Kombucha is not just for hipsters anymore. Growing up, I drank pop every chance I could. I always craved the sugary carbonated drinks. A couple of years ago, I knew I needed to kick my pop habit, and I wanted to find a drink that was healthy and satisfied my thirst the way pop did. After drinking kombucha now for over two years, I want to share what I have learned with you.
What is kombucha?
Kombucha, or as Jude calls it “Bucha,” is made of fermented tea, which creates trace amounts of alcohol. Since kombucha contains less than 0.5% Alcohol By Volume (ABV), it is considered a non-alcoholic beverage. The fermented tea also gives kombucha a vinegary taste.
When looking at bottles of kombucha, you will notice globs of stuff floating around. These globs are the symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY).
Why do we use it?
When I was in high school, I would always buy Mountain Dew during study hall and by the time I went to college, I was buying a few pops a day to stay energized. After all the years of drinking pop, I began to experience gut rot and bloating. After chatting with my chiropractor about my constant symptoms, he encouraged me to try kombucha.
I did a little research of my own and found that bacteria and yeast (SCOBY) in kombucha is a probiotic, similar to what you would find in yogurt. I also learned that this good bacteria helps with regularity, improved digestion, and boosts immunity.
I was willing to try kombucha at least once if it would relieve my bloating. I saw benefits almost immediately. After a few sips of kombucha, I felt the same fizzy feeling that I felt when drinking pop. Usually the fizziness just added to my gut problems, but this time, it helped. I began to burp and instantly felt relief.
Where you can buy kombucha?
Kombucha can be purchased at most grocery or health food stores. You will always find them in the coolers, possibly in the health food section. Some stores carry multiple brands of kombucha and each brand might have multiple flavors. It can be overwhelming at first when trying to pick a kombucha. I would recommend buying a couple of different brands and flavors and see what once works best for you; the flavors help mask what would otherwise be a strong vinegary taste. Also, some brands are more fizzy than others.
Here are some of the brands that I have tried:
- Kevita Master Brew Kombucha
- LIVE Kombucha Soda
- GT’s Synergy Organic Raw Kombucha
Our family’s favorite is GT’S Synergy Trilogy Kombucha Drink Organic & Raw. We enjoy the taste, and it has the right amount of carbonation to almost instantly make my gut feel better.
Kombucha can be expensive ($2.97 per 16 oz. bottle), but you can make your own kombucha at home. I have not done this yet due to time and space, but it is something I am considering doing in the future. You can buy kombucha kits on Amazon to help get you started brewing.
Possible side effects
Before you decide to become a home brewer of kombucha, there are a few things you should know. When brewing, avoid over-fermentation. The longer it ferments, the more acidic it becomes and the alcohol content can go as high as 3%. If kombucha is brewed in a non-sterile environment, the contaminated brew can cause stomach problems, yeast infections, allergic reactions, nausea, and even death.
Before drinking home brewed or store bought kombucha, I would talk with your doctor if you are pregnant, nursing, have a pre-existing ailment, or are wanting to give it to a child under 4 years old.
Kombucha is the best
After two years of drinking kombucha, I can firmly say that I’m so glad I learned about it. It has provided me with the relief of bloating that I was dealing with and it improved my gut health. The benefits are definitely worth the cost.
If you suffer from bloating or other gut issues, I hope that you will give kombucha a try. You never know, it might give you the relief that you have been searching for. Once you find a brand and flavor that you like, you will always want some kombucha in the refrigerator like me.
Have you tried kombucha before? If so, what is your favorite brand and flavor? What kind of effects (positive or negative) have you encountered? I would love to hear about your experiences with kombucha in the comments below.