The most viewed post that I have published this year–2018, obviously–is, by far, my 20,000 step count experiment to see what would happen if I walked that much. Not only did I lose hours in the day and die every single night for seven days in a row, but I also experienced positive consequences such as mental clarity, improved sleep, and a relatively flatter abdominal area (which, hey, is always really nice!). With that being said, I wanted to tackle on another hot topic in the health and fitness world: kombucha, the touted “miracle elixir” given that it is a fermented tea with various benefits, including immunity strengthening, heart health, disease prevention, gut support, and weight loss.
While there are no scientific studies that back kombucha’s notable positives, some people encounter unpleasant–even deadly!–effects from this fermented beverage, such as allergic reactions, excessive bloating, nausea, and lead poisoning, especially if making it at home. I still love kombucha because I generally adore how it tastes and how refreshing it is. This isn’t to say that I consider it a daily staple–in fact, I generally drink kombucha on a bi-weekly basis, if even. However, since beginning a new job and with my family members enjoying kombucha on the regular, it’s hard to not help myself to a glass or two…or three.
But anyways, given that diet challenges and health challenges always serve as eye-catchers, I thought, why the heck not. Let’s drink a bottle’s worth of kombucha for a week to see if anything magically heals or if my body ends up giving me the middle finger. Hey, anything can happen. What I really wanted to analyze specifically was whether a daily dose of kombucha would serve as a strong weight loss, de-bloating, and/or gut-friendly mechanism. Though I’m currently in a maintenance period, I was curious to see if it would help me tone up or at least chisel out a bit more.
So without further ado, let’s get into the recaps! Spoiler alert: I actually drank the same kind of kombucha for the most part because my environment is where I can receive it the most easily.
Meatless and Let’s-Begin-Work Monday is on! My first ever lunch break consisted of a roasted vegetable salad with tomato soup, grilled crostini, and around ten ounces worth of the GTS trilogy kombucha. I made sure to fill the jar up a little more than halfway after finishing the portion pictured here.
Overall, I didn’t feel that different–no energy differences either. My reactions were very similar to how I generally respond to fizzy drinks: bloating and that sort of choked-up feeling when you hold so much gas in your throat that it’s challenging to resist burping or coughing. Even though this alleviated within ten to fifteen minutes, it’s definitely not a nice experience. In general, my stomach felt pretty solid despite having quite a lot of salt and oil–I’m certain the kombucha helped accelerate the digestive and excretion processes.
Two glasses of Trilogy kombucha once again during my lunch break! Funny to say that I never got sick of this flavor. I enjoyed it with another mixed vegetable salad, but had raw tomatoes, carrots, and garbanzo beans instead of roasted vegetables. Very tasty and filling!
Again, I didn’t feel incredibly different that day, but my bloating swelled up pretty drastically right after finishing my meal for around ten minutes or so. In terms of energy, I did gain a little pick-up after the kombucha, but this also could have been caused by the food in my system.
Okay, I remember slowly getting a little bit worn off of this kombucha, but not enough to really detract me of it. As usual, two glasses of the trilogy kombucha right after enjoying another vegetables salad and tomato soup, plus right before a raspberry coconut prebiotic bar!
This day actually served me very well in terms of bloating, energy, and overall digestion. By this time, my body most likely had gotten used to the daily dose of probiotics and digestive enzymes. Still swelled up from the carbonation and all, but my energy levels and general bodily flows were the same. Nothing unpleasant, nothing revolutionary.
What was expected to be a perfectly healthy day of eating with nothing but home-cooked food turned out to end in an epic food bonanza while catching up with an old friend! We dug into butternut squash toast, barbecue cauliflower, vegan chocolate brownies and peanut butter ice cream, and for me, this blueberry kombucha, which I was skeptical of at first, but actually really enjoyed!
Truth is, I thought I’d wake up the next morning feeling pretty heavy from my meal since it probably contained more sugar, fat, and salt than what I’d normally eat for dinner. Ironically, this was far from the case, as I ended up losing some weight! HAHBODYANALYZERSAYWHAT. ANYWAYS. Given that I did finish the kombucha before the crazy feast, I will say that my body felt pretty light and rejuvenated after drinking this kombucha. It was really nice to see that this particular brand is raw and had a different flavor to surprise my body a bit!
Eh, same old, same old. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed drinking my two glasses of kombucha, but it didn’t quite have that WOW factor I experienced at first.
As “same old” as the taste of the kombucha was, my physical swelling died down pretty drastically by this day. If there was any serious swelling or internal gas build-up, it probably lasted for less than ten minutes if even. Pleasant surprise, of course, plus I loved how refreshing and hydrating this beverage was.
