5 Times to Drink Kombucha

5 Times to Drink Kombucha

Gary Zalariya

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Here at Health-Ade we get a lot of questions about the best time to drink kombucha. We always lead with a “you brew you” mindset and encourage you to pick up your bubbly probiotic beverage at any time that feels best to you. But if you’re looking for some general suggestions to help you decide when you should drink kombucha, we got you!

1. First thing in the morning? Maybe.

There’s a lot of buzz out there about the purported benefits of drinking kombucha on an empty stomach. It’s thought that when consumed on an empty stomach, the living microorganisms found in kombucha are able to reach the gut more quickly and efficiently. This fact could be exciting and helpful if true, however, there is no concrete scientific evidence to support these claims.

If you’re already familiar with kombucha and consume it on a semi-regular basis, you may be able to enjoy it on an empty stomach no problem as a part of your morning routine. But if you’re new to kombucha or if you’re someone who’s prone to heartburn, I recommend trying it first alongside a meal or snack. This brings me to my next recommendation!

2. Paired with a meal or snack.

Did you know that certain foods and beverages (like kombucha!) are sources of digestive enzymes? An enzyme is a type of protein found within a cell. They spark and speed up the rates of life-supporting chemical reactions in the body. Found in both our bodies and in certain foods, digestive enzymes help break down macromolecules into smaller components so that our bodies can disperse their nutrients throughout the bloodstream.

A recent study published in Frontiers in Nutrition also suggests that kombucha consumption with a meal can help reduce high blood sugars after eating. In the study, participants were divided into three groups. Each participant ate a standardized meal consisting of foods known to quickly elevate blood sugar. The first group of participants consumed this test meal with soda water as a beverage, the second with diet lemonade, and the third with kombucha.

Researchers found the kombucha group to be the only group with a statistically significant reduction in post-meal glycemic index and insulin levels. More human studies with larger sample sizes are needed on this topic, but these initial findings are promising!

3. In place of alcohol.

Alcohol is one of the biggest known disruptors to the gut microbiome, especially when consumed regularly and in large amounts. If you’re looking to prioritize your gut (and overall) health, consider swapping your boozy beverage for a bubbly probiotic tea – that not only tastes good but has added benefits for your overall health.

As a reminder, fermented foods (including kombucha) contain trace amounts of alcohol as a byproduct of the fermentation process. In kombucha specifically, these levels only reach about 0.5% ABV, classifying it as a non-alcoholic beverage per FDA standards.

Cutting out or limiting alcohol doesn’t mean that you have to forgo fun drinks entirely! Kombucha makes a great mocktail base and if you’re looking for recipes, we’ve got you covered. As we always say, you brew you!

4. As a soda swap.

I’m not here to demonize sugar. There are times when you may choose to crack open a regular ole’ soda and enjoy it. That’s okay! But if you’re trying to be mindful of added sugar because of a chronic health condition, you don’t like how it makes you feel, or any other reason, kombucha can be a great option to add into your fizzy drink rotation.

Kombucha does have to contain some added sugar to fuel the fermentation process. Remember, no sugar = no fermentation! But the added sugar in soda is, on average, about 3.5x higher than the added sugar found in kombucha, making it the perfect soda swap.

5. As a midday hydration boost or evening wind down beverage.

Did you know that kombucha can count towards your overall hydration status? It’s true! Regular water is important to drink throughout the day, but if you’re looking for something to help spice up your hydration routine think about adding a bottle (or can) of kombucha.

You can also enjoy a glass of kombucha as part of your evening wind down routine. Even though kombucha is made from a base of green and black tea, every bottle of Health-Ade contains less caffeine than a decaf cup of coffee. If you choose to build it into your nighttime routine, no need to worry about it keeping you awake past your bedtime.

At the end of the day, kombucha can be enjoyed anytime, anywhere! The best time for you to drink it is the time of day that you can enjoy it most. As we always say, follow your gut! Cheers.

This blog post was written by Claire Chewning, RDN & Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor

Claire Chewning

Claire is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor who's not on board with restrictive diets. She’s the owner and founder of Yours Chewly Nutrition, a virtual private practice where she helps individuals heal from chronic dieting and disordered eating so that they can discover peace and trust in their relationships with food + body. She’s also Health-Ade’s Registered Dietitian Advisor and loves educating employees and consumers about all things gut health from a non-diet perspective! She even writes a few blogs from time to time. Cheers!

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