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FAQs About Kombucha
Because kombucha is a fermented tea, it offers the health benefits of drinking tea along with the benefits of probiotics. Kombucha also boasts antioxidants, can kill harmful bacteria, and may even fight against various diseases. Many also believe kombucha can aid in digestion, thanks to the probiotics present in the drink since probiotics can help with diarrhea and IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and may even strengthen the immune system.
Although there are not many studies that look at the health benefits of kombucha, many people believe that kombucha may also help protect against cancer, reduce the risk of heart disease, and suppress the growth of harmful bacteria and yeasts. If you go for a green tea option, you'll likely get green tea benefits (like blood sugar control and weight loss) from drinking that kombucha, as well.
Though tasty commercial products are considered alcohol-free because they must have less than 0.5% alcohol, kombucha can contain a small amount of both caffeine and alcohol. Kombucha contains less caffeine than traditionally brewed tea. However, consuming too much kombucha may make you feel jittery or anxious due to the caffeine, and drinking kombucha close to bedtime can disrupt your sleep.
All in all, because kombucha contains small amounts of alcohol and caffeine and is unpasteurized, it's usually off-limits for some people. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, or people who have weakened immune systems, should not drink kombucha.
Drinking kombucha every day can offer a range of health benefits. However, over-consuming kombucha can have detrimental effects. Additionally, since kombucha is unpasteurized and has a mix of various bacteria and yeasts, it can lead to opportunist bacteria growing. This can pose a risk of infection in some people, such as those with weakened immune systems. Too much kombucha can also cause bloating or digestive distress.
Certain kombucha products can be high in calories and sugar, and most bottles actually contain two servings. If you drink high-calorie versions daily, the drink can contribute to weight gain.
Keep in mind that while you can technically make kombucha yourself, contaminated or over-fermented drinks can lead to serious health issues and even death. Buying kombucha online or at a store offers a safer option so you can reap the benefits of this drink.
The best way for you to fit kombucha into your daily routine can vary depending on your goals for drinking the product. While there's no wrong time to have this fermented tea, you can keep some guiding tips in mind to find out what works best for your lifestyle.
If you decide to drink kombucha to aid in your digestion, you can try to drink it before your meals. Having your kombucha before meals might even aid in reaching weight-loss goals or maintaining weight.
Want to maximize the number of microbes, or healthy bacteria, that get to your large intestines? Drinking kombucha on an empty stomach can help.
If you're particularly sensitive to caffeine, you'll want to stay away from drinking kombucha before bed. Kombucha is made from black or green tea, meaning caffeine may affect your sleep.
Before you bring home kombucha, you'll want to check the product for a few different things. High-quality products that are low in calories and sugar are typically your best bet to enjoy the benefits of kombucha without encountering some of the potential adverse effects.
You'll also want to look for kombucha packaged in dark glass containers. Kombucha fermented in plastic can degrade the material, causing plastic components to mix in with the drink. Additionally, long periods of light exposure can damage probiotics. Dark glass protects the probiotics in kombucha from that light damage, so you'll want to find kombucha in dark glass bottles to make the most of your drink.
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