When to Drink Kombucha: The Best Time of Day To Consume
While you can drink kombucha just about any time of the day, it's recommended to drink before meals or after exercise. In this article we are going to look into some of the factors that might influence when to drink kombucha and the benefits accrued to each of them.
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What Is Kombucha?
Kombucha is an ancient fermented drink that’s believed to have originated from china over 2000 years ago. The drink is prepared by fermenting freshly brewed and sweetened tea in the presence of kombucha culture which is introduced by adding starter tea from a previous batch and a Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast (SCOBY).
During the 7 to 14 days of fermentation, the yeast culture breaks down the dissolved sugar into alcohol which is then broken down by the bacteria culture into acetic acid and carbon dioxide. The final brew is rich in probiotics, antioxidants and vitamins which get infused into the tea during steeping process.
Best Time of Day to Drink Kombucha
The best time to take kombucha ranges from early morning to late afternoon. Essentially the drink should be consumed during active hours so as to get the maximum benefits of its components such as caffeine.
Considerations of Ingredients
1. Caffeine Content
What Is Caffeine?
Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant that's been used for years to increase alertness. The chemical occurs naturally in various plants such as coffee and tea.
How Much Caffeine Is In Kombucha?
Around 1/ 3 of the tea leaves’ initial caffeine content will remain in the kombucha after fermentation. This is because the kombucha culture feeds on most of the caffeine during the fermentation process.
How Does Caffeine Affect The Body?
After a relatively short absorption time, caffeine stimulates the brain offering a temporary relief from drowsiness and fatigue. Caffeine also increases the metabolism rate making you feel more energized. Blood vessels also constrict in the presence of caffeine leading to an increase in blood pressure.
How To Consider Before Drinking
Raw kombucha that's prepared using tea leaves will contain around 30% of the original caffeine content in the tea leaves. While this reduction in caffeine content does offer some benefits, the remaining caffeine can still interrupt sleep when consumed late in the evening.
If you are especially sensitive to caffeine, you should avoid drinking kombucha for 5 hours prior to sleeping. This is because caffeine has a half-life of 3 to 5 hours; this is the time it takes the body to eliminate half of the caffeine content from the body.
Caffeine Free Kombucha
Alternatively, you can drink caffeine-free kombucha, which is often brewed using decaffeinated tea leaves or other caffeine-free alternatives such as rooibos tea.
A high quality, strong, SCOBY is an essential ingredient to brewing Kombucha.
Here at Grow Your Pantry we've developed our own super strong live liquid SCOBY culture.
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Interested in caffeine, kombucha and all caffeine free options? Check out our Caffeine and Kombucha Guide.
2. Sugar Content
What Is Sugar?
Sugar is a generic name for soluble carbohydrates which are also sweet tasting. Sugar acts as the primary source of energy but its intake can also have adverse effects in the body if not utilized immediately. This is because the body automatically converts excess sugar into fat which is then stored in fatty cells.
How Much Sugar Is In Kombucha?
Raw kombucha contains 2g of sugar per 8 oz, this is much less than the original amount of sugar before fermentation as the culture feeds on most of it during the process.
How Does Sugar Affect The Body?
Sugar causes an immediate energy boost after it is digested and absorbed into the bloodstream. However, when consumed in excess, sugar can increase the risk of developing heart disease, obesity and diabetes.
How To Consider Before Drinking
Kombucha contains around 2 grams of sugar per 8 oz serving. While this is considered to be on the lower end, it is undoubtedly substantial to cause an energy surge that can interfere with sleep. Sugar has been shown to increase mental alertness and should, therefore, be avoided prior to sleep hours.
Sugar Free Kombucha
Unfortunately kombucha can not be fermented without sugar as it is the primary source of food for the culture. However you can reduce the amount of sugar in the kombucha by extending the fermentation time by an extra week.
Want to learn more about sugar and kombucha? How to reduce the amount in your brew and the science behind the brewing process: Sugar And Kombucha.
3. Carbon Dioxide Content
Raw kombucha contains dissolved carbon dioxide gas from the fermentation process. To avoid stomach upsets and gassy complications, it's recommended to avoid drinking kombucha before working out. This is because workout movements can cause the drink to slosh around in your belly, thus releasing carbon dioxide bubbles, which are quite uncomfortable
What Is Carbon Dioxide?
Carbon dioxide is an odourless soluble gas that occurs naturally in nature. In kombucha carbon dioxide gas is produced after the yeast breaks down sugar into alcohol which is broken further down into acetic acid and carbon dioxide by the bacteria culture.
How Much Carbon Dioxide Is In Kombucha?
Bottled kombucha contains more carbon dioxide as the gas gets trapped in the brew. While its almost impossible to calculate the amount of carbon dioxide in a brew, the amount of sugar used can give a definitive clue as to the amount of carbon dioxide produced during fermentation.
How Does Carbon Dioxide Affect The Body?
Drinking too much kombucha will result in carbon dioxide gas accumulation in the digestive system. This is characterized by bloating and stomach upsets.
Carbon Dioxide Free Kombucha
The only way to get carbon dioxide free kombucha is by letting the gas escape. Simply shake the bottle of kombucha and the gas will form large bubbles as it escapes. Not that the brew will become flat and also lose some of its flavor.
How to get your perfect Carbonated Kombucha Fizz Guide.
4. Alcohol Content
Kombucha’s alcohol content originates from the fermentation process during which sugar gets broken down into ethanol. While most of the alcohol gets broken down further into acetic acid by the bacteria culture, some of the alcohol gets left in the final brew.
What Is Alcohol?
