Coconut water is the clear liquid inside young coconuts (fruits of the coconut palm). As the fruit matures, the coconut water is gradually replaced by the coconut meat and air. A very young coconut has very little meat; the meat it does have is very tender, almost a gel. Coconut water has long been a popular drink in the tropics, especially in Southeast Asia, Pacific Islands such as Hawaii, and the Caribbean, where it is available fresh, canned, or bottled.
Coconuts for drinking are carefully packaged and sold in many places. These are typically Asian coconuts whose outer green husk has been removed, and the remainder wrapped in plastic. In Central America, particularly in Costa Rica and Panama, they are found and sold in strategic highway stops and on beaches. Coconuts are cut in front of customers to ensure the coconut water’s freshness. Coconut water can also be found in ordinary cans, tetra paks, or plastic bottles (sometimes with coconut pulp or coconut jelly included). It is also being marketed as a natural sports drink because of its high potassium and mineral content.
There have been cases where coconut water has been used as an intravenous hydration fluid in some developing countries where medical saline was unavailable.