Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Is Kombucha Good for You? Learn the Surprising Truth!

Avatar

By: Erin Coleman, B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.,

Writer, The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project

is kombucha good for you

The answer to the question “is kombucha good for you” might surprise you, as it's more complex than you may think.

Knowing more about the pros and cons of drinking kombucha tea can help you make an informed decision about whether or not it's for you!

Kombucha is a type of fermented tea that offers numerous health benefits.

Because it's been fermented, kombucha contains probiotics in addition to the antioxidants found in non-fermented tea.

Kombucha is often made from black, green, red, or white tea. Adding kombucha to your meal plan can help you reap its many benefits.

While kombucha offers numerous health benefits, it isn't for everybody.

Check with your doctor or avoid kombucha if you take certain medications, you're thinking about becoming pregnant, or you're pregnant or breastfeeding.

If you experience gas or other unpleasant symptoms after drinking kombucha, cut back on it or eliminate it altogether.

Keep reading to find out if kombucha is good for YOU!

What about zero-calorie drinks? Are THEY healthy? Find out here!

Is Kombucha Good for You?

Is kombucha good for you? It certainly can be! Naturally sweetened kombucha offers the following health and wellness benefits:

Healthy Gut

Consuming probiotics (good bacteria) in kombucha provides numerous benefits for your gut health.

Studies show that probiotics can prevent or reduce intestinal disorders, such as diarrhea and other digestive problems.

Therefore, maintaining the right balance of good vs. bad bacteria in your gut by drinking kombucha can improve your overall quality of life!

Improved Mental Health

Anxiety and depression are common mental health struggles you or a loved one may suffer from.

All-natural solutions can improve your mood without the need for medications in some cases.

Studies show that consuming probiotics can reduce depression, anger, and fatigue while improving sleep quality and your overall physiological well-being.

Strong Immune System

Both probiotics and antioxidants found in kombucha can strengthen your immune system, helping you better fight off illnesses and chronic diseases.

Examples of antioxidants found in many types of kombucha include polyphenol compounds and vitamin C.

Kombucha prepared with green tea is especially rich in disease-fighting antioxidants.

Learn how to keep your immune system strong and fight viruses, bacteria, and stress!

Faster Metabolism

Studies show that caffeine found in kombucha can increase your body's metabolism and enhance fat burning, which aids in healthy weight management.

Your metabolism affects the number of calories your body burns throughout the day.

To reap the many benefits linked with caffeinated kombucha, choose brands made with green, white, or black tea.

More Energy

Unsweetened or naturally sweetened kombucha is low in calories, but the caffeine in it offers a quick boost of energy.

This allows you to burn more calories during workouts and all throughout the day!

Healthy Weight Management

The reason kombucha aids in healthy weight management is two-fold.

Caffeine in tea gives your metabolism a boost, and unsweetened or minimally sweetened kombucha helps fill you up without the extra calories.

Research studies confirm that probiotics in kombucha aid in healthy weight management and enhance weight reduction.

Lower Disease Risks

Another health benefit linked with consuming kombucha regularly is its effect on chronic disease reduction.

Studies show that kombucha can reduce high cholesterol, which lowers your risk of heart problems.

Additional studies found that regular tea consumption (3-4 cups daily) reduces your risk of obesity and diabetes.

Improved Brain Health

Antioxidants and probiotics found in Kombucha enhance cognition and brain health.

Researchers found that green tea can reduce anxiety and improve memory, attention, and overall brain functioning.

Find out how to make your mind happy by training your mental health!

Are There Drawbacks of Drinking Kombucha?

Is Kombucha good for you? While you can reap many health and wellness benefits by including kombucha in your meal plan, some potential drawbacks exist too.

Taste

While unsweetened or lightly sweetened kombucha is good for you, the taste can take some getting used to.

Kombucha's sweet-tart flavor can turn some people off, at least initially.

When choosing kombucha, pick varieties that contain a tiny bit of natural sweeteners like fruit, juice, herbs, or Stevia.

Steer clear of teas containing a lot of added sugar or artificial sweeteners.

Added Sugar

Because of its tart taste, some ready-to-drink kombucha brands contain added sugar, which isn't the best choice for your health.

Added sugar increases your risk of obesity and obesity-related diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Limit added sugar as much as possible and check the nutrition facts labels to find out if added sugar is present in your favorite ready-to-drink kombucha.

While sugar is needed for fermenting kombucha, most of the sugar gets consumed during the fermentation process.

Choose kombucha brands containing less than 3 grams of added sugar per serving (ideally no added sugar).

Learn how to reduce sugar addiction and recognize sugar addiction symptoms!

Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners, such as acesulfame potassium, aspartame, saccharin, sucralose, and neotame, taste sweet like sugar but are calorie-free.

While you might think that artificial sweeteners are better than added sugar, studies show they aren't the best option.

Such sweeteners can affect your body's insulin levels, gut bacteria balance, junk food cravings, and risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Steer clear of artificial sweeteners whenever possible.

Digestive Problems

While kombucha offers numerous health benefits, some people experience side effects from drinking a lot of it.

