Does Kombucha Make You Poop?
by Susan Grey on October 09, 2019
Kombucha could make you poop. Fermented teas have been drunk for thousands for years, with many people purporting the health, digestion, and microbial benefits. One of these benefits is helping to regulate your bowel movements. We will look at the the effect of kombucha on your bowel and why it can cause change too.
Digestive Effects Of Kombucha
Kombucha is brewed using a SCOBY. A SCOBY is a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. When it brews, the bacteria and yeast use sugar as fuel to grow. The growth of bacteria and yeast leaves strains of microbes in the brew. When drinking, you’ll often consume some of these microbes which can affect your digestive system.
Commercially produced kombucha may not contain the same probiotics and health benefits as home brewed. A lot of commercial brewers use pasteurization techniques to increase their shelf life and reduce any risks associated with brewing. Pasteurization techniques kill bacteria in the brew. Done using various techniques, including raising the temperature. The killing of bacteria could kill the health benefits of kombucha too.
Why Does Kombucha Make You Poop?
Kombucha does not contain any fiber. Fiber is key to keeping our bowel movements regular, so why does kombucha then cause us to poo? There are many reasons and theories - all of which include the tiny microbes. Here’s a list of 4 reasons that may explain it.
1. Upset Your Stomach - If you have a sensitive stomach, then kombucha may have made you poop. When drinking something new that is rich and contains a lot of bacteria and yeast, it could make you need to go to the toilet. Start by drinking a little before increasing the volume.
2. Healing Crisis - Or otherwise known as the elimination process. A healing crisis is when symptoms of a specific illness get worse before they get better. One example of this is when drinking kombucha, people with candida have reported that their symptoms got worse. However, after sticking to drinking it, then their symptoms improve. During a “healing crisis,” then it could cause you to poop, yes.
3. Gut Health Balance - Gut microbes can be sensitive. Guts contain many different types of bacteria, and coexist in balance. As kombucha is packed full of bacteria, it can interact with that already in your gut, changing this balance. Many claims that kombucha will bring it back to a natural and healthy balance. Once the balance has changed one side effect may be you needing to poo.
4. Check What Else You’ve Eaten - If you’re getting some adverse effects and you’ve drunk kombucha on the same day, have a think back to see if you can remember what else you’ve eaten. It’s possible that something else has caused this effect.
What Are Probiotics?
“Probiotics are live microorganisms intended to provide health benefits when consumed, generally by improving or restoring the gut flora.” - Source: WebMD. Probiotics are a type of living bacteria that is in kombucha. The probiotics that are produced naturally occur in the ferment. Growth is encouraged by the SCOBY and fuelled by the sugar. Another popular way companies add probiotics to their drink is by fortifying them. They grow bacteria, that are added after production.
Why Are Probiotics Important For Poop?
Probiotics are said to “improve or restore gut flora” (WebMD). An increased amount of probiotics may ease constipation and increase the number of weekly bowel movements by a factor of 1.3 and help soften the stool (Harvard Medical School). Despite the study, there still aren’t specific probiotics recommend to help your bowel function.
Are Probiotics Recommend To Eat?
Although the study above and anecdotal evidence suggests they may help in improving your bowel function and poo, probiotics are not regulated by the FDA and therefore not treated as or prescribed by medical professionals. For this reason, they do not recommend to take to treat, help, or alleviate symptoms of constipation. If you’re experiencing symptoms, then be sure to see a medical professional.
What Influences How Often You Poo?
Diet - Your diet is a major contributing factor to how frequently you poo. A diet typically higher in fiber, including foods such as fruit and vegetables, will increase the frequency that you poo. Examples of low fiber foods are white bread, fast food, and fried meats. By altering your diet to become higher in fiber, the frequency of your bowel motion will increase.
Coffee - Everyone that drinks coffee has probably felt the urge to go to poo after drinking. It’s thought that the caffeine in coffee acts as a laxative, which means that after your morning hot drink you’ll be off to find a restroom! The caffeine and laxative effects can differ from person to person. It’s not uncommon for people to become so intolerant to the laxative effects of coffee that they cut it out of their diet completely.
Stress - Stress can wreak havoc with your bowel, be it physical or mental. Some find that during stressful periods that they’re very constipated while others can't stop going to the restroom. Examples of physiological stress could include exams, money issues, or workplace problems, while physical stress could be caused by exercise.
IBS - Irritable Bowel Syndrome can be triggered by certain foods or environmental factors, and is considered a chronic condition. Symptoms could include constipation, diarrhea, cramping, bloating, or other abdominal pain (WebMD).
Does Kombucha Cause Gas?
It depends. In one person it could cause gas and others it wouldn’t. Certain foods such as eggs and beans are notorious for having a reputation for causing gas. Kombucha doesn’t have this reputation. However, it still has the potential to cause gas.
Does Kombucha Make You Lose Weight?
There has been a study linking kombucha to weight loss. The general theory is that kombucha contains individual strands of bacteria. When these bacteria interact with the gut, it can bring your gut health back into balance. Once in balance, the gut will crave less sugar and carbohydrates. With fewer cravings, the theory suggests that you’re likely to eat less and lose weight. Although there are any published studies specifically demonstrating that drinking kombucha reduces your weight, there have been people reporting that.
Is Kombucha Good For Constipation?
Kombucha isn’t a prescribed medicine, nor would a physician recommend it for treatment. Anecdotally some people are said to have gotten some relief from drinking kombucha. However, if you’re constipated, you should seek medical advice and get appropriate treatment from qualified physicians.
Does Kombucha Give You Diarrhea?
If you have diarrhea, then you should immediately consult with a physician. There is a chance that kombucha could give you diarrhea. If drank in excess, your body could react badly and upset your stomach. If you don’t regularly drink kombucha, then it would be recommended that you should drink a minimal amount to see how it affects you.