Alcoholic drinks refers to any drink containing ethanol which is a flammable colorless liquid with a characteristic odor. When consumed, ethanol intoxicates the brain making you giddy and unsteady on your feet.
How Much Alcohol Is In Kombucha?
Raw kombucha contains around 1.5% alcohol. When bottled, the concentration usually goes up by a percent to 2.5%. However, hard kombucha can have as much as 6% alcohol concentration.
How Does Alcohol Affect The Body?
Consuming too much kombucha can lead to alcohol intoxication related symptoms. These include slurred speech, clumsiness, nausea, and delayed reflexes.
Alcohol Free Kombucha
The only way to eliminate alcohol from kombucha is by brewing it under a controlled environment. This is accomplished by controlling the temperature and keeping it below 90 °F which ensures that the bacteria culture breaks down all of the ethanol produced by the yeast culture.
Potential Benefits of Drinking Kombucha During Certain Periods
What Effects Digestion?
The digestion process is highly influenced by what you consume. This is in terms of what you eat, how much you eat and when you eat. When it comes to kombucha the best amount of to drink should not exceed FDA’s daily limit of 4 oz and its best consumed before meals to avoid acid and gas related stomach upsets.
Kombucha For Improved Digestion
Taking kombucha before meals aids in digestion by curbing your appetite. This overall effect plays a vital role in weight control. Taking kombucha as part of breakfast meals will give you the much-required energy boost with additional caffeine.
2. Workout Recovery
What Affects Workout Recovery?
Your workout recovery is heavily influenced by the diet that you are on. This is due to the increased nutrient demand especially for proteins, carbohydrates and vitamins. The proteins go towards restoring torn muscle cells, the carbs go into re-energizing the body and vitamins provide the required antioxidants to eliminate the increased free radicals. If your diet does not include these nutrients then the workout recovery is bound to extend.
Kombucha For Workout Recovery
Raw kombucha contains electrolytes making it the perfect recovery drink. The beverage also increases the absorption capacity of nutrients. Kombucha also increases the metabolic rate, which eases muscle soreness while preventing fatigue.
What Are Probiotics?
Probiotics are live microorganisms which play a significant role in restoring a balance in the gut bio. They accomplish this by reducing the population of ‘bad’ bacteria allowing the ‘good’ bacteria to establish a symbiotic balance in the gut system.
How Does Kombucha Affect Probiotics?
Kombucha is rich in yeast and bacteria probiotics, which play a vital role in balancing the gut bio. Kombucha culture has a large population of lactic acid bacteria, which serve as an antibiotic alternative.
4. Weight Loss
How Does Kombucha Affect Weight Loss?
Kombucha aids in weight loss by increasing the metabolic rate leading to increased fat break down. The drink also contains dissolved gases, which can make one feel full; the drop in appetite plays a vital role in weight loss.
Drinking Before vs. After a Meal
Drinking kombucha before a meal is more beneficial compared to drinking after a meal. Why? Because it can make you full much faster, which helps in controlling the amount of food you eat per meal. Drinking kombucha after a meal can trigger heartburn due to its acidic nature.
How Much Kombucha Should You Drink For Benefits?
In order to avoid any adverse effects during the kombucha cleanse, you should limit the amount consumed to 4 oz per day. While it might seem less, it's enough to provide the required probiotics and antioxidants needed for the cleanse.
Can I Drink Kombucha Every Day?
Yes, you can safely drink kombucha every day or up to 3 servings per day.
Should I Drink Kombucha In The Morning?
Yes, it's perfectly healthy to drink kombucha in the morning as it provides that morning boost of energy and alertness from the caffeine in it.
Should You Drink Kombucha On An Empty Stomach?
Yes, it's perfectly healthy to drink kombucha on an empty stomach.
Should You Drink Kombucha At Night?
It’s recommended to avoid kombucha at night as it contains caffeine which can cause insomnia. The brew is also acidic which can trigger heartburn if taken before going to bed.
How Much Kombucha Should I Drink Per Day?
According to FDA’s guideline kombucha intake should be limited to 4 oz per day to avoid any possible side effects.
When Should You Not Drink Kombucha?
You should not drink raw kombucha if you are under immunosuppressants and cancer medication or while pregnant.
Why Shouldn't You Shake Kombucha?
Shaking kombucha usually releases the carbon dioxide gas trapped in it.
Does Kombucha Help With Weight Loss?
Yes, kombucha increases metabolism which helps in weight loss.
Does Kombucha Make You Poop?
Yes, kombucha contains billions of live probiotics which can improve the gut bio resulting in much more regular bowel movement.
How Do You Start Drinking Kombucha?
If its the first time you are drinking kombucha you should start off with small servings which allows the body to acclimatize to the changes.
What Is The Difference Between Kefir And Kombucha?
Kombucha contains fermented sweetened tea using a SCOBY while kefir contains milk which is fermented using kefir seeds.
Does Kombucha Help Your Liver?
Yes, kombucha increases detoxification rate in the body which prevents overloading the liver.
Does Kombucha Go Bad?
Kombucha ferments over time gaining a more acidic profile which makes it almost impossible to drink.
Does Costco Sell Kombucha?
Yes, Costco does stock kombucha.
Kombucha Jar Covers
Are you thinking about making your own kombucha or Jun? Looking for the best cover that will protect and block all the wrong things from getting into the jar?
All aerobic ferments require oxygen, especially at the beginning of the fermentation process, and that is why a breathable cloth cover is the best.
If you're looking to get started with brewing kombucha check out all of our reviewed and recommended products here: Kombucha Recommended Products