What’s the Better Coconut Drink: Coconut Water or Milk?

Share article:

Coconut water and coconut milk are often confused. Sure, they come from the same source, but so do lots of different things. Take milk and cheese, for example, both are vastly different foods that come from the same source.

Read on to learn more about the differences between coconut water and coconut milk.

  • What’s Coconut Water?
  • What’s Coconut Milk?
  • What’s the Better Coconut Drink?

What’s Coconut Water?

Coconut water is the clear liquid inside of young, green coconuts. Coconut water drinks are popular in tropical countries, including South East Asia, South America, and the Pacific Islands. In such places, coconut water is as common, if not more common, than orange juice. Locals enjoy coconut water directly out of the coconut or in cans or bottles.

Because it’s extremely high in potassium and other essential electrolytes, coconut water is also considered a super hydrating sports recovery drink. Coconut water is also:

  • Low in calories
  • Fat-free
  • Naturally sweetened
  • Cholesterol-free

What’s Coconut Milk?
On the other hand, we have coconut milk. Coconut milk is the creamy, white liquid used as a cooking base. Unlike coconut water, which is raw, coconut milk must be prepared.

There are two types of coconut milk: thick and thin. To prepare thick coconut milk, the meat of a brown coconut must be grated through cheesecloth. To prepare thin coconut milk, the grated meat must be soaked in warm water and then squeezed a second or third time. Or, you can always pick up coconut milk in a can at your grocery store.

Unlike coconut water, coconut milk has a high oil and sugar content, which makes it much richer and sweeter than coconut water.

Now that you know the differences, read on to figure out what’s the best coconut drink for you.

What’s the Better Coconut Drink?

If you’re looking to rehydrate after a workout or day in the sun, coconut water is the better drink for you. Coconut water will revitalize and re-energize your body by replenishing valuable electrolytes lost through sweating.

But, if you’re looking for a delicious way to prepare a dessert, curry or creamy cocktail, then coconut milk is the better drink for you. If you’re vegan, coconut milk can also make an excellent substitute for dairy products.

What do you use coconut drinks for? Comment below!

127 Responses to “What’s the Better Coconut Drink: Coconut Water or Milk?”

  1. Lisa Stone says:

    My son is learning about coconut water in health glass as a healthier alternative to Gatorade. He has asked me to buy him a young coconut for the most pure coconut water.

  2. Rachel Prine says:

    This sounds wonderful! I’ve been looking for a natural alternative to gatorade or powerade to drink after going to the gym and coconut water sounds like just the ticket….can’t wait to go get some.

  3. x says:

    Can’t wait to try this.

  4. xxx xxx says:

    Can’t wait to try this.

  5. Shirley Cordova says:

    I learned that coconut water aids in the quick absorption of drugs and makes their peak concentration into the blood stream easier because of its electrolytic effect. It also helps to maintain the human body’s natural fluid levels. So whenever I’m on any medication, I take it with coconut water. It sure beats a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down! :-)

  6. Jen Smith says:

    I’ve heard that coconut water is so good for you that it has been given intravenously to quickly hydrate the body. I had coconut water freshly picked from the palm tree while in Barbados. I felt amazing after drinking it!

  7. willa says:

    I have not had coconut water before. Looking forward to trying this.

  8. Ktoya J. says:

    Both of my parents are from the West Indies and coconut water was a major part of their daily diets. I haven’t tried any processed coconut water before but if it is as good as the original thing then I am on board. I would love to try the difference.

  9. st.norton says:

    Am looking forward to trying this. Wife and I recently switched to coconut milk and feel much healther for it. I like the idea of the hydration with out all the sugers. As a tip try making popcorn with coconut oil ( 3Tbsp oil to 1/3 C corn) a healthy and very tasty treat

  10. Vicki Steele says:

    I’m so excited about this Coconut Water sample, I can not wait to try it! After 30 days on a Fast, I’m thankful to find Healthy replacements for my Diet Coke. If possible I’d like info on all of the water different flavors & benefits of your Coconut. Water.

  11. cassie heilner says:

    would love to try this. ive been on a recent health kick and looking to buy but didnt know where in the grocery store. ive heard a lot of good things about it!

  12. Kim L says:

    I just tried coconut milk for the first time this past week and was surprised by the great taste and all the health benefits. I would love to give the coconut water a try. What a great replacement for the other sports drinks.

  13. Betsy says:

    Would love to try this. I’ve heard that coconut water is so good for you and I’m into health very much and this sounds great.

