Kombucha is a carbonated fermented tea that has been produced in the East for over 2000 years.
It is believed to originate from China or Japan. Kombucha became popular in Europe and the United States in the 20th century.
Its popularity is growing because it has a reputation as both a healthy and energy drink.
Kombucha tea was once only found in health food stores, but today it is widely available.
Apart from fitness enthusiasts, this fizzy drink is used by people of all ages who want to improve their health and nutrition.
Kombucha has numerous health benefits. It contains probiotics, so it supports digestion and detoxification of the body, and is a good source of antioxidants.
Kombucha tea will also help you stay hydrated and is a good alternative to soda because it’s lower in sugar.
Today, kombucha is produced as a flavored beverage that comes in many varieties.
How kombucha is made?
The recipe for making kombucha is simple.
It is made by adding sugar, and a combination of bacteria and yeast, called SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast) to brewed black or green tea.
The brew is then allowed to ferment for a week or longer.
During the fermentation process, healthy bacteria, amino acids, and a small amount of alcohol are created in this liquid.
Also, a mushroom-like film of bacteria and yeast forms on its surface, which is why some call it “mushroom tea”.
The SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast) can be used to ferment new batches of kombucha.
The fermentation process is also responsible for kombucha’s unique taste.
Before packaging, some producers add juices from different fruits or vegetables to kombucha, which causes a secondary fermentation to take place in the bottle, which creates fine bubbles in this unusual drink.
Are all kombucha brands are the same?
The answer is NO.
Kombucha is widely available today. You can find it in health food stores, supermarkets and even gas stations.
When buying kombucha, keep the following in mind:
- kombucha should be packaged in glass
- it must not be pasteurized because otherwise it will lose its probiotic properties
- it must contain organic ingredients
- it should contain as little sugar as possible
Should I drink kombucha?
Kombucha is rich in vitamins, antioxidants and probiotics, which we know as an important part of a healthy diet.
Some studies have shown that kombucha can support a healthy immune system, digestion and prevent constipation. It also gives you energy and supports your overall health.
Although there is currently limited data on the benefits of kombucha, many people believe that this drink can help prevent various health conditions, ranging from hair loss to high blood pressure and even cancer.
Can kombucha be sugar free?
The anwser is NO. Kombucha must contain sugar, as it plays a key role in the fermentation process.
However, during this process, the yeast “eats” most of the sugar, turning it into CO2 and ethanol.
In the end, only a minimal amount of sugar remains in your kombucha that was not used for fermentation.
You can also choose kombucha made with organic cane sugar, which has high levels of magnesium, iron, potassium and calcium.
How much sugar is in kombucha?
Although the fermentation process requires a certain amount of sugar, kombucha tea is a beverage with relatively low sugar content.
Kombucha contains about 2-6 grams of sugar per 8 oz serving. To get an idea of how much sugar that is, you should know that an 8 oz glass of orange juice contains about 24 grams of sugar.
But, be careful, because some brands of kombucha add more sweet flavorings, so this drink ends up with unnecessarily high sugar content.
Sugar contributes to inflammatory processes in our body, so it is a good idea to avoid sugary drinks.
According to the AHA (American Heart Association), men should consume less than 36 grams of added sugar per day and women less than 25 grams of sugar per day.
That being said, you should look for kombucha brands with less than 12 grams of added sugar per serving.
What is the shelf life of kombucha?
Be sure to pay attention to the expiration date. You can use kombucha for 9 months from the production date.
You should store the opened bottle in the refrigerator and use it within ten days at the latest.
It is best drunk chilled to fully enjoy its unique taste. Kombucha has an unusual taste, which is somewhere between sweet and vinegary.
Kombucha health benefits
- Kombucha is a source of natural probiotics
Kombucha is a type of fermented tea. Due to fermentation, a large number of bacteria grow in the drink, including several types of lactic acid bacteria that have a probiotic effect.
Probiotics are actually beneficial bacteria that can improve many aspects of health, including digestion and gut health, which is very important for a strong immune system and overall health.
Probiotics also help with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and diarrhea.
Fermented food can also help fight inflammation and even contribute to weight loss.
Kombucha can be a good source of probiotics, along with yogurt, kimchi, kefir, sauerkraut, and other fermented food, so it’s a good idea to include it in your diet.
- Kombucha may have similar benefits like the green tea
It makes perfect sense that kombucha made from green tea can have many of the same herbal compounds and similar health benefits as green tea itself.
Green tea is probably one of the most popular health drinks.
