Kombucha Health Benefits
Kombucha is a health drink that’s recently become massively popular among people all over the world. It seems just like kale and other supposed magical superfoods it’s the cure for all that ails you and rose to popularity thanks to its ability to treat a skin infection. This was just the beginning, though, and since Patrick O’Connor (the guy with said skin infection) realized how much good it did for that, it’s given credit for a wide variety of other health benefits that make us, you, and everybody else feels great. If you’ve heard of kombucha before but haven’t gotten round to doing any research, you’ve come to the right place. If this is your first exposure to kombucha, then you’ve come to the right place, too.
Kombucha: What? Who? When? Where? Why? How?
If you’re not down with all the ins and outs of what kombucha is, you can at least feel confident you’re not alone. It seems counterproductive to inform you of all the benefits of kombucha without you knowing what is, where it came from, and why people drink it. Before we get started, here’s a quick crash course.
What? – Kombucha is a fermented tea drink that has been drunk by humans long before health companies produced their own and supplying them to the public.
Who? – It’s believed the first people to recognize the benefits of kombucha lived way back when. In ancient China, kombucha was first drunk by then-Emperor Qin Shi Huang. He, along with his family and the rest of China, is thought to be the mothers and fathers of kombucha.
When? – The Huang dynasty was in power around 2000 years ago, so at least as long ago as that, although, with history being too easily lost, they may have drunk it for much longer.
Where? – Like we said, in it originated in ancient China (as far as we know), but now you can find it anywhere, and you can even look up kombucha recipes and make it at home, which is super handy if you don’t like going out and seeing people.
Why? – Why not? We consider Emperor Huang to be the first person to recognize its health benefits (more on that below), but it also tastes good. At least, it tastes good to those who enjoy the flavors of fermented tea, and that could be you!
How? – The full story is a little too in-depth to give you a substantial overview right now, but modern techniques involve using active SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeasts), water, sugar, tea, distilled white vinegar (or starter tea), a glass jar, something to cover it with, and someplace warm and dark.
When you’ve collected your ingredients, follow these steps:
- Dissolve sugar in water and steep your tea
- Let it cool and then remove your tea bags
- Add your vinegar/starter tea and SCOBY
- Place the cover over the jar and place it out of direct sunlight in a location at room temperature for 7 to thirty days
- Keep the tea and SCOBY for the next batch
- Repeat as often as you need/want to / can afford / can stand
If it sounds like something you’d like to get into, you can get your hands on kombucha starter kits and embrace the wonderful world of fermenting tea, which is a lot more exciting than it sounds, trust us. If you don’t have the time or energy to make it at home, it’s available at a store in your area.
Sounds Good, But Can We Get On With It?
Our bad. Here are the 8 health benefits of drinking kombucha:
1. It Increases Energy and Enhances Athletic Performance
We’ll start off with something that most guys look for that isn’t something shady. It has been claimed Kombucha to not just increase energy also improve and enhance athletic performance. While this is slightly related to the tiny amounts of caffeine (not enough to give you any jitteriness and dehydration), but also due to vitamin B and iron.
As for performance enhancing (not like that, though), kombucha can also boost recovery and is an excellent post-workout drink. It can help soothe joint pain and prevent lactic acid buildup, which is usually done during the cooldown, but few people actually do that.
The most attractive part of kombucha as an energy and performance enhancer is it’s all natural, which you can’t say for every workout supplement on the market. If you make it at home, you’ll be more confident of what’s gone in it, too.
2. It (May) Offer the Same Benefits of Green Tea
We all know the awesome benefits of green tea and how it’s one of the healthiest drinks on the planet (and probably on other planets, too), and this is because of the presence of polyphenols and their positive effects on the body. These benefits are also present in kombucha, but only if you make it from green tea.
There’s nothing stopping you doing that, of course, and so you could very well get all of these green tea benefits all the time – although we’d encourage you to expand your horizons, dude. If you want to drink green tea kombucha solely for the benefits of green tea, such as the lower chance of prostate cancer and weight loss, then we won’t stop you, though.
3. It Makes You Feel Better
And this isn’t because of the 0.5% alcohol that’s found in kombucha! Much like its contribution to increased energy, the B vitamins found inside, such as B1, B6, and our favorite, B12, can help to stabilize and improve your mood and battle (but not cure, so don’t rely on it too heavily) depression. Meanwhile, Vitamin C inhibits cortisol, which is a hormone associated with stress. No wonder you feel so chilled after a nice cold glass, hey?
Oh yeah, remember how we said it wasn’t just because of the alcohol? Well, we may have lied (only a smidge, though). We all know how beneficial alcohol can be towards improving moods and cheering you up, so it’s no surprise the alcohol in kombucha helps, even if it’s only a little. These factors are part of the reason that many consider kombucha to be a miracle drink and have already disavowed and dismissed anything that hasn’t spent 30 days fermenting in a dark room.
