Coconut water is a fantastic tropical treat with many health benefits. It’s easy to imagine swaying palm trees and the scent of sunscreen when you’re sipping on delicious coconut water, especially after an intense workout. No wonder you want to stock up on loads of coconut water so you’re never without it. But there’s one thing you need to consider: Does coconut water go bad? Time to find out!

Does Coconut Water Go Bad?

First and foremost, coconut water has an expiration date on the carton or bottle for a reason. Coconut water can spoil—quickly—when not stored properly. Even then, the composition of coconut water can cause it to turn sour in under a year.

How Long Does Coconut Water Last?

Many people look at the expiration date printed on the bottle or carton of coconut and are surprised. When left unopened, the shelf life of coconut oil is fairly long. Usually, coconut water is stamped with a best by date that is approximately 12 months post-production. If it turns rancid before then, something contaminated the water, and it shouldn’t be consumed.

That said, unopened coconut water is best when drank within 6-9 months of production. Many manufacturers don’t use additives or preservatives to make the drink taste better. Once you have opened the container, the coconut water will last for 1-3 days in the refrigerator. Some brands can last up to 5 days in the fridge.

But if you want the most delicious coconut water, drink it within 48 hours of opening.

Does Coconut Water Go Bad_Alice Kitchen

How to Tell if Coconut Water is Bad?

Learning that coconut water can go bad probably isn’t much of a surprise. Like most food items, it will spoil sooner or later.

Here are four signs to tell if coconut water is spoiled:

  • Carbonation – Coconut water should never have carbonation. This is a sign that the sugars are fermenting and giving off carbon dioxide.
  • Sour flavor – The tropical sweetness will have an unpleasant or biting tang.
  • Strong smell – Safe to drink coconut water will have a subtle smell; any notes of vinegar means it has gone bad.
  • Thick consistency – If it’s viscous or sticky, throw it away.
  • Coloring – Any discoloration could be a sign of contamination. Coconut water should be clear or opaque.

One thing to note is coconut water that is pinkish in color. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the liquid is foul. When the antioxidants present in coconut water meet light, there’s a chemical reaction. This causes the coconut water to turn pink. It’s safe to drink (unless the water meets the criteria above).

What Happens When You Consume Bad Coconut Water?

Fortunately, if you accidentally take a swig of spoiled coconut water, you’re in no real danger. When coconut water has gone bad, the sugars ferment, forming something similar to vinegar. The only time you are in danger is if mold has formed in the coconut water, since that means something contaminated the beverage. You can then expect stomach upset.

How to Store Coconut Water?

Don’t want bad coconut water in your home? Then you need to know how to store it correctly! You can put unopened coconut water on the pantry shelf or in the refrigerator.

For the most longevity, store the coconut water the same way you found it in the store. In other words, don’t pull coconut water from the supermarket’s refrigerated section and leave it on the shelf.

If you got the coconut water from a shelf, store the carton or bottle somewhere dry, dark, and cool. Keep the coconut water far from sources of sunlight or heat.

Does Coconut Water Have to be Refrigerated?

Does Coconut Water Go Bad_Alice Kitchen

Once you have opened coconut water and exposed it to oxygen, it will start decaying. As mentioned earlier, many brands use unpasteurized coconut water with no preservatives. As such, when the beverage is left out in ambient temperatures, there will be changes in flavor, texture, and taste.

To keep coconut water stable and fresh, any opened bottle has to be refrigerated whenever you’re not drinking it.

Additionally, if you’re worried you can’t drink all the coconut water within 48 hours, you can try freezing it. No, the coconut water won’t taste as good once it’s thawed, but it will still be refreshing (and not spoiled).

Wrapping Up

Does coconut water go bad? Yes! If you see any fizzing or bubbling, smell some foul, or note any irregular flavors or altered consistency, stop drinking the coconut water and pour it down the drain. By storing your coconut water correctly, its shelf life can be extended to 9-12 months or longer. Refrigerate any coconut water that has been opened.

FAQs

How can you tell if coconut water is bad?

There are three surefire signs that coconut water has gone bad: a strong vinegary scent, sour taste, and carbonation. However, any change in appearance, smell, or flavor could mean that the coconut water has gone bad. Throw away expired coconut water immediately.

Is it OK to drink expired coconut water?

No, it isn’t okay to drink expired coconut water. Although nothing bad will happen to you, you could still experience discomfort or even nausea from the foul taste and possible contamination. It is best to discard spoiled coconut water immediately.