Why Does Coconut Water Turn Pink?

By Liz Thompson in Healthy Feeling

If you're an avid coconut water drinker, you've probably come across a bottle of this refreshing beverage with a slight pink tint. Is it stale? Gone bad? Contaminated? Time to answer the question: why does coconut water turn pink?

What Is Coconut Water, Really?

Coconut water, coconut milk, and coconut cream are all terms that tend to crop up regularly for those who are health conscious. But what are the differences? Here's a breakdown:

  • Authentic coconut water isn't water with coconut flavoring added but rather the fluid that forms naturally inside a coconut.
  • Coconut milk is an emulsion created from coconut water and the meat of the coconut.
  • Coconut cream is simply coconut milk made with less water and more meat.

This may still leave you wondering what exactly are the benefits of coconut water? According to NutritionValue.org, coconut water contains important nutrients, such as vitamin C, magnesium, manganese, potassium, sodium, and calcium. Research published in the Annals of the Brazil Academy of Sciences states that coconut water is antioxidant-rich. And a study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology and Applied Human Science showed that coconut water restored hydration post-exercise.

As if those benefits weren't enough, coconut water also has a lightly sweet, slightly nutty flavor. It's easy to drink on its own, or as part of a juice or in a smoothie.

Person pouring coconut water

Why Does Coconut Water Turn Pink?

It tastes great, contains a bundle of nutrients, and makes you feel hydrated. But why does coconut water turn pink, and is pink coconut water safe to drink?

Pink coconut water is the result of oxidization of the sugars in the coconut. As Dr. Bruce Fife of the Coconut Research Center puts it, when these sugars are exposed to oxygen, they turn pink. Temperature, age, sugar content, and how long the water has been exposed to air can all affect the coloration of coconut water.

It's similar to how an apple turns brown after being cut and exposed to the air. Rest assured that, just as you can eat a brown apple, you can safely consume pink coconut water.

But what about nutritional value? Is pink coconut water still as beneficial?

Research from the Thai National AGRIS Centre found that pink coconut water had lower levels of manganese and phenolic compounds. This means that antioxidant content in pink coconut water could be less than in the clearish water.

Mason jar full of pink coconut water

Learn more about other healthy beverages on the Naturally Delicious Drinks board by @tomsofmaine on Pinterest!

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Why It's Good

Coconut water is a tasty beverage that many people consume as part of their healthy lifestyle. Rest assured that if your drink turns pink, the coconut water is still safe to drink.