  14. Kristi says:

    Can’t wait to try it!

  15. JVA says:

    What is the big difference between coconut water righr from the coconut and this?

  16. Tina says:

    I have never tried coconut water, but now I am very interested. I love coconut milk. I think it is time to give coconut water a try!

  17. sandy sanchez -nelson says:


  18. Denise Bass says:

    Currently my husband is going through cancer treatment. Drinking plenty of fluids is a necessary part of this treatment. What a wonderful way to help keep him hydrated and help boost several nutrients than with his favorite flavor, coconut.! It would give me great pleasure to serve this to my love!

  19. megamooo says:

    Very healthy!

  20. sheila howard says:

    My husband has pre-diabetes and we are trying hard to fix this and to not let it progress to true diabetes. I think coconut water could be a good alternative to the soft drinks he’s been used to but can’t have any more. Plus it sounds delicious and will remind us of Caribbean vacations.

  21. Andrea D says:

    I’ve never tried coconut water but I would love to have an alternative to regular water at the gym sometimes. It would make my workout more enjoyable to have something so tasty!

  22. Marsha Itro says:

    Thank you for clarifying the difference between coconut milk and coconut water !! Living in Fla keeping hydrated is very important.

  23. Erin says:

    I love coconut water when I am running. It is a GREAT rehydrator!

  24. Amber says:

    Thanks so much for explaining the difference between the two, it was very helpful. I have cooked with coconut milk before but until now I had never even honestly heard of coconut water. I will have to try some for myself.

  25. Lindsey L says:

    I have had coconut milk, and never thought there was a difference between the two. I would like another healthy alternative besides regular water. Can’t wait to try this!

  26. carl says:

    I am really interested in trying a coconut water. It sounds quite refreshing!

  27. Sandie Reese says:

    Thanks so much for explaining the difference between coconut milk and coconut water. To be honest, until I read this article I didn’t realize they were too entirely different things. I use coconut milk in several of my recipe’s, but I have never tried the water. I am looking forward to it!

  28. Eliza S says:

    I have heard that coconut water is best for runners to drink during a marathon because of all the benefits. Although not a marathon runner I am going to give it a try myself. Hydration is important for everyone.

  29. Katie says:

    I love coconut milk, and anything coconut! So, I bet I will love coconut water! I’ve been wanting to try it for a while. Thanks for the coupon offer! :)

  30. Diane says:

    I have never tried coconut water, but I have had drank from a real coconut before! So coconut water should taste good!

  31. Simone says:

    I have started using coconut oil…it has many uses. I am hoping to try the coconut water maybe in smoothies instead of the oil? It is definitly a great healthful option!

  32. joelle dinerstein says:

    I am trying to become healtier so i am trying different water products.
    Because i do not like unflavored water

  33. Bryant Verador says:

    Thanks for all the great info! Two of my best friends are vegan, and I never thought to use coconut milk as a substitute for dairy products. I’ll try that out next time.

  34. rebekah says:

    I love coconut water and am glad to see its now available in an energy drink. :)

  35. Kara R says:

    Coconut water is my go-to drink. Even my kids love it!

  36. JenMrose says:

    I learned the difference between coconut milk and water when I was in Costa Rica. A local was selling coconuts in a cart, I picked one out and he sliced the top off with a machete and put a straw in it for me. When I called it coconut milk, he corrected me. Now I know! It was good, I’d love to try one of these flavored ones.

  37. Rocky says:

    Nice read!!

  38. Fefe says:

    I haven’t tried coconut water OR coconut milk yet, but I’m excited to try both and give them a shot. I feel like coconut milk would be AMAZING. Anyone give it a try?

  39. Naicheng Yang says:

    Can’t wait to try it.
    It sounds like wonder water.

  40. Meena says:

    In India, we find Coconut water from fresh coconuts in every corner…Miss that here..Would love to try one…

  41. Gabriel R. says:

    I just learned about coconut water and its’ benefits. I’d love to try it out.

  42. Sandy says:

    Sounds like something I need to try.

  43. Maria W. says:

    Cool! I’ve heard coconut is healthy to drink. I’ve never tried coconut water but eager to taste!

  44. Shawn M says:

    WOW! this sound good, I am excited to try coconut water. I need to drink more and something like this will make it a lot easier and tastier! May try cooking with coconut milk too.

  45. Shawn M says:

    I’m excite to try coconut water. Sounds really good and I like the health benefits.

  46. Anne H says:

    I’m tired of cows milk and would love to try this, thanks!

