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Is coconut water keto? Is this drink low carb friendly?

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The ketogenic diet, or keto for short, is a popular eating plan known for its low carbohydrate and high-fat guidelines. This diet shifts the body's metabolism from burning carbs to burning fat, a state known as ketosis. When adhering to a keto lifestyle, the type and amount of food and beverages you consume play a critical role in achieving and maintaining this state. And as a keto dieter, you may have wondered, "Is coconut water keto?" Let's dig into this popular drink and find out.

is coconut water keto: class of coconut water next to a cracked open coconut.

The Coconut Water Phenomenon

Coconut water, the clear liquid found in young green coconuts, has been a trending beverage for its refreshing taste and high electrolyte content, rivaling many sports drinks. Its sweet taste, coupled with its potential to lower blood pressure and provide a hefty dose of vitamin C, has many jumping on the coconut water bandwagon.

Despite the natural sports drink tag, a single cup serving of pure coconut water has about 15 grams of carbohydrates and 5 grams of sugar. While this might be less sodium and fewer calories than most fruit juices, it's a considerable amount of carbs for those following a strict keto diet.

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Coconut Water and the Keto Diet

One of the key principles of a keto diet is keeping your daily carb intake to between 20-50 grams of net carbs. Therefore, the carb content of a cup of coconut water accounts for a significant portion of your daily carb limit, and drinking large amounts could potentially throw you out of the state of ketosis.

But here's the good news: while coconut water might not be the best choice, there are plenty of other coconut products that can fit seamlessly into a keto lifestyle. Coconut oil, for example, is rich in healthy fats, particularly medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are excellent for weight loss and achieving a state of ketosis. Plus, unlike coconut water, coconut oil has zero grams of carbs.

Other keto-friendly alternatives include unsweetened coconut milk, coconut cream, and coconut flour, each providing a unique nutritional value. For instance, coconut flour is low in carbs, high in fiber, and a great option for keto baking.

Coconut Products for a Keto Diet

Coconut ProductNet Carbs per 100gRemarks
Coconut Water6gHigh in carbs and sugars, not recommended for a keto diet.
Coconut Oil0gRich in healthy fats and MCTs, great for cooking and baking.
Unsweetened Coconut Milk3gLower in carbs, good for drinking and cooking.
Coconut Cream4gA creamy, low-carb alternative for sauces, smoothies, coffee.
Coconut Flour9g net carbs (after subtracting fiber)Excellent for low-carb baking. High in fiber.
Coconut Meat (Fresh)6gModerately high in carbs. Use sparingly.
Coconut Flakes (Unsweetened)6g net carbs (after subtracting fiber)Good for snacking or topping, but use sparingly due to carb count.

Top Tips for Incorporating Coconut Products into a Keto Diet

  1. Opt for unsweetened coconut products: To maintain your daily carb limit, always choose unsweetened coconut products. These include unsweetened coconut milk, coconut cream, and coconut flakes.
  2. Use coconut oil for cooking: Coconut oil is an excellent choice for cooking and baking on a keto diet due to its high content of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) and zero carb count.
  3. Try coconut flour for baking: Coconut flour is a low-carb, high-fiber alternative to regular flour. It's perfect for making keto-friendly bread, cookies, and cakes.
  4. Check labels carefully: Not all coconut products are created equal. Always read the nutrition label to ensure that the product doesn't contain added sugar or hidden carbs.
  5. Don't overdo it: Even though some coconut products are keto-friendly, they still contain calories and can contribute to weight gain if consumed in excess. Remember, portion control is key.
  6. Stay hydrated with better options: Instead of high-carb coconut water, stay hydrated with plain water, herbal teas, or homemade unsweetened coconut milk.
  7. Make your own coconut milk: To ensure no hidden sugars or additives, consider making your own coconut milk at home. All you need are fresh coconuts, a blender, and a strainer.
  8. Pair coconut with other keto-friendly foods: Enhance the nutritional value and taste of your meals by pairing coconut products with other keto-friendly foods. For instance, add coconut flakes to a salad or mix MCT oil with your morning coffee.
  9. Experiment with coconut cream: Coconut cream can be a great addition to smoothies, sauces, or even coffee. It gives a creamy texture and subtle sweetness without the high carb content of coconut water.
  10. Consult a nutritionist or dietician: If you're unsure about how to incorporate coconut products into your keto diet, consult a nutritionist or dietician. They can provide personalized advice based on your dietary needs and goals.

If you're looking for a refreshing drink that is keto-friendly, try unsweetened sparkling water or herbal tea. These drinks are low in calories and carbs, and they can help you stay hydrated on the keto diet.

