Updated: Feb 10, 2021
If you’ve ever consumed kombucha, you’ve most likely felt a short buzz of energy. I for one, definitely have. Unfortunately, it lasts for a really short time. I get a mini rush/buzz or call it whatever you like, but drinking kombucha makes me feel good!
There are a lot of questions up in the air about the reason behind this buzz or rush of energy. I too wasn’t sure. Some people believe it’s the minuscule amounts of alcohol but it isn’t that. I’ll tell you where it comes from!
Yes, it is common to feel a small boost of energy from drinking kombucha. This small rush of energy comes from the unique combination of Probiotics and B- Vitamins, along with caffeine and L-Theanine abundantly present in kombucha. This combination of nutrients is likely to provide your body with a rush endorphins that make you feel good and give you an energy boost.
While drinking kombucha might make us feel happy and energetic, let’s understand the real cause behind it!
What Is This Kombucha Buzz? I haven’t felt it before!
Well if you haven’t felt it, it’s no biggie! But I do wish you did!
I’ve coined the term Kombucha Buzz myself so bear with me. It’s just the perfect mix of
a short-lived high and a buzz of energy that makes you feel good! And fortunately, it isn’t like caffeine or alcohol that ends with a bad crash
It’s Not The Alcohol!
Most people tend to automatically assume the buzz they feel is from the trace alcohol in kombucha. But in reality, Kombucha contains less than 0.5% alcohol and is considered as a nonalcoholic beverage.
If you’re wondering, where Kombucha gets its trace alcohol content from, you first need to understand the basic process of kombucha fermentation. Kombucha, essentially being a fermented tea, requires some sugar to kickstart this fermentation.
In the first few days, the bacteria get active and break down the sugar into alcohol.
This alcohol is then used by the yeast to produce the organic acids, like lactic acid, acetic acid & gluconic acid, that make kombucha so healthy. During this process of conversion, trace amounts of ethanol are left behind which gives kombucha its sub 0.5% alcohol content.
So, if you’re someone who gets a buzz from drinking kombucha, don’t think it’s the alcohol!
Then, Where Does The Kombucha Energy Boost Come From?
Energy Boost vs Sustained Increased Energy Levels
First let’s clear out the difference in the types of energy boosts we feel. When I say ‘Kombucha Buzz’, I am referring to the immediate increase in energy we get from consuming kombucha (something like people experience by drinking coffee but without the caffeine crash). The reason behind this immediate boost of energy is mainly to do with B-Vitamins and the unique pairing of caffeine and L-theanine present in kombucha.
But kombucha does also increase our general daily energy levels and reduce fatigue. This is due to the abundance of probiotics aka good bacteria for our gut that plays an all important role in managing a multitude of our bodily functions. More on that below!
1. B-Vitamins In Kombucha
If you’re vegan/vegetarian, as a large part of India is; you’re likely to be deficient in B-Vitamins. So you need to get on the kombucha train asap! But coming to the ‘Kombucha Buzz’ and how B-Vitamins play a role in supplying your body with energy? It’s all in the science!
Like every other Vitamin, the B-Vitamins also carries out a bunch of essential functions for our bodies. One of them being, B-Vitamins’ role in using glucose we get from foods and generating ATP (Adreno triphosphate) in the mitochondria of our cells. I know this just got a bit into 8th-grade science, but I am sure we all remember studying ‘The Mitochondria is the energy house of the cell’!! And ATP in the mitochondria is what provides us with energy.
So there you, the science behind what gives you an energy boost by drinking Kombucha! But wait, there are other constituents too that play an important role in giving you the kombucha buzz.
2. Probiotics In Kombucha
Our gut is lined with trillions of microbiomes. In fact, we have more bacterial cells than human cells in our bodies! (Wait, does that make us bacteria and not human🧐)
If you are into health and nutrition, you have likely come across the term ‘probiotics’ recently. But let’s understand what probiotics are and what do they do for our health?
So the trillions of bacteria in our gut; these bacteria in our gut can be either good bacteria or bad bacteria.
Probiotics are the good bacteria that simply repopulate our gut with themselves by multiplying and keeping the bad bacteria in check! This has benefits beyond measure. From immunity to mental health, our gut bacteria is accredited with having an indispensable effect on every part of our being.
Probiotics x Energy
Our gut bacteria play an essential role in managing a multitude of bodily functions from nutrient absorption to maintaining our immune system, and unsurprisingly enough, even has a major effect on our nervous system that maintains our mood and energy levels!
Probiotics Improve Nutrient Absorption
Picture this: You’re eating healthy every day, you’re exercising regularly, your training & nutrition is at the best it can be. But, (there’s always a but) you’re still not feeling energetic and healthy!
Basis of our lifestyle and habits, studies show that our body can absorb only 10% to 90% of all nutrients that we consume!
