coconut water daily supports electrolyte balance and optimal hydration, can help improve blood pressure regulation, and may lower your risk of kidney stones and heart disease. 

6. What are the pros and cons of coconut water?

Coconut water is highly nutritious and linked to various health benefits, including a lower risk of hypertension, heart disease, kidney damage, and inflammatory skin problems.

However, coconut water contains natural sugars, and consuming excessive amounts can negatively impact blood sugar control, which is associated with weight gain, insulin resistance, and metabolic syndrome.  

7. When should I drink coconut water?

Coconut water is a rich source of electrolytes, making it a natural alternative to sports drinks, which are often high in sugar and caffeine.

Drinking coconut water before and after physical activity is an excellent strategy to replenish lost electrolytes and maintain optimal hydration.  

8. Is coconut water good for the skin?

Yes, coconut water is good for the skin as it promotes hydration, which supports skin cell function and helps achieve a radiant complexion.

Coconut water contains various anti-inflammatory polyphenols that can help mitigate chronic inflammation associated with skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, and acne.  

9. Is coconut water good for removing belly fat?

Yes, coconut water can help maintain a healthy waistline as it’s low in calories and contains significantly fewer carbs than sodas, sugary juices, and energy drinks. 

While coconut water is an excellent alternative to beverages high in sugar, drinking sweetened coconut water drinks can also lead to weight gain, and it’s best to consume plain coconut water without added sugars.  

10. Is coconut water good for your kidneys?

Yes, drinking coconut water has been found to promote kidney health.

Coconut water contains citrate, an organic acid that inhibits the crystallization of calcium and oxalates, which helps prevent the formation of kidney stones. 

11. What is the best type of coconut water to drink?

Pure coconut water without added sugar is rich in essential nutrients, low in calories, and contains only small amounts of carbs that won’t impact blood sugar levels, making it the best type of coconut water to promote hydration and support a healthy body. 







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