I’m not a coffee addict, a soda drinker or a green juice lover. Water is my go-to drink 90% of the time, with coconut water taking the other 10%. I consider that good for my body and wallet because bottled drinks are expensive and water is, you know, water. But last week I tried a new-to-me drink that has quickly become a favorite: kombucha. I’m well aware that kombucha has been around for a long time but I’m usually at least one year behind any food/fashion/life trend so the timing makes sense for me.
I don’t know if this will be one of my short-term obsessions or not, but I figured I’d do some research on what I’m putting into my body. Chances are you are already fully knowledgeable on kombucha, but if you’re like me and didn’t even know how to pronounce it, continue on…
How do you pronounce it?
kom·bu·cha: Com-boo-sha (at least I think so ;))
What is kombucha?
“Kombucha is a fermented tea made by adding a culture of bacteria and yeast to a solution of tea, sugar and sometimes fruit juice and other flavorings” (Source). Fun fact: It is also called “mushroom tea” because it looks like a mushroom during the brewing process.
But don’t look up pictures of the process because it’s gross…just an FYI because my sister made me look. Didn’t change my opinion on it, though.
What does it taste like?
To me, it tastes like a mixture of apple cider vinegar, tea and champagne (because it’s fizzy). There are different flavors of the drink so it tastes like those additional flavors as well. I’ve tried Guava Goddess, Gingerberry and Lavender.
What are the (claimed) health benefits?
There isn’t much formal research on kombucha, but because it’s full of probiotics, it’s known to improve digestion, gut health and overall immunity (Source). There are claims that it can prevent cancer and improve liver function, although I’m skeptical of those statements. I did read about the dangers of drinking unpasteurized kombucha and the risk of making it yourself (when contamination is likely) (Source).
Is there alcohol in it?
This is where I was (and still am) not fully clear. I didn’t have any problem purchasing it myself but I’ve seen many signs at Whole Foods that have said “you must be 21 to purchase.” However, I think there are certain brands/types of kombucha that have less than 0.5 percent of alcohol and would therefore be considered a non-alcoholic drink. On Synergy’s website, two of their products (the “classics”) have a warning at the top of their respective pages that says the drinks may contain more than 0.5 percent alcohol. Their other product lines do not have that warning.
As someone who has had digestive problems for their entire (yes entire) life, I was hesitant to think this drink could help me. Brace yourself for TMI… I split two bottles with my mom over a period of 4 days and sipped it like wine. During those 4 days I had, let’s say, good digestive days. It relieved some constipation and just kept things “regular,” if you know what I mean. I don’t think I could finish an entire bottle by myself in one day until my body builds up a tolerance.
I sure did feel trendy drinking it.
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine says
Haha, I’m not a fan. I just don’t like “drinking my calories” to begin with. I’m all about WATER for sure! I can never get enough in! But otherwise if I need some flavor, I stick to my black coffee in the morning and then hot tea!
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine recently posted…Cinnamon Pear Oat Pancakes
I’m surprised I actually liked it because normally these things are too weird for my plain taste buds.
Emily @ Sweets and Beets says
Love it! I drink kombucha every once in awhile.. I just keep an eye on the sugar content (natural or otherwise). I totally went through a big phase of it, though. And as far as the alcohol content … I chugged an entire bottle on a hot summer day once — I sweaaar to you I felt buzzed after! ;)
Emily @ Sweets and Beets recently posted…‘Step It Up’ Superfood Salad
Ok good, glad I wasn’t the only one who felt like that!
Rebecca @ MyEagerFeet says
I just drink water and milk, and sometimes hot cocoa in the winter. I do eat Greek yogurt every day for the probiotics, and I definitely notice a difference in my digestion when I do. (I have IBS, so I need some sort of solution on a regular basis.)
Rebecca @ MyEagerFeet recently posted…The Pursuit of Perfection
I’ve taken a probiotic supplement for years because of my “messed up” stomach but I’m curious if this will really make a difference.
Liv @ Healthy Liv says
I love this post! I’ve heard so much about kombucha and I feel like it’s one of those trendy things in the healthy living world like kale and Greek yogurt…but I’d never actually heard all that much about what it was.Thanks, Emily!!
Liv @ Healthy Liv recently posted…New Year’s Resolutions: To Make or Not To Make?
I seriously didn’t know how to pronounce it before I tried it! And I still don’t know if I’m saying it right haha.
Sam @ The Running Graduate says
I recently tried kombucha for the first time, so it was cool to learn more about it. I really liked the taste of it (I had the raspberry chia one), but I couldn’t stand the smell. If it weren’t for the smell, I’d probably still be drinking it in small doses like you have been. Maybe when I have a stuffy nose?
Sam @ The Running Graduate recently posted…Professional Winter Breaking [TOLT 19]
Oh I haven’t tried that flavor! Yeah the smell isn’t the best. Maybe it’s something we’ll get used to?