Here are some other keto-friendly drinks:

  • Black coffee
  • Green tea
  • Unsweetened almond milk
  • Unsweetened coconut milk
  • Bone broth
  • Water

These drinks are all low in carbs and calories, and they can help you stay hydrated on the keto diet.

If you're craving something sweet, you can try adding a few drops of stevia or monk fruit extract to your water or tea. These sweeteners are keto-friendly and won't raise your blood sugar levels.

Deeper Dive Into the Coconut World and its Compatibility with a Keto Diet

Understanding the Keto Diet

The ketogenic, or keto diet, is a high-fat, low-carb diet that promotes several health benefits, including weight loss and improved blood sugar levels. The principle behind this diet is to induce the body into a state of ketosis where it efficiently burns fat for energy instead of glucose. This principle underscores the need for careful selection of what we eat and drink, which brings us to the refreshing drink in question – coconut water.

Coconut Water: A Nutritional Powerhouse

First, let's debunk a common misconception: while coconut water isn't generally considered keto-friendly due to its carbohydrate content, this doesn't mean it's unhealthy. Coconut water is a nutritional powerhouse, providing vital nutrients and electrolytes. The nutritional value of coconut water is impressive; it's low in calories, rich in potassium, and offers a good dose of vitamin C. It's derived from young coconuts and has a naturally sweet and nutty flavor that's quite popular.

The Sugar Content Dilemma

However, much coconut water may not fit into a keto lifestyle due to its sugar content. Coconut water contains natural sugars that can add up quickly and contribute to total carbs when consumed in large volumes, making it less suitable for a strict low-carb diet. It's crucial to consider serving size when thinking about incorporating coconut water into your diet. A typical glass of coconut water can contain around 15g net carbs, so moderation is key.

The Role of Coconut Meat in a Keto Diet

While the natural sugars in coconut water may sideline it from the ketogenic diet, other coconut products can play a part. Let's consider the meat of the coconut, especially from mature coconuts. Coconut meat is high in fiber, with a single serving providing a significant portion of your daily fiber needs. This fiber can help to offset some of the total carbs, resulting in lower grams of net carbohydrates.

Moreover, coconut meat is a good source of healthy fats. These aren't just any fats, but medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are processed differently by the human body compared to other fats. They go straight to the liver from the digestive tract, where they can be used for immediate energy or turned into ketones. Thus, despite the grams of fat, coconut meat can be a beneficial addition to a keto diet when consumed mindfully.

Seeking Alternatives to Coconut Water for Keto Diet

Alternatives to coconut water for those on a keto diet can also include homemade drinks using coconut meat, unsweetened almond milk, or even cow’s milk (if you can tolerate the lactose), blended with a low-carb sweetener like Stevia or Erythritol instead of sugary alternatives like maple syrup or coconut sugar.


Is all coconut water high in carbs?

Most coconut water brands will have a similar carb count, as the sugars come naturally from the coconut. Always check the nutrition label to avoid brands with added sugar or artificial sweeteners.

Can I drink coconut water during keto flu?

Coconut water has much potassium and can help with symptoms of the keto flu. However, due to the high carb content, it's better to stick with regular water and a balanced intake of other electrolyte-rich foods.

Are there any low-carb alternatives to coconut water?

Yes, unsweetened coconut milk or a small amount of coconut cream diluted with plain water can be a better option for keto dieters. They provide the coconut taste with fewer carbs.


So, is coconut water keto-friendly? Unfortunately, due to its high carbohydrate content, coconut water is generally not the best option for those following a strict keto diet. However, that doesn't mean you have to miss out on all the health benefits of coconuts. With alternatives like coconut oil, unsweetened coconut milk, coconut cream, and coconut flour, you can still enjoy the sweet taste of coconuts without exceeding your daily carb limit.

Key Takeaways

  • Coconut water contains approximately 15g of carbohydrates and 5g of sugar per cup, making it not keto-friendly.
  • Coconut oil, unsweetened coconut milk, coconut cream, and coconut flour are excellent choices for keto dieters.
  • Always check the nutrition label of coconut water brands to ensure no added sugars.
  • Unsweetened coconut milk or diluted coconut cream can be a better option for a keto-friendly drink.
  • Maintaining a balanced intake of keto-friendly foods and beverages is crucial for achieving and maintaining ketosis.

Remember, everyone's body is unique, and it's essential to listen to your body's cues and adjust your diet as needed. If you have any health conditions or concerns, it's always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional before making significant dietary changes.

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