Avoid This One Kind Of Kombucha At All Costs, Dietitians Say

glass of red kombucha beside bottle on table
glass of red kombucha beside bottle on table

There’s been a lot of focus on gut health in the wellness world over the past few years—and for good reason! The health of your gut plays a major role in your overall wellness; it can impact everything from your mood to your ability to lose weight.

As it turns out, one of the best ways to get your gut in gear (in addition to cutting out certain foods) is to add more probiotic-rich foods to your diet. That’s why many people have been sipping on kombucha recently. This popular fermented tea is tasty, fizzy, and generally great for your gut. However, not all varieties are as good for you as others. In fact, experts warn that many of the bottles on grocery store shelves are loaded with sugar, which could end up being detrimental to your overall health. For this reason, it’s crucial to exercise caution and steer clear of sugary kombuchas that can counteract the potential benefits.

To learn more about why you should pay attention to the nutrition labels and resist sugar-laden kombucha, we spoke to dietitian Sheri Berger. She broke down the health effects of this sugary drink for us and provided a few tips for enjoying the benefits of this gut-healthy beverage without putting your overall wellness at risk. Find all of her expert insight below!

Sugary kombucha can lead to health issues

It's easy to reach for kombucha in the grocery store and automatically think you're doing something that's good for your health. After all, the benefits of this fizzy probiotic-rich beverage are numerous. Unfortunately, though, many of the bottles you'll find in the store are actually packed with added sugars, which can negate those benefits and even lead to health risks over time.

"Kombucha is a popular probiotic drink that is promoted for promoted for its gut health benefits," Berger notes, "although many people are not aware these beverages can contain a heavy amount of added sugar."

So, what does that mean for your overall health? As it turns out, there are a plethora of downsides associated with consuming too much sugar. "Frequently drinking sweetened beverages can negatively impact health with weight gain, increased triglycerides (a common fat in the blood that contributes to high cholesterol), and blood sugar spikes," Berger warns.

She points out that The American Heart Association recommends limiting daily added sugar intake to no more than 25 grams for women and no more than 36 grams for men. "This is equivalent to a daily limit of no more than 6 teaspoons for women and 9 teaspoons for men," she explains.

How to enjoy kombucha healthily

Does this mean you have to give up kombucha altogether? Definitely not! It's still worth reaping the benefits of this beverage—just make sure you pay careful attention to the brands you're buying and go with low-sugar options.

"When shopping for kombucha look for brands that do not have a lot of added sugar and pay attention to the serving size listed on the label," Berger suggests. "One bottle of kombucha is not necessarily one serving, added sugar grams can add up if there is more than one serving in a bottle." Noted!

The bottom line

While consuming kombucha regularly can be one great way to improve your gut health, it's always important to limit the amount of sugar you consume for your health. By making healthy decisions and drinking low-sugar kombucha in moderation, you'll be one step closer to your health goals.