If you’ve ever strolled down the drink aisle at Whole Foods, you’ve seen the vast selection of kombucha. Trying something new can be daunting, but trust us when we say kombucha is worth it. This fizzy beverage is a great way to give yourself an energy boost during the day while being kind to your gut.
While kombucha is advertised as a healthy drink, there is still little research on the benefits. This drink is, however, packed with vitamins and other compounds that have known health benefits in other foods. Kombucha is said to promote gut health, boost immunity, and could potentially help combat serious health conditions like cancer. This fermented drink can be a bit of an acquired taste, and knowing what it’s made will probably make you feel better about trying it out.
Kombucha has been used by humans for centuries, and adding it to your diet can help you improve gut health. So, let’s look at what it is, the benefits, and the best time to drink kombucha.
What is Kombucha?
To start, kombucha is a fizzy fermented drink that’s made of tea, sugar, bacteria, and yeast. If it sounds scary, it isn’t. You probably eat and drink plenty of fermented things without realizing it! Kombucha is often referred to as a functional beverage because it contains vitamins, amino acids, and other nutrients that can provide us with health benefits.
There’s no concrete invention date, but kombucha is thought to have been invented in China or Japan around 220 B.C. It’s sometimes referred to as mushroom tea, but it’s definitely not made out of mushrooms. The main ingredients in kombucha are yeast and bacteria that work together to create a colony that can work together for gut-friendly benefits.
Some Kombucha studies claim that it can help with serious medical conditions such as blood pressure and cancer. It’s also rich in antibiotics and vitamins, which can provide health benefits such as killing off harmful bacteria in the gut.
The double-fermentation process creates a fizzy drink that eliminates the alcohol content created by fermentation. You can even make kombucha at home.
How is Kombucha Made?
To put it simply, kombucha is made by adding bacteria, yeast, and sugar to tea. After about a month of fermentation, you’re left with a drinkable beverage with natural carbonation. The process is fairly simple, and many people practice homebrewing techniques to see what they can come up with. T
What is Fermentation?
While you may consume fermented foods for gut health, you probably haven’t thought about the process. Fermentation is a process in which molecules like glucose are broken down into a simpler form. It’s typically used to make alcoholic drinks like beer and wine. Since fermentation of pretty much anything will make alcohol, there were some problems with alcohol regulation with kombucha. The kombucha process involves double fermentation, which will stop the production of too much alcohol in the beverage.
Kombucha starts with a mixture called a SCOBY. A SCOBY is a pancake-shaped blob type thing that kick starts the fermentation process. It’s a culture of bacteria and yeast. When making kombucha, the SCOBY is added to black or green tea. Typically, the tea is sweetened beforehand with a natural sweetener.
Once everything is mixed together, the baby kombucha should be left at room temperature with a loose cover such as fabric over it to begin the fermentation process. Have you ever forgotten about a container of apple juice in the fridge for months? Congratulations, you fermented something without even realizing it! Don’t drink it though. You’ll catch a buzz, but you will most likely get sick.
After 1-3 weeks, the mixture should be bottled. When it’s bottled, the CO2 released is kept inside with the liquid which then created carbonation. The kombucha should be stored in the bottle for 1-2 weeks at room temperature for maximum carbonation.
Then, the kombucha should be refrigerated to slow down the fermentation and carbonation processes. This will make the kombucha drinkable, and keep it at a lower alcohol content. You can even do this on a small scale at home to try making your own!
Benefits of Kombucha
When looking at the benefits of Kombucha, it’s important to understand that there is not a lot of research on the subject. Evidence-based research does support and suggests that these benefits can come from drinking this fizzy drink.
Kombucha Could be a Source of Probiotics
Probiotics are the good bacteria that live in your digestive system and are crucial to maintaining a healthy gut. Fermented foods such as sauerkraut are excellent sources of probiotics, and kombucha is created through the same process.
There is no concrete evidence that kombucha does contain large amounts of probiotics, but it does contain lactic-acid bacteria. Lactic acid bacteria are probiotic organisms found in the body and are typically found in fermented dairy products. So, finding them in kombucha could mean it’s a good source of probiotics.
It May Give a Boost to Your Immune System
We’re always looking for the nest best way to give our immune system a little boost. Fermented foods are known to benefit the immune system, and since kombucha is made the same way, there’s potential for it to do the same thing. Since kombucha is full of antioxidants, it doesn’t hurt to add it to your diet for potential immune system benefits.
Kombucha Could Increase Your Energy
The components of kombucha have been proven you increase energy. Since kombucha is typically made with green or black tea, you will also receive a kick from the caffeine. This makes it a good pick-me-up that will be nice to your gut, too.
Kombucha Contains Vitamins
Studies have shown that kombucha does in fact contain small amounts of vitamins and minerals. Some vitamins in kombucha are vitamin C, B1, and B12. Adding vitamins to your diet is never a bad thing, so it wouldn’t hurt to try kombucha.
When is The Best Time to Drink Kombucha?
If you’re ready to incorporate kombucha into your diet, you’re probably wondering when the best time of day to drink it is. If you’ve never had it before, it’s important to do your research and take it slow to start. While kombucha can be great for your health, it could also have some health risks. This is especially important if you decide to brew your own at home.
For the beginner, it’s recommended to start with around 3oz and see how it goes. Once you get a feel for how it affects you, you can increase to more. The last thing you want to happen is to realize it doesn’t agree with you and you’ve already drank a lot of it.
As for the best time to drink kombucha, you can drink it pretty much whenever you’d like. Since kombucha is tea-based, it contains caffeine and can be a good way to get the day going. Some research shows that drinking kombucha on an empty stomach will help you get the gut health benefits from it, as well. So, if you’re dealing with a bacteria imbalance in your gut, try some booch in the morning!
Another great time to drink kombucha is in the afternoon after lunch. It’s common to feel a little sluggish in the afternoon, so drinking a fizzy caffeinated drink should do the trick. You can also drink kombucha before lunch to ease your stomach, as well. The fizzy and fermented nature of kombucha also makes it a great alternative to alcohol, so you can try it as a replacement for happy hour or a nightcap!
If you enjoy kombucha and the probiotic benefits, you’re going to need something with prebiotics to feed that good bacteria. Probiotics are the good bacteria in your gut, and in order to keep you healthy and energized, they need to be healthy and energized too. Maintaining a good amount of plant fiber in your diet will bring in prebiotics, which is a source of food for probiotics. Try Halfday Tea Tonics which are packed with prebiotics to keep your gut balanced and the new bacteria full of energy!
The bottom line is that kombucha is a great solution to gut health issues. If you want to know what the best time of day to drink kombucha is, you can drink it whenever you see fit. Keep in mind that it does contain caffeine, so in the morning or afternoon may be better if you’re sensitive to it.
This fizzy drink is made through the same fermentation process as beer and wine, so it becomes naturally carbonated. If carbonation bothers your stomach, consider adding a prebiotic drink like Haldfay Tea Tonics to your diet to balance out the kombucha. Prebiotics will also keep the new probiotics energized and ready to protect your gut!
Kombucha is also a great alcohol replacement for a healthy gut lifestyle. Try swapping your nightly cocktail for a glass of kombucha and see how you feel. There are many flavors of kombucha out there, so you’ll be sure to find something just right for you.