Difference Between Coconut Water and Coconut Milk (With Table)

Coconut water and coconut milk are both nutritional beverages. Both these drinks are nourishing and refreshing at the same time. Many health-conscious people prefer these drinks as they are low on calories and have several health benefits compared to other beverages. However, both are very different from one another.

Coconut Water vs Coconut Milk

The difference between coconut water and coconut milk is that coconut water is naturally present inside the immature green coconuts whereas, coconut milk requires manual processes for its production.  Coconut water contains fewer calories compared to coconut milk. Coconut water is obtained from green unripe coconuts whereas coconut milk is made from matured brown thick-skinned coconuts.

Coconut water is a refreshing drink. It has several health benefits. The fact that it is good for health does not compensate for its taste because it has a good taste. Coconut water can be naturally found when green coconuts are cut down. This water is present inside the coconut to keep it fresh and nourishing.

Coconut milk is made using the white inner part of matured brown-skinned coconuts. The inner white part is firstly shredded and then boiled in water. After the top layer turns into a creamy consistency, the mixture is passed through a cloth. The white liquid poured out of the cloth is called coconut milk.

Comparison Table Between Coconut Water and Coconut Milk

Parameters of ComparisonCoconut Water Coconut Milk
Obtained fromIt is naturally present in unripe green coconuts.It is made from the inner white edible part of mature coconuts.
CaloriesIt has about 45 calories per cup.Unsweetened coconut milk has about 50 calories per cup.
TasteIt has a refreshing sweet-nutty taste.It is thick and filling compared to coconut water.
CholesterolIt is free of cholesterol.It consists of cholesterol.
Consistency of WaterIt contains about 95% water.It contains about 50% water.

What is Coconut Water?

Coconut water is obtained from unripe coconuts. It is naturally present inside the green coconuts to keep the fruit fresh and nourished. Coconut water is almost 95% water which makes it super refreshing and can easily quench thirst.

It tastes like water mixed along with nuts. It can be consumed post-workout as it is hydrating and hence can help to restore energy. It is naturally full of electrolytes. An average size coconut contains about half to one glass of coconut water.

Coconut water must be consumed as soon as the coconut is opened as it may start tasting sour later.  One can even store it in the refrigerator to consume it within 24 hours. However, the canned or coconut water found in shops contains preservatives making it consumable even after days.

There are about 45 calories in one cup of coconut water which is very little compared to coconut milk. Coconut water is cholesterol-free. It contains antioxidants, calcium, magnesium, amino acids, sodium, etc. It also helps to regulate blood sugar levels by increasing the sensitivity of the insulin hormone. It contains vitamin C and vitamin B2 which help in clearing skin. It can also be consumed by children. Overall, it has several health benefits.

What is Coconut Milk?

Coconut milk is produced from brown-skinned ripe coconuts. The white edible part found inside the coconut is grated, soaked in water, and then passed through cheesecloth to obtain coconut milk.

It contains more fat and cholesterol compared to coconut water. But this also makes it much more filling than coconut water. One cup of unsweetened coconut milk contains about 50 calories. This is less when compared to 150 calories in one cup of whole cow milk. Hence it is a very good replacement for cow milk to reduce the calories being consumed.

Coconut milk is a very important ingredient in Thai curries, Indian cuisines, Burmese dishes like Khow Suey, etc. Coconut milk is also used in desserts, cakes, frosting, etc. It is also used in several vegan recipes as it is lactose-free. It also makes the food healthier.

It is a source of healthy fat and helps to reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol. Coconut milk tastes naturally sweet and nutty. It is full of important nutrients that help to strengthen the immune system. It also helps to prevent heart diseases and anemia. It helps in weight loss and leads to healthy hair and clear skin.

Main Differences Between Coconut Water and Coconut Milk

  1. Coconut water is naturally present in unripe coconuts. Coconut milk is produced from ripe coconuts.
  2. Coconut water contains fewer calories than coconut milk. This also means that coconut water contains fewer nutrients than coconut milk.
  3. Coconut water is cholesterol-free. Coconut milk contains less cholesterol and fat but it is not negligible.
  4. Coconut water contains about 95% water which means 95% of the coconut water is just water whereas coconut milk contains about 50% water.
  5. Coconut water is mostly consumed fresh whereas coconut milk can be consumed even after a few days of its manufacture if provide with cold storage. However both of these can consumed for a long time if preservative are added to them.
  6. Consumption of coconut water everyday does not leads to any health loss but drinking coconut milk daily could lead to weight gain.


Coconut water and coconut milk Aare both healthy drinks. Coconut water is light and refreshing. It has natural electrolytes which help to restore energy. One can drink coconut water post work out to stay hydrated. Coconut milk comparatively is thick and contains healthy fats. It has fewer calories compared to whole dairy milk.

Coconut water is cholesterol-free whereas coconut milk contains cholesterol. Coconut milk is used in several dishes as a base. It has a different taste compared to whole milk. It is used in desserts and cream. It is popular among vegan dishes as it is completely lactose-free. Therefore both coconut water and coconut milk are consumable drinks.


  1. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/fruits/article/coconut-water-uses-composition-and-properties-a-review/411501C3BDBABC87F2C3200F65CC8F2C
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