Is Coconut Water Juice? Defining the Terms

October 2, 2023

No, coconut water isn’t juice. This is because the liquid isn’t extracted from coconut meat.

I have noticed that a lot of people use the words coconut water and juice rather interchangeably. I have also been asked is coconut water juice. Therefore, I wanted to clear the air on what coconut water is.

In this post, you will learn why coconut water isn’t actually juice. I will also describe what it actually is. Let’s begin!

healthy tropical coconut water

What Kind of Beverage is Coconut Water?

Technically, coconut water isn’t considered actually considered juice. Yes, it is sometimes referred to as coconut juice instead of coconut water, but it is a bit of a misnomer.

Fruit juices – or any juice, really – is the product of fruit flesh. Here, the liquid is extracted the flesh or the pulp of the fruit. Sometimes, water is added to the beverage and other times it is not.

With coconut water, though, there isn’t such a process involved. Rather, when you crack open the shell of a coconut water, the water is contained in the middle. It is surrounded by the white flesh of the coconut.

In fact, the only thing that is extracted from coconut flesh is coconut milk. And, this has a completely different composition. It is also used rather differently as well, traditionally being added to food. The watered down version of coconut milk can be consumed as a beverage, though.  

How is Coconut Water Formed?

The question still remains – what is coconut water?

Well, the edible portions of coconut, which is coconut water and coconut meat are endosperm tissue. This type of tissue undergoes a form of development known as nuclear mode.

In the beginning, coconut endosperm is just liquid of free nuclei. Through the process of cytokinesis, the cellular endosperm layer is formed. At first, this layer is translucent and resembles jelly. As time progresses, though, it hardens and becomes the white coconut flesh that you are probably familiar with it.

Unlike with other plants, though, the coconut fruit isn’t completely filled up with this meat. Instead, there is a solution-filled cavity in the middle. This cytoplasmic solution is known as coconut water. It gets its nutrients from the cell wall around it.

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brown coconuts pilled up

Do All Coconuts Have Coconut Water?

For the most part, all coconuts do contain coconut water. However, the actual level of coconut water can vary depending on the age of the drupe.

Green coconuts or young coconuts contain the most amount of liquid. This means that when the nut is about 6 to 7 months old, you will be able to get the most liquid. This drink is also the sweetest at this point.

As the nut ripens, though, the coconut water is used up to make coconut meat. This is why mature coconuts – those harvested at around 10 or 13 months will have less water in them. However, the nutrient value of this water is often higher.

Coconut water may not be juice, but it does have a pretty interesting story behind. And, now you know why coconut water shouldn’t be classified as juice, either!

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An Important Disclaimer
The information on this page should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. Consult a doctor if you wish to consume any kind of tea regularly for the purpose of treating any condition or illness.
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