7 Kombucha Side Effects You Didn't Know About

Consumers often wonder about kombucha side effects. What most people don't know is how positive most of them actually tend to be.

In today's age of dietary awareness, the health benefits of kombucha are pretty well known. Dating back more than 2,000 years, the fermentation process often results in plenty of probiotics with potential effects that can range from weight loss to an improved immune system.

But what about common kombucha side effects? Health-conscious consumers frequently wonder about the big-picture impact of this delicious fermented drink. But the answer is yes, even the most well-brewed kombucha will have some side effects. However, many of these effects depend entirely on the brewing method, and even more of them can be surprisingly positive.

Think you know kombucha? Think again. Join us for a closer discussion of kombucha and its side effects and what they mean for making kombucha your drink of choice.

Commonly Reported Kombucha Side Effects

At its core, kombucha is a surprisingly simple drink. It combines brewed tea and sugar, along with fruit and herbs, all fermented in a controlled environment. The fermentation process produces healthy bacteria that lead to many of the potential health benefits you've likely read about. But as with any beverage, this process can come with some side effects. 

Most kombucha side effects happen for one of two reasons:

  • The amount of beverage consumed. Because this is a probiotic drink, drinking too much might lead to an upset digestive system. And because sugar is involved, overconsumption can also lead to too much sugar intake.
  • A questionable brewing process. Kombucha is unique in that the ingredients are simple, but the production process is relatively complex. And more importantly, it has to be exact. If it isn't, the end result might become contaminated with unhealthy bacteria, leading to potential risks.

The latter side effect is rare, but occasionally occurs with homemade brews. Luckily, commercially made kombucha has strict procedures in place that typically eliminate any negative effects. Specialized equipment, carefully sourced materials, and precise handling of both the drink and the bottles can all go a long way toward keeping kombucha healthy and safe. 

Surprising Side Effects of Drinking Kombucha

When thinking about any type of side effects, it's natural to gravitate toward the negative. But with negative side effects being so minimal, the more surprising outcomes of drinking kombucha lean more toward beneficial impacts. When added to a healthy diet, this drink has the potential to make a significant influence on your life. Take a look at the following seven positive kombucha side effects when adding this tasty drink to your diet.

1. Staying Hydrated

We've all heard about the need to stay hydrated. It might be eight cups of water a day or a general guidance to manage your intake of electrolytes that balance the fluids in your body.

Kombucha, of course, does not provide everything you need to solve this daily nutrition guidance. But in moderation, it can play an important role in keeping you hydrated in a given day because this is a drink high in natural electrolytes. Gaining electrolytes from kombucha can prevent dehydration in a more natural way than other electrolyte-rich drinks, particularly artificial sports drinks. 

Staying hydrated is an important part of making sure your body functions at its best. Being able to accomplish that with a natural and flavored drink is not just an unexpected side effect but a clear win for your well-being. 

2. Keeping Your Sugar Low

As mentioned earlier in this article, consuming too much kombucha may lead to high sugar intake. But in reality, that only happens if sugar is added to the drink after the fact. In the natural fermentation process, much of the sugar used is consumed by the bacteria, leaving only residual sugar that improves its overall taste.

Compared to most other flavored drinks, kombucha is refreshingly low in sugar content. Some commercially brewed kombucha, for example, has up to 16 grams of sugar per 14 fluid ounces, which compares favorably to the following popular flavored beverages:

  • Soft Drinks (32-39 grams per 12 fluid ounces)
  • Sports Drinks (up to 40 grams per 12 fluid ounces)
  • Lemonade (49 grams per 14 fluid ounces)
  • Bottled smoothies (up to 60 grams per 12 fluid ounces)

The takeaway: looking at these numbers, you can see that kombucha can go a long way in keeping your sugar intake in check. Reducing sugar, in turn, can help with weight management, improve your oral health and skin health, and even help to keep your heart healthy.

3. Keeping a Balanced Gut

One of the most commonly cited health benefits of kombucha is gut health. The healthy bacteria produced in the fermentation process can act as probiotics, building a strong digestive system and reducing the risk of gut health problems like irritable bowel syndrome. 

Related: A Guide to Understanding Kombucha and Gut Health

The results of improving your gut health can be another significantly positive side effect of kombucha. Medical research has shown that a healthy gut is pivotal in your body's overall well-being, including anything from heart to brain health. The right bacteria (including those introduced by kombucha) only have a part to play in that process, but that part can become an important piece of the larger gut health puzzle.

4. Boosting Your Energy

The fermentation process of kombucha also introduces another side effect most people don't know about. Trace amounts of both caffeine and vitamin B compounds produced by that process can give you a small but not unnoticeable energy boost.

Caffeine, of course, is known to increase both dopamine and endorphins, which can improve your mood and boost your energy levels. Vitamin B, meanwhile, can regulate energy levels, especially for people with a deficiency, who might otherwise feel tired or fatigued. 

And let's be honest: who doesn't want or need that occasional energy boost during a long and busy day, especially if it happens alongside the other positive side effects we've discussed?

5. Reducing Your Stress Levels

While kombucha is not a magic solution to one of the most significant mental health concerns in modern society, it's worth noting that many of its benefits link directly and indirectly to the potential for reducing your stress levels. For example: 

Related: Does Drinking Kombucha Help with Stress and Anxiety?

Researchers are also beginning to find that probiotics, which are a core feature of kombucha, may positively impact stress levels. If further research confirms this to be true, it only adds to this kombucha side effect as a potentially positive influence in your life.

6. Reducing Inflammation

Medical studies are also beginning to find another interesting benefit of fermented food and drinks: the antioxidants produced in the fermentation process may be a reliable opportunity to reduce inflammation that's typically associated with health conditions like type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and chronic stress.

As explained in the study, part of the reason for this effect is a more diverse microbiome that prevents certain bacteria from outgrowing others and producing potentially dangerous inflammation. Again, more research will need to be done before any definitive claims can be made. But even the potential of reducing inflammation is enough of a positive side effect to consider making fermented drinks like kombucha a part of your healthy diet.

7. Increasing Your Vitamin Intake

Finally, the kombucha fermentation process also produces vitamins as the yeast breaks down the sugars in the drink. In addition to the B group of vitamins discussed above, vitamin C is also a product of this breakdown. These vitamins have diverse health benefits of their own, from maintaining brain function to improving the body's metabolism and more. 

Because this is an organic process, the exact vitamin levels will differ depending on the kombucha you drink and how it was brewed. But even the general benefit of increased vitamin intake can be a positive side effect to keep in mind as you consider whether adding kombucha to your diet makes sense.

Ready to Benefit From Positive Kombucha Side Effects?

There's a reason that kombucha has been around for literal millennia. Cultures across history have appreciated the ways in which it can blend with our diet and improve the ways our body functions. But of course, these benefits are not automatic. You have to find the right product to make the most of the surprisingly positive kombucha side effects.

Brew Dr.'s natural fermentation process begins with high-quality, loose-leaf organic teas blended with organic herbs, fruits, juices, and other botanicals. The result is authentic kombucha at its best and tastiest, through a process in which every step, every ingredient, and every choice is intentional and made to improve the product for our customers. With kombucha, there can be no shortcuts. We take our time to get it right, and we think our product shows that. Find our kombucha in a store near you, and begin to integrate it into a healthier, happier lifestyle.

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