Kombucha Tea is Everywhere, Buyer Beware

By Nicole German (RD, LD)

Kombucha is a fermented tea beverage that has a mild sparkling taste.

This cold tea is made with a cluster of bacteria and yeast that feed on sugar. Scared yet?

Don’t be! It seems like a science project beverage, but it boasts plenty of health benefits. When the bacteria and yeast ferment, healthy chemicals and vitamins are produced.

Kombucha Tea Health Claims

  • Improved immune system: Contains probiotics which can help to improve the healthy bacteria in the gut.
  • Antibacterial properties: Kombucha is acidic, contains vinegar, and small amounts of alcohol that can help to destroy unhealthy bacteria.
  • Helps in cancer prevention
  • Improved liver detoxification

Buyer Beware: Dried teas and kombucha extracts do not offer the same health benefits since they contain no active cultures.

As kombucha is becoming a more popular beverage, more research is needed to understand possible health benefits.

A Word of Caution

Homemade Kombucha

Some kombucha is not processed in sterile conditions and can be contaminated during the fermenting process. Make sure to buy from a reputable company.

Some may not digest kombucha well. If you have any metabolic conditions like metabolic acidosis or do not tolerate acidic foods, it is not advisable to drink.

If you try kombucha and feel digestive discomfort or experience any other new symptoms, check with your doctor and discontinue use.

Some contains significant, yet small amounts of alcohol: 0.5%-1.5%.

Just like other tea, kombucha contains caffeine.

Brand to Buy

My favorite kombucha is GT Synergy. It contains only 4 grams of sugar and about 60 calories per bottle. You can find this brand at Whole Foods, Fresh Market, and other natural food stores.

When you pick up a bottle you can see the yeast at the bottom of the bottle. Don’t worry, it doesn’t bite. The smell of the drink is a slightly strange, but the taste is very refreshing.

Do you drink kombucha?

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  1. vip loan shop

    I am full of admiration and positive impressions. Very nice, clean and pleasant. All the best for the author.

  2. Alex Kombucha

    If you are going to make your own (which is best by the way) stick to a standard recipe. This is the free guide I use: http://www.kombuchakamp.com/kombucha-recipe

  3. Christine

    I actually love GTS Kombucha. For someone like me who isn’t especially fond of water, this drink is a lovely treat and a fantastic alternative to drinks with higher sugar amounts (ie fruit juice or soda). I love love love the fact that it’s on sale at Sprouts right now (too bad it has to stay refrigerated so I can’t stock up) for half off.

    Beverly darling, you have a brilliant suggestion but be very careful. When dealing with bacteria and fermentation, there is a high risk of ingesting some unwanted bacteria and there have been reports of people getting infections from lack of sanitation/mistakes made when making Kombucha.

    • Alex Kombucha

      Hi Christine, actually those reports are bogus. People rarely if ever have problems preparing Kombucha – no more so than any other home food preparation (real food that is!). As for keeping it refrigerated, that’s not necessary either. If you leave the Kombucha out, it may even get fizzier.

  4. Beverly

    The best Kombucha tea is the KT you make yourself. It is easy and fun to do and costs practically nothing.

    Over 5000 people worldwide share information and experiences about Kombucha here;

    Learn everything you need to know to brew your own fantastic Kombucha tea.

  5. Mark Lorie Fitness

    I am not particularly fond of the price of this product, and as always, I prefer water as a beverage. The sugar content might scare some people off too, but I would use something like this for a weekend treat, perhaps on my non-workout Sunday. I also try to avoid alcohol 100% due to the negative effects it can have on any fitness program.

  6. Spectra

    I don’t care for it myself. I find that it tastes REALLY nasty and sour. I get my probiotics from eating veggies and mushrooms and other such things.

  7. Sue K.

    I’ve never tried kombucha tea, but m I know a few people who swear by it.

  8. Claire k.

    I love kombucha, and I like Synergy the best also. But at nearly $4 a bottle, it’s an ocassional splurge. I’m the only one I know that likes it though, most other people that have tried it think it tastes like fizzy vinegar.