Last Updated on March 27, 2023 by Jada Glover
Coconut water is hydrating for your body as a breastfeeding mother. It may help increase your breast milk supply due to its incredible makeup of nutrients including key vitamins and minerals, electrolytes, amino acids, and more.
The whole coconut also contains amazing benefits as a nutrient-dense food source in terms of healthy fats which are vital to helping you increase breast milk supply. So let’s answer the question:
“Does coconut water help increase breast milk supply?”
And also discuss why it does and it’s benefits for breastfeeding moms.
Please note that this article contains affiliate links, and that means that I may earn a commission if you buy something (at no additional cost to you). Read my full disclosure here. I only recommend products I use and love and recommend to my clients.
What Is Coconut Water?
Coconut water is the hydrating liquid drink that comes from the inside of a young or green coconut. A coconut is the seed or fruit that comes from a coconut palm tree. Coconut palm trees are common in tropical areas and are used around the world in different cuisines and as a nutrient dense food source.
Unlike other fruit juices, it is low in sugar and calories. It is used by athletes and breastfeeding moms to replenish nutrients in your body like electrolytes and other vitamins like magnesium, potassium, sodium, phosphorus, calcium, and Vitamin C, It actually has more potassium than a banana!
These nutrients are important to replenish in order to maintain a balanced body chemistry. Amino acids are also very high in coconut water.
In fact, coconut water contains more of the amino acids alanine, arginine, cysteine, and serine than cow’s milk. It’s a major source of arginine, which can help your body respond to stress (hello, motherhood!).
Coconut water is a natural sports drink among athletes and is included in drinks like BODYARMOR. You can save yourself a few bucks if you drink fresh coconut water versus one of those popular sports drinks.
Coconut water can be served straight from the coconut itself or bought in the form of prepackaged bottles or containers. Have you ever been on a tropical island or cruise ship where they cut the top off the coconut and give it to you with a straw to drink with a cute umbrella? Yep, that is coconut water. Yum!
Does Coconut Water Help Increase Breast Milk Supply?
Yes, coconut water can help increase breast milk supply.
Due to its nutrient dense nature, it is used all over the world to help breastfeeding moms make more milk. Coconut water is known worldwide as a galactagogue, or a food known to increase breast milk supply in lactating mothers.
In the East Indian Ayurvedic tradition, almonds, coconut and sesame seeds are considered to promote “rich” milk (Making More Milk, by Diana West). This is especially true when combined with a well balanced diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and wild-caught or pasture-raised protein.
Why Does Coconut Water Increase Milk Supply?
To understand why coconut water increases milk supply, let’s look at the basic nutrition facts of coconut water:
One cup (240 ml) contains 60 calories, as well as:
- Carbs: 15 grams
- Sugar: 8 grams
- Calcium: 4% of the daily value (DV)
- Magnesium: 4% of the DV
- Phosphorus: 2% of the DV
- Potassium: 15% of the DV
In addition to all the vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, coconut water gives you calories which you need as a breastfeeding mom too. Making milk for your baby uses anywhere from 250-500 calories per day (or more if you’re breastfeeding multiples).
Those calories mean more energy for your body to make more milk.
How Much Coconut Water Should You Drink To Help Breast Milk Supply?
While coconut water is healthy for you, you should not overdo it either. Drinking 2 cups of coconut water each day is plenty to get the electrolytes and vitamins you need from it. You don’t want too much of a good thing. 😉
Maintaining a balanced body is important, and staying hydrated is part of that process. But you also don’t want to overdrink water either.
The amount of water you drink will vary based on what activities you’re doing outside of breastfeeding, like exercising and sweating. Keep in mind, you should drink plain, fresh water in addition to coconut water.
Keep your urine a pale yellow and you will be drinking the right amount to make just the right amount of milk. An easy way to remember to drink water while breastfeeding is to have a glass of water every time you nurse or pump.
To get the added benefits of coconut in your diet you could also:
- Use coconut oil in your cooking
- Use coconut flour in your baking
- Add fresh coconut to your smoothies
- Eat some dried coconut “meat” for a snack
Coconut water is just one way to enjoy the benefits of the coconut fruit.
Benefits of Coconut Water for Breastfeeding Moms
Drinking coconut water as a breastfeeding mom has many benefits. They including the following.
- Hydrates you with key electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals needed as a breastfeeding mom.
- Offers an alkalizing effect and balances your body’s PH, which is important for your cells and being in a healthy overall state for milk production.
- There is a small amount of fiber in coconut water. This can help you feel fuller longer (most of the fiber is contained in the actual pulp of the coconut). One cup of coconut water has about 2.5 grams of fiber.
- Gives you Vitamin C, which can help boost your immunity and your baby’s immunity.
- Low in sugar and naturally fat free, making it a great alternative to drinking plain water.
