What are the side-effects of Kombucha?
Are there side-effects to drinking Kombucha?
Many are quick to point to Kombucha’s powerful health benefits but are there any adverse side-effects that need to be taken into consideration? We investigate.
The health benefits of Kombucha
Kombucha is a fermented drink rich in antioxidants, probiotics and organic acids. The effectiveness of these compounds in tackling free radicals, clearing toxins and improving the gut microbiome is well documented.
People who drink kombucha frequently say that they feel lighter with more energy, with many even crediting the drink with appeasing symptoms of the likes of IBS and other ailments.
However, are there specific circumstances when somebody would want to avoid drinking kombucha for fear of adverse side-effects? We examine the possibility.
Overconsumption of calories
Although kombucha is generally low in calories (OMBucha® kombucha contains 18kcal per 100ml of product, as an example), it is widely accepted that it’s easier to over-consume liquid calories as opposed to whole foods.
1 bottle of our ‘booch (500ml) will add roughly 100 kcals to your nutritional regime on a daily basis. More mainstream flavoured versions, however, may contain twice as many calories.
If you’re drinking this amount of kombucha on a daily basis, it does have the potential to gradually increase your daily calorie intake. However, it’s not a large quantity by any means.
Excessive sugar intake
Although kombucha is rich in health benefits, it does, admittedly, contain sugar, just like any other fermented drink due to the process it undergoes to create it.
Commercial kombucha’s contain up to 4-5 grams of sugar per 100ml of the drink. Ours, however, contains roughly 2.9 grams of sugar per 100ml of product.
It’s not too much to be concerned about, but people prudently watching their sugar intake should take it into consideration. In particular, people following a ketogenic diet will need to take into account the sugar intake in kombucha.
May upset people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Kombucha is naturally high in FODMAPs, specific types of carbohydrates that may trigger unrest in people who suffer from IBS.
While we have heard certain instances where the inclusion of kombucha has improved the symptoms of people with IBS, the safe consensus is at this moment of time would be to proceed with caution.
Excess caffeine consumption
Caffeine consumption is generally safe in low to moderate doses. However, there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that excessive caffeine consumption is linked to anxiety, insomnia, and poor sleep.
With this in mind, it’s important to factor in kombucha to your daily caffeine limit. A 250ml serving of kombucha contains roughly 50-60mg of caffeine, while a full 500ml daily serving contains around 100mg. With most health organisations recommending a maximum of 400mg of caffeine per day, one daily serving of kombucha should be fine, but it’s essential to also acknowledge if you’re consuming any coffee or additional sources of caffeine which may cause you to over-consume.
Taking into account these facts, it may also make sense to limit kombucha consumption before sleeping, in order not to disturb REM sleep. We recommend limiting kombucha consumption past 5 PM (assuming you were to sleep at 11 PM – 12 AM each night) in order not to affect your sleep.
Kombucha has minimal side-effects and should not affect any individual following a healthy, balanced diet. Take pre-emptive measures to ensure it doesn’t affect your sleep, cause you to consume too much caffeine or overspill on your daily calorie totals and you should have no issue drinking ‘booch each day.