Is Coconut Water Keto Friendly? Carbs and Calories in Coconut Water


coconut water keto

There has been a lot of marketing hype behind coconut water lately.  Many people are wondering if this beverage is really as amazing as it claims or if it’s all a farce.  Is the coconut water trend really all it’s cracked up to be?  Is coconut water really any better than drinking plain spring water?

Coconut water is the clear liquid inside the coconut, not to be confused with coconut milk, which is expressed from the coconut meat.  Coconut water is the juice from immature green coconuts that is lower in sugar and calories than fruit juices. 

Coconut water is naturally enriched with electrolytes like sodium and manganese, so in a way, this beverage acts as a sports drink.  Electrolytes can help your body rehydrate after a tough workout or recover from an illness.  Potassium is another electrolyte that is difficult to get in adequate amounts in the typical western diet.  Just one cup of coconut water contains the equivalent amount of potassium of 4 bananas!

You probably have questions about this curious coconut product…  You’re probably wondering what coconut water tastes like?  What are the benefits of drinking coconut water?  Can this beverage fit into a low carb diet like Keto?  Keep reading to find out all these answers so you can make an educated decision before jumping on the coconut water bandwagon.

Is Coconut Water Keto Friendly?

Coconut water contains just over 6 grams of naturally occurring sugar in just one cup, so be careful how much of this beverage you drink on the Keto diet. 

You might wish to use a little coconut water in place of milk for your smoothies or drink this beverage after a tough workout.  However, natural spring water is always a better option when you’re strictly counting carbs.

On the other hand, the electrolytes in coconut water, namely potassium and sodium, could help prevent the dehydrating effects of the Keto flu – a common side effect of the Keto diet.

How Many Carbs are in Coconut Water?

One cup of coconut water (250 millilitres) contains 9 grams of carbs and 2.6 grams of fiber to help offset those carbs, bringing net carbs down to 6.4 grams.  If you’re strictly watching your carbs, regular spring water or sparkling water is carb-free and always a better option.

How Many Calories are in Coconut Water?

One cup of coconut water (250 millilitres) contains only 45 calories.  If you drink several servings of this beverage in one day, the calories can add up quickly.  Springwater and sparkling water are both calorie-free, making a better choice if you’re following a calorie-reduction plan.

Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Cup (250 millilitres) of Coconut Water
Calories 45
Total Fat 0.5 grams 0%
Saturated fat 0.4 grams 2%
Polyunsaturated fat 0 grams
Monounsaturated fat 0 grams
Cholesterol 0 milligrams 0%
Sodium 252 milligrams 10%
Potassium 600 milligrams 17%
Total Carbohydrate 9 grams 3%
Dietary fiber 2.6 grams 10%
Sugar 6 grams
Protein 1.7 grams 3%
Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 9%
Calcium 5% Iron 3%
Vitamin D 0% Vitamin B-6 5%
Cobalamin 0% Magnesium 15%

Ingredients

Coconut water, water, sugar, young coconut pulp, and sodium metabisulphite.

Health Benefits 

coconut water carbs

Overview of Nutrients

Coconut Water is rich in the following vitamins and minerals:

  • Vitamin C: 10% of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Magnesium: 15% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 17% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 17% of the RDI
  • Sodium: 11% of the RDI
  • Calcium: 6% of the RDI

Hydration and Electrolyte Balance

Coconut water can help to replenish fluids and electrolytes after strenuous exercise. Electrolytes play a key role in maintaining adequate fluid balance in the body.

Rich in Antioxidants

Coconut water contains antioxidants to help protect the body’s cells from free radical damage.  A study published by the University of Calcutta in West Bengal, India discovered that rats with liver damage showed significant improvement in oxidative stress when given coconut water. 

Anti-Diabetic Properties

Research on diabetic animals indicates that coconut water helps with blood sugar control. It’s also a good source of magnesium, which may improve insulin sensitivity.  In one study published by the University of São Paulo in Brazil, diabetic rats given coconut water had healthier blood sugar levels than the control group.

Promotes Heart Health

Research on rats suggests that coconut water also has properties that lower unhealthy LDL cholesterol. Coconut water also helps lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of blood clots in the arteries.

In a study published by the University of Kerala in Kerala, India, rats that were given coconut water had reductions in blood cholesterol, triglycerides and fat in the liver.

The Take-Away

Coconut water is a natural beverage that is both healthy and hydrating.  The beverage may benefit your heart, blood sugar, and blood pressure.  Although human studies are needed to confirm these findings, animal research to date looks promising.

Side Effects

coconut water calories

Coconut water is safe for most people in normal amounts.  It may cause stomach upset in some people, however, this is uncommon.

Once opened, coconut water must be placed in the fridge and should be consumed within 48 hours.  Storing this water for longer could cause mold growth.  In fact, there have been several reported cases of mold contamination of coconut water beverages.

If consumed in vast amounts, coconut water could cause excessive levels of potassium in the blood, which could lead to kidney problems and irregular heartbeat.

Keto Virgin Pina Colada Mocktail Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 large handful of ice
  • 1/2 cup coconut water
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut, fresh or toasted
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 tablespoon crushed pineapple (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Add all ingredients into a blender and blend on high until all ingredients are combined and ice has fully crushed.
  2. Pour into a chilled glass or bottle and enjoy!

Related Questions:

What Does Coconut Water Taste Like?

Some people find coconut water to be a refreshing beverage to drink on its own or to add to smoothies.  It has a sweet, slightly nutty taste. 

With that being said, some people aren’t a fan of the taste, claiming that the beverage is too sweet for their liking and a little bit salty.  Others aren’t a fan of the texture, reporting the syrupy consistency to be off-putting. 

Coconut water reviews seem to be mixed, so the best way to decide if you’ll like the taste is to buy some for yourself and give it shot.

Is Coconut Water Fattening?

If you’re trying to lose weight and wondering about coconut water, then proceed with caution. Coconut water is like consuming liquid calories – about 45 calories for each cup you drink. 

Pure spring water is calorie-free; therefore, it always makes a better choice.  If you drink more than one glass of coconut water per day, you can quickly consume more calories than you burn, which leads to weight gain over time.

Is Coconut Water Safe for Diabetics?

A large body of research suggests that coconut water can lower blood sugar levels and improve other health markers related to diabetes.  Additionally, this water is a rich source of magnesium, a mineral known to improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control in type 2 diabetes sufferers and those who are predisposed to the disease.

Is Coconut Water Alkaline or Acidic?

Both the meat of the coconut and coconut water are alkaline.  Therefore, unsweetened coconut water can be a good beverage choice for people who suffer from heartburn and acid reflux.

Additionally, this beverage is a good source of helpful electrolytes, like potassium, which balances pH levels in the body to control reflux.

Melissa Marshall

A litigation paralegal and writer. Her first novel debuts this fall. She lives with her kitten, Zoey overlooking the waterfront in beautiful Dartmouth, Nova Scotia - also known as the “City of Lakes”.

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