Updated: Feb 22
As the owner of a Kombucha company, The Culture Ko., I often get asked this question. This, and ‘When should I drink kombucha?’ Having consumed kombucha for years now, I feel the answer is not so complex as many self-proclaimed kombucha aficionados make it seem.
Let’s get right to it.
So just how much Kombucha should, or rather, can we consume everyday?
A standard Google search would give you a generic response, ‘If it’s your first time-consuming booch, consume up to 150ml and not more.’ In 1995 the CDC (Centre for Disease Control) recommended having not more than four ounces of Kombucha a day.
Truth be told, these numbers are arbitrary. It all depends on our existing gut microbiome and gut health, both of which are reflective of our lifestyle and hence are subjective from individual to individual. There is no fancy scientific logic to determine how much kombucha you must-have on a daily basis.
I have seen individuals drink up to 500 ml a day, facing no side effects at all. I genuinely believe this whole concept of associating kombucha with dosage and thus treating it like medicine is slightly flawed. I would think it is pretty obvious that anything consumed in excess would not be healthy for our bodies regardless of whether it is Kombucha or not.
While I believe there is no harm in indulging and drinking over 250-350ml Kombucha every day, I’d yet suggest sticking up to drinking 500 ml of kombucha a day and not more as it is fermented and contains live probiotics and enzymes.
As a general rule of thumb, drinking 150-250ml of kombucha 5 times a week would be a great way to get in those probiotics in your gut and it’d do wonders for your gut health!
But, if you’re the sort of person who likes to sit down, relax, and enjoy his Booch with Gin, don’t be worried about drinking a bit more, it’s all good!
Let’s delve even deeper to understand how much Kombucha (hopefully, KoBu), specifically you, should be drinking depending on your use case scenario.
Use case scenarios
1. If it’s your first time drinking kombucha
If you’re a booch virgin i.e. drinking kombucha for the very first time, I’d recommend staying below the 200ml mark. The reason behind this is that you are introducing live bacteria i.e. probiotics into your gut for the first time. While there’s no real harm in consuming more than that, there are chances of you feeling some distress in your gut if you consume too much your first time. By distress, I mean you might just end up going to the washroom a couple of extra times the next day. This happens because when you introduce the good bacteria in your gut for the first time it will literally excrete some bad bacteria out to try and assert its dominance in your gut and this excretion takes place through your bowels.
While it is advisable to stick to the 150 ml mark, there is no real health concern if you have a bit more your first time. So don’t worry if you’re one of those, like me, who absolutely fell in love with Kombucha the first time they tried it and have been hooked on it since then!
2. If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding
Although there are no real mass studies showing kombucha to be harmful for pregnant or breastfeeding women, I would advise you to consult your doctor before consuming Kombucha. I have had a couple of clients consuming KoBu in the past, even though they were pregnant, and faced no difficulties or complications with their health. Of course, I had advised them too to consult their doctor too. I assume they did.
If you are wondering why you should consult your doctor if you are pregnant, it is because kombucha being a live beverage contains live probiotics and enzymes and also has yes amounts of alcohol. And we all know alcohol is advised to be avoided when one is pregnant.
However, if your doctor allows you so, enjoy the Booch!
3. If you have any other chronic health issues
Just like pregnant women, individuals with chronic health diseases should also consult their doctor before consuming Kombucha. While there is no hard evidence that kombucha causes any threat, I only say run it by your doctor because I understand the importance and effect that bacteria, both good and bad, can have on our overall health and bodily functions.
In fact, Kombucha could actually help alleviate chronic diseases and autoimmune diseases such as Parkinson’s. There have been many breakthrough studies on the topic of curing Parkinson’s, a neurological disease, in the gut instead of the brain!
4. If you’re drinking kombucha as a means to consume probiotics
At The Culture Ko., we have several of our consumers opting for our subscription packs. We provide a steady supply of Kombucha to your doorstep every week with a customized number of bottles depending on your consumption patterns.
So, if you are consuming Kombucha only and only as a means to get those probiotics into your gut, then you are technically drinking Kombucha for its medicinal and health benefits. In such a use case scenario, I would recommend having 200ml of Booch at least 5 times a week. I know the actual number will be subject from person to person depending on your lifestyle; however, the 200ml is a general amount I’d recommend to any client who wants to start incorporating Kombucha and the lifestyle to improve their gut health.
And again, if you enjoy drinking Kombucha or mixing it with your gin there is no problem if you consume even up to half a liter of Booch a day!
5. Drinking Kombucha at Night?
For most of us, this shouldn’t be an issue at all. However, there exists a small percent of the population that has an extremely low caffeine threshold. Now, don’t think kombucha is as high in caffeine as coffee. It’s not even close!
Kombucha only has around 1/3rd of the caffeine as compared to the tea that it’s made from. During the fermentation process, the bacteria and yeast actually 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.
6. If you’re drinking Kombucha because you just enjoy it!
This is my kind of person. Those of us who consume Kombucha just because we simply love it, simply enjoy drinking the refreshing elixir that Kombucha is. The tangy but yet subtly sweet and naturally fizzy Booch!
Of course, we have it because we get the probiotics, antioxidants, and healthy organic acids, but we mainly drink Kombucha for the experience and the buzz we get! Not the alcohol buzz, of course. Rather it’s the mini energy buzz and feel-good factor we get from the B vitamins and probiotics!
So if you fall into the above category, bottoms up!
While how much Kombucha every individual should ideally drink, remains subjective, I hope you now have a better understanding of how much you should be drinking depending on your use case. And always remember, Trust Your Gut!
Many of our consumers, also ask;
‘When is the best time to drink Kombucha?’
While the reason why you’re consuming Kombucha, can practically dictate when you should drink it; according to me, it comes down to one thing: Drink Kombucha at your convenience. At a time that it is easiest for you to incorporate it into your daily lifestyle and put you on a journey to improve your gut health!
Keeping the above in mind, if you are someone who has a fixed morning routine then I would just recommend adding it to your morning routine. Likewise, if you had a bedtime routine or simply just enjoyed drinking Kombucha along with your meals, you should drink it then.
We recently conducted a survey amongst our consumers and found out that almost 60% of the audience consumed Kombucha along with their meals i.e. 150ml twice a day, with each meal. That is a total of 300ml a day.
However, just like our audience, It is, and always will be, solely up to you and your preferences!
The Bottom Line
Kombucha isn’t some medicine or a supplement that you have to consume in specific quantities at specific times. It completely depends on you, your lifestyle, and your habits. Even though this is a very commonly asked question, I genuinely believe it shouldn’t be.
So don’t stress so much about how and when you should be consuming Kombucha; rather it would be great if we actually educate ourselves about Kombucha probiotics and gut health in general, so we can understand better the anchor role that our gut health plays in maintaining our overall health.