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Do you often see coconut sold in supermarkets or those that are already packaged in a small ready to drink box? Coconut water brings so much benefit for human’s health because it is low in sugar but high in nutrition which is believed to help people stay hydrated and  reduce the risk for some diseases. It is also common to see athletes drink coconut water as it helps to replenish electrolytes (such as minerals and sodium) lost from sweating after physical activity.

Coconut water can be collected from both tender and mature coconut, the only difference is that the younger one is higher in sugar compared to the aged coconut. 

For best food safe practices, coconut water should be drank fresh and within a few days after being opened to avoid deterioration. Deterioration occurs from exposure to sunlight and air, as well as being kept at room temperature. Coconut water stored open at room temperature for a day has been shown to cause the growth of bacteria and result in the change of appearance and turbidity (cloudiness). The enzymes contained in the coconut water such as peroxidase (POD) and polyphenol (PPO) contribute to the decrease in coconut water quality after being opened. Moreover, if coconut water is heated, it is likely to affect both the nutrition profile and taste. 

It is important to distinguish if coconut water is still fresh and safe to drink. Here are some things to look out for that indicate coconut water is NOT safe to drink and should be discarded:

  • Flavour change (tastes bitter/sour)
  • unusual/foul smell
  • Bubbles forming in the water

With food safety in mind, coconut water can be a cool and refreshing drink that is great for hydration. Enjoy it on its own or use it as a base in a smoothie!


Reviewed by Annie Tsang, RD



Tan, T., & Easa, A. M. (2021). The evolution of physicochemical and microbiological properties of green and mature coconut water (cocos nucifera) under different storage conditions. Journal of Food Measurement & Characterization, 15(4), 3523-3530.

Tuyekar, S. N., Tawade, B. S., Singh, K. S., Wagh, V. S., Vidhate, P. K., Yevale, R. P., Gaikwad, S., & Kale, M. (2021). An overview on coconut water: As A multipurpose nutrition. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences Review and Research, 68(2) 

Skrzypiec, A. M. (2022, May 30). Can coconut water go bad? Can It Go Bad? Retrieved September 30, 2022, from