Kombucha

Since the start of NxJ’s beverage program, we have had a range of drinks.  At a company that breathes health, it is clear that our drink staples would be those with no or minimal amounts of sugar.  Some of our staples include coconut water, chocolate milk for post workout, seltzer, and v8, to name a few.  Yesterday, we opened up the NYC fridge to a new kind of bev.

Enter into the kitchen and find a local Brooklyn ale, no not alcoholic, brew: Kombucha.  Kombucha is a fermented (definition below*) drink made from tea and bacteria cultures.  Don’t gag yet – some bacteria is good for you (probiotics) and that is the kind in this special little drink.

*Fermentation: chemical change where yeast converts sugar to C02 and alcohol without using any 02.  You probably already eat and drink lots of other fermented food products (sauerkraut, yogurt, beer, wine, cheese, kefir, pickles, and ketchup).  In fact, probably means definitely 🙂

Is it Healthy?

Yes – but not for the supposed medical benefits it claims to have. Many bottles and companies will tout that kombucha solves everything from cancer to heart disease.  Not true.  There has been no conclusive evidence nor any clinical trials done on kombucha that substantiates these claims.

The only health benefits kombucha can claim are that it has antioxidant-rich teas and probiotics, which are, as mentioned, “the good bacteria” that populate your small intestine.  (I will need to write about probiotics in greater depth and provide a link to it on this post in the future).

Additionally, the drink is low in sugar: there are 8g for the entire 16oz bottle.  That is much less as compared to many sweetened teas and juices.  If you are a soda person (and obviously if you are, you must be purchasing it outside of Next Jump!) then Kombucha can be a great alternative.

Is it Expensive?

At most health stores, this can be a costly drink.  Typically, you might see these drinks under the brand name, Synergy.  Most times, this drink is $4-$5 a pop!  Since KBBK Kombucha is locally fermented, the “Kombucha-Man” (yes, this is actually his handle) cut us a great deal.

Does Kombucha have alcohol?

Yes, but it is in negligible quantities to produce any effect.  Since alcohol is an end-product of fermentation, it is natural that the drink would contain a little bit of it.  The end-product is so small (less than .5%), that it can be equated to the same amount present in an O’Douls.  Just to put this into perspective, most beers contain 5-8% alcohol.

Should I drink it?

If you like the taste and want a new alternative to seltzer or diet soda, yes.  But no, it won’t produce any miracles or get you buzzed.

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