Kombucha is a super tasty drink with tons of health benefits. But how often should you drink it to enjoy these health benefits, without going overboard?
If you enjoy kombucha and how it makes you feel, it could be a good idea to drink it consistently to keep your body supplied with probiotics and antioxidants. This may mean half a bottle every morning when you wake up, or could be having a bottle every few days when you’re in the mood. How often you drink kombucha and how much you drink is really up to you and how your body reacts to it.
Let's talk about some of the reasons why you should drink kombucha, different kinds of booch, and some important things to consider when choosing how often to drink it.
What is Kombucha?
Kombucha is a probiotic drink made from fermented tea that has become quite popular in recent years due to its great taste and many health benefits such as improved digestion and gut health, detoxification, and immune system strengthening.
Why you Want to Drink Kombucha
There are many reasons drinking kombucha is a good idea, but one of the biggest ones is that it is full of beneficial bacteria known as probiotics. Probiotics are found in a lot of other fermented foods such as kefir, sauerkraut, yogurt, kimchi, and some cheeses.
Your body, especially your gut, is filled with good and bad bacteria. It’s believed that the modern diet which is so full of sugar and processed foods harms the good bacteria in our gut. A lack of beneficial bacteria in the body can lead to digestive problems, diarrhea, and even infections such as candida.
Fermented foods with probiotics, like kombucha, replace and replenish these beneficial bacteria and may:
Kombucha Can Replace Sugary Drinks
Sugary drinks such as sodas or fruit juices are really bad for you because they are full of empty calories, meaning calories without many nutrients. These calories do not contribute to you feeling full, so they are usually extra calories added onto your diet.
One study found that among men and women with a genetic risk of obesity, those who drank at least one sugary drink a day were 4 times more likely to become obese than those who drank less than one sugary drink a month.
And another study found that people who drank soda in addition to their current diet consumed 17% more calories than before.
If you’re someone who is drinking sugary beverages daily, limiting or even completely cutting them out of your diet could make a huge difference in terms of your weight and overall health. This is where kombucha comes in.
Kombucha can be used as a healthier, lower sugar, lower calorie substitute to sugary drinks such as soda, since most kombuchas only have around 10g of sugar per bottle, 4x less sugar than a can of coke (39g).
I’ve found that when I am craving soda, kombucha satisfies that craving, because it has a very similar sweet, acidic, and fizzy taste. Simply substituting a kombucha for a soda will significantly lower your sugar and caloric intake, in addition to providing you the great probiotic and antioxidant benefits.
So How Often Should I Drink Kombucha?
Kombucha isn’t a medicine, it's a beverage. At the end of the day, how often you drink kombucha and how much you drink is totally up to you and how your body reacts to it.
Everyone’s body will react to kombucha differently. Some people will be able to drink an entire bottle in 15 minutes and feel great, while others can only have a few sips before experiencing bloating or an upset stomach.
If you enjoy kombucha and how it makes you feel, it could be a good idea to drink it consistently to keep your gut and body supplied with probiotics and antioxidants. This may mean half a bottle every morning when you wake up, or a bottle every few days when you’re in the mood.
Again, there really isn’t much research on this topic, but I would imagine that as long as you’re drinking it consistently your body will consistently enjoy all its health benefits.
Can You Drink Too Much Kombucha?
While for most people the consequences of drinking too much kombucha is a stomach ache at most, there are a few at risk groups that should only drink small amounts of Kombucha at a time, or should completely avoid it altogether. These are anyone with an immune disease, pregnant women, and young children.
People with diseases or sicknesses that cause weakened immune systems such as HIV, cancer, or kidney disease should probably avoid drinking kombucha since their bodies will have a harder time fighting infection if a brew is contaminated with bad bacteria.
And because of the small amounts of caffeine and alcohol in kombucha, pregnant and breastfeeding women should probably avoid it as well. Although the extremely low caffeine and alcohol levels are generally safe for pregnant women, if by chance a bottle's alcohol levels are higher than they should be the baby’s health would be at risk.
