Why Would Someone Drink Kombucha?

1. It is carbonated and cold, just like soda.

Through high school and college I was addicted to drinking soda and energy drinks. I quit drinking these with the help of replacing soda with coffee. Coffee gave me the caffeine boost I craved, but I missed the fizzy coldness of soda, especially in the hot summer. Kombucha helps give me that “fix,” and it is GOOD for you too.

Kombucha is a fermented tea drink. There are many different flavors, and some are better than others. I started regularly drinking kombucha in the last year. I probably would have started drinking it sooner, but the first time I tried one I thought it was gross because it tasted like vinegar. My favorite flavors now include ginger. Ginger helps cover the vinegar taste in the drink. My favorite brand is GT’s. Here is a more in-depth description about the fermented tea drink:

Kombucha is a fermented beverage consisting of black tea and sugar (from various sources, including cane sugar, fruit or honey) that’s used as a functional, probiotic food. It contains a colony of bacteria and yeast that are responsible for initiating the fermentation process once combined with sugar.

After fermentation, kombucha becomes carbonated and contains vinegar, B vitamins, enzymes, probiotics and a high concentration of acid (acetic, gluconic and lactic). These bacteria are known as “cellulose-producing bacteria,” meaning they produce cellulose, which acts as a shield to cells.

The sugar-tea solution is fermented by bacteria and yeast commonly known as a “SCOBY” (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast). Although it’s usually made with black tea, kombucha can also be made with green teas.” – 8 Reasons to Drink Kombucha

2. The health of your gut affects your overall health, and kombucha is good for your digestive system.

In addition to being cold, fizzy and delicious, kombucha also has health benefits. While I was drinking soda in my early twenties, I was also destroying my gut bacteria with heavy-duty antibiotics. I struggled for a long time to overcome bacterial infections. I lost count of the number of rounds of antibiotics I had taken. Each time, when bacterial infections returned, my doctors increased the strength and number of antibiotics I was taking. Kombucha contains live probiotic cultures to help repopulate good bacteria in your gut.

We have a lot of micro-organisms living within us, and they are essential to our wellbeing.

A new era in medical science has dawned with the realization of the critical role of the “forgotten organ,” the gut micro-biota, in health and disease. Central to this beneficial interaction between the microbiota and host is the manner in which bacteria and most likely other microorganisms contained within the gut communicate with the host’s immune system and participate in a variety of metabolic processes of mutual benefit to the host and the microbe.” –Gut Bacteria in Health and Disease

So, the presence and balance of living things in our gut is essential to our health. When we disrupt our gut-flora, there are consequences.

“Just as we are only now beginning to understand the key role of the flora in health, it has only been in very recent years that the true extent of the consequences of disturbances in the flora, or in the interaction between the flora and the host, has been recognized. Some of these consequences are relatively obvious. For example, when many components of the normal flora are eliminated or suppressed by a course of broad-spectrum antibiotics, the stage is set for other organisms that may be pathogenic to step in and cause disease.” –Gut Bacteria in Health and Disease

Kombucha contains live bacteria (yup, I get that this seems gross, but you wouldn’t taste that they’re in there, unless someone told you). These bacteria are called “probiotics.”

3. It contains probiotics, and probiotics are good for you.

Probiotics are “friendly bacteria” that are similar to organisms that occur naturally in the digestive tract. Certain strains or types of probiotics have been linked to all sorts of health benefits, from helping with irritable bowel syndrome and traveler’s diarrhea to boosting the immune system.” – Web MD

Kombucha is an easy, delicious way to introduce probiotics to your digestive system. If you think PURPOSELY drinking bacteria is gross, consider:

The human body contains trillions of microorganisms — outnumbering human cells by 10 to 1. Because of their small size, however, microorganisms make up only about 1 to 3 percent of the body’s mass (in a 200-pound adult, that’s 2 to 6 pounds of bacteria), but play a vital role in human health.” – NIH

There are several things to note about kombucha if you have never had it before.

  1. The bottle could explode if you shake it up or leave it in a warm temperature. (Kombucha is perishable, so it must be refrigerated.) The carbonation is a result of the fermentation process.
  2. There is a small amount of alcohol in kombucha.
  3. If you drink a kombucha that has been pasteurized, the pasteurization process killed off the bacteria. Waste of money.
  4. If you don’t like the first kombucha you try, don’t give up. There are many different flavors, and not all kombucha taste like vinegar.

Here is a video that explains more about the health benefits of kombucha.