4. It’s a Rich Source of Probiotic
The probiotic within kombucha develop during the fermentation process which creates a large number of probiotic bacteria that will help to kill off the nasty bacteria in our stomachs. By removing these bacteria, your body will not only be healthier on the inside, but you’ll also look healthier on the outside, too.
The healthy bacteria that develops in your stomach helps contribute to weight loss, aids in digestion and prevents inflammation that causes discomfort if left unchecked. We’re not saying to forget about going to the doctor ever again, but adding a bit of kombucha into your life might mean you don’t have to make a visit as often as you have been, and that’s always a good thing, no?
5. It Can Fight Off and Kill Bacteria
Building on the magic of kombucha’s probiotic marvels, it’s not just stomach bacteria that can be overcome when drinking kombucha. Due to the wealth of acetic acid produced during fermentation, kombucha is great at killing off potentially dangerous microorganisms that would otherwise thrive in different, unchecked environments.
The last thing you want to get from a drink is an infection, and kombucha has proven to at the least reduce and the very most cure kinds of infection where modern medicine has failed (but again, don’t stop going to the doctor). It appears it contains a lot of antibacterial properties that make it a prime candidate for protecting you from an infection through bacteria and Candida yeasts and saving you the trouble, pain, and discomfort associated with succumbing to something you don’t want.
6. It Has Potential to Help Prevent Cancer, Heart Disease, and More
Yeah, yeah, yeah, we know. We know that it feels like everything contains properties supposed to prevent cancer and a multitude of other serious diseases, but this is why we said potential and notability. That being said, there’s still evidence to suggest kombucha has some ability to work towards preventing these diseases such as heart disease – the number one killer in the world -, cancer, and even conditions like arthritis.
It does this by protecting LDL cholesterol particles from the dangers of oxidation, and this process is present in all teas, not just kombucha. Protecting LDL cholesterol leads to a lower risk of heart disease, and those who drink more tea are as much as 31% less likely to contract it.
As for cancer, kombucha reduces the growth and spread of cells that are – or will become – cancerous thanks to high levels of polyphenols and antioxidants by blocking mutations and even killing certain cells that may lead to cancer in the future. This is no grand cure for cancer, but doing what you can to stave off a disease that affects one in three people in their lifetime shouldn’t be ignored.
7. Improves and Stimulates Your Immune System
We’d all love for a fully functional, mega immune system. Imagine never getting sick, never succumbing to disease, or struggling through the day when a bug breaches the office with nobody realizing. Kombucha can help achieve that level of resistance to illness through things such as probiotic and healthy gut bacteria.
It will also help develop warriors against microbes that cause ulcers, diabetes, cell damage, and tumors through vitamin C and DSL.
8. It’s Full of Antioxidants
If you’re still not convinced of kombucha’s wonders, think about this: the more garbage food you eat, the more beer you sink into your stomach, even the more gas fumes you breathe in walking to work all contribute to the growth of toxins within your body. This can mean reactive molecules and free radicals, which harm your body and cause cell damage.
Kombucha contains the antioxidants necessary to fight these toxins off. It reduces toxicity within the liver (also preventing liver disease), and other toxic chemicals within the body. Sometimes, it can remove as much as 70% of these toxins all by itself. Flushing toxins from your body naturally are much better than putting yourself through abject torture to lose weight and feel good, so instead of picking dodgy, sketchy multivitamins and supplements, choose kombucha instead.
Are There Any Risks?
As with anything you put into your body, take care not to overdo it. If you make your kombucha at home in your tea maker, you should be wary of over-fermentation, which can turn it into kombucha vinegar and will be too sour to drink. Home-brewed kombucha also tends to have a higher alcohol content than store-bought varieties, which, while it won’t get you drunk (we’d hope), it can still have negative health effects if indulged in too much.
You should also take care to brew your kombucha in a sterile place where it does not become contaminated. This won’t only ruin the batch but could cause illness, as you don’t know what bacteria could have breached and infected your kombucha, potentially putting you off drinking it forever, and nobody wants that.
The Mighty Booch
There are people who may consider kombucha just another health kick fad, but the evidence (actual evidence, and not just a couple of guys making baseless claims) is right there for everybody to see. While there is still ongoing research about the full range of health benefits kombucha offers, there seems to be enough you will probably get by okay drinking it for now with no side effects.
Whether you want to make your own or buy it in store – just in case you’re not a fan – it will provide vital probiotic and antioxidants, among other benefits, which are an acceptable and potentially delicious part of a healthy diet. Now, is anyone else thirsty?
- Health Benefits of Kale: Should I Eat Kale and Superfoods – Time
- 8 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Kombucha Tea – Healthline
- The 10 Health Benefits of Kombucha – Wide Open Eats
- Kombucha: Benefits and Risks – Medical News Today