If you haven’t seen this iconic health spritzer all over social media, then you might actually be living under a rock. In all seriousness, kombucha has gained a lot of attention over the last year, and for good reason! It’s a fizzy, slightly vinegary, and yet a kind of addicting elixir that’s jam packed with gut happy probiotics. If you have yet to give it a shot (not literally, you can drink the whole thing), I hope that this post gives you a bit more insight on what kombucha really is and why everyone is loving it!
What Is Kombucha & Why Is It Good For You?
Kombucha, pronounced kom-booch-a, is a sugared black or green tea that has undergone fermentation. Meaning, the natural juices have been converted into alcohol. But don’t worry, it’s only around 1% when bottled, so thats not the only reason people are obsessed! The fermentation process is how and why kombucha is said to have so many health benefits; it creates a large number of healthy bacteria that strives in your gut and aids with digestion, your immune system, and even your neurological system. This healthy bacteria is better known as probiotics and they just so happen to be pretty essential for maintaining a healthy gut.
Making your own kombucha is totally possible and understanding exactly how it’s made has helped me understand the incredible health benefits. It starts out with a little help from a ‘mother’ or SCOBY, symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. You might recognize the term ‘mother’ from your Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar bottle – yes, that is another reason ACV is great for your health! That SCOBY initiates the fermentation process, which is why the tea becomes fizzy and vinegary, and results in the making of a probiotic and enzyme-rich elixir that we all love so much!
Where To Start!
Like anything that gains attention in the health field, kombucha has become the face to many new brands hitting the refrigerator shelves. Between the variety of brands, organic/non-organic, live culture count, small batch, and the array of flavors – making a choice is anything but easy! I have put together my top 4 kombuchas, and probably the most common, based on flavor, price, and availability. If you want a more in-depth article all about brands and how they compare, be sure to check out this article!
KeVita & Humm Kombucha
Many people are initially turned off by the distant vinegar smell and flavor that some “stronger” kombucha’s give off, it’s just some good old fermentation for ya! Luckily there are a few popular brands on the market that have kept this distinct taste and smell to a minimum and have almost created a “healthier” soda.
KeVita is one brand that is now for a more mild tasting kombucha. If you’ve never had kombucha but are willing to give it a go, I would definitely recommend starting here. They come in a ton of different flavors and pretty affordable compared to some brands. KeVita is also sold in most supermarkets such as Walmart and Target, as well as some small groceries and gas stations – crazy right?!
Humm kombucha is up there with KeVita on the flavor scale; they do have an array of flavors, yet they aren’t as pungent as some kombuchas tend to be. As I’ve talked about before, our nearest Whole Foods i over an hour away, so the only place I have been able to find these are at Target. They are moderately priced, but if you use the cartwheel app, they are always having some sort of buy one, get one. I’m also in love with the awesome marketing on these bottles, check out that doodle!
Both KeVita and Humm kombuchas contain gut healthy, live organisms and under 100 calories per bottle. These would be my top 2 recommendations for anyone looking for a subtle, yet effective kombucha!
GT’s & Health-Ade Kombucha
Now for my absolute favorite favorite kombuchas! Believe it or not, Chad was actually the first person I knew who drank kombucha. I will never forget the night that he was coming down with a cold and demanded we went to the store to buy this crazy, “witch-craft” tea known as kombucha. I can remember the awful smell and sour taste that it had; I absolutely hated it at first! Well that quickly changed and three years later, I’m pretty obsessed.
Our first kombucha and my running, all time favorite has to be GT’s. They are definitely a bit stronger than most brands I have tried, but that’s why I love them. Each flavor is equally fizzy and delicious, and they actually seem to help when I have an irritated gut. I also love how many different herbs and spices that can be found in some flavors. GT’s go beyond the traditional probiotic soda and really aims to heal your entire body.
GT’s are in the same price range as KeVita and can be found in most of our local groceries, larger chain stores and even Costco and Sam’s Club!
Health-Ade is another all time favorites, but I just haven’t been drinking it for as long as the GT’s. It wasn’t until very recently that most of our markets started carrying Health-Ade but I am sooo glad they are! Right off the bat, I did not notice a very strong ‘vinegary’ aroma, but was shocked to taste the incredible flavor. I personally think Health-Ade does tastes a lot like GT’s (which is never a bad thing) and is one reason I normally have one or the other in the house at all times.
Just as their name implies, Health-Ade is pretty aiding to your health! Whenever I am feeling a bit bloated towards the end of the day, these seem to really help alleviate any uncomfortableness. Unlike GT’s, Health-Ade isn’t quite as bubbly or carbonated which is great for when you’re looking for probiotic help, without extra bloat! Health-Ade was a bit pricey at first, I’m assuming because they were so new, but as of lately I have been able to find them on sale for $3.50 each or 2/$6! Again, they aren’t necessarily as cheap as KeVita but they are in that middle-road price range. I truly believe these are worth every penny both taste, health and cost wise!
Just like everything that becomes popular in the health industry, it’s really important to remember what works for some, might not work for you. If kombucha doesn’t make you feel great, or even cause more bloating, don’t drink it! It’s easy to get caught up in the image and brands when it comes to your health, but it’s so important to listen to your body.
These four brands are my weekly go-to’s and I would recommend everyone giving them a try! If you aren’t a vinegar-lover, I would stick to more tropical or “fun” flavors and brands such as KeVita. Any original or neutrals flavors such as “apple” will definitely carry a stronger vinegar aroma and taste. But again, your body might start to love that taste and voila! You’re hooked!
Question, comments, or even fun kombucha stories are always welcome! I told you about my somewhat embarrassing/scarring first experience, so tell me yours! Be sure to follow us on Instagram for an inside look into our daily lives, quick recipes, and so much more. You never know when a new kombucha might make an appearance!