What Type of Probiotics Are in Kombucha?
You’ve probably heard about the healthy probiotics in kombucha. You might have heard that naturally brewed kombucha has a broader range of gut healthy probiotics. Maybe you’ve seen different types of probiotic products and supplements in stores. With all of those options, you might be wondering what type of probiotics are in kombucha, and exactly how they get there.
Kombucha is made from tea, which is fermented and has various other natural ingredients added during the brewing process. It has a uniquely sweet and tart aste all its own, and when it’s made right, it’s packed with probiotics.
So let’s take a closer look at what type of probiotics are in kombucha, how naturally brewed kombucha creates these colonies of gut healthy flora, and what you need to look for when buying kombucha and fermented foods to get the benefit of these helpful bacteria. Let’s go!
What Type of Probiotics Are In Kombucha?
The first thing many health-conscious people want to know about kombucha is what kind of probiotics are in the beverages. The answer is that it varies widely, depending on the ingredients and brewing process. When making a naturally fermented product, it can be hard to identify exactly which bacteria are present, and in what quantity they are found, since the fermentation process is so unique and complex
This is why it’s important to know where your kombucha comes from, and how it was made. While commercial kombucha brewers are very careful with safety standards, it’s beneficial to be aware of the brewing process. This is even more important if you purchase or make your own homemade kombucha.
While it’s hard to say exactly what probiotic strains are in a given brew, here are some more things to understand.
What Is the Difference Between Prebiotics and Probiotics?
As you’re researching what type of probiotics are in kombucha, and the benefits of probiotics in general, you might run into the term “prebiotics” too.
Most people now know that probiotics is a name for a variety of microbes that we can get from fermented foods. These probiotics colonize our gut and help us to digest food and with other important functions. However, prebiotic is still a relatively unknown term.
Prebiotics are high fiber foods that can’t be fully digested by the human stomach. This means that they pass through the stomach into the gut, and once they are there, they serve as food for the bacteria and other microbes that live there.
In order to maintain a healthy gut, we need to have enough probiotics and prebiotics, and when our gut flora is unbalanced, we can have all kinds of digestive and other health problems.
The important thing to remember is that you need to eat a healthy, balanced diet most of the time if you want to have healthy gut flora. Kombucha can help with this, but you’ll also want to include other health measures, like foods that provide prebiotics.
How Do Probiotics Get Into Kombucha?
The next common question when you’re researching what type of probiotics are in kombucha is how they get there at all. The answer is…it depends!
Some companies add probiotics and other chemicals and compounds to their kombucha during the manufacturing process. They’re not naturally brewed, but instead are a manufactured product.
Some kombucha manufacturers also use heat during the manufacturing process – however, heat is not probiotic friendly. Because of this process, they have to add the probiotics that are lost by heat treatment back into their beverages at the end of the process.
In contrast to these processes, naturally brewed kombucha does not rely on any additives to create the finished product. The probiotics you find in this kind of kombucha occur naturally as a result of the fermentation process.
How Long Do Probiotics Stay In Kombucha?
The good news about naturally brewed, raw kombucha is that it really is its own best preservative. The mildly acidic nature of kombucha helps to ensure that no harmful bacteria or fungus grows in kombucha, but it also keeps the healthy probiotics alive for a long time.
You might have noticed that other acidic foods and beverages like kefir, yogurt, kimchi and sauerkraut also have a faintly acidic flavor. That’s because they are made by the same process and have the same natural preservative quality.
In fact, kombucha can be stored for several months in the fridge and will taste just as good when you’re ready to drink it.
Read More: How Long Does Kombucha Last?
Are There Probiotics In Hard Kombucha?
Another common question when it comes to the question of what kind of probiotics are in kombucha is about hard kombucha, whether it has probiotics in it, and if so, what kind of probiotics it has.
Unfortunately–while hard kombucha can be delicious–because it has alcohol in it, most if not all of the naturally occurring probiotics will be gone. That’s because alcohol is very good at sterilizing things, and that means it’s also good at killing bacteria. Unfortunately, alcohol doesn’t know the difference between good bacteria and probiotics and the kind that can make you sick.
If you want to enjoy kombucha that gives you a little extra kick, consider one that has cannabis added, or add it yourself, so you can be sure you’re still getting a natural, raw product and can control the quality and quantity of the alcohol. The alcohol will still affect the probiotics in the brew, but at least you can control the other factors.
How Many Probiotics Do We Need?
Another common question when you’re trying to work out what type of probiotics are in kombucha is the question of how many probiotics we really need.
This is a very subjective question and depends a lot on your overall health and other lifestyle factors – including your diet. For example, taking medication for another condition can also affect the flora in your gut.
While there are probiotic supplements out there, many doctors and wellness professionals also recommend eating and drinking food products that are high in probiotics – like kombucha – to keep everything in balance.
Most adults can drink kombucha daily without any ill effects, although if you have a condition that causes immune deficiency or are pregnant, you should speak to your doctor before you add kombucha to your daily routine.
How to Ensure You’re Getting Probiotics From Your Kombucha and Other Sources
If you’re health conscious, you’re probably trying to include enough pre and probiotics in your diet to keep your gut healthy. You probably also know that it’s better (and much tastier!) to get them from food and beverages if you can. However, with so many products on the market, it can be hard to choose which ones have the right kind of probiotics for you.
Here are a few ways you can choose the right kombucha and other fermented foods to help keep your gut flora in balance:
- Always look for raw products – once fermented foods are exposed to heat, most if not all of the probiotics they once had will be gone.
- Look for naturally fermented products – this helps to ensure that there’s a good mix of gut healthy bacteria and other microbes in the product.
- Buy from a reputable manufacturer. While natural is good, there’s a lot that goes in to producing safe natural products – home brewing can certainly be done safely, but professionally brewed products are reliably safe.
- Read the ingredients list on your fermented and natural products – you should be able to tell what each ingredient is. If there are lots of complicated chemical names, it might not be the right product for you
- Don’t buy hard kombucha for the probiotics – feel free to enjoy it for the taste, but you should know that there won’t be many (or any) probiotics left.
Try to have a fermented beverage or food product once a day if you can, or at the very least several times a week. If you can work these products into your diet, you probably won’t need to supplement with probiotics.
Note that, as mentioned, antibiotics can affect your gut health – like alcohol, their job is to kill bacteria, and they can’t tell the difference between good and bad. Talk to your doctor about additional ways to improve your gut health.
Kick Back with Some Friendly Kombucha Probiotics
At Brew Dr., we’re a little bit obsessed with naturally fermented kombucha. We’re always happy to answer questions about our products. So far, we’ve identified several healthy probiotics in our brews, including Brettanomyces/Dekkera and Saccharomyces yeasts and strains of Komagataeibacter, Acetobacter, and Lactobacillus bacteria. Exciting, right?
Brew Dr. offers a wide variety of organic, raw, and delicious kombucha options to suit every taste. If you’re ready to to start adding more beneficial probiotics to your gut flora, visit us today to learn more and start sipping.