WTF: Kombucha

By now, you’ve probably at least heard of kombucha (aka “booch”). Maybe you’ve seen your favorite blogger post about it, or maybe you’ve been eyeing it up at the grocery store and been hesitant to give it a try. We’re here help.

What is kombucha exactly?

Kombucha is tea that has been fermented. So… what does that mean? Fermentation is cause by living organisms, such as yeasts, molds, and certain bacteria. In this case, black or green tea and sugar are fermented by a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast commonly known as a “SCOBY.” The result is a slightly carbonated, probiotic living beverage called kombucha.

A drink made with bacteria and yeast sounds pretty gross, right? So, why drink this stuff?

Kombucha contains vinegar, B vitamins, enzymes, probiotics and a high concentration of acid—all of which support a healthy gut and immune system. Kombucha is believed to aid in natural detoxification and increase metabolism, meaning it can promote weight loss. And since it’s made from tea, kombucha contains a small amount of caffeine and can boost energy and performance.

Many studies have been completed that suggest that kombucha has benefits way beyond aiding digestion and fighting off sickness—including managing diabetes, lowering cholesterol, improving mental health and preventing cancer. Is this starting to sound better yet?

The process of fermentation converts sugar into ethyl alcohol, so yes, kombucha does contain trace amounts of alcohol, but no, you will not get drunk from it.

Moral of the story: if you struggle with digestion issues (like myself) or are looking for a new, low-calorie way to hydrate, kombucha may be worth adding to your diet. If your stomach doesn’t handle carbonation well, kombucha might not be for you.

There are many kombucha brands and flavors wildly available these days—just remember to check your nutrition labels for unnecessary added ingredients and potentially high sugar content. Since kombucha is made using sugar, it’s naturally high in sugar, but some brands and flavors are better than others.

Our favorite kombucha brand that can be found at most grocery stores is GT’s Kombucha. And while we love some of the delicious flavors they offer, our favorite is the OG. Here’s an article about their badass founder that we found really interesting (#goals).

If you’re in Philly like us, there’s an awesome small-batch kombucha brewery called Inspired Brews right in Old City. They have a ton of great flavors, some of which they serve on tap at their flagship fermentary. We love the opportunity to support a local small business whenever we can!

This post is part of our WTF series—where we’ll break down some of the latest food, fitness, and health + wellness trends blowing up your Instagram feed.

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