14

votes

Kombucha, anybody use it? Why, why not?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 09, 2010 at 6:22 PM

There are many people who swear by kombucha for everything that ails you. Given that it has been used for thousands of years, it seems like there must be something to it. What are the pros and cons? I'd be interested in hearing from those who have mostly Paleo nutritional diets who also include kombuchu.

Medium avatar

(19469)

on July 14, 2011
at 12:16 PM

Ah yes, the strawberry is quite good as well. I always thought the Grape flavor was like a "healthy" grape soda, which, if you like (or used to like in pre-paleo days) grape soda, is awesome.

Medium avatar

(19469)

on July 14, 2011
at 12:15 PM

Ah yes, the strawberry is quite good as well. I always thought the Grape flavor was like a "healthy" grape soda, which, if you like (or used to like in pre-paleo days) grape soda, it is awesome

Medium avatar

(19469)

on July 14, 2011
at 12:14 PM

Ah yes, the strawberry is quite good as well. I always thought the Grape flavor was like a "healthy" grape soda, which, if you like (or used to like in pre-paleo days) grape soda is awesome.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on July 13, 2011
at 11:06 PM

I like all the flavors I've tried. My favorite is either Strawberry or Passionberry. But I haven't tried Gingerade, Mango, Guava, or Green.

Medium avatar

(19469)

on July 13, 2011
at 10:37 PM

Which was your favorite flavor? I was big on the Gingerade for a while there but am also partial to the Passionberry and Greens flavors.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on July 13, 2011
at 09:40 PM

"one bottle every month or so" - +1 for the high comedy right there. for me, as soon as I finished a bottle, I wanted to open another one. That stuff is like crack cocaine.

Da8e709acde269e8b8bfbc09d1737841

(1906)

on July 13, 2011
at 01:09 PM

That said, Sandor does have a kombucha recipe in his book, and from recollection, speaks highly of it there.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on May 12, 2011
at 10:30 PM

It also gives me symptoms that I associate with gluten. I used to brew my own, and it took me a while after cutting gluten to suspect the kombucha. It's not cross-contamination, it's something else. Do you notice problems with any other fermented foods? I do. I avoid hard cider, kimchi, miso, aged cheeses, and even kefir and some sausage.

43cc03b7103f967b9758832ccbceb501

(125)

on April 08, 2011
at 09:08 PM

Hi Zach! Prperly fermented kombucha contains about 2g of sugar per 8oz. By comparison, fruit juice has 13-27g and soda about 35g. Also, the remaining sugar in Kombucha is partially fermented and most monosaccharide which is easier for the body to digest. More Kombucha Sugar Information Here: http://www.kombuchakamp.com/basic-kombucha-faq/kombucha-and-sugar-faq :)

3d7ede9d05c2730ead7e0876f90aad11

(319)

on March 12, 2010
at 09:06 AM

Expense is one of the reasons I started making it myself. If you make tea often anyway just make a pot (with chlorine free water), pour it into a clean glass gallon jar, wait til it cools to 140 and add store bought Unpasteurized kombucha, cover it with a coffee filter secured by rubber band and wait a few weeks. Voila. You've turned your $3.50 bottle into ones that cost about 60 cents. Besides that--you get to control what goes in it (different teas and herbs) and fine tune the flavor.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 11, 2010
at 02:59 AM

Oh Melissa, I'd rather use red wine! U-brew.

3d7ede9d05c2730ead7e0876f90aad11

(319)

on March 10, 2010
at 06:50 AM

I've made two batches. One includes Holy basil and burdock root (along with the green tea) which are both supposed to lower blood sugar. Hope I like it well enough to experiment for awhile.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 10, 2010
at 12:36 AM

Yeah, forgot about that myself. If you eat Cordain's beloved veggies, you will definitely be making acetic acid in your ass anyway.

6b73f0c4b971e2dde7147920e329fe7f

(2041)

on March 10, 2010
at 12:32 AM

Stop paying attention to Cordain and he will go away eventually. Volatile fatty acids like acetate, propionate, and butyrate are important fuel sources to mammals.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on March 09, 2010
at 08:18 PM

Interesting. Given their stance on yeast/fungus - how does the PDN feel about fermented foods in general? This must be a bright line between the Weston Price folks and the PD ala Cordain, no?

