Tropical Cooking with Travel Man: 3rd Beverage: Coconut Juice

One of the coconut or buko juice stands that you can see along the streets in Metro Manila

Along Pasay Road, Manila (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala)
Along Pasay Road, Manila (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala)

Importance of Coconut Juice as both beverage and health drink

Coconut Juice is a natural isotonic beverage that is high in potassium and other electrolytes.

Isotonic, meaning, it has equal osmotic pressure in order to assist athletes in rehydrating while balancing electrolytes.

Asians and other tropical nations around the world are happy to introduce it to more progressive nations, like UK, USA and Canada as a beverage and health drink.

My initial observation when our ship was transiting in the US waters is that there was no coconut juice or buko juice that you can find at any gourmet store.

Even in Europe, when we discharge our cargoes in UK, all you can drink is beer at the seaman's center.

Now the turn of the sports drink campaign centers to coconut juice these days.

Since Year 2011, the Philippine national government, through President Benigno S. Aquino III, announced the export of coconut juice at the American market, thereby generating interest and additional jobs to coconut farmers and Filipino businessmen.

Now, even the iconic American singer Madonna is now endorsing the health benefits that we can get by drinking coconut juice.

Different scenes of Buko Juice vendors in the city

A coconut vendor taking a nap along Roxas Boulevard, Pasay, Manila (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala)
A coconut vendor taking a nap along Roxas Boulevard, Pasay, Manila (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala)
Near the Ermita Center, Manila (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala)
Near the Ermita Center, Manila (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala)

How coconut juice fare in the Philippines

The coconut juice is a nutritious refreshing drink especially for those people with kidney problems. Coconut juice is highly alkaline.

Here in the Philippines, most drunkards will detoxify their bodies by drinking coconut morning the next morning.

Most of the time, with the sprouting of small businesses, like the cart-type buko juice stand, you can see people in all walks of life (from professional to ordinary ones) sipping or drinking buko juice along the streets.

From my point of view, it is now the most affordable health drink of the masses in the city. Or if you don't want to spend a single cent on it, you can go to the countryside of the country. And there, the rural folks will gladly welcome you with freshly gathered young coconut with its succulent pulp and refreshing buko (coconut) juice.

Tourists that are flocking the city of Manila, or even Cebu or Davao are now lured to have a buko juice refreshment along the streets.

It's a tourism-hype of another kind!Or maybe, it will last as long as the farmers are supplying the market with coconut juice.

Since I was a struggling fourth year high school student, coconut juice or water had started to be tapped as a major component in the production of intravenous liquid for patient's use at the hospital in order to balance one's electrolyte.

Another thing is when the coconut is still young, it contains a large amount of fluid or juice, can be added with milk for a nutritional drink.

I also observed that the Filipino minorities who cannot afford to buy milk, use the buko juice as feeding supplement to their babies.

And just recently, positive report reverberates:

" Coconut water exports jumped 315 percent in the first half of the year to 7.5 million liters, after the popularity of the refreshing beverage started to take off overseas, the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) said." (with reports from Kristine L. Alave of Philippine Daily Inquirer, Oct. 17, 2011)

Coconut Water I What The Heck Are You Eating I Everyday Health c/o EverydayHealth

Coconut water or juice: Should you be drinking it?

The news: Americans were the biggest consumers, downing 6.19 million liters this year for a 387-percent increase over last year’s 1.27-million liters.(Year 2011)

Don't be confused about the difference between coconut milk (from pulp) and coconut water (or juice). It is fat-free, good news to health-conscious individual.

According to EverydayHealth, a channel from YouTube (wherein this video came from with their permission), coconut water has been dubbed as the 'fluid of life', that is similar to human blood.

Trivia: It was used by wounded soldiers as intravenous liquid during World War II in order to keep them alive!


To top it all: Coconut juice is now being claimed to help control diabetes, helps rapid weight loss, prevents cancer and other bodily miracles once you drink it.Coconut water is full of minerals, which are important in fighting viruses. It helps against diseases such as cholera, dysentery and typhoid among others.

Testimony: My mother suffered a urinary tract infection (UTI) way back year 2011. We encouraged her to drink the water of young coconut. Well, the UTI was gone for just a day of coconut water therapy!

To us, islanders in the Philippines, it is an ordinary thing to see people sipping or drinking buko juice everyday.

And it helps me keep healthy, away from serious sickness and obesity.


To get it free, climb the coconut tree and get the buko and its juice. Want to try?

Young coconut- main source of fresh, sweet coconut water (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala)
Young coconut- main source of fresh, sweet coconut water (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala)
There's a buko juice inside this young coconut (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala)
There's a buko juice inside this young coconut (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala)

Travel-Man's official cocktail drink: Coconut water tonic

I recently concocted a cocktail mix with coconut water.

I poured one part of the spirit (it's gin made from sugar cane) in the shot glass, transferred it to the tall-highball glass and two-parts of coconut juice. I added a teaspoon of sugar, then a drizzle of lemon juice plus the crushed ice.

It's a refreshing drink, a coconut water tonic.

Try it, you'll be relaxed as you eradicate stressful bout of office works and job-hunting episode.

Or even after publishing a hub on HubPages.

