Is kombucha keto? Kombucha is a fermented tea containing microorganisms. It is popular – some may say it’s the hipster drink of choice. As we all know, being hip and drinking alcohol are synonymous and that’s why many people are asking – Is kombucha low carb?
Well, this information may surprise you! This article is about exactly that: if kombucha is allowed on a ketogenic diet or not.
You see, what makes or breaks your diet isn’t just your macronutrients (fats, proteins and carbs) but also micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). And even though this type of drink can be healthy in moderation, as it does contain a good amount of probiotics and antioxidants, it is usually full of sugar.
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What Is Kombucha?
Kombucha is said to be an original drink from China, where tea was invented by people living in Manchuria more than 2,000 years ago. The exact history of kombucha is unknown though – way before anyone had heard about probiotics; much less knew what they were. However, due to its popularity among Asian cultures during that time, there probably are records of this amazing recipe somewhere on the old books or tablets dating back many centuries.
The modern-day version of kombucha now comes in sweetened versions but the traditional brew is supposed to have a “vinegar-like” flavor. It is made by fermenting sweet tea with a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY) which acts as a plant or animal to produce this beverage.
So basically, kombucha is the fermented vinegar of the tea leaves that are rich in polyphenols and other organic acids. The fermentation process at room temperature leads to carbon dioxide production and natural alcoholic content within your drink – so it’s not alcohol but rather acetic acid.
However, there have been no reported cases of people consuming kombucha in large amounts to intoxicate themselves. This is due to the low concentration of alcohol produced during fermentation (around 0.5%). So if you’re looking for that “happy buzz”, you can forget about drinking the kombucha for that. So it’s not a question: is kombucha alcoholic? No, but I’ve heard it gives you wings like hot sauce does!
How Does Kombucha Compare To Sodas?
In terms of carb content, kombucha has less sugar than other drinks out there – even soda pop (around 7 grams per 8 ounces compared to 23-32 grams in soda). It also contains less caffeine than coffee or tea so if you’re looking for an alternative for your morning ritual – keep reading.
In fact, this fermented drink has its own special health benefits thanks to probiotics and antioxidants which will be detailed down below.
6 Health Benefits Of Kombucha
1. It Helps With Detoxification
Kombucha contains lactic acid bacteria which are responsible for the production of lactic acid in your gut. Lactic acid is a byproduct produced when your body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose. The main function of this substance is to prevent pathogenic bacteria, fungi and yeast from growing in your intestine – also known as probiotics. This way, kombucha promotes our stomach’s ability to break down dietary fiber and absorb vital nutrients from the food we eat. This results in less bloating and gas, which means better digestion!
2. It Promotes Digestion And Assimilation Of Nutrients From Food
Since probiotics aid in digestion, they also play a role in the absorption of nutrients from the food we eat. This is why regular consumption of kombucha can result in better nutrient status and higher nutritional intake than you’d otherwise have!
3. It May Help With Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, is a type of chronic inflammatory bowel disease with unknown causes that leads to inflammation, pain and diarrhea – just like any other autoimmune disease. The bacteria present inside your gut may be a big factor in this problem. So if you’re suffering from IBD, drink kombucha to help deal with the sores and inflammations down there.
4. It Can Reduce Cancer Risk
According to the latest studies, continuous use of kombucha can provide some protection against cancer development. This is because of the high amount of antioxidants found in this fermented tea which prevents damage caused by free radicals on DNA (source). So if you’re a smoker or you happen to live in an area with higher pollution levels – kombucha can help save your lungs from developing those nasty tumors. Don’t forget, it also contains Vitamin C and E, which promote cardiovascular health!
5. It Packs A Nutritional Punch For Weight Loss And Energy Gains
Kombucha has a low glycemic index so that means it won’t spike your blood sugar levels symptoms such as dizziness, fatigue and hunger. It’s also rich in antioxidants which is great news for those looking to improve their overall health especially those suffering from dietary deficiencies.