It contains polyphenols, bioactive compounds that act as antioxidants (substances that protect your cells from damage).
Research shows that dietary antioxidants are as good as or even better for your health than antioxidant supplements.
Kombucha contains antioxidants
Kombucha made from green tea is rich in antioxidants and can help you lose weight, burn fat, control blood sugar and prevent heart disease.
Drinking kombucha regularly can protect the liver from toxicity, lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of breast, prostate and colon cancer.
If you’re one of those people who don’t like the taste of hot tea, kombucha is a great alternative that can provide you with similar health benefits.
Also, kombucha is low in caffeine, so it can be a good option for those who need to limit their caffeine intake.
- Kombucha has anti-bacterial properties
Acetic acid is another important substance produced during kombucha fermentation.
It has antimicrobial properties, which means it can kill harmful microorganisms.
Kombucha made from green or black tea is rich in polyphenols and acetic acid.
It has the ability to suppress the growth of harmful bacteria and yeast but does not affect good probiotic bacteria.
Kombucha tea can especially help you with bacterial infections and Candidiasis.
- Kombucha may reduce the risk of heart disease
Kombucha made from green tea can significantly lower cholesterol levels, which is one of the markers of heart disease.
LDL cholesterol is also known as “bad” cholesterol.
Oxidation of “bad” cholesterol leads to the formation of plaque in the arteries (a process known as atherosclerosis). Oxidized LDL can also increase the amount of triglycerides and fat in the body.
Kombucha made from green tea can prevent the oxidation of “bad” cholesterol and thus reduce the risk of heart disease, which is the leading cause of death worldwide.
Research shows that kombucha can have a positive effect on cholesterol levels after just 30 days.
- Kombucha can help manage type 2 diabetes
People with type 2 diabetes have high blood sugar because their bodies do not use insulin properly (insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas, and its role is to lower blood sugar).
Studies have shown that kombucha can slow down the digestion of carbohydrates and thereby lower blood sugar levels.
Kombucha brewed with green tea is even more beneficial. Studies have shown that people who regularly drink kombucha have an 18% lower risk of developing diabetes.
Kombucha also improves liver and kidney function.
- Kombucha may help protect against cancer
Cancer is a disease characterized by cell mutation and uncontrolled cell growth.
Kombucha contains high concentrations of antioxidants and tea polyphenols that help suppress the growth and spread of mutated cells.
Antioxidants in tea are powerful substances thought to have anti-cancer properties.
Regular consumption of kombucha made from green tea is associated with a lower risk of various types of cancer.
However, further studies are needed to confirm kombucha’s anti-cancer effects with certainty.
What is the best time of the day to drinking kombucha?
Kombucha is a healthy drink that you can enjoy at any time of the day.
It all depends on how you feel and what you want to achieve.
Kombucha has a specific taste and contains caffeine, probiotics, and alcohol, so it is best to slowly introduce it into your routine.
Should I drink kombucha in the morning?
Kombucha is a great way to start your day!
Kombucha tea contains caffeine so it will give you the right amount of energy to start the day.
It’s a great alternative to coffee because it contains less caffeine, but it will definitely get you going.
Kombucha is rich in probiotics that contribute to the balance of intestinal bacteria and improve digestion.
A glass of kombucha in the morning will ensure good digestion throughout the day.
Also, you must keep in mind that kombucha contains small amounts of alcohol that is produced during the fermentation process.
Therefore, people sensitive to alcohol should avoid drinking kombucha in the morning.
You can drink kombucha on an empty stomach or with breakfast.
What are the benefits of drinking kombucha on an empty stomach?
The best way for kombucha probiotics to have the maximum effect on your digestive system is to drink kombucha on an empty stomach.
When your stomach is empty, food does not interfere with the action of probiotics, they will pass through your stomach faster, reach the colon and cleanse it of harmful bacteria.
In this way, probiotics will improve the function of the colon and speed up your digestive system.
However, if you are not used to these probiotics, or have a sensitive stomach, it would be better to drink kombucha with breakfast or after a meal.
You need to slowly introduce kombucha into your daily routine.
Should I drink kombucha with a meal?
Kombucha is a healthy beverage that you can drink whenever you want – before, after, or during a meal.
If you are used to drinking beer or wine with your meal, kombucha can be a good substitute.
Drinking kombucha before or during a meal will fill you up faster and aid digestion.
Drinking kombucha for energy
It is quite normal to feel sleepy after lunch. Most people reach for some energy drink, chocolate or a cup of coffee to regain that much needed energy.
