Brown Coconut Water (Can You Drink It? Explained!)

Coconut water is a great drink that many people enjoy. It has the sweetness that can be a sure treat, and it’s a refreshing drink that can take away the thirst all day. However, if you’re someone who drinks coconut water all the time, you may encounter coconut water with a slight brown color. So, if you’re wondering about brown coconut water, here’s a quick answer:

Brown coconut water is still safe for drinking. However, the brown color means the coconut water is old, and it also means it’s not as sweet. Most supermarkets put labels saying not to drink brown coconut water since it’s prone to going bad and may induce some digestive issues. 

To stay safe, you should only drink coconut water from green coconuts. If you have a brown coconut, it means it’s fully mature and that the water inside isn’t the best suited for drinking. In short, you’ll get the best and safest coconut water for drinking with green and young coconuts.

Understanding this matter is crucial, especially if you have a sensitive stomach. For example, if you drink brown coconut water, you may suffer from an upset stomach, so you should avoid such at all times. In this article, we’ll explain it more for you to understand all the implications and make sense of what’s happening to the coconuts.

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

Brown Coconut WaterPin

Why is the coconut water brown?

The coconut water turns brown because it gets exposed to air and undergoes oxidation. The thing about coconut water is that it contains enzymes such as polyphenol oxidase and peroxidase. Such enzymes form brown pigments that cause the water to get a tinge of brown color.

In simple terms, coconut water is usually clear or has a white color. However, coconut water can turn brown due to exposure to oxidation and heat.

Now, the brown color doesn’t necessarily mean it’s gone bad. Instead, the coconut water was already exposed, but it remains safe for drinking.

You can still drink brown coconut water as a general rule of thumb. However, it’s not as sweet and not as fresh as the transparent or slightly white coconut water.

Is a brown coconut bad?

No, a brown coconut is not bad. In general, brown coconut means it’s already mature. When you remove the coconut husks of a green coconut, you can see that the hard shell remains white. The shell can turn brown soon once exposed to heat and air.

On the other hand, when you remove a brown husk, you can see that the coconut shell is also brown.

The color represents the age of the coconuts. This is because the young coconuts have more water, and they are the safest types for drinking. However, the flesh inside is thin, and it’s best in making desserts since they retain their juice.

The brown coconuts mean the fruits are matured. The water inside isn’t the best for drinking, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t safe. This water has less sweetness, which means most people won’t like such. 

Also, you can find more coconut meat, but the texture will be hard. Such coconut meat is usually best for grinding and producing coconut milk, used in cooking and producing coconut oil.

Can you drink brown coconut water?

Yes, you can drink brown coconut water. However, it’s not as sweet and refreshing as the white or transparent ones. For this reason, many groceries and supermarkets label coconuts and warn consumers not to drink brown coconut water.

Can brown coconut water make you sick?

No, unless it has gone bad, brown coconut water cannot make you sick. Therefore, in general, brown coconut water is still safe for drinking. However, it has already lost a lot of sweetness, which means you may not enjoy drinking such. Nonetheless, it remains safe for drinking.

Now, brown coconut water is prone to spoilage if not correctly stored. When such a thing happens, it can already make you sick.

To know if the brown coconut water is safe for drinking, it should not have the following:

  • The deep vinegary or sour scent
  • Sour taste
  • Carbonation

If you notice any of these three in your brown coconut water, it’s best to discard them already since they can make you sick.

If you have the option to drink coconut water from young and green coconuts, always choose such over brown coconut water.

What happens if you drink brown coconut water?

If you drink brown coconut water, you may not enjoy it as much as white coconut water since it loses the sweetness and the hint of freshness. However, it won’t make you sick.

If you drink expired and brown coconut water, it can make you suffer from an upset stomach. 

You should only drink white coconut water rather than brown as a general rule of thumb. This way, you can avoid the possibility of drinking expired coconut water.

While some brown coconut water is still safe for drinking, it’s also prone to spoilage. Thus, you should avoid drinking as much as possible.


In a nutshell, it is still safe to drink brown coconut water. Old coconut water has a brown color and lacks sweetness, two signs that it is old. The majority of supermarkets warn people not to drink brown coconut water since it can go bad and cause digestive problems. 

It is best to drink coconut water only from green coconuts to stay safe. Brown coconuts are mature, and their water isn’t suitable for drinking since it is fully mature. So you’ll get the purest and safest coconut water with green and young coconuts.

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Image credits – Canva

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