Kombucha Drunk: Why Do I Feel a Buzz From This Probiotic Drink?

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Kombucha is a delicious fermented tea that harbors loads of health benefits. Though it is fermented, there is very little alcohol in most kombucha, so why do you feel a buzz from drinking it? There are a few popular theories that explain this phenomenon.

Why Do I Feel Drunk After Drinking Kombucha?

There are several theories regarding a kombucha buzz and where it comes from.

One theory is that it is not a buzz but more so a euphoric feeling from the probiotics, antioxidants, and vitamins contained in the drink.

Another reason some people think you may be feeling a little buzz is because of the rush of energy it gives you. Because kombucha tea improves digestion rather quickly, its effect is like the pick-me-up you’d get from a cup of coffee. Additionally, there is a small amount of caffeine in kombucha, about 15 mg.

However, some experts believe that if you feel a bit loopy after a bottle of kombucha, it could be from a histamine intolerance. Some people lack an enzyme called DAO that helps the body break down and process histamines. If you lack that enzyme, you may react to fermented food and beverages in a not-so-agreeable way.

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What Is the Alcohol Content of Kombucha?

Generally speaking, a bottle of kombucha from the store will have around 0.5% ABV or less. This amount of alcohol technically classifies as non-alcoholic when it comes to drinks. However, some hard kombuchas contain between 3.5%-5.5% ABV, which is about the same as your standard beer.

Homemade kombucha is a different story. While it doesn’t typically contain as high an alcohol level as a hard booch, it may contain more than commercial kombucha. Usually, it will contain between 1% and 2.5% ABV. Though still on the lower end, if you have a lower tolerance and drink enough of it, you may feel slightly buzzed after.

What Makes Kombucha Alcoholic?

Just like all fermented food and drinks, kombucha contains some alcohol, and this is because of the fermentation process. Fermentation is a process that breaks down sugars to generate energy for living cells.

The yeast contained in a kombucha SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) uses glucose (sugar) to obtain energy and makes ATP, ethanol, and CO2 (carbon dioxide). The CO2 gives the drink carbonation, making it fizzy, and ethanol is a type of alcohol, which is why kombucha has small amounts of alcohol.

Can Kombucha Get You Drunk?

Technically, yes, kombucha can get you drunk. Because ethanol is a by-product of the fermentation process, there are always trace amounts of alcohol in the kombucha. However, the ABV is generally below 0.5% in store-bought kombucha, which will take a lot to get you drunk (even if you are a lightweight).

If you are drinking home-brewed kombucha, there is a chance that the ABV will be somewhat higher than in commercial kombucha. That said, you probably have a better chance of getting drunk on homemade booch, but it’s still unlikely.

What is Hard Kombucha?

Hard kombucha is alcoholic kombucha. Most brands of kombucha contain very low amounts of alcohol, but hard kombucha contains a higher alcohol content. Typically, bottled kombucha contains around 0.5 percent alcohol, but hard kombucha has between 3.5-5.5 percent ABV.

The most significant difference between regular and hard kombucha is that it is fermented for extended periods with more sugar and yeast to increase the alcohol content.

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4.5% ABV hard kombucha

What Happens if You Drink Too Much Kombucha?

As we know, the health benefits of kombucha are abundant. Drinking it regularly may improve gut health, support your immune system, and some studies even suggest that drinking kombucha made with green tea can aid in weight loss.

However, if you overdo it and drink too much kombucha, there are some side effects. Drinking excess kombucha can lead to higher calorie consumption, bloating, digestive distress, and overconsumption of sugar. It may not be suitable for certain people, such as pregnant women or those with weakened immune systems.


Margaret has been drinking kombucha for its health benefits since 2010. Not only does she love drinking it, but she also enjoys brewing her own homemade booch. Her favorite combination so far is mint-strawberry, but she is always experimenting with new recipes.

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