You can also mix yours.

Share it with me. I'll try it for sure.

You can enjoy coconut water and its meat, like me.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Enjoying the coconut water and its meat (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala aka travel_man1971)The kid climbing the coconut tree (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala)The harvest (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala)
Enjoying the coconut water and its meat (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala aka travel_man1971)
Enjoying the coconut water and its meat (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala aka travel_man1971)
The kid climbing the coconut tree (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala)
The kid climbing the coconut tree (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala)
The harvest (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala)
The harvest (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala)

Back home enjoying buko juice or coconut water, including fresh coco meat with my family

The remaining days of February 2013, right after my official embarkation from my latest ship's contract prompted me to enjoy a shore leave at home.

My mom, who's recuperating from pneumonia decided to let a able child to climb the coconut trees in order to get the mature coconuts and some buko or young coconuts, too.

The ideal time of climbing the coconut tree (palm) is in the morning, as its trunk is not slippery yet.

The rest of the photos are some of the episodes that happened during the last week of the month at home.

Even my dog, Brownie, seemed to enjoy the taste of young coconut meat and of course, its coconut water or buko juice.

Coconut juice as natural sweetener on tropical salad of Buko-Gulaman with tapioca pearls

Buko-Gulaman Salad (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala)
Buko-Gulaman Salad (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala)

More by this Author


Comments 16 comments

Kathryn Stratford profile image

Kathryn Stratford 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

I remember I had the water from coconut twice when I went on a cruise to the caribbean about three years ago- once in Georgetown, Grand Cayman, and once in Eleuthera. It was very tasty. I have seen some cans of either the water or the juice (I'm unsure) in a Jamaican restaurant in Connecticut, and I have seen some coconut beverages at the grocery store, next to the Gatorade. I'm curious to how they compare, but I would imagine that anything sold in a grocery store in USA would be mixed with who-knows-what. Or sugar. They almost always add sugar.

Interesting article to read, thanks for sharing!

The tapioca pearls in the photo above looks interesting. I think I have heard of them being in some teas that the Chinese drink, and I was always curious about how they tasted in a beverage. It gives it an interesting appearance.

I would love to visit other countries. It must be fascinating to see the different food and drinks in other lands. I know sometime even going to a different state within the U.S. can be quite a bit different.


rasta1 profile image

rasta1 3 years ago from Jamaica

I find coconuts very refreshing and nutritious.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean

Thanks for this article. Never read any information on coconut water before. I can get it free on the islands. There goes another advantage of being home.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@Kathryn Stratford: Thanks for showing support on this hub.

Yes, it can be a lot different if you will drink the buko juice right after it is cut in half by the vendor. Unlike the packed coconut water (juice), they will always proclaim that there's no additives (preservative) in it, but we never know (hmmmm).

Anyway, coconut water is now one of the export products of my country (Philippines) and it is now being promoted by big artists in the USA, like Madonna and Rihanna.

Note: I've seen the ads @YouTube.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@rasta1: Thank you for recognizing its importance. It is been called as 'The Tree of Life." It has many uses from its roots to its leaves and bud. Now is the time that people around the world is giving highlight on coconut water.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@MsDora: Thank you, ma'am. Yes, it is very much available among islanders, like us here in the Philippines.

I still prefer fresh buko juice (coconut water) more than the packaged ones.


iguidenetwork profile image

iguidenetwork 3 years ago from Austin, TX

I love drinking coconut water, and coconut shakes. I like the mild taste of the water. :)

Voted up and awesome. :)


Deborah Brooks profile image

Deborah Brooks 3 years ago from Brownsville,TX

I love cocnuts.. mmmm.. what a great hub.. I am going to post this on facebook on my healthy page i create..

I am Deborah Brooks Langford

on facebook


Kathryn Stratford profile image

Kathryn Stratford 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

I tried some coconut water that Target store sells, and it was so refreshing! Very tasty, even with no additives.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@iguidenetwork: Keep on drinking. It's also good for cleansing our kidneys and tummy. :)


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@Deborah Brooks: Thanks, Ms. Deb. Your effort is very much appreciated.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@Kathryn Stratford: That's what I'm doing now, while answering your post. I'm sipping a coconut water in a bottle. :)


blondey profile image

blondey 3 years ago

Up and awesome, I love this article and I love anything healthy esp if it helps weight loss, not to mention make you feel good.

I have tried the one Rhianna advertised in the video, the one from the packaged bottle. I'm assuming it even better to get an actual coconut and "drill a hole" or cut off the top and eat / I mean drink the water inside with a straw? Non packaged food always better? Eihter way this is something I will now continue to drink thanks to you and this very informative hub. As I tried it the first time it wasn't awful or great tasting but I can get used to anything healthy.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@blondey: You better visit Philippine if your budget allows you to travel. There are lots of preparation being done with coconut water. It can be coconut juice shake, coconut tonic water and healthy cocktail mix.

Thank you for drinking. :)


starbright profile image

starbright 3 years ago from Scandinavia

Your cocktail sounds wonderful and a must try. The Philippines is a wonderful place filled with great people. Loved it there. Thanks for sharing - Voted up.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@starbright: Thank you. I hope our cocout products will reach your homeland. :)

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