You can drink a glass of kombucha instead, which has less caffeine than regular coffee but can still give you the energy you need.
Kombucha will also help balance your gut, and reduce your sugar cravings.
Drinking kombucha after exercise
Kombucha tea is an ideal way to rehydrate you body after exercise.
It is rich in vitamin B and folic acid, which are necessary for the regeneration of body tissue.
Other kombucha ingredients such as antioxidants, organic acids, and probiotics also help the body recover properly after exercise.
Should I drink kombucha at night?
Kombucha has a distinct, slightly sour taste, so many people choose to drink it with food like wine.
However, kombucha is usually made from black or green tea, so it contains a certain amount of caffeine.
Kombucha contains about 10 to 25 mg of caffeine per cup, while a cup of coffee contains about 40 mg of caffeine.
Nevertheless, if you’re sensitive to caffeine, it’s best not to drink kombucha before bed.
How much kombucha should I drink per day?
There are no relevant directions on how much kombucha should be consumed per day.
It is important to remember that kombucha is a natural probiotic, which should be taken into account to avoid problems such as an upset stomach.
If you want to consume kombucha regularly and are not sure how your body will react, you can start gradually introducing it into your diet.
Start with small amounts of e.g. 4 oz per day and gradually increase the amount you consume.
Kombucha contains a small amount of alcohol, which could be a problem for people who avoid alcohol, or take medications that interact with alcohol.
The appropriate dose of kombucha tea will depend on your age, health status, co-morbidities, etc., so be sure to consult your doctor or pharmacist before use.
Can I drink kombucha while pregnant?
Kombucha is a fermented drink made from tea and sugar, which has many detoxifying properties, but also contains caffeine and small amounts of alcohol.
In this case, it is best to consult with your doctor about how safe it would be for you to drink kombucha.
Some doctors believe that pregnant women, nursing mothers and people with weakened immune systems should avoid kombucha tea.
Special precautions and warnings
Kombucha is safe for most adults, but in some people, it can cause upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, allergic reactions, and yeast infections.
Kombucha tea can be made at home, sometimes in conditions that are not entirely hygienic, so there is a possibility of contaminating the kombucha with bad bacteria.
Also, if you make and store kombucha in containers that contain toxic chemicals (e.g. pottery glazes contain lead), these chemicals can transfer into your kombucha and cause side effects or poisoning.
So, when making kombucha at home, be sure to use glass or stainless steel containers.
Plastic containers are also a good option. Make sure your hands and utensils are completely clean when preparing kombucha.
Kombucha and Alcoholism
People who have a drinking problem should not drink kombucha because it contains alcohol.
Also, you should avoid kombucha if you are taking medication to treat alcoholism, such as Disulfiram (Antabuse).
This drug reduces the breakdown of alcohol in the body, so if you drink kombucha while taking Disulfiram you may experience a number of unpleasant reactions including severe headache, flushing, and vomiting.
Kombucha and Diabetes
Kombucha can lower your blood sugar levels.
If you have diabetes and have decided to include kombucha in your diet, you must carefully monitor your blood sugar levels.
Diabetes medications lower blood sugar, as does kombucha, so there is a risk of hypoglycemia (too low blood sugar) if you combine them.
It would be a good idea to check with your doctor if you want to drink kombucha regularly as you may need to adjust the dosage of your diabetes medication.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and Diarrhea
You should not consume large amounts of kombucha if you have diarrhea, or suffer from IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome).
Kombucha contains caffeine, so it can worsen diarrhea and IBS symptoms.
Weak immune system
People with weakened immune systems should not take kombucha.
Kombucha contains live bacteria, which can contribute to infections in immunocompromised individuals.
If you are preparing for surgery, you should stop consuming kombucha at least 2 weeks before.
Kombucha has the effect of lowering blood sugar levels, so there is a possibility that drinking kombucha may interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery.
The bottom line
Kombucha tea is a powerful drink rich in probiotics and antioxidants and have numerous health benefits.
It is believed that kombucha can help prevent and treat various types of chronic diseases, including digestive problems, high blood pressure and heart disease.
Kombucha is a good source of energy and contributes to strengthening the immune system.
It is also used to detoxify the body, and as a secret ingredient that contributes to weight loss.
More research needs to be done to confirm with certainty the health benefits of kombucha.
Kombucha can be made at home or purchased at the store.
If you choose to drink store-bought kombucha, choose the one with the least added sugar.