6. It Can Stimulate The Immune System
It’s well known that green tea promotes cellular responses and helps the immune system deal with a wide range of bacterial infections. Well, kombucha has just like many other fermented foods so if you’re feeling under the weather – drink it! In fact, kombucha can help intestines fight infection while regulating bowel movements during your seasonal allergies. So drinking this stuff will up your performance at work and make you less fatigued after running around town all day!
How to Choose the Healthiest Kombucha
As you can see, kombucha has a lot of benefits for your health so choosing the right one is extremely important.
1. Choose A Pure Kombucha Fermentation Without Artificial Colorings Or Flavors
Since this fermented tea comes in many different colors and flavors, always check the label to make sure it’s pure. Also, avoid it if it contains ingredients such as sugar or any other sweetener besides fruit juice or syrup! Even though kombucha is slightly sweet on its own, it’s better to choose some with no added sugar at all. This way most of the fructose circulates through your gut without being digested so which leaves more room for beneficial bacteria absorption. Remember how the probiotics help prevent bloating and gas?
2. Look For The Words “Live Culture” Or “Kombucha Mushroom Tea” On The Label
Each bottle should contain a picture of the mushroom used inside along with the name of it on the front label. If you see either of these names, then you’re buying pure kombucha! Also, look at the ingredients list to make sure that only tea is listed – or even better – get one made from 100% organic ingredients. You can find one right here. And if there’s no mushroom in your kombucha, then it’s not real kombucha!
3. Real Kombucha Made From The Right Ingredients
If you’re looking at the ingredients list on your kombucha, you should always see these: Black/green tea, sugar (honey or pure maple syrup), and a live culture such as “kombucha mushroom”. The one that contains only two of these three things is not a real kombucha. Always opt to get the ones made from organic black tea for best results.
4. Make Sure It’s Filtered And Bottled Without Heat
Due to its high concentration of probiotics and other enzymes, it’s recommended that you drink this kind of tea while it’s fresh – like 30 days after production. Also, avoid kombucha brewed using reverse osmosis or distilled water and bottled with heat. This way you’re ingesting the most beneficial kind of probiotics and enzymes for your gut to work well and promote healthy digestion and energy levels!
5. Make Sure It’s Organic Or At Least Non-GMO
I’m not sure about you, but I don’t like pesticides and GMO’s in my body or on my food – so why would I want them in my tummy? But if you do find one that doesn’t contain anything dangerous, then great! Just make sure it was produced locally or at least regionally to avoid huge shipping costs, extra preservatives used for the trip and overall wasted resources.
6. Avoid Kombucha That Contains Vinegar And Alcohol During Fermentation
If you see the word “vinegar” or “alcohol” on the label then your kombucha has been over-fermented and it might be able to harm you! Even though some people like this kind of stuff, they’re just having a good time at your expense – so don’t drink it.
7. Beware Of The Sugar Content
Some bottles of kombucha can have up to 7g of sugar per 8oz serving. You should look for no more than 2g in each 8oz if you want to keep things healthy.
How Much Kombucha Should I Drink?
The recommended dosage is 1 cup daily for every 20lbs body weight. So if someone weighs 150lbs, he/she should drink 3 cups of kombucha each day. If you’re under 18 or over 65 years old, cut this dosage in half so that it matches your weight ratio. Also, remember to drink the tea when it’s fresh – 30 days after fermentation is best.
Of course, if you’re on keto and watching your sugars, this recommendation flies out the window. I keep my kombucha habit down to no more than 8oz per day and only when I have the wiggle room in my carb count to spare.
So is Kombucha keto? I would only consume it on days that your carb count is very low as it does come in at over 25% of a 20g carb per day limit for strict keto. If you’re in maintenance mode and consuming up to 50g of carbs per day, then you have a bit more wiggle room.
For me, the benefits are good enough to indulge in a good brand of kombucha every now and then.