1. Why is kombucha good for me?
While kombucha brewing is regulated by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), statements about the health benefits of kombucha have not been approved. So, we’re going to tell you our own experience with this fine ferment and toss in some science with it.
We view kombucha as living food, and not a trendy lab-made supplement. Through the natural fermentation process and source ingredients, kombucha contains live enzymes, organic acids, live and naturally occurring probiotics, B-vitamins, antioxidants, and electrolytes. We take things a step further by only brewing with organic ingredients and including superfoods and functional herbs.
While some websites claim that kombucha is a panacea for all disease, we disagree with such a broad generalization. However, there are many claims about kombucha that we have experience ourselves including:
- An increase in energy
- A boost to the metabolism
- Support for health liver function
- An improvement in digestion and bowel movements (yeah… we went there)
Everyone’s personal relationship with kombucha is different. Try it yourself and notice the difference.
2. How much kombucha can I drink?
As with any new food you introduce to your diet, it’s best to start slowly. We recommend drinking 2 to 4 ounces per day, while monitoring how you feel for about a week. According to Hannah Crum and Alex LaGory in The Big Book of Kombucha, “Observing how food makes your body feel is a powerful tool for truly learning how to trust your gut.” If you’re noticing positive changes, slowly increase your intake each day. We recommend consuming no more than 32 fluid ounces per day as kombucha is a strong detoxifier. Too much, too fast may lead to unwanted detoxification symptoms.
3. Why do you HAVE TO use cane sugar to brew kombucha?
Sugar in a health drink?! We know this seems out of place. However, the sugar in kombucha isn’t actually for you. It’s for the brew!
Traditionally made kombucha will always contain five ingredients: water, air, tea, sugar and inoculum. “Sugar provides nutrition to the yeast and bacteria as well as a base for healthy acid formation”* Kombucha’s SCOBY can eat up to 80% of added sugar during longer period of fermentation. We always make sure to use raw, organic sugar so that what remains is of the highest quality for you. Long story short… No sugar? No kombucha.
4. Can you use honey instead of sugar?
Let us introduce you to kombucha’s sister, Jun. Jun is a similar looking but differently balanced kombucha culture that thrives on honey. Because honey contains its own bacteria and yeast colonies, it doesn’t work with a traditional kombucha SCOBY. If you need a sugar cane alternative, give our Jun Honey Matcha a try. It is so delicious!
5. How much caffeine is in kombucha?
Although kombucha is made with tea, there is actually not very much caffeine in the finished product. The bacteria and yeast in the SCOBY use the caffeine to get energized and ready to reproduce.
The Big Book of Kombucha states that, “The total amount of caffeine is much less than that in a typical serving of tea, coffee or soda.”* Several studies have noted that the caffeine levels in kombucha decrease through the fermentation process, by as much as a third within 24 hours and between 50-60% after seven days.
6. Can pregnant women drink kombucha?
“If kombucha is NEW to you, then pregnancy might not be the best time to begin drinking. Anyone who begins drinking kombucha might experience a healing crisis, and the mother`s symptoms might effect the fetus. “* Generally speaking kombucha is not recommended to pregnant women and people with compromised immune system.
7. What is a healing crisis?
Detoxification can be a natural benefit of drinking kombucha, as it is a fermented and contains organic acids and probiotics. As your gut flora changes and your body rids itself of toxins, this may stimulate a “healing crisis”. Possible symptoms of a healing crisis may include loose stool or constipation, muscle aches, skin breakouts, headache, irritability, or a “candidiasis flare-up”*
If you’re are experiencing symptoms of a health crisis, make sure you hydrate well, take some extra rest so your body can focus of healing, and go outside as much as possible.
8. Are all kombuchas equal?
As with most things in life, there are good options and less good options. Here are our tips for making sure your kombucha is quality:
- ALWAYS pick one from the refrigerated section in your grocery store.
- Read the ingredient list make sure that there are NOT added probiotics or supplements. Contrary to what one might think, adding extra bugs messes with a biochemistry and health of the kombucha culture. Don’t mess with Mother Nature.
- Watch for extracts, juices from concentrate, and other unnatural ingredients.
- The cleaner the food, the healthier your body!
9. I am KETO, can I still drink kombucha?
Whether you’re KETO, raw, vegan, vegetarian, Paleo, or S.A.D. (Standard American Diet), kombucha may be a great option for you. It is devoid of common allergens, like gluten and soy, and full of nutrients.
“Anyone can add kombucha to their diet at any time and receive a benefit. This makes a perfect starting point for anyone who wants more healthy bacteria in his or her body.” *
10. Is homebrew better than store bought kombucha?
A general rule of thumb is that homemade will always be “better” for you because of the personal energy you are putting into it. However, commercial brewers bring expertise and access to certain blends that would be harder to recreate on your own or in a small match. When looking into which store brand you choose, read up on the companies: what is their mission, who are their founders, what do they seem to value, etc. We also recommend factoring packaging into your decision and their commitment to sustainability. Find a company whose values align with yours and feel comfortable enjoying their brews as you would your own.
*Quotes from The Big Book of Kombucha by Hannah Crum & Alex LaGory