Trends tend to come and go at regular rates in the health and fitness industry. In recent times, kombucha has grown in popularity for it’s apparent health benefits.
What is kombucha drink? It is a fermented tea drink that can be purchased from many outlets and can even be brewed at home. Many believe it holds medicinal properties and should therefore be consumed regularly. What is kombucha tea and what is it made of? Sometimes referred to as ”fungus / mushroom tea”, it is a fermented drink that is made by combining tea, sugar and a specific bacteria and yeast known as a SCOBY (or symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast).
How to drink kombucha?
As mentioned, you can purchase many kombucha products from numerous health orientated outlets. Alternatively it is possible to brew it at home however, care must be taken during the fermentation process. If the tea becomes over-fermented and is then consumed it can cause an increase of acidity in the body. There is also a risk of contamination of the drink when made in an unsterile environment.
It’s really up to you how much you drink however, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention have recommend that you limit your intake to 4 ounces of tea per day.
Although many will attest to many benefits, there have been some health concerns regarding regularly consumption. With that in mind, what does kombucha do to the body and is kombucha good for you?
Kombucha health benefits
Many health conscious individuals drink it with the belief that there are many kombucha tea benefits.
Kombucha has been linked to having positive impact on a vast number of health conditions and diseases – in fact, there is probably no disease or disorder which apparently can’t be improved through the consumption of this tea – asthma, diabetes, gout, insomnia, high blood pressure, cancer… you name it. Sadly, the scientific evidence to back-up any potential claims does not currently exist and the vast majority of studies on this substance have been done on animals rather than humans.
Improved digestion and promotion of healthy bacteria in the gut is one such proposed benefit. Kombucha has a high percentage of probiotics which the body requires. Probiotics are “good” bacteria and yeasts which can bring a multitude of health benefits to the body and are believed to specifically help with recovery from illness by restoring the balance of bacteria in the gut. Consuming probiotics may also help to alleviate symptoms of digestive issues such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Crohn’s Disease.
Others also believe that regular consumption can reduce the risk of developing cancer and infection whilst improving mental health and reducing inflammation. Again, this may be linked to the ingestion of probiotics found in the substance.
Kombucha also contains many antioxidants which may protect the body from oxidative stress and may facilitate and maintain function of the many organs in the body.
Side Effects of Kombucha Tea
As with the purported benefits of this product, there have not been many studies conducted into any side effects. However, some serious side effects that are linked and include increased liver and kidney toxicity, metabolic acidosis and reduced immune function. It should not be taken by children, pregnant woman and those with a suppressed immune system.
How to drink kombucha for weight loss
Whilst kombucha won’t magically blast away your fat cells, it can be used as an aid for weight loss. Remember, the focus for weight loss needs to be on calories and ensuring you are burning more calories than your body requires every day. Only by doing this will your body begin to break down your stored fat to use as an energy source.
One of kombuchas main ingredient is green tea which is high in caffeine and will serve to stimulate the body thus allowing you to work harder during gym sessions and facilitate a greater calorie burn. There have also been links established between green tea and an increased metabolic rate which will cause your body to burn more calories on a daily basis.
The potential benefits of drinking kombucha tea are certainly exciting yet, more research is required to determine whether it is really is a health enhancing product or just another passing trend.