More glasses of trilogy kombucha–as you can see behind, there’s another glass I have for myself! Even though I started feeling a little tired of this kombucha, I didn’t sense the need to pull away from this challenge because I still genuinely enjoyed drinking it and knew I was so close to finishing the week strong.
Internal carbonated gas buildup was relatively minimal. My body also felt light and hydrated after drinking this, which was a wonderful sensation to help rejuvenate my energy levels before my work break ended!
Given I didn’t have work this day, I bought a glass of kombucha at a Tender Greens located in Santa Monica. It was the same brand and flavor as that of the Tender Greens I work at. And yes, this is a 21+ bottle that, for some reason, got sold to me without the need for an ID. With that being said, I did drink it because I totally disregarded the label after finishing the kombucha.
Needless to say, I never felt tipsy or nauseous once the bottle was empty. Obviously, this may be because the amount of alcohol present in this beverage is so minute in comparison to actual alcohols and other adult beverages (beer, wine, champagne, rose, etc.). On the other hand, I still felt energized and hydrated for the rest of the day out with my family.
Speaking from someone who loves kombucha, having to drink two glasses (or one bottle) every single day served as something to look forward to. While I didn’t vary my options and flavors nearly at all, this actually may have benefited my experiment even more to hinder any other variables that would otherwise derive from varieties in branding, processing, storage, nutrition, or material.
Most of my physiological symptoms that I found to be bothersome were temporary, plus there were no consistent downfalls to drinking kombucha. My favorite physical benefit of incorporating this fizzy probiotic beverage was more efficient bodily functions. Not to dive into any specifics, but let’s just say that processing everything I ate and drank accelerated greatly, all in a positive manner. I never felt physically drained or exhausted, which can happen if I consume certain foods that take too much energy to excrete or don’t provide sufficient carbohydrates.
Thus, what I love about this experiment is that I never dreaded any part of it, whereas with the 20,000 step challenge, there were times where my energy levels were so depleted that I could barely crawl out of bed and either didn’t look forward to the day, or looked forward to sufficing the step count completely.
After drinking each daily amount of kombucha, I felt a little gurgly (you know, where you feel the gas sort of swelling in your body and you almost feel lighter and more buoyant) since my body soaks up carbonated water like no other. If you understand where I’m coming from, it’s the worst, isn’t it? Fortunately, this is a physiological sensation that wears off with time.
However, I think what the most major downside–but also a reverse upside, I guess?–of this experience is that I recognized that there’s truly nothing revolutionary about kombucha. Even though it has the properties to curb cravings, improve gut health, and provide energy, it does not have any fully unique qualities that I otherwise wouldn’t be able to attain from alternatives other than the fact that it is fizzy and can suffice any soda hankering. Not to mention: I didn’t lose weight.
Despite the somewhat underwhelming effects of the kombucha experiment, certain variables attribute to why my personal experience with a daily dose of this probiotic drink for the week was a bit downplayed aside from the fluctuations in bloating and energy.
- My diet is very healthy with heaps of fibrous and gut-friendly staples–someone who eats more refined products, fast food, and sweets may experience a more drastic boost in digestion.
- I already have an exercise routine and fairly active lifestyle that aid my gut health and energy levels very consistently–a sedentary person will have more noticeable differences in energy levels.
- As of now, I don’t have any fatal physical or mental conditions that may benefit or deteriorate from kombucha (i.e. cancer, candida overgrowth, diabetes, leaky gut, Guillain-Barré syndrome, heart disease, etc.).
I am not sure if just one week of drinking kombucha would really dictate whether it should be crowned as a “superdrink” or not, but I can only imagine that if it truly is, I would have experienced much more drastic effects. It’s possible that a month, two or three months or so, may reap a whole new array of consequences, but at the moment, there’s no certainty that that may be so. While I did enjoy feeling hydrated with a sweet fizzy beverage that A) also aided in a strong gut and vivacious energy levels, and B) didn’t taste bland like water does, I never felt “reborn” or like a new person coming off a juice cleanse or what not.
All in all, this was a fun little experiment that I found extremely easy, given that I adore kombucha, have access to it at the place I work at for a very great deal, and don’t find drinking kombucha challenging whatsoever. For some people, kombucha tastes like an abomination. Now, imagine if I had to drink a cayenne shot or celery juice every single day. My friends, that endeavor would be a struggle.
Anyways, I recommend this experiment to those who are new to probiotics to see if they would benefit. I do not recommend using homemade kombucha that you have not mastered yet, as over-brewed kombucha has seriously toxic effects and can even lead to death. In addition, if you are extremely sensitive to sugar, alcohol, Candida yeast, liver acidosis, molds, and even caffeine, please do not attempt this, or speak with your doctor if incorporating kombucha into your diet is possible.
Do you drink kombucha on the regular? What is your favorite brand and flavor?