katie031

Kombucha

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Hey everyone!  So I have heard that Kombucha is allowed on the Whole30 (and encouraged), but I read that it has to have 2 grams or less of sugar.  I have been drinking GT's Guava Godness but just noticed today that in a bottle (2 servings) there are 7 grams of sugar.  I drink half a bottle (1 serving, 3.5 grams of sugar) a day, but am wondering if I should continue doing this.  Any answers?  

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Amber is right. We have refined our comments about kombucha over time. At first, I would not buy any GT Dave's product that listed more than 2 grams of sugar in the macronutrient report section, but the issue is added sugar, not the sugar from the original fruit ingredients. I still avoid the higher sugar drinks because I don't like them as much. I recommend avoiding the drinks like Guava Goddess because the sweetness may embolden sugar dragons, but they are officially acceptable. 

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I think this is a very personal decision. I don't generally struggle with sweet cravings so I enjoy the fruit juice flavored GT Dave's but if I were struggling with them I probably would not. There are lots of hard and fast rules with a W30 and then there are some gray areas for sure.

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Kombucha is typically very low in alcohol (it isn't made with alcohol, but alcohol can be a byproduct of fermentation). The kombucha you find in stores will be less than 0.5% alcohol content. Kombucha is also a natural fermented beverage that has been shown to improve digestion and gut health. Alcohol in this case is naturally occuring (similar alcohol levels can be found in fruit juice!)

 

Vanilla extract, on the other hand, is typically made by distilling vanilla bean in ethyl alcohol (alcohol is an ingredient in vanilla extract), typically about 35% alcohol or more. While vanilla is a nice flavor, it doesn't have any particular health benefits and it does not improve gut health. Those who want vanilla flavor during a whole30 can use vanilla bean or (unsweetened) vanilla powder. One could argue that the tiny amount of vanilla extract in a recipe doesn't matter, but the whole30 rules simply state that no amount of alcohol added as an ingredient in a product is acceptable.

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Hang on.... just a couple threads above this one is a discussion of wine reduction sauces where it was stated no alcohol whatsoever - even the minimal amount in a reduction sauce or dijon mustard. But here I'm seeing that the alcohol in Kombucha is okay because "it's naturally occurring from the fermentation." I'm no brewer, but I'm pretty sure that's where the alcohol in wine and beer comes from too! I've actually heard that in some areas you can get pulled over for having kombucha in your car because it's considered an alcoholic beverage. This seems really contradictory to me. 

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ARamstead- I can see what you're saying, and understand your point. With all of these rules, there's an extensive thought process behind what is and isn't allowed.

In the case of kombucha, with some brands and home brews there is a *chance* of alcohol, not a guarantee. We aren't ruling it out on a chance, especially when there is such benefit to be had. But, with alcohol products, you are guaranteed alcohol at the start and the hope is that there is minimal alcohol left.

In my mind, that's a big difference.

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I'm willing to follow the rules and that's fine - no wine reductions and kombucha is okay (I love kombucha, but I feel like the slight sweetness and the bit of a fizz would make it a soda SWYPO for me, so I think I better let it go - that's one nasty monkey I want off my back!!). I just still feel that it's a bit arbitrary. 

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I think it might be able to be summed up in accordance with one of the main points in the book - food will either make you healthier or it will make you unhealthier.

 

In the case of Kombucha, you are getting the benefit of the antioxidants, probiotics and vitamins.  Thus it makes you healthier.  

 

On the other hand, there are no such health benefits from a beer, a shot or a glass of wine, which is why they are restricted.

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Hi all!

Just to be clear, do you mind confirming? It is okay to use sugar to actually make home made Kombucha, but not okay to add any sugar AFTER the fermentation process? I am starting my first batch and I want to make sure I am following the rules to a tee! :)

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Okay, I may be overthinking this now, but won't there be residual amounts of sugar leftover after the fermentation process?

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I am so glad I found this topic and that cadarad asked the two questions he did.  Those were my thoughts exactly.  I have been making my own kombucha for about a year, but I stopped making it and consuming it in January when I stopped consuming all sugar