We’ve all had this fantasy before. You’re stretched out on the most beautiful, tropical beach imaginable as the sun sets. Not only are you completely relaxed, but you’re also sipping cool, delicious coconut water from a straw stuck into a coconut. Though this sounds undeniably pleasant, we’re here to fact-check the fantasy. Can you drink coconut water straight from the coconut? And if you do — what should you keep in mind?
Can you drink coconut water straight from the coconut?
Human beings have been enjoying the benefits of coconuts — coconut oil, meat, and water —for thousands of years. Historically, enjoying coconuts without processing has been the standard for millennia, and it’s only recently that humans have started packaging and transporting coconuts worldwide.
Nowadays, if you take a vacation to a tropical island like Hawaii, it’s not uncommon to find many people on the beaches and even on roadsides selling fresh coconut water with a straw. With this in mind, the verdict is clear: it’s okay to drink coconut water from the coconut, in most cases. It’s just important to keep a few facts in mind:
1. Know Your Coconuts: Young vs. Mature
Did you know that coconuts have a lifespan of approximately 14-20 months before they are mature enough to sprout? Throughout this lifespan, coconuts have different uses. If you want to drink coconut water straight from the coconut, make sure that you get a young coconut instead of a mature coconut.
Mature coconuts are brown, covered in fibres, and traditionally used for their meat, or to make coconut cream or milk. In contrast, young coconuts are green and traditionally contain the sweetest and healthiest water for human use.
Tip: Sometimes, young coconuts in grocery stores are actually white in appearance since the outer layer has been removed before shipping.
2. Factor in Availability
Good-quality packaged coconut water is available year-round, rain or shine. Unless you’re living in Hawaii or another tropical island (lucky you!), you probably don’t have constant access to fresh coconuts for water. In those cases, it’s a great idea to look for a minimally-processed, additive-free packaged coconut water to get the same benefits.
3. Learn How to Open a Green Coconut
One of the biggest drawbacks of fresh coconut water is that it can be difficult to open. Research methods for opening the tough outer flesh in the way that is safest and easiest for you. Here’s one method for opening a young green coconut:
Using a heavy cleaver, make an incision at the top of the coconut with the corner of your blade. You’re going to make four incisions like this to cut a square-like opening at the top of the coconut. Once you’ve made your incisions, you can pry off the lid. From there, you can either stick a straw in to the top, or pour the contents into a glass.
4. Be Safe & Drink it Quick
There’s a reason that coconut water brands have to gently pasteurise their product before providing it to consumers. Fresh coconut water can develop microbes and bacteria when left out too long. If you’re choosing to drink coconut water straight from the coconut, make sure that you drink it immediately to prevent any of these dangerous organisms from growing.
5. Cool the Coconut for a more Refreshing Drink
Although it’s definitely personal preference, many of us find coconut water most refreshing when it’s cool. With this in mind, if you’re planning to drink coconut water straight from the coconut, you might want to refrigerate the coconut itself beforehand so you’re not drinking lukewarm coconut water.
Packaged Coconut Water Is Delicious, Refreshing, and Fresh
If you’re not in the mood to use a heavy cleaver or sort through the different shades of coconut at your grocery store, you can purchase packaged coconut water. If you get a good brand, it will still have tons of electrolytes like potassium and keep you feeling hydrated. Just like with straight-from-the-coconut water, make sure you keep a couple things in mind. Your store-bought coconut water should be:
- Free of added sugars & flavourings
- Not from concentrate
- 100% natural
It can definitely be a lot of fun to drink water straight from a young coconut. But if you’re looking for a perfect and convenient alternative coconut water, check out H2coco. They specialise in bringing you fresh, natural, additive-free coconut water — that tastes just as good as it does straight from the coconut!