Beginner’s Guide: How to Drink Kombucha

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Kombucha is a fermented drink made from green or black tea and a SCOBY. When learning how to drink kombucha, you’ll hear many different opinions, but the most important thing is to start slowly and monitor your body’s reaction.

How to Drink Kombucha Tea for the First Time

Drinking kombucha for the first time can be an experience. If you are used to sweet drinks, the tartness of kombucha may be surprising. Sometimes the probiotics can bother your gut if you’re not used to them.

Everyone has their method, but here are the basics:

  • Don’t shake the bottle. Kombucha is naturally carbonated and will explode if you shake the bottle before opening it (similar to a soda). If you want to mix it, gently swish it around or pour it into a glass and stir it.
  • Sip a small amount. Let your body get familiar with the taste and fizziness of kombucha. Stick with a few sips first and see how your body responds. If you don’t experience any side effects, increase the amount the next day.
  • Most suggest drinking your kombucha with food. Kombucha is acidic, and the high acid levels may bother people with sensitive stomachs. You can buffer that acidity by having food in your stomach. However, some believe you should drink kombucha on an empty stomach. They argue that drinking kombucha on an empty stomach makes sure your body absorbs all the inherent nutrients and probiotics.
  • Many people urge drinking kombucha with your first meal of the day. This helps jump-start your body and supplies it with many nutrients as your body wakes up. Other people advocate for drinking it in the afternoon. Sometimes carbonation bothers individuals more in the morning, so you may prefer to drink your kombucha after lunch. Also, replacing your afternoon cup of coffee with a serving of kombucha can give you an energy boost without caffeine side effects.
  • Drink the sediment and floaters. While they may look unappealing, these are naturally occurring and filled with probiotics. If you can’t handle the texture, you can avoid them or strain your kombucha. You’ll still get a kick of probiotics.
  • Drink it straight out of the bottle, from a glass, or through a straw. No matter how you drink your kombucha, you’ll still get all the health benefits of this fermented tea.
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What Does Kombucha Taste Like?

Kombucha tastes tart and sweet. Raw, unflavored kombucha smells and tastes a bit like vinegar. Flavored kombucha still has a kick but takes on flavors from the second fermentation, like fruits, herbs, or spices. Flavored kombucha can be sweeter and taste less acidic than unflavored kombucha.

How Much Kombucha Should a Beginner Drink

The CDC recommends drinking no more than 8 oz of kombucha per day. If you are drinking kombucha for the first time, start with just a few sips—perhaps no more than 4 oz the first few times. If your body responds well, increase to as much as 8 oz daily.

Each bottle of kombucha at the grocery store is usually 16 oz. Pour your kombucha into a glass, so you don’t drink too much. Consuming too much kombucha can lead to gas, bloating, or stomach distress.

Is It Okay to Drink Kombucha Every Day?

Yes, it is okay to drink kombucha every day. Fermented foods like kombucha are a beneficial addition to your diet.

If you do drink kombucha every day, remember the following:

  • Kombucha has a small alcoholic content—around 0.5%. If you are sensitive to alcoholic beverages, be careful with your kombucha consumption.
  • Some store-bought kombucha has added sugar. Look for low-sugar kombucha if you’re concerned about your sugar intake.
  • Kombucha comes in an endless variety of flavors. Don’t be afraid to experiment until you find a few you enjoy.

Kombucha may not be suitable for pregnant women, young children, and those with compromised immune systems. The alcohol content and the raw microorganisms in kombucha may be harmful to these groups.

Can You Mix Kombucha With Other Drinks?

Yes, you can mix kombucha with other drinks. You’ll create unique pairings, plus enjoy the benefits of kombucha.

Kombucha pairs well with:

  • Alcohol—use it as a mixer for cocktails
  • Coffee—you can even homebrew your own kombucha coffee with a SCOBY and some freshly brewed coffee
  • Fruit juice
  • Soda
  • Water—mixing kombucha with water helps dilute it if you find it too strong at first
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Rosemary-grapefruit kombucha cocktail

What Are the Benefits of Drinking Kombucha?

Kombucha’s fermentation process fills it with vitamins, minerals, probiotics, antioxidants, and enzymes. A few other notable benefits include:

  • A boost of energy—the vitamins, minerals, and caffeine work together to raise your energy levels naturally.
  • Healthy skin and hair—kombucha’s antioxidants and polyphenols help protect your cells from free radicals and reduce inflammation.
  • Improved gut health—the probiotics help restore your natural microbiome and support your digestive system. Enzymes help break food down more efficiently.
  • Protection from heart disease—kombucha made with green tea can help burn more fat, reducing cholesterol levels and aiding in weight loss.
  • Stabilized sugar levels—kombucha slows the digestion of carbohydrates, reducing blood sugar spikes.

Sarah Pearce

Sarah first tried kombucha in 2015 and she was hooked. Her favorite flavor is ginger, but cranberry comes in a close second. She made her own for many years and loved experimenting with fruit flavors.

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