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12 Answers

best answer

15
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 09, 2010
at 07:56 PM

The Paleo Diet Newsletter Trashed it

"Kombucha is a sour beverage usually made from the fermentation of black tea, acetic acid bacteria, and yeast. It also contains small amounts of alcohol. Because it contains acetic acid, it has been shown to increase metabolic acidosis. Yeast is one of the foods that the Paleo Diet eliminates. I suggest not to include it as part of the Paleo Diet. If autoimmune diseases are present and leaky gut is involved, I strongly suggest to avoid this beverage at least until symptoms subside." Maelan Fontes

However, I would note that yeast and acetic acid are very much present in nature and in the likely event HGs found some fruit lying on the ground and ate it...they would have ingested significant amounts. Also, it's less acid than our stomach acid. There is one case of metabolic acidosis in the med literature caused by it, but that person was very very sick otherwise. The moral of that case is that if you have peritoneal rupture, don't drink it.

I have been personally drinking it for years with no ill effects and it is one of the few foods that made my GERD feel better when I had it. Many people have low stomach acid and ingesting kombucha after meals can help for the same reason wine can help.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 11, 2010
at 02:59 AM

Oh Melissa, I'd rather use red wine! U-brew.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 10, 2010
at 12:36 AM

Yeah, forgot about that myself. If you eat Cordain's beloved veggies, you will definitely be making acetic acid in your ass anyway.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on March 09, 2010
at 08:18 PM

Interesting. Given their stance on yeast/fungus - how does the PDN feel about fermented foods in general? This must be a bright line between the Weston Price folks and the PD ala Cordain, no?

6b73f0c4b971e2dde7147920e329fe7f

(2041)

on March 10, 2010
at 12:32 AM

Stop paying attention to Cordain and he will go away eventually. Volatile fatty acids like acetate, propionate, and butyrate are important fuel sources to mammals.

best answer

0
03aeff8d87a3b53a449b5b8e9158da98

(3268)

on March 09, 2010
at 08:03 PM

Kombucha was recommended to me by a friend who eats pretty cleanly. I've tried it a few times, and its quite tastey and refreshing.

I'd be curious to see any other replies.

best answer

6
93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on March 09, 2010
at 08:17 PM

Others swear by its alleged health benefits, and while I personally like the taste of it, I cannot perceive any sort of tangible benefits from drinking it.

I should note, Sandor Katz of Wild Fermentation, sort of an all-things fermentation guru, thinks that kombucha is probably over-sold (my words, not his) and probably the least interesting/healthful fermented food.

He advocates for whole food fermentation such as cabbage/sauerkraut, rather than sugar + tea fermentation (kombucha).

Da8e709acde269e8b8bfbc09d1737841

(1906)

on July 13, 2011
at 01:09 PM

That said, Sandor does have a kombucha recipe in his book, and from recollection, speaks highly of it there.

4
64df3ea3e056e702ae5c503d0ffeca7b

(70)

on January 12, 2011
at 05:41 PM

I have a love hate relationship with kombucha, mostly because of the sugar.

I think if you're trying to lose weight its best to hold off on kombucha until you've reached your goal. Also, as a binge eater type, I've found that even though much of the sugar is digested by the mother during fermentation, there's enough left to cause food cravings.

I tested myself with a glucometer and found no appreciable spike in my blood sugar levels one hour after consuming a bottle of gt daves kombucha....and two hours later, still no appreciative spike. I've only checked this once so I'm not sure if it is a fact for me.

43cc03b7103f967b9758832ccbceb501

(125)

on April 08, 2011
at 09:08 PM

Hi Zach! Prperly fermented kombucha contains about 2g of sugar per 8oz. By comparison, fruit juice has 13-27g and soda about 35g. Also, the remaining sugar in Kombucha is partially fermented and most monosaccharide which is easier for the body to digest. More Kombucha Sugar Information Here: http://www.kombuchakamp.com/basic-kombucha-faq/kombucha-and-sugar-faq :)

3
C53665c3f012fa1ede91033b08a8a6e7

(2269)

on March 12, 2010
at 02:09 AM

I like it, but damn, the stuff at Whole Foods/Whole Paycheck is about $3.50 a bottle. More of a luxury at that price.

3d7ede9d05c2730ead7e0876f90aad11

(319)

on March 12, 2010
at 09:06 AM

Expense is one of the reasons I started making it myself. If you make tea often anyway just make a pot (with chlorine free water), pour it into a clean glass gallon jar, wait til it cools to 140 and add store bought Unpasteurized kombucha, cover it with a coffee filter secured by rubber band and wait a few weeks. Voila. You've turned your $3.50 bottle into ones that cost about 60 cents. Besides that--you get to control what goes in it (different teas and herbs) and fine tune the flavor.

2
Medium avatar

(19469)

on July 13, 2011
at 07:12 PM

Kombucha (GT Dave's original variety) was addictive for me and I craved it. I always felt better after drinking one, and it gave a little rush that was more than can be explained by the trace alcohol content. But, as noted by other commenters, it is a pretty expensive habit at ~$4 per bottle.

