On your last trip to your local Whole Foods, Wegmans, Target or health food store you’ve probably seen those $3-$4 Kombucha drinks. I’m sure you’ve asked yourself “what the heck is kombucha and why should I drink it?” Keep reading to learn more!
What the Heck Is Kombucha?
Kombucha is a beverage that originated in China and has been around since 220 BC! Crazy huh? It has recently been made popular because of all its potential health benefits. But what exactly is it? Kombucha is essentially a fermented sugar sweetened tea. It is fermented using a culture called a SCOBY (short for symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) and produces this fizzy drink that is a little reminiscent of beer but better (IMO).
Why Should You Drink Kombucha?
Kombucha has several proposed health benefits that are still being researched for validity. The one thing I like about it is that it IS a natural probiotic. Similar to those natural beneficial bacteria you would find in other fermented foods like yogurt, kefir and kimchi, kombucha can help improve gut health and boost immunity.
There are also some studies that suggest that this drink contains some antimicrobial and antioxidant properties that can help control blood sugar levels, heal stomach issues such as ulcers, and improve liver and kidney function. Kombucha is also rich in B vitamins and folic acid which can help boost energy.
Anything Else I Should Know?
Since kombucha is a tea it contains some caffeine but not enough to provide a major caffeine boost. Kombucha also contains a minimal amount of alcohol (less than 5%). Don’t worry you won’t have to be over 21 to buy it. J
Also, be sure to check the label when buying as all kombucha are not created equal. Some manufacturers add a lot more sugar than is necessary so you want to aim for a product with less than 5 grams of sugar per serving if you’re watching your sugar intake. There also shouldn’t be any hard to pronounce ingredients on the label. So if you see a product list on the label with more than 5 ingredients put it down and find another one.
I am a HUGE fan of kombucha. It’s not really a drink that I would choose if I was super thirsty and needed to get re-hydrated (I’d use plain water or coconut water for that); however, I drink it as a treat or when I need a probiotic boost (due to stomach issues or simply feeling under the weather).
Some brands and flavors are better than others. If you’re new to kombucha I absolutely LOVE and recommend Kevita Master Brew Kombucha. It comes in different flavors such as raspberry lemonade, ginger, lavender, and tart cherry.
I also like the Synergy brand as well. This one you can find at your local Target. I highly recommend the mango flavor for newbies. But the Trilogy one is pretty good as well. Just be careful when opening this brand! I’ve had plenty of bottles spill over when I opened it because of the carbonation.
So if you’re looking to try something new and want to test it out for its health benefits, try kombucha. It is not meant to be used as a substitute for a healthy diet but used as a simple boost. Limiting yourself to ½ to 1 bottle (or less) per day is recommended.
If you’ve already tried kombucha, share with me your favorite brands and flavors. I’m always looking to try something new.