- Helps to balance (and even lower) your blood sugar levels. This can help balance your hormones and help you get back to your pre-pregnancy weight while breastfeeding.
- Coconut water is great for your skin because it contains cytokinin which is an anti-aging compound.
- Helps with kidney stones in a natural way if you are prone to getting. It is cleansing and helps to prevent crystals from sticking to your kidneys.
Disadvantages of Coconut Water & Milk Supply
If you drink copious amounts of coconut water you could end up with an electrolyte imbalance, which may cause health problems. Coconut water is high in potassium in particular. Too much potassium could lead to health complications such as kidney issues.
So it is best to avoid coconut water if you have kidney problems, or speak to a physician before drinking it. Breastfeeding promotes a thirst stimulus for lactating moms.
You’ll likely be naturally more thirsty. Our bodies have an amazing way of communicating thirst when breastfeeding.
You don’t want to drink too much water, but you want to be sure you are drinking enough water (and not just coconut water or another beverage – although these do count in your total consumption per day).
Here’s the bottom line. Trust your body.
Drink to thirst (to maintain pale yellow urine), eat a nutrient-dense diet, and nurse or pump often. If you do these things you’ll be setting yourself up for success.
Does Fresh or Pre-Packaged Coconut Water Help More For Milk Supply?
Fresh, unprocessed coconut water is the best source to help your milk supply. If you can seek out this freshest source, that is your best bet.
Local food markets may have fresh coconut water for sale from fresh coconuts. Fresh coconut water will be much tastier and have more antioxidants in it because it has not been processed.
Pre-packaged coconut water can also provide benefits for your milk supply, but it is generally processed through heat pasteurization. This means some of the antioxidants and vitamins and minerals will be lost. It is still better than not drinking it if you need electrolytes and the many benefits coconut water offers.
The Best Coconut Water For Breastfeeding Moms
The best coconut water for breastfeeding moms will contain no added sugar and will be gently processed or not processed at all through heat pasteurization. Unless you’re getting your coconut water from a very fresh source at a local food market or on a tropical island, it will be more difficult to find fresh coconut water.
The following options are great for breastfeeding moms to get the benefits of drinking coconut water. Save yourself from the aluminum cans which aren’t healthy for you, and opt for the coconut water in the cartons or BPA-free bottles. Also, be sure you are getting a variety with no added sugar.
1 – Harmless Harvest Organic Coconut Water Drink
This coconut water is a great choice because it is not heat pasteurized, leaving it in its most natural form, which is great for the benefits as a breastfeeding mom. It is also organic and has no added sugar.
2 – Vita Coco Coconut Water
This brand of coconut water is popular and has over 7,000 positive reviews on Amazon. It tastes great and has no added sugar, with only coconut water as the ingredient.
3 – Vita Coco Coconut Water with Pineapple
If you don’t like the taste of coconut water, try this pineapple version instead. It has coconut water and pineapple juice and it is super good.
This coconut water with pineapple also contains coconut puree and Vitamin C. It has a little more sugar in it, but if you’re only drinking one per day it is a good choice.
4 – Mojo Organic Coconut Water
Mojo Organic Coconut Water is never from concentrate and organic. The only ingredient is coconut water.
This is a great choice for breastfeeding moms that want to increase their milk supply with coconut water. The taste of this one is superior to others on the market.
5 – CocoGoodsCo Single-Origin Organic Coconut Water
This CocoGoodsCo organic coconut water is a single ingredient brand that is a great option for coconut water. This brand also has coconut water with other fruit juices like passion fruit and pineapple and a variety of other coconut food products.
Interestingly enough, different coconut waters taste differently based on what coconuts are used and where they are sourced geographically. So, if you don’t like the taste of one brand, try another before giving up on coconut water.
Ways To Include Coconut Water In Your Diet
Here are some other ways to include coconut water in meals or drinks to increase your milk supply.
- Breastfeeding smoothie with coconut water, fresh spinach, fruit of choice, and chia seeds
- Use coconut water instead of regular water in your oatmeal
- Coconut water lemonade (fresh coconut water, lemon juice, and honey or sugar)
- Use it for your savory dishes like rice (instead of plain water) to give it a tropical flavor
Is Coconut Water The Same As Coconut Milk?
No, coconut water is not the same as coconut milk. Coconut water contains 94% water whereas coconut milk has a lower water content at 50%, but a higher fat content.
Coconut milk is derived from the flesh and the water of the coconut combined. On the other hand, coconut water is strictly the liquid inside of the coconut.
Now that you know that coconut water does help with breast milk supply, try it out today and see if it works for you!
Coconut water is a low-calorie, great addition to your daily nutrition as it gives you lots of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and electrolytes. It also is a natural antioxidant and helps balance blood sugar,
Try one of the varieties included here for a refreshing alternative to plain water. And for even more help increasing your breast milk supply you might want to check out my guide to increasing milk supply fast.