After Lindsey Lohan blamed kombucha for tripping her alcohol monitor (I wrote about it a while back in this post "Kombucha Recall Over!" ), they pulled it from the shelves of Whole Foods and many other stores for about six months.

Now, the formulation that is stocked in my local Whole Foods has "Enlightened" on the label and it tastes like a weak, watered down version of the original which is definitely not worth it in my mind.

For several months, I brewed my own kombucha, but the SCOBY (the culture that converts sweet tea into "kombucha") is a handful (it replicates itself each time you make a batch and it looks like a giant alien loogey) and I could never get the fizziness of GT Daves Kombucha. I did read on the Wild Fermentation site that some companies pump CO2 into the kombucha, which is likely the reason why my home brew never fizzed like GT Dave's.

Now I drink it when I go back to Gainesville FL because a locally owned health food store there still stocks the regular version (they actually ID you and won't sell it before 1pm on Sunday just like other alcoholic beverages). I still like the taste and don't worry about the health effects (positive or negative) of one bottle every month or so.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on July 13, 2011
at 09:40 PM

"one bottle every month or so" - +1 for the high comedy right there. for me, as soon as I finished a bottle, I wanted to open another one. That stuff is like crack cocaine.

2
A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on March 10, 2010
at 12:32 AM

I have noticed that drinking kombucha at the end of a day in which I've had non-paleo foods helps my body process the nasty starches and sugars faster overnight. This is anecdotal, but valid experiential data nonetheless.

I have some vegan friends that swear by it. And I think that drinking the kombucha helps their bodies deal with all the carbs they eat. Makes me think that kombucha's health benefits are likely not as pronounced in a person consuming a totally paleo diet.

3d7ede9d05c2730ead7e0876f90aad11

(319)

on March 10, 2010
at 06:50 AM

I've made two batches. One includes Holy basil and burdock root (along with the green tea) which are both supposed to lower blood sugar. Hope I like it well enough to experiment for awhile.

1
Ef7d3b8fc06ab34e7b5d85a4f4d737a9

(140)

on January 07, 2012
at 05:20 AM

Making a continuous batch is the best and easiest way to get flavor and more benefits. Mine is fizzy, delicious and cheap. I can control the sugar by letting it ferment until very sour. Yay!

1
Be4b60059db3511771303de1613ecb67

(1137)

on March 10, 2010
at 01:05 PM

I really like it, but it doesn't seem to like me. I'm gluten intolerant and it gives me symptoms. That might be from cross-contamination. I've only had store-bought. I have no interest in making it myself.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on May 12, 2011
at 10:30 PM

It also gives me symptoms that I associate with gluten. I used to brew my own, and it took me a while after cutting gluten to suspect the kombucha. It's not cross-contamination, it's something else. Do you notice problems with any other fermented foods? I do. I avoid hard cider, kimchi, miso, aged cheeses, and even kefir and some sausage.

0
D05f3050dc3d973b8b81a876202fa99a

(1533)

on September 08, 2011
at 07:39 AM

Cherry Chia is great

0
Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on July 13, 2011
at 03:29 PM

I like GTs Kombucha.

Although, I may not drink them much anymore because of the fructose sugar. There's not much in most of them (except the mango one has 10g per 8oz!, which was the only one I thought was a little excessive) Anyway most of them have only 2g per 8oz, but I have cut out virtually all forms of sugar except starches.

Medium avatar

(19469)

on July 13, 2011
at 10:37 PM

Which was your favorite flavor? I was big on the Gingerade for a while there but am also partial to the Passionberry and Greens flavors.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on July 13, 2011
at 11:06 PM

I like all the flavors I've tried. My favorite is either Strawberry or Passionberry. But I haven't tried Gingerade, Mango, Guava, or Green.

Medium avatar

(19469)

on July 14, 2011
at 12:14 PM

Ah yes, the strawberry is quite good as well. I always thought the Grape flavor was like a "healthy" grape soda, which, if you like (or used to like in pre-paleo days) grape soda is awesome.

Medium avatar

(19469)

on July 14, 2011
at 12:16 PM

Ah yes, the strawberry is quite good as well. I always thought the Grape flavor was like a "healthy" grape soda, which, if you like (or used to like in pre-paleo days) grape soda, is awesome.

Medium avatar

(19469)

on July 14, 2011
at 12:15 PM

Ah yes, the strawberry is quite good as well. I always thought the Grape flavor was like a "healthy" grape soda, which, if you like (or used to like in pre-paleo days) grape soda, it is awesome

0
F15e0bae42dbf0b8cfc71e62902497b4

on July 13, 2011
at 10:17 AM

it seems to make my tummy feel better. I don't get any gluten symptoms from it, and I can be pretty sensitive. I make my own and I love it.

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