You’ve heard of kombucha - the fermented tea drink packed with gut-friendly cultures, available in a variety of flavors. Kombucha has grown in popularity around the world. In the US, the drink once only found in the fridge at natural food stores is now available in cafes, grocery stores, and even gas station shops.
Plenty has been said about what the live cultures in kombucha can do for your digestive system, energy level, and more. But what about a pick-me-up after a long night out? Is kombucha good for hangovers? Let’s look at some of the properties of kombucha to find out.
It’s a weekend morning and you’re still lingering in bed. Those happy hour drinks from the evening before seem like a lifetime ago, and getting the day started is taking more effort than you’d like. With a dry mouth, sensitive stomach, and an aching head, you realize maybe that last wine was one too many.
Now is a time for something tasty that will help you bounce back. You open the fridge to see what you have, and there is that bubbly bottle of your favorite flavor sitting front and center. Is kombucha good for hangovers? It can certainly help you through some of the most common symptoms.
Evidence of breweries has been found in the world from the beginning of time, with a 13,000-year-old beer believed to be used for rituals honoring the dead. Fermented alcoholic drinks have shown up in archaeological evidence from societies in all corners of the earth. Do you find any comfort in knowing that humans have likely been battling hangovers for thousands of years?
Here in the modern world, hangovers show up with a variety of symptoms. Before we determine whether kombucha is good for hangovers, let’s cover off some of the effects your night out may have on your body:
If you wake up after a night out with nausea and pain in your stomach, you’re not alone. One common symptom of a hangover is a queasy feeling in the gut.
Nausea often shows up because of inflammation in the digestive tract. A night out drinking can increase the acidity in the stomach and delay the process of emptying these stomach acids. This slowing of the natural processes in the digestive system can lead to stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting.
Kombucha is full of probiotics which are shown to be beneficial for the gut. Probiotics can reduce gut inflammation, contributing to relief from abdominal pain and that sick, nauseous feeling. Kombucha is good for hangovers when it comes to nausea and upset stomachs, but you don’t have to wait until you’re hungover to reap those benefits - your sober stomach will thank you for it, too.
Many hangover symptoms can be traced back to hydration. Headaches are very often an indicator that your body is dehydrated.
As alcohol is a diuretic, it encourages the body to move fluids through the system more rapidly than typical. It’s often challenging to remember to replenish these fluids with body-friendly water while out for a fun night of wines, cocktails, or beers. Add to the equation the sugars in many alcoholic beverages, and you have a recipe for dehydration brewing for you in the morning.
An effective way to replenish hydration to the cells is through electrolytes. Kombucha is high in natural electrolytes and can help you get hydrated faster than just plain water. The process of kombucha fermentation relies on sugar for the cultures to feast on, but that doesn’t mean it’s a high-sugar drink. In the process, much of the sugars are consumed, leaving healthy cultures and a delicious tea brew.
While sports drinks boast high electrolytes, they often carry a high sugar content. Kombucha is a better alternative to reach for, making kombucha good for hangovers (and the accompanying headaches). Another benefit? Studies have shown migraines and headaches are tied to gut health, and probiotics have a positive effect on those reporting pain.
Kombucha carries a variety of antioxidants. Antioxidants can help nourish and protect the body’s cells from free radicals, which serve as a protective function in the body’s immune system but are harmful when present excessively. Exposure to alcohol can increase free radicals.
Antioxidants from healthy natural foods and drinks such as kombucha help encourage bringing balance to the body’s system. While not a miracle health cure, kombucha is good for hangovers by adding healthy - and delicious - antioxidants into your body’s ecosystem. Kombucha can help with detoxification, antioxidation, and promote a healthy immune system.
“Prevention is better than cure.” - a quote attributed to Dutch philosopher Desiderius Erasmus, circa 1500. This quote also contributes to an important approach when considering: is kombucha good for hangovers?
Kombucha is not only good for addressing hangover symptoms but can serve as a preventative measure. Instead of reaching for those alcoholic drinks, have you considered kombucha?
Not simply popping open a cold bottle of kombucha - though that’s a nice idea too! Kombucha is gaining popularity on bar menus, particularly when it comes to creative mocktails.
Our current favorite at Brew Dr. is our Wildberry Ginger Spritz. Festive and fruity, this non-alcoholic drink has our Wildberry Ginger Kombucha, pomegranate, lime and orange.
That’s just one of many options you have for kombucha on a mocktail menu. You can drink festive, interesting drinks like a Kombucha Sangria, a Ginger Turmeric Kombucha Mocktail, and more.
Of course, if you’re not quite convinced on forgoing the alcohol in favor of virgin drinks, Brew Dr. Kombucha is a great complement to your favorite alcoholic drinks as well. Kombucha Margaritas, anyone?
Kombucha is good for hangovers, but it doesn’t have to be limited to drinks. If you can manage to get yourself out of bed and into the kitchen, there are a number of great recipes to help soothe your hangover symptoms.
Brew Dr. has some favorite ways to approach morning brunch with kombucha to deliver those beneficial bacterias along with other healthy ingredients.
Try our Decadent Clear Mind Smoothie to clear that hangover brain fog. Our Ginger Turmeric Kombucha Salsa will help pull a delicious lunch together with bright flavors and fresh veggies and herbs.
If you want to do “future you” a favor, make some of our delicious fruit popsicles and pop them in the freezer before you head out on the town. You’ll have a tasty kombucha treat waiting for you at home for a pre-hangover (and pre-bedtime) snack, or a morning refreshment with no prep work required.