Coconut water is a popular beverage made from the juice of coconuts.

It’s a natural source of minerals that can help rehydrate you, and many people drink coconut water when they have diarrhea or other conditions that lead to dehydration.

However, coconut water can also contribute to diarrhea in some cases.

This article explores the relationship between coconut water and diarrhea.

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Coconut water comes from the juice found inside coconuts. It comprises mostly water but also contains important nutrients that aren’t found in plain water.

One cup (240 mL) of unsweetened coconut water provides (1):

  • Calories: 45
  • Protein: 1.7 grams
  • Fat: 0.5 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 9 grams
  • Fiber: 2.6 grams
  • Sugars: 6 grams
  • Calcium: 5% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Magnesium: 15% of the DV
  • Potassium: 17% of the DV
  • Sodium: 10% of the DV

Coconut water is very hydrating and considered a natural alternative to sports drinks.

Its potassium, sodium, magnesium, and calcium act as electrolytes to help maintain proper fluid balance in your body.

Furthermore, the number of electrolytes in coconut water depends on whether it was obtained from young or mature coconuts and may vary across brands. Mature coconuts tend to have higher amounts of electrolytes (2).

Sports drinks and similar beverages aimed at rehydration also contain electrolytes but are typically made with added sugars and food dyes. However, some commercial varieties of coconut water may also contain sweeteners and flavorings.


Coconut water is a low calorie beverage that provides many nutrients, including electrolytes that help with hydration.

Diarrhea is the term for having loose and watery stools, usually three or more times per day.

It can occur due to illnesses like the stomach flu, gastrointestinal diseases, food poisoning, running, medications, and many other causes.

Diarrhea is marked by significant fluid and electrolyte losses from the body and can lead to dehydration. In those cases, it’s advisable to rehydrate with beverages that contain electrolytes (3).

As an electrolyte-rich beverage, coconut water is considered a good beverage choice when you have diarrhea.

Studies have found that coconut water effectively treats dehydration due to mild diarrhea and is comparable to sports drinks at promoting rehydration in other instances of electrolyte losses (4, 5).


Diarrhea can lead to fluid and electrolyte losses, resulting in dehydration. As a good source of electrolytes, coconut water may help rehydrate you after you have diarrhea.

Although coconut water may help treat mild dehydration due to diarrhea, it may have a laxative effect in other instances.

Drinking too much coconut water may lead to excess consumption of potassium, which may cause diarrhea in some people.

One case report documented hyperkalemia, or high blood levels of potassium, in a patient who drank multiple servings of coconut water in one day (6).

What’s more, coconut water is high in fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols (FODMAPs), which are short-chain carbohydrates that can draw water into the intestines and cause digestive issues like diarrhea in some people (7).

Finally, commercially prepared coconut water may contain high amounts of added sugars or artificial sweeteners, which may trigger digestive discomfort. Drinking a lot of sweetened or flavored coconut water may therefore contribute to diarrhea (8).

To reduce the risk of diarrhea from coconut water, choose unsweetened varieties and avoid consuming multiple servings at a time.


Coconut water may contribute to diarrhea due to its potassium, FODMAP, and added sugar or sweetener content.

Coconut water is a hydrating beverage and natural source of electrolytes.

It may help you rehydrate when you’re experiencing diarrhea. However, coconut water may have a laxative effect in some people, especially when consumed in large quantities.

Remember to drink coconut water in moderation and choose unsweetened varieties without additives. Avoid coconut water if it triggers diarrhea or digestive discomfort.