Can You Have Kombucha on a Keto Diet?

Can you enjoy Kombucha while following a Keto diet? Learn about the carbohydrate content of Kombucha and how it can fit into a low-carb lifestyle.

The world is more health-conscious today than ever before. As such, many diets have become popularized to help individuals reach their health-related goals. Some of the most popular diets include Paleo, Atkins, and DASH. But possibly one of the most popular ones today is keto.

Keto is one of the most talked about health trends among today’s dieting strategies, but one challenge that many people face is the food restrictions that accompany it. For example, kombucha is a popular tea that offers a variety of health benefits when taken consistently. But with the restrictions of keto, many people are left wondering whether it’s a drink they can enjoy. 

Let’s back up and take a look at the keto diet and its makeup so that you can make your own determination about whether kombucha can work with your version of keto. If you're interested in knowing whether kombucha and keto can go hand-in-hand, continue reading to learn more.

Time for Review: What is Keto?

The ketogenic diet is a popular health trend that consists of low carbs and high fat. It is often compared to Atkins and other low-carb diets that are meant to support weight loss goals. It involves considerably reducing your carbohydrate intake and replacing those carbs with fat.

The idea behind reducing your carbs is that the reduction will put your body in a metabolic state called ketosis. Once the body is in ketosis, it becomes efficient in burning fat for energy. Additionally, it turns fat into ketones in the liver, which actually supplies energy for the brain. 

Understanding Ketosis

Normally, your body's cells rely on glucose as a primary form of energy. Glucose is acquired from dietary carbs like sugar and starchy foods. When there isn't enough glucose available for energy, the body will begin breaking down fat stored and relying on glucose from triglycerides. 

A byproduct of this process is ketones, which are acids that build up in the blood and exit through the urine. When ketones are present in small amounts, this is an indication that the body is breaking down fat. 

Types of Keto Diet

There are four common types that a person may try, including:

  • Standard: This consists of eating foods that are low in carbs with moderate protein and high fat. An individual will typically have around 70% fat, 20% protein, and 10% carbs.
  • Cyclical: This consists of eating low-carb foods followed by periods of higher carbs meals. For instance, a person may have 5 days of eating foods that are lower in carbs followed by 2 days of high-carb foods.
  • Targeted: A person will eat fewer carbs on days they're not working out while increasing their carb intake on the days they do.
  • High Protein: This is similar to the standard version but it includes more protein. A person may have 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbs.

Ok, Got It. But What About Kombucha?

Kombucha is a popular fizzy, sweet, and sour drink that's been around for nearly 2,000 years, made with tea. This fermented tea was first brewed in China and has since become a staple for many people looking to enjoy a delicious drink that may support the body. In fact, many people have incorporated kombucha into their diets solely due to its potential health benefits.

While there is yet little scientific evidence to back up specific health-related claims, there are many elements of this drink that have been shown to be important for boosting health and the immune system; many studies have been performed on the benefits of fermented and probiotic-rich, antioxidant-rich foods.

The Process of Making Kombucha

There are three basic ingredients included in kombucha. These ingredients include yeast, sugar, and black tea. Before drinking kombucha, the tea is set aside for a certain time period. During this sitting period, bacteria and acids form, along with small amounts of alcohol. This process is known as fermentation. 

The bacteria and acids formed in kombucha tea develop a film on top. This film is called a SCOBY, which stands for symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. It's important to note that kombucha bacteria include lactic acid, which effectively works as a probiotic. In addition to this, kombucha contains essential B vitamins that can support the body. 

Related: What Experts Have to Say About Kombucha and Fermented Food Diets

Health Benefits of Kombucha

This tea certainly packs a big punch when it comes to supporting a healthy lifestyle. For starters, consuming kombucha can help improve your digestion. This is because the fermentation process makes probiotics. In addition, kombucha can potentially eliminate toxins, give you an energy boost, and improve your immune system

While kombucha is typically made with black tea, you can also take advantage of the benefits of making it with green tea. When brewed with this type of tea, you get much-needed antioxidants due to certain bioactive compounds like polyphenols.

Related: What Type of Probiotics Are in Kombucha?

So Can You Have Kombucha on a Keto Diet?

As we’ve discussed, a ketogenic diet includes low-carb, high-fat foods. While keto and kombucha both support your health, many people have wondered whether they can still enjoy kombucha while on this type of diet. The answer will vary.

Ultimately, whether you can incorporate kombucha into your routine will depend on how it's made. Kombucha is created through a fermentation process that includes sugar, which is restricted while on keto. High quantities of sugar aren't completely broken down during the fermentation process.

As a result, kombucha can have a higher carb count, depending on how it was made. However, when kombucha is created using smaller amounts of sugar, it can be completely broken down during the fermentation process, making it a suitable drink.

Consuming Kombucha Based on Diet Type

Kombucha is a versatile tea that can be consumed on each type of keto diet–in moderation. For instance, those on a cyclical or targeted diet will find that incorporating kombucha is actually quite seamless.

With a cyclical diet, individuals may decide to enjoy kombucha on their "high-carb" days. Those on a targeted diet will find that kombucha can easily be enjoyed before or after their workouts. 

Even those on a standard or high-protein diet where there is a relatively smaller number of carbs allowed can easily incorporate kombucha when planning out their meals or choose low-carb kombucha options to meet their goals.

Can You Make Your Own Kombucha? 

Kombucha tea can provide support for your health journey, and when made with care, can be brewed at home. That said,  most people aren't experienced when it comes to the brewing process. 

If you’re a serious kombucha afficiando, this might be a fun adventure. If you’d rather just enjoy the delicious flavor and health benefits of kombucha, go with a professionally brewed option. This will ensure that your kombucha is brewed using time-tested, high-quality standards, resulting in a consistent brew that allows you to reap the benefits of good bacteria to support your health. 

How to Enjoy Kombucha on Any Keto Diet

Any diet will come with certain restrictions. Even so, you can still learn to indulge in the foods you enjoy while sticking to your dietary goals–without missing a beat. With that said, the best way to enjoy kombucha is to arm yourself with the right knowledge and consider your daily carb and sugar allowance. 

This means paying attention to what's on the nutrition labels. Kombucha comes in a variety of flavors, and you will find that each bottle has its own sugar and carb contents that are unique based on how it was brewed. A little math will help you determine how much kombucha you can enjoy at a time.

Empower Your Health with Kombucha

Kombucha is delicious, healthy, and certainly here to stay. This tea is loaded with gut-boosting probiotics, making it a perfect addition to any diet.

Here at Brew Dr., we craft our brew in a very traditional way, letting natural fermentation dictate the live and active cultures that make it into the bottle. Our kombucha is raw and unpasteurized. To achieve the wide variety of flavors we offer, we blend in organic botanicals, herbs, fruit, and fruit juices. No matter what your diet plan looks like, you’ll want to make room for our kombucha and experience its benefits. If you're ready to enjoy the taste of this popular tea, find your favorite brew today.

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