For example, it may cause digestive problems (gas, nausea, vomiting, etc.) when you drink it in large amounts.

If you experience gas, bloating, or other unpleasant symptoms after consuming kombucha, try cutting back on it.

Infection Risks

If you have a sensitive immune system, drinking home-brewed kombucha might not be the best option for you.

Home brewed teas don't go through a pasteurization process, which means there's a risk of harmful microbe growth.

If you have a weak immune system, you may want to avoid home-brewed kombucha in favor of store-bought, pasteurized varieties.

Tooth Erosion

Drinking a lot of kombucha might negatively affect your teeth, as it contains acids that can erode tooth enamel.

To protect your teeth, drink water or rinse your mouth with water after drinking acidic beverages.

Alcohol

Kombucha often contains a small amount of natural alcohol, which develops during the fermentation process.

So if you're pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, it's best to pass on the kombucha or ask your doctor if any brands are safe for consumption.

Find out if drinking alcohol and losing weight can be done at the same time!

Liver Problems

While rare, drinking large amounts of kombucha may cause liver problems, such as inflammation, liver toxicity, lactic acidosis, or jaundice, in some people.

If you have liver problems or are at risk of developing them, consider avoiding kombucha or ask your doctor if it's safe for you.

Medication Interactions

Herbs can interact with some medications.

If your kombucha contains herbs as ingredients and you take medications, check-in with your doctor to make sure the herbs don't negatively interact with your medicines.

Which Brands of Kombucha Are Best?

If you're looking for healthy varieties of store-bought kombucha, consider the following brands flavored with natural juices, fruits, herbs, stevia, erythritol, or monk fruit instead of added sugar or artificial sweeteners.

GT's

GT's is made with all-natural ingredients.

The gingerade flavor consists of green tea, black tea, kiwi juice, and ginger juice.

It also contains naturally occurring alcohol, so avoid this drink if you're pregnant or trying to become pregnant.

GT's gingerade contains 50 calories per bottle and 0 grams of added sugar.

Humm

Humm is Whole360 approved.

It contains 30 calories per can, 0 grams of added sugar, and the following ingredients: organic carbonated kombucha (filtered water, organic green tea, organic black tea, organic white grape juice, and kombucha cultures), organic flavors, natural flavors, probiotics, and Vitamin B12.

Wild Tonic

Wild Tonic is all-natural and contains just 40 calories per serving.

Ingredients in the blueberry basil flavor include water, honey, tea, raw cultures, blueberry juice, basil, and probiotics.

Its alcohol content is less than 5%, but consult with your doctor if you're pregnant or breastfeeding.

Yogi

Yogi isn't ready-to-drink, but you can easily brew it.

Simply bring water to just boiling and place 1-2 tea bags in each cup of water.

Ingredients in Yogi include o

Remedy

Remedy is sugar-free but contains natural zero-calorie sweeteners.

Ingredients include carbonated water, green tea, black tea, kombucha cultures, erythritol, stevia, and natural flavors.

Remedy contains just 5 calories per serving and 0 grams of added sugar.

Homemade Kombucha Recipe

Making kombucha at home is a multiple-step process.

While sugar is an ingredient in the first and seconds steps of making kombucha, most sugar gets consumed during the fermentation process.

The longer your tea ferments, the more sugar gets consumed (eliminated) and the less sweet the tea tastes.

If you're up for it, try the following homemade kombucha recipe:

Step 1: Making Scoby

Scoby Ingredients

  • 7 cups of clean water
  • 1/2 cup of white sugar
  • 4 bags of black tea or 1 tablespoon of loose leaf tea
  • 1 cup of unpasteurized, unflavored, store-bought kombucha
  • 2 jars that hold at least 1/2 gallon or one jug that holds at least 1 gallon
  • Tightly woven cloth (coffee filters, paper towels, napkins, cheesecloth, etc.)
  • Rubberbands

Scoby Instructions

  • Boil the water in a pot.
  • Remove from heat and dissolve sugar in the water.
  • Add tea and allow it to steep while the water cools to room temperature for a few hours.
  • Pour the tea into the jars.
  • Add in store-bought kombucha (make sure to include the solid bits).
  • Cover the tea with a few layers of tightly-woven cloth and secure it with a rubber band.
  • Place the mixture somewhere dark at room temperature for 1-4 weeks until a 1/4 inch of scoby forms.
  • Keep the scoby in its original tea until you’re ready to complete step #2.

