Paleo 101 Guide
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Is Coconut Water Paleo?

Jeremy Hendon | August 1
Is Coconut Water Paleo?

Coconut water in its purest, most unprocessed form is the thin liquid that builds inside the shell of a young coconut.

Not to be confused with coconut milk (made by grinding coconut meat and pressing out the liquid), which contains a lot of the fat and proteins from the coconut.

General Health Facts About Coconut Water

Coconut water is a naturally-sourced food without additives or added sugar. However, it is relatively high in natural sugar (16 grams in 12 ounces), something not always welcome on a Paleo regimen.

Coconut water is also high in potassium, a great source for fluid replacement and for hydration after exercise. It also offers several different electrolytes essential to our health.

coconut waterWhile many of us don’t have direct access to our own coconut trees, many bottled renditions have appeared on market shelves. These bottled versions of the natural product have undergone some processing and may contain unwanted ingredients, so be careful.

All brands are not created equal in terms of how they fit into a Paleo diet, nor are their label claims.   A recent study showed that actual electrolyte levels for some brands didn’t match up to levels stated on the labels.

What Do Other Paleo Experts Say?

Mark Sisson says:  “Primal, but kinda sugary, so go easy on it unless you’re in Thailand sipping on fresh young coconuts (because there’s nothing quite like cold coconut water straight from the coconut), nursing a hangover, or training hard and need the hydration.”

Chris Kresser says: “Coconut water has a good mix of electrolytes and simple sugars to aid in sports performance, though extra salt may need to be added to some brands that are lower in sodium to optimize rehydration.”

Robb Wolf says:  “Mainly glucose, so that’s good. Good electrolytes. Not magic, not terrible either.”

Is Coconut Water Paleo?


But be wary of the higher sugar content.

Here Are Recipes With Coconut Water As An Ingredient:

1. Watermelon Smoothie

2. Verde Coco Berry Smoothie

3. The Skinny Colada

4. Quick Coconut Chia Seed Pudding

5. Raspberry Lime Coolatta

6. Mango and Watermelon Poke Cake

7. Summer Lovin’ Coconut Water Popsicles

8. Paleo Rocket Popsicles

Images: Copyright (c) luigi giordano from Fotolia and joanna wnuk from Fotolia