One of the many questions I get asked by my readers is: Is kombucha keto-friendly? The thing is that: there is no fixed answer to this question. The keto community itself is highly divided on the topic and it is a matter of debate.
Having said, if you know about kombucha then you definitely might have heard about its benefits. This drink is probiotic and filled with tons of friendly bacteria. So, drinking kombucha while on a keto diet should not be a bad thing. However, you must ensure selecting a brand that is low in sugar.
Let us go a little bit more in-depth and try and answer the question: is kombucha keto-friendly?
Reasons Why Kombucha is Keto Friendly
Its benefits far outweigh its drawback
The benefits of kombucha far outweigh (what most keto dieters might consider it) the ‘drawback’ of the drink – its sugar or carb content. Many argue that there is simply too much sugar in this fermented tea since the SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) used in making the Kombucha thrives on sugar for fermentation.
However, as you will see shortly, this sugar content is a lot less compared to many alcoholic beverages out there. Also, only 1% of the starting sugar remains in the finished brew since the SCOBY eats away most of it.
So, if you drink kombucha instead of other fruity or sporty or alcoholic beverages, then you still maintain your body in ketosis. Also, there are numerous benefits of consuming kombucha which include the following:
- It helps balance gut micro-flora.
- It enhances immunity
- It improves digestion
- And it has way less sugar than flavored sodas and alcoholic beverages while still retaining the sweet-tangy flavor and fizzy effervescence of both these drinks.
The SCOBY eats away most of the sugars
SCOBY used for making the fermented kombucha drink thrives on the added sugar which is a must-have for the fermentation to start. So, most of the sugar will be reduced as the SCOBY devours it and the final product would not contain too much of it. As stated earlier, only 1% of the starting sugar remains in the finished brew.
Keto-diet is all about figuring out what works for you and what doesn’t
In the keto diet, most people are allowed to consume up to 5g of carbs per day. So, if you decide to drink something, you can definitely choose kombucha over other sugary beverages as the total carb content would still not throw your body out of ketosis.
As most Keto experts say: this lifestyle is all about figuring out what does and doesn’t work for your body. Having cleared that, Kombucha is a much better choice than any other drink and it certainly won’t harm your ketosis.
Everything in moderation is the key to ketosis
As with any diet and lifestyle, it is best to ensure that you do not go overboard while consuming certain foods and beverages. The same is the case with consuming kombucha while following the keto lifestyle. And it pays to remember that it is still a source of debate in the Keto ‘community’ whether kombucha is truly keto-friendly or not.
Many strict Keto dieters avoid drinking kombucha altogether. However, some believe that drinking it in moderation is alright as it would not exceed their daily sugar-intake and would still keep the body in the fat-burning ketosis mode. You can also go in for Kombucha brands (discussed below) that clearly state they have zero sugar in it.
Let us move on to some FAQs on Kombucha and whether it is okay for Keto dieters.
FAQs on Ketogenic diet and Kombucha
How many carbs are present in Kombucha?
If you buy your Kombucha from a store, you can see the carb content on the bottle label. However, many brands do not include this information. Flavored kombucha can have carbs between 7g and 10 g per 8oz serving size. Home-brewed kombucha can contain up to 5g or fewer carbs in 8oz.
Can I drink Kombucha every day if I am on the Keto diet?
As stated earlier, moderation is the key here. Kombucha is a safe drink to consume in small quantities for ketogenic diet followers if they wish to remain in a state of ketosis.
It is certainly a drink one can choose over other flavored sodas, fruity drinks, juices, and alcoholic beverages. If compared to black tea, black coffee, water, and green tea, it is certainly a drink that is greater in carb content.
Which kombucha has the least sugar?
If you buy Kombucha from the store, select a product with zero flavors, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, and infusions. In case you make the kombucha at home, select the starter tea of either the black or the oolong variety. Green tea produces a sweeter kombucha.
Commercially, you can select sugar-free kombucha tea. Many brands are available that make these varieties. Here are some of them:
- Remedy Raw Organic Kombucha - Sparkling Live Cultured Drink - Sugar Free Raspberry Lemonade - 8.5 Fl Oz Can, 24-Pack
- Humm Kombucha has zero sugar
Is kombucha good for weight loss?
Kombucha may aid in jump-starting weight loss owing to its purgative effects. Its probiotic content also improves digestion which may further result in better nutrient absorption, fewer cravings, and subsequently, weight loss. Being naturally low in carbs or sugar, it is also a great drink for weight watchers.
Are two bottles of Kombucha a day too much?
Too much kombucha consumption in a day can lead to excess calorie and sugar intake. Also, kombucha contains a bit of caffeine and alcohol. Both are diuretics and tend to have a few adverse effects, although mild. As with anything in life, moderation is the key.
Stick to one 8-oz bottle per day of kombucha, no more, if you want to follow a low-carb diet.
So that brings us to summarize the answer to the question; is kombucha keto friendly?
The answer is that it is as long as one drinks it in moderation. You can also look for keto-friendly, low (zero) carb kombucha brands that are readily available in the market.