Coconut Water

vita coco

Coconut water is the clear liquid inside young coconuts. As the fruit matures, the coconut water gradually is replaced by the coconut meat and air. A very young coconut has very little meat, and the meat is very tender, almost a gel. Coconut water has long been a popular drink in the tropics, especially in Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, such as Hawaii, and the Caribbean, where it is available fresh, canned or bottled. It is naturally fat-free and low calorie.

Coconuts for drinking are carefully packaged and sold in many places. These are typically Asian coconuts whose outer green husk has been removed, and the remainder wrapped in plastic. In Central America, particularly in Costa Rica and Panama, it is found and sold in strategic highway stops or on the beaches; there, the coconut water is called ‘agua de pipa,’ and the coconut is cut in front of the customer to ensure its freshness.In Brazil, coconut water is called ‘água de coco,’ and is the second best-selling juice after orange juice.

Coconut water can also be found in ordinary cans or tetra paks (and often has coconut pulp or coconut jelly added) and is also marketed as a sports drink because of its high potassium and mineral content. In fact, one cup-full of coconut water contains more electrolytes than most sports drinks and more potassium than a banana.

While people prefer different flavors of coconut water, generally a green coconut with some age spots is the most popular. Coconuts from various parts of the world also differ in taste. For example, Indian coconuts tend to be sweet while Brazilian coconuts have a mild taste and Bangladeshi coconuts (due to the soil composition) have extremely sweet water and flesh with a very slight salty aftertaste similar to the Indian variety.

Coconut water is also used as an intravenous hydration fluid in some developing countries where medical saline is unavailable.

Fresh coconuts for drinking are typically harvested off the tree while they are green. A hole may be bored into the coconut to provide access to the liquid and meat. In young coconuts the liquid and air may be under some pressure and may spray slightly when the inner husk is first penetrated. Coconuts that have fallen to the ground are susceptible to rot and damage from insects or animals.

Coca-Cola markets a coconut water product under the brand Zico.

Coconut milk typically refers to the sweet, milky white cooking base derived from the meat of a mature coconut, but also refers to coconut water, the naturally-occurring liquid found inside the hollow coconut.

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