Step 2 First Fermentation

First Fermentation Ingredients

  • 14 cups of clean water
  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • 8 bags of black or green tea or 2 tablespoons of loose leaf tea
  • 2 cups of unflavored kombucha (from a previous batch or unpasteurized, unflavored, store-bought kombucha)
  • 1 or 2 scobys (1 for each container)
  • 2 jars that hold at least 1/2 gallon or one jug that holds at least 1 gallon
  • Tightly woven cloth (coffee filters, paper towels, napkins, cheesecloth, etc.)
  • Rubberbands

First Fermentation Instructions

  • Bring the water to a boil in a pot.
  • Remove it from heat and dissolve sugar into the water.
  • Add tea and allow it to steep while the water cools to room temperature for a few hours.
  • With clean hands, gently remove scoby from the tea and place it on a clean plate.
  • Pour sweetened tea into jars, and add in the unflavored starter kombucha.
  • Gently place scoby in each jar and cover it with a few layers of tightly-woven cloth. Secure it with a rubber band.
  • Set each jar in the dark at room temperature for 6-10 days.
  • Begin tasting the tea after 6 days by drawing out some tea with a straw. It should taste mildly sweet and vinegary.
  • The warmer the air temperature, the faster the kombucha ferments.
  • The longer the tea ferments, the more sugar gets consumed and the less sweet it tastes.
  • Reserve 2 cups from this batch to use as starter kombucha for your next batch. Leave it in a sealed jar with scoby.
  • Use the remaining tea during a second fermentation (step 3).

Step 3 Second Fermentation

Second Fermentation Ingredients

  • Homemade kombucha from the first fermentation
  • Flavoring (1-2 tablespoons of mashed fruit or 100% juice, 1-2 teaspoons of honey, an orange slice, candied ginger, Stevia, erythritol, herbs, etc.).
  • Fermentation bottles with airtight seals

Second Fermentation Instructions

  • Strain the kombucha and funnel it into bottles, leaving about 1 1/2 inches at the top.
  • Add sweetener of your choice and seal each bottle tightly with a lid.
  • Let the tea ferment in the dark at room temperature for 3-10 days.
  • Strain out the fruit before serving kombucha if you'd like.
  • Place kombucha in the fridge to slow down the carbonation process.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of chia seeds per 1 cup of tea (optional).
  • Serve and enjoy!

Avatar
Erin Coleman

Writer, The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project

Erin Coleman is a registered and licensed dietitian with over 15 years of freelance writing experience.

She graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree in nutritional science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and completed her dietetic internship at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Prior to beginning her career in medical content writing, Erin worked as Health Educator for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Internal Medicine.

Her published work appears on hundreds of health and fitness websites, and she’s currently working on publishing her first book! Erin is a wife, and a Mom to two beautiful children.

If you’re a busy mom who wants to finally lose weight, get healthy, and actually keep the pounds off for good, this is the simple program you’ll love sticking to…

Our Fit Mother 30X Program (FM30X) is the answer you’ve been looking for. Inside FM30X, you’ll receive:

  • The simple & delicious Fit Mother Meal Plan with easy recipes for you and your family.
  • The metabolism-boosting Fit Mother 30X Workout (under 90 min/week) to kickstart your metabolism for fast fat burning.
  • VIP email coaching where we’ll personally walk you through the program.
Learn More About FM30X

If you’re a busy mom who wants to finally lose weight, get healthy, and actually keep the pounds off for good, this is the simple program you’ll love sticking to…

Our Fit Mother 30X Program (FM30X) is the answer you’ve been looking for. Inside FM30X, you’ll receive:

  • The simple & delicious Fit Mother Meal Plan with easy recipes for you and your family.
  • The metabolism-boosting Fit Mother 30X Workout (under 90 min/week) to kickstart your metabolism for fast fat burning.
  • VIP email coaching where we’ll personally walk you through the program.
Learn More About FM30X

*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on the question, ‘Is kombucha good for you?'

Join Fit Father 30X

The World’s First Weight Loss Program for Men 40+

Lose Weight. Keep it Off.

Fit Mother Project Fact-Checking Standards

Our Fit Mother Project Team’s deepest commitment is to helping you live healthier for both yourself and your family. And when it comes to online content, integrity and trust is everything. That’s why our Fit Mother Project staff-writers are all trained professionals in the field of health and wellness (registered dieticians, licensed personal trainers, and licensed physicians) – see the full team here. We rigorously run all of our articles through a rigorous editorial process to ensure the accuracy, simplicity, and utility of the information. And we aren’t just a team of “academics” sitting in an ivory tower. We are real people – with jobs, responsibilities, and families – working hard in the trenches and testing our tips & methods out to make sure you can stay healthy for family.

Here is what you can expect from us on our Fit Mother Blog and YouTube channel:

  1. All of our content is written and reviewed by licensed health professionals (dieticians, personal trainers, doctors).
  2. In nearly all of our articles, we link to published research studies from the most respected peer-reviewed medical & health journals.
  3. We include research-based videos to accompany our articles to make it easier for you to consume our content, put it into action, and see results.
  4. Inside our articles & videos, we do promote our free meal plans, workouts, and/or paid programs, because we know they have the potential to change your life.
  5. We openly take feedback here on our contact page. We welcome your content suggestions… and even feedback on grammar (we’d like to thing that we’re pretty OK at spelling and “stuff”).
  6. Above all, we are a community of likeminded men and women committed to living healthier. We do not advocate any health advice that we wouldn’t personally implement with our families. Because as far as we’re concerned, you’re our family too.

Thanks for checking out the blog. We can’t wait to support you toward greater health, energy, and vitality.

– The Fit Mother Project Team

 

Terms of Service & Privacy Policy