Higher than normal alcohol content is more common in home brewed kombucha due to its lack of regulation, but has been found in store bought booch before.
Children under the age of 12 should also avoid drinking kombucha since the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no caffeine consumption for children under that age.
As long as you're not in one of these groups, drinking too much kombucha isn’t going to hurt you, but I would stick to drinking at most a bottle a day to avoid stomach aches or nausea.
How Often Should New Kombucha Drinkers Drink Kombucha?
New kombucha drinkers should start slow before they know how kombucha will affect their body and make them feel. Because it is fermented and has living organisms in it, kombucha can be harsh on some people's stomachs, especially if they are not used to it.
If your body reacts poorly with kombucha the first time you drink it, drink a little less next time to allow your body to slowly adjust to it.
How Often Should I Drink Home Brewed Kombucha?
Store bought kombucha is really expensive. If you’re drinking kombucha often, home-brewing is a great way to save money. Plus it's a lot of fun.
If you are going to be drinking home brewed kombucha, it’s important to know that it is usually stronger than kombucha you’ll buy at the store.
This is mostly because store bought booch is regulated tightly. Brands have processes, systems, and tools to make sure their kombucha is consistent from brew to brew.
For example, all kombucha brands have to make sure that the alcohol levels in their kombucha are below 0.5% in order for them to market and sell it as a nonalcoholic beverage. They also have to keep a really close eye on the bacteria culture to make sure it doesn’t grow out of control or become contaminated.
Home-brewed kombucha usually has none of this regulation or careful inspection. Most of this time, the only thing used to check if a brew is ready is a taste test. This means that the quality and strength of home brews can vary greatly from batch to batch.
Because of the lack of consistency, some home brewed batches will be fermented longer than store brands. Meaning, higher alcohol and acidity levels.
For example although alcohol levels in store bought booch are always under 0.5%, alcohol content in home brewed kombucha can sometimes be over 3.0%. (The average beer is 4.5%)
No regulation in home brewing also means that there can be a lot more yeast, bacteria, and acidity in home brewed kombucha.
In one sense this is good because because yeast, bacteria, and healthy acids are really good for you, but it also means that the kombucha will be a lot stronger and have have a greater chance of upsetting your stomach if you're not used to it.
For this reason I recommend that anyone, especially new kombucha drinkers, take it a little slower when drinking home brewed kombucha.
If you're new to drinking kombucha and want to be careful to avoid an upset stomach or nausea , I would start with only drinking 4oz or a ¼ of a bottle of kombucha your first time. If your body reacts well to that then you could step it up to ½ a bottle next time, and then a full bottle after that.
How a Kombucha Cleanse Can Help You Get Started
If you haven’t drank kombucha before, or have just been away from the drink for a while and want to get the health benefits of kombucha going in your body as soon as possible, you could try a kombucha cleanse.
A kombucha cleanse takes nothing away from our diet, it just adds the benefits of kombucha on top of the diet we already have.
Drinking kombucha regularly seems to have a lot of potential health benefits. The idea behind a kombucha cleanse is getting all these benefits affecting your body quickly. It’s sort of a kickstart to get your body moving properly, which can then be maintained in a less intense routine after.
My kombucha cleanse routine involves drinking half a bottle of kombucha in the morning, and another half in the evening, every day for 2 weeks. You can learn more about the specifics of a kombucha cleanse and how it can help you in the Kombucha Cleanse Article I wrote here.
If you want to ensure that your body is enjoying the health benefits of kombucha I recommend drinking it consistently. That could mean drinking some everyday, or maybe just having a bottle on the weekends.
Unless you are in an at risk group, you don't really need to worry about drinking too much booch, since likely the worst thing that can happen is nausea or a stomach ache.
And if you want to make gallons of kombucha for almost no cost and learn a new hobby, check out the rest of my website to learn about home brewing, how kombucha can improve your health, and other kombucha related tips!