  47. Michelle says:

    This article is great, I was wondering what the difference was. Thanks!

  48. Molly says:

    What is the typical calorie count for coconut water and coconut milk? I’m looking for something to spice up my hydration a bit, water gets boring. I’d be interested in seeing what this tastes like.

  49. Trisha says:

    I absolutely love both coconut water and milk. Coconut milk is delicious in a curry or fried shrimp. Coconut water is a delicious and refreshing drink in the summer! YUMMM

  50. kathleen ditty says:

    Just got back from Punta Cana. Had lots of coconut milk. Would love to try this!

  51. Rebecca P says:

    I am just learning the benefits of coconut water. After losing 160 lbs, nutrition is very important to me. I appreciate any tips from friends and reliable sources. This is why I’d love to try a free sample.

  52. Bethany says:

    When I was in Antigua I drank fresh coconut water. It definitely helped me stay hydrated in a very hot climate.

  53. Kim says:

    I thought coconut milk and coconut water were the same thing! This is good to know. My son has a medical condition that requires him to stay hydrated, and he’s been drinking so much Gatorade that he’s gaining weight from the added sugar. A friend just recommended coconut water to replace the sports drinks, because her sister has the same medical condition and she swears by coconut water. We’ll let you know how we like it after we try it!

  54. Lindsay says:

    I would love to try the coconut water. I bought a coconut a couple of weeks ago for me and my daughter to try the water, it was horrible. I’ve heard that coconut milk taste great.

  55. loves2amm says:

    My children are training hard and this sounds like it will be very supportive to hydrate in a healthy fun way

  56. Jennifer says:

    After reading these articles I really want to try coconut water and milk! I will have to get some coconut milk and try it!

  57. Leslie says:

    Am I the only person out there who has never heard of coconut water before? I knew about coconut milk, and that it is full of fat. I am very glad to have learned about coconut water. It sounds like a wonderful, natural alternative to sports drinks. My daughter is currently training for her first marathon, and I think this will be the perfect drink for her to try. I am very intrigued to find out more about coconut water and it’s benefits. Thank you for starting my coconut water education!

  58. Leslie says:

    Tried coconut water for the first time yesterday. Loved it! My work is even going to make it part of a house cocktail!

  59. Nicole Weesner says:

    I know that Coconut Milk can be quite fattening! I’ve heard that Coconut Water is a great way to stay hydrated in a pretty healthy way. Not sure what the ingredients are or if it is just coconut and water? I’m interested to know that it taste. I have a good friend who is very much into a organic healthy lifestyle and she drinks/eat pretty much anything coconut. Always has coconut water to drink.

  60. Jessica C says:

    My husband and I bought a baby coconut recently. It was SO hard to open (we used an actual saw, lol) but the water in there was pretty good. We got a good 8-10 ounces out of it. Acquired taste, but good. =)

  61. Lynette says:

    I love cooking with Coconut milk! It tastes great in curry soups and makes them thick and creamy. I’ve recently added coconut oil to our diet and use it as a natural moisturizer. It also tastes great, but those forms of coconut are high in fat. Since Coconut water is fat-free and low in calories, I’ll be able to get the coconut taste I love with out the fat and calories.

  62. kristy says:

    This is cool!

  63. kristina says:

    I love to try new products and this seems like a good one!

  64. Adam says:

    I have been interested in trying coconut water ever since I have heard Joe Rogan raving about it on his podcast. I have a strenuous physical job and want a good drink with electrolytes that does not have all of the sugar and sodium of Gatorade and Powerade. Sometimes those drinks do not make me feel very hydrated. I hope coconut water will be ideal for me.

  65. becca says:

    Have been wanting to try both the coconut water and milk for awhile. I think it might be more beneficial to my health and give me alternative to the plain water, which i don’t drink enough of. The coconut water may be the way to go, and i would be able to get in my 8 glasses a day.

  66. Cassie says:

    Yum! :) I have never tried coconut water before, but would love to! I heard of coconut milk, but until recently I was unaware coconut water being sold in stores.

  67. Ellen says:

    I have been drinking coconut water for a while, especially after a rough night out. It does wonders! Coconut milk tastes great in cereal but I wish it were lower in fat/sugar.

  68. Natalie Weeks says:

    i LOVE coconut water!!!

  69. Destiny Walsh says:

    I have heard that Coconut water seems to be the best nurtional drink. Thank you for explaining the difference in between the milk and water. I know you can use both and they are both really good for you.