But the good news is, our food is broken down and absorbed in our gut by our gut bacteria. The gut is extremely important for our health because it is that part of our body that breaks down all the foods we eat and is solely responsible for the absorption of all the nutrients from it.
And as the saying goes, you are not what you eat, you are what your body absorbs! So if we don’t get the basic nutrients that our bodies require, we can be sure to face a multitude of health issues, including low energy levels.
That means consuming probiotics is going to help nutrient absorption and in turn, improve our energy levels!
Probiotics Can Improve Our Sleeping Patterns
A good night’s sleep has become one of the most important health markers. A study done by Nova Southeastern University has shown an indication that there is a direct correlation between gut microbiota diversity and sleeping patterns.
Poor gut health leads to poor sleep and poor sleep leads to poor gut health. And I’m sure we can all agree that waking up in the morning after a poor night’s sleep is sure to keep your energy levels low throughout the day.
Probiotic Alleviate Stress & Reduce Cortisol Levels
Cortisol, our stress hormone, is a real buzzkill (literally). I can personally vouch, too much stress affects both my mood and energy levels. Fortunately, science agrees with me. Several studies have shown higher cortisol levels result in decreased energy for our body.
Probiotics, the good bacteria in our gut, have shown in studies like this one to reduce our cortisol levels and alleviate stress, which would result in higher energy levels for us to get through the day!
But while I learned from the above that consuming probiotics over time will improve our mood and energy by optimizing our brain health, nervous system, and nutrient absorption; I was left wondering why do I feel an immediate buzz of energy when I drink kombucha and could probiotics be the reason.
Turns out, there was!
Probiotics release neurotransmitters
Did you know? 90% of our happy-making neurotransmitter, serotonin, is produced in the gut! When I read this for the first time, I was quite appalled. But it doesn’t stop at that. Other neurotransmitters responsible for our moods like Dopamine and GABA are also produced in the gut. So when we consume probiotics like kombucha, our bodies face a rush of these feel-good endorphins that give us a mini buzz of energy!
3. Caffeine + Theanine In Kombucha
A very common question I get asked is how much caffeine is there in kombucha? Many people assume kombucha is high in caffeine, considering the fact that it’s made from tea. The reality is that kombucha only has around 1/3rd the caffeine as compared to the tea that it’s made from.
During the fermentation process, the bacteria and yeast consume some amounts of the caffeine therefore, leaving a residual amount. A general standard, if the tea you used in brewing your Kombucha has 30mg of caffeine, the final ready Kombucha will most likely have around 10mg of caffeine. So, if you’re someone who’s caffeine sensitive or trying to cut down on caffeine consumption in the evenings (Yes, you should), your fizzy friend kombucha is always there for you!
This kombucha buzz we’ve been ranting about is a culmination of the pairing of L-Theanine with caffeine. L-Theanine, an amino acid found in copious amounts in tea, is known for its calming and relaxing properties and also stimulating the brain’s alpha waves, which heightens creativity and alertness.
This combination of caffeine and theanine is widely used in the west as an alternative to caffeine. The main reason being, when caffeine is paired with L-Theanine, you get the calm focus and energy without the crash! Theanine is used to reduce anxiety, while caffeine is known to increase anxiety.
This contrasting combination of caffeine and theanine is the true energy boost you need every Monday morning!
Bonus Content: Energy From Coffee vs Energy From Kombucha
While both coffee and kombucha give us increased energy & focus, the means and results of providing said energy our starkly different.
Coffee provides us with only instant energy, solely from caffeine. A lot of it! This means we are likely to get addicted to coffee (caffeine is an addictive substance). Drinking coffee excessively or consuming energy drinks like redbull and monster which are extremely high in caffeine can lead to health complications too. And not too forget the lack of sleep people face due to consuming too much caffeine throughout the day! And the worst of all is the crash that comes after a caffeine high. As the caffeine levels in our bodies wear off, we get even more lethargic than we initially were! Like, what’s even the point of caffeine?
On the other hand, kombucha provides both instant energy and also improves our general daily energy levels. B-Vitamins generate ATP in our cells from the glucose we consume and the combination of limited caffeine & L-Theanine provide the perfect energy boost, without the crash! Infact, the combination of caffeine and theanine is sold as a nootropic (brain supplement) to enhance mental performance and focus and counteract the crash of caffeine!
Ditch the coffee, Grab a kombucha!
Summing It Up
Consuming kombucha and other probiotics like kombucha have a wide variety of health benefits including boosting our energy. Whether it be increasing our general energy levels by getting sustained energy from consuming kombucha regularly or getting short spurts of quick energy (without that awful caffeine crash, of course) from the B-Vitamins, Caffeine & Theanine, kombucha definitely going to boost your mood as well as your energy!