Six years ago I participated in a focus group that asked the participants to bring a beverage bottle that they thought was creative and different from anything else on the shelves. I brought home a bottle of GT’s Kombucha, Trilogy and remember telling my husband not to drink it while I stored it in the refrigerator for the focus group. I had no idea what I had bought, but all I knew is that this bottle looked different from anything else I had seen; from its bright colors, health claims and words of enlightenment. I didn’t even take a sip of it until after the focus group was over and my first thought was, “what the heck is this drink?”
Fast forward to today and kombucha’s presence is everywhere. I can be found drinking a kombucha every day; all it takes is one scroll on any social media platform to find different kombucha brands being held up with perfectly manicured hands against beautiful backgrounds. The bottle that I brought to that focus group six years ago isn’t so unique and different anymore, and it’s now a staple in my lifestyle.
But what exactly is kombucha?
It is fermented black tea (contains sugar) filled with vitamins, probiotics, and enzymes. Kombucha, also known as “Booch”, remains a low-sugar drink because the bacteria consume over 90% of the sugar. If you’ve ever seen dark stuff floating around in your kombucha bottle, or swallowed something slimy, then you’ve seen the Scoby (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast). The Scoby is what is actually fermenting the tea. It contains the good kind of bacteria and can provide some potential health benefits, such as improved digestion, detoxification bone health, and a strengthened immune system.
All health begins in our gut, so it’s important to keep the gut happy. And kombucha is a great way to keep the gut happy and healthy! The probiotics found in kombucha support digestion and can help keep the bacteria in the gut balanced. Kombucha may also improve immune system function because of the antioxidants found in it. Drinking kombucha may also help with improved focus and mood just by keeping the bacteria in the gut balanced and reducing harmful bacteria overgrowth in the body.
You may even find your bathroom routine is more regular (probiotic profile keeps things moving / digestion going smoothly). If you’re the kind of person who needs a cup of coffee in the morning to get things moving, try a few sips of kombucha first and see if this helps regulate your system!
What are other great potential benefits of Kombucha?
It’s a great way to ditch those soda cravings! Kombucha has a fizzy taste, lots of different flavors, but is low in sugar, and doesn’t contain any chemicals or harmful added ingredients. So the next time you get a soda craving, reach for a bottle of kombucha instead!
Kombucha is a non-alcoholic drink, but because it is a fermented drink, alcohol can be a result of this process. You’ll even find some stores ID’ing you for that bottle of healthy bacteria depending on alcohol content. Just don’t expect to get drunk off of kombucha as the alcohol content is low, but the antioxidants in kombucha will boost your mood and energy so you’ll be happy and healthy!
How to purchase the best kombucha?
Make sure you’re getting the good stuff – this is bacteria you’re drinking after all. Check the ingredients to ensure they’re organic, recognizable and that the list of ingredients is short. Also, remember it’s a fermented food and not a tall glass of water, so drink it slowly and mindfully. Listen to your gut when it comes to fermented food – one serving a day is a great addition to a balanced diet so if you’re having sauerkraut, kimchi or kefir, drink less kombucha so you’re gut isn’t in fermentation overload!
Because of the amazing health benefits of kombucha, it has risen to be a widely used product. It’s a fun way to drink your probiotics, support the gut, and immune system, and even get a little buzz. So the next time you’re in a store and you’re browsing the drink shelf for a fun, unique and creative beverage, grab a bottle of kombucha!
I’m Leslie, the face behind the social media account balanced_life_leslie which focuses on making health and wellness fun and attainable to everyone. I am a Certified Health Coach after receiving training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I am also certified Reiki II and hold a BA and MSPC degrees from Clark University. I believe that living a balanced life is not just focused on the foods you eat, but also on the relationships you have, your career choices and physical activity. You can find me most mornings before the sun rises at working out, at home cooking with my husband, Ryan, at the dog park with our rescue dog, Sadie, or starting the day with a green smoothie in one hand and dark chocolate in the other.