  70. Jackie O. Smith says:

    If the price is anywhere close to milk, I’ll switch my whole family over to coconut milk.

  71. kim sanders says:

    i want to try coconut water for free

  72. Renee says:

    Wow! I just started to learn about the benefits of coconut water and I would be very excited to try this especially after my morning workouts!

  73. Lily says:

    My husband is a powerlifter and this would be a great before and after drink for him to start using. This would also be a great drink for me after my workouts. What a great idea giving away a free sample! Thanks phenom!

  74. aimee arroyo says:

    I have been waiting for a natural healthy alternative drink other then milk and water to try. Being a gastric bypass patient of 7 years now, i have become lactose intolerant , I am unable to drink citrus fruit without making me ill, so I pretty much just drink water and soy milk. This is a product I definitely can not wait to try. I will provide me with the nutrients I need daily as well and proteins. Can’t wait to try this product. And free is just icing on the cake :) Thanks.

  75. Ashley Soulliere says:

    My sister always drinks coconut water; but its grace brand, I would love to try this one.

  76. Christen Haseley says:

    I LOVE coconut water! I tried it a sample at a local store, and it was excellent. You can use it in a smoothie also. I appreciate that you have explained the difference between coconut milk and water - I have purchased both and honestly just knew I enjoyed it, but never realized the difference. I have been drinking the coconut water after working out and it is so refreshing over the bottled sugary sports drinks.

  77. Christopher Cyrus says:

    I don’t like the taste of milk alone so I hope that this will encourage me to drink something healthy. I already do water a lot but I want something with some vitamins and minerals or something healthy that taste good.

  78. Mary says:

    i’ve replaced powerade with coconut water

  79. Sandy Puttbrese says:

    Lately it seems all you here about is the benefits of coconut water so I would really like to try it

  80. Allison Bradley says:

    Coconut water is MUCH better than milk when your lactose intolerant=) My sister drinks it every day and swears that it makes her feel better as she has alot of stomach issues=(

  81. adandra says:

    i cant wait to try it and for free.. yey

  82. Kari T. says:

    Coconut Water sounds delicious and like a great and healthy alternative to Gatorade/Powerade. I would love to try this for after a workout instead. This has also piqued my interest in trying coconut milk. I am dairy sensitive and it would be great to find a better tasting alternative.

  83. Samantha says:

    I have been wanting to try this out!

  84. Monica says:

    Sounds great, Can’t wait to try it!

  85. mari says:

    This sounds great!

  86. Raye says:

    I first learned about coconut water from my friend in Jamaica. And recently have been reading some interesting health benefits. Often I had confused it with coconut milk. I have found that it really helps to rehydrate after a work out.

  87. Lucia Stephens says:

    In Puerto Rico, we drink coconut water fresh from the coconut. It’s refreshing and good for you as well. Also, coconut water is a natural laxative. You have to drink a few glasses for it to take its full effect, but if you don’t like prune juice coconut water is a good alternative. Plus, it’s yummy!!! :)

  88. Lucia Stephens says:

    Another fun fact. Hispanic countries have been drinking coconut water and using coconut milk in their cooking for years and years. I make a traditional rum drink for christmas using coconut milk every year. And we have tons of desserts we make with coconut as well.

  89. Ann says:

    It tastes great and has a lot of vitamins that you don’t get from drinking milk for example.

  90. Diem says:

    I have always loved coconut water as a kid. I hope this tastes as good as what I grew up drinking.

  91. Jeanie says:

    Excited to try prepared coconut water vs cutting open a coconut since I don’t have time to do it. Another bonus is not having to worry about added sugars and processing.

  92. linda says:

    Has many health benefits - try it.

  93. tina says:

    I would like to try this

  94. E.L. says:

    I was first introduced to coconut water at the Yoga Studio I go to. It is defintely more refreshing than other drinks out there. I have tried coconut milk in curry however have not thought about using it as a dairy substite. Can’t wait to try =)

  95. Erin O'Connor says:

    Can’t wait to try this!

  96. crystal says:

    I wanna try Coconut water.

  97. Emmie says:

    I love coconut milk and water. I have never tried this brand but I cant’ wait to try it out.

  98. Judy Chu says:

    I will want to try coconut water, it sounds wonderful! It is very nutritious too!

  99. Sheri says:

    I have used coconut milk in cooking but did not realize that there was something called cocunut water and it was different than the milk.

  100. MJ says:

    I run a lot and plain water tends to upset my system right after a workout, I will have to try out the coconut water.

  101. lupe c says:

    i want to try it for myself

  102. lupe cabrera says:

    i want to try if for free.

  103. Cat J says:

    Dr. Oz and his featured guests talk about coconut water all the time. I have not tried it, I”m wondering WHAT it is sweetened with, if anything…stevia? I would LOVE to have another type of drink to incorporate in my vegan lifestyle. I”ve tried coconut milk and I LOVE coconut creamer for my ‘faux’ (chickory) ‘coffee’ drink…so I bet I’d love the coconut water. I cannot WAIT to try it AND to see what different flavors there are!!

  104. Raj says:

    Very interested to try this.

  105. Nicole says:

    I’m lactose intolerant, so milk is not always my friend. I can’t wait to try the coconut water!

  106. nicole says:

    Coconut water sounds very interesting. I would love to try some. I have never tried a fitness drink before and would like to find something that would be healthy and beneficial.

  107. Heather says:

    I have never had it, but it sounds like something I would like. So if I could try a sample and hopefully it turns out to be something I love.

  108. Erika P. says:

    I would definitely have to say cocount water! Although cocunt water sounds tasty, seems likes cocunt water overall would be a healthier choice. Although I do believe they both would be healthy.

  109. Tiger Woods says:

    Coconut water is the only thing I needed to save my marriage. Too bad I didn’t know about it prior.

  110. Ray Fong says:

    I’ve tried various brands of coconut water from Vita to Zico brand. I had fresh coconut water from different countries and they all taste a bit different. Where are the coconuts from used in Phenom Water? The water tastes better if the coconuts are actually roasted first.

  111. Amber Krueger says:

    I love coconut! but coconut water that I need to try dosent sound the best! But hey ill give anyting a try once!!

  112. Kristin says:

    Coconut water sounds very interesting, i have had coconut milk before and thats amazing!!! I cant wait to try the water

  113. Shawna says:

    Going to have to try it!

  114. Robert says:

    I tried coconut water before and was not a fan of it , at all. Why not give this one a try? Hopefully it can give me a new perspective on it.

  115. sara says:

    i have definitely been looking for a new drink to try when i finish my workouts, mainly running. i’ve read on a few healthy living blogs their obsession with coconut water and its benefits post work out, so this definitely is something i would love to try to incorporate into my post-workout fuel!

  116. T says:

    I never understood the difference between coconut water and coconut milk before. I assumed that they were one in the same. i wonder how the coconut water serves the coconut as it is growing??

  117. Jillian says:

    I have tried all kinds of different types of energy drinks and I have not liked any of them. They all taste like really strong cough medicine, and they didn’t seem to give me that much energy. (don’t even get me started on the calories) However, I tried my first PhenomWater today and I was pleasantly surprised at how mellow and delicious it was! I also noticed that I was very able to concentrate on my anatomy and physiology homework! (this is not very typical) :) I am very excited to try the other flavors!!!

  118. Jeffrey T. McAndrew says:

    I find the differences between coconut water and milk to be fascinating. The coconut is one one of the most tropical nuts in the world and I was excited to see a new product come out that utilizes it to its fullest potential.

  119. Dawn says:

    I drink a lot of cow’s milk and would really be interested in trying this to see how it compares.

  120. jamie johns says:

    Cannot wait to try it. It is more healthy that the other sport drinks.

  121. ale o says:

    I was unaware of all of the differences between coconut milk & coconut water. I am a coconut fanatic, and I am pleasantly surprised to learn of all of the positive attributes of both. I plan to use both as substitutes in dishes such as gelatins, stir fries, smoothies, & slushies!! Thx for the helpful info:);)

  122. shilash patel says:

    I have been waiting for a post workout drink like this, better than water

  123. Ashley says:

    Looking forward to trying this. Thank for the info!

  124. alan george says:

    Oh and I forgot I will be looking for this drink in the local Tesco here and when I am in Vancouver…Want to try hydrating Phenom Coconut Water?


  125. Victoria Schlechty says:

    I love this drink.

  126. Courtney says:

    I never knew the difference between coconut water and milk. I also had no idea how much work was involved in getting coconut milk! Coming up on the Phoenix summer, I’d love a natural alternative to the sugary drinks out there to stay hydrated. I’m a fan of coconut milk, so I’m assuming I’ll like coconut water too. :)

  127. Iesha says:

    This looks interesting. I’m not a fan of coconut flakes. It will be interesting to see if I like it in water form.

Leave a Reply