Kombucha 101 (everything you’ve ever wanted to know)

About a year ago I developed a Kombucha addiction. I can’t start my day without it. If you follow me on snapchat, you’ve seen me run to the market at 10pm numerous times to stock up in fear that I won’t be able to sip one first thing in the morning. I’m OBSESSED to say the least…

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Some people need a coffee when they get up, I need a Kombucha. It makes me feel complete and I get uber sad when I can’t find it while traveling. I’m a die hard fan of Health-Ade which can be found at Whole Foods – and a few of my favorite coffee shops have it on tap. Because I’m so obsessed, and because I spend $5 a day on it, I figured I should probably do some investigative research about it, right? (by the way, I am in no way, shape, or form getting compensated for this post – I’m just straight up obsessed)

I called Health-Ade because after trying 10 different kombucha brands, that one is my favorite, and asked if I could send over some questions. They said sure, I sent some questions, and boom. Here they are…

Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Kombucha! And if I missed anything – shout it out in the comments and we can investigate together!

What are the main health benefits of kombucha? Kombucha has been enjoyed for thousands of years across countless cultures to promote health. Kombucha is fermented tea, naturally full of probiotics and healthy acids. It is thought that these probiotics and healthy acids are the reason kombucha is functional. Probiotics are friendly bacteria, enzymes, and yeasts that live in your gut – and for a “happy gut,” you should have more probiotics in there than there are stars in the milky way (crazy, right?). Healthy acids are thought to help detox your digestive system, especially the liver, from metals, alcohol, and toxins. The problem is, our American diet is so processed now that it rarely contains any probiotics or healthy acids, so it’s more important than ever before to make sure we’re eating foods that contain these things. People with diets rich in probiotics and healthy acids often report having improved digestion, immunity, and metabolism – but the literature is showing an impact way beyond just this! Fermented foods like kombucha naturally contain an assortment of probiotics and healthy acids, so it’s no surprise these foods and drinks make people feel good.

How is it made? Kombucha is made using 4 ingredients: Tea, sugar, water, and the SCOBY. The SCOBY stands for Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast and is what turns the sweet tea into kombucha. Basically, you start with sweet tea, add the SCOBY, and allow the liquid to ferment over time. Flavorings can be added at any point in the process. After somewhere around two to three weeks, the probiotics have eaten most of the sugar and converted the sweet tea into delicious and slightly bubbly kombucha.

Is it a meal replacement? Kombucha generally has less than 100 calories per bottle (often closer to 60), so it is not a meal replacement – but I would say it’s a great snack! Also, it goes great alongside a lighter meal.

Are there any down sides to drinking Kombucha? Not that we are aware of. I would view kombucha like you view a bag of carrots, not like you view medicine. When you look at it like that, and you ask yourself, “Are there any down sides to eating carrots?”, that is exactly how we would frame kombucha.

How often do you drink it / can you drink too much Kombucha? I’m sure you can have too much of anything. I would suggest “following your gut” and drinking as much or as little as you feel good having. This is a food, just like a carrot or an apple, so it’s generally recognized as safe at “normal” amounts.

What makes Health-Ade different from other Kombucha companies? Here at Health-Ade, we do everything we can to make the best tasting and highest quality kombucha that you can buy, and we bring REAL food – REAL kombucha – to the commercial shelves. To be the best, we do things like brew in very-small batches (2 gallons) to allow for absolute control over quality, we ferment in glass 100% of the time to prevent any plastic or metal leaching, and we flavor only with the most premium ingredients like raw, cold-pressed juice from organic produce. We never use fake fermenting agents, flavorings, dyes, or chemicals. We don’t force-carbonate, and we always protect it from harmful UV light.

Is there alcohol in Kombucha? Anything naturally fermented will have some alcohol, but most commercial brands are considered “non-alcoholic” and therefore contain less than 0.5% ABV.

So if you haven’t tried it – GO TRY IT!! And tell me what you think!

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10 Comments

  1. If you ever successfully make it at home, please share on your blog!! I am similarly obsessed but the $4/day is not so awesome and I have only made gross vinegar trying it myself.

    1. Alice, I just started making my own Kombucha this summer and it is not difficult at all. In fact, I think my KT (Kombucha tea) tastes every bit as good as the commercial brands and I have used many different types of fruit to flavor/carbonate it. The one thing is finding a Scoby…although, you can also “do it yourself” on that, too with an unflavored commercial KT from the store. Probably the best part is the price: literally pennies per bottle (although I did invest about $35 to buy a gallon jar and six brown beer-type bottles with spring-top lids that can be used again and again.

      Go for it! 🙂

  2. I have been taking probiotics to counter a reaction I had to an antibiotic. It works great and my Dr. recommended it. Your Kombucha sounds like the perfect thing to drink when I’m finished wth the Dr’s recommendation .

  3. I’ve been making kombucha for over a year. It is easy and tastes the best of all I’ve tried. I have to have it every morning and afternoon.

    1. Susan
      Hopefully you will see this, do you have a recipe for making kombucha? I was just given a scoby.

  4. Kombucha truly is amazing in so many ways…The only possible downside that I can think of that was never mentioned by the author is that because of the acids in it there is the possibility of some damage to your tooth enamel with excessive sipping throughout the day on a daily basis…I have read research that claims that this possibility is lessened by consuming it in one dose (opposed to having it in several doses throughout the day) to reduce the exposure of the acid on your enamel..I am a huge kombucha fan & find myself using a toothpaste that contains baking soda now to hopefully neutralize some of the acids on my tooth enamel as a result of my favorite beverage..

  5. I feel that kombucha is an acquired taste – and thanks to you, I have acquired it!! So many great flavors!

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