Drinking Bottles Of Kombucha? Watch Out!
Drinking bottles of kombucha is quickly taking control of the health market. More and more people are including this fizzy concoction into their daily lifestyles. I find it kind of funny how fast people latch onto these health trends. Most of which don’t even know much about the product, its effects and where it originates from. So long as social ‘Suzy’ on Instagram is doing it, I should too. Right? I’m not so sure, let’s recall and get our facts straight before we gulp down another bottle.
I’m confident in making a statement like this. Go on and type the word, ‘kombucha’ into Google. You’ll find that fermented, fizzy drink is flooding the market and hundreds of new brands are coming out with a bottle. Apparently, drinking bottles of the liquid supplies you with copious amounts of energy, reduces pain, prevents certain cancers, remove toxins, helps you lose weight and even boosts your immune system. Sounds like the ultimate elixir of health. Am I right? That’s the problem, we tend to overhype these products and then go overboard with senselessly drinking bottles daily.
Moreover, every person that starts drinking bottles of kombucha promises the amazing effects it has on their bodies. Truth or myth? Well, that’s for me to find out and you t decide. All it really is is an ancient brewed drink that’s made from fermented tea, sugar, fungi, and bacteria. There is no magic there, just simplistic ingredients, which makes me think. Maybe simple consumption is better in any case? I think rich food products don’t really help anything anyway.
Drinking Bottles Of Kombucha That Might Not Be The Elixir To Health
If I were you, and you’ve been drinking bottles of kombucha I’d be careful about deeming it a magical cure to all ailments. Nothing in excess is good for you. I think moderate amounts are great and we always need a little bit of everything in our diets. However, you shouldn’t attempt to replace your natural diet with drinking bottles of kombucha.
Maggie Neola, R.D., a dietitian at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine says she would be wary of calling kombucha a remedy or a magic food. In addition, she thinks that glorifying one food over another has never worked well in nutrition. It’s just not how a healthy diet works. It’s the same as when everyone was like, ‘ooh you must eat kale over spinach! If you think like this you’re missing the point entirely. Rather than praising one food item, embrace variety.
Therefore, every time you consider drinking bottles of kombucha, think about a few things beforehand. However, drinking bottles of kombucha has got a golden reputation in the beverage world. It seems to be everywhere and supplied in most supermarkets. I have seen bottles of the fizzy drink on supermarket shelves, in workplace refrigerators and even on tap in cafés. It’s crazy guys! What do we even know about kombucha? Is it really good for us?
In fact, drinking bottles of this fizzy fermented tea is so popular now that people are claiming that its health benefits are irresistible. I mean I’ve heard people say that drinking bottles of kombucha have helped them improve their digestion, metabolism, immunity, liver function, heart health and so much more.
Is this a science though? That’s the question. Let’s see what the experts have to say.
What Is Kombucha?
Let’s get something straight. Before you go and gulp down gallons of the fizzy drink, understand what it is and where it comes from. According to TIME, kombucha is a fermented tea drink made from green or black tea (or both). It also contains sugar, yeast, and bacteria, Moreover, people believe that it originated in China about 2,000 years ago. It was also made by adding a colony of live bacteria and yeast, known as a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast), to sweetened tea and then leaving it to ferment for a few weeks. You then leave it to ferment until it turns into a slightly sweet and tart fizzy drink that’s separated from the SCOBY and bottled.
Apparently, the drink contains B vitamins, antioxidants, and probiotics. However, before you get excited, the drink’s nutritional content is highly dependent on the brand and how it’s prepared. Therefore, you must read the nutrition label first. In fact, many of the brands you purchase in supermarkets contain about 30 calories and 2-8 grams of sugar for every eight-ounce serving, according to the USDA’s food products database. Despite the fact that most juices and sodas contain far more sugar than kombucha, every gram of sugar counts.
This is why you need to be conscious of carelessly drinking bottles of kombucha. No matter what the magical health claims are. There also isn’t nearly enough scientific evidence to support the claims. Nutritionists explain that we lack a really well-controlled study to prove these supposed benefits. As per usual, most claims are sensationalized and people ride on the health claims found from study findings related to the human microbiome or the nutritional benefits of tea. I mean, why not just drink tea then?
Too many people hop onto the bandwagon and just ride with it.
Is Drinking Bottles Of Kombucha Good For You?
After all the hype around the drink, there are many questions left unanswered. I mean, are people over consuming it and drinking bottles senselessly? What if it’s having a bad effect on our bodies? How much should we be drinking?
The answer: Well, yes kombucha is healthy for you. However, it can also be harmful when consumed irresponsibly. Just like everything else in life. Don’t overdo it! Can you drink too much?
According to the experts, the answer is yes and no. The good thing is that nothing has overtly shown significant downsides to drinking bottles of kombucha. However, there are doubts that large quantities could be harmful to you. Nutritionists explained that there are three major concerns with drinking too much kombucha:
- Risk of bloating
- The risk of lactic acidosis
- Sugar, caffeine, and alcohol content
These are not deathly or anything like that, but you will experience uncomfortable sensations. Doctors explain that the risk of lactic acidosis is very rare and feeling bloated is not common. You do need to be aware that drinking bottles of kombucha in large amounts because of high levels of sugar, caffeine, and alcohol in the body rarely results in pleasant symptoms. Although the drink is relatively harmless, you shouldn’t disregard the high amount of sugar, alcohol, and caffeine most kombucha contains. In fact, studies explain that drinking 1-gallon of kombucha a day is equivalent to 1.5 cans of soda, 2 coffees, and 5 cans of beer.
That’s insane! But it’s the truth, which is why drinking bottles in moderate quantities is your best bet.
The Side Effects Of Drinking Bottles Endlessly
Yeah, I got it. Getting into a habit is tricky, but once you create it it’s trickier to break. So if you’re someone who uses kombucha daily as part of your routine – you might find it hard to cut down. I’m talking directly to those who are drinking up to two to three a day or more.
There’s 100’s of articles out there describing the amazing benefits of drinking bottles of the fizzy drink. However, I don’t get why this automatically translates into, ‘okay, now I should drink as many bottles of it as possible.’
Bloating And Bacteria
The truth is that we all have a unique gut microbiome and when we’re exposed to certain bacteria we will all react differently. Therefore, certain people when exposed to a lot of healthy bacteria experience temporary discomfort during the re-balancing phase. This is why experts recommend that beginners start with a daily shot (1.5-2 oz.) of kombucha for at least a week. Don’t just dive in!
Then, when you’ve given your body time to re-balance you can start increasing this amount to the daily recommended dose.
Watch Out: Lactic Acidosis
Although this is not common, there is a risk for it to happen. Acidity levels in your body might increase when consuming too much kombucha. This issue happens when there is too much lactic acid build up in the body. Generally, we experience this after completing a really strenuous workout. Experts explain that a temporary buildup of lactic acid can be caused by vigorous exercise if your body doesn’t have enough available oxygen to break down glucose in the blood. The main symptoms are nausea and weakness.
Don’t get me wrong, this won’t happen if you drink kombucha. However, if you’re drinking bottles of it and cruising through 10-gallons of kombucha a day, you might be at risk.
Kombucha Contains Caffeine, Alcohol, and Sugar
Kombucha is a brewed drink that’s been left to sit through a fermentation process. This and the healthy acids make everything in kombucha much more bio-available. Therefore, the sugars in kombucha are easier to digest which is not always a great thing when drinking bottles of it in excess. This means the sugars in kombucha may cause insulin levels in your bloodstream to spike if you consume too much.
A lot of the sugar is used during the fermentation process however, there is still some leftover in the final product. The quantity of sugar can vary, especially if you’re drinking home-brewed kombucha. This is why you need to be careful of your sugar intake if you’re consuming more than 1 bottle per day. Drinking 1-gallon of kombucha is equivalent to 1.5 cans of soda.
Experts explain that the alcohol levels of commercial kombucha are less than 0.5% ABV. Whereas home-brewed kombucha usually contains around 2% ABV level. Therefore, drinking 24 oz. of kombucha is equivalent to a single can of beer. If you’re on the extreme end of kombucha consumption (1-gallon per day) you would be drinking an equivalent of 5 beers a day!
There’s nothing wrong with caffeine either and we all need a little bit to get through our days. In addition, kombucha contains a moderate amount of caffeine. However, if you are drinking bottles of it it can have a negative effect on your sleeping patterns and anxiety levels. A regular bottle of kombucha will contain approximately 25 mg of caffeine. This is about 1/4 of the amount in a regular coffee. So, if you’re an extreme kombucha drinker you may have the equivalent of 2 coffees.
How Much Is Too Much Kombucha?
You will know when you’ve had too much. Drinking bottles of it every day will surely give you unpleasant feelings of nausea, bloating, headaches, diarrhea, and fatigue. The other thing is that drinking bottles of kombucha can make you feel a lot worse before it makes you feel better.
Therefore, you don’t want to consume too much too quickly. Your body needs time to pull out the toxins. If you flush them out too quickly your liver won’t have time to react. This is particularly true for those who’ve consumed a lot of alcohol in their past.
Therefore you should only drink what you need to get the most benefit out of it. In fact, extreme drinkers usually only drink a maximum of 32 oz. a day. But there are some crazy people out there who drink gallons a day. This is not the smartest thing to do at all. Try and stick to just 8 oz. a day and that way you’ll get the most of it.
Home brewing might also be something worth considering if you want to avoid any artificial sweeteners or additives. Just be careful of the fermentation process so that you don’t fill your body with unwanted toxins. I recommend home-brewing, especially if you like drinking bottles of it and supplying your family with it too. You’ll also save a lot of money by preparing it yourself.
The bottom line: Kombucha is not inherently bad for you. It is healthy for you, but it will quickly become less so if you abuse it. Also, your brand choice is key. Probiotics are an integral part of a healthy diet. Therefore, if you want to get them from kombucha, then do that. But if you’re going to drink the raw (unpasteurized) version, make sure to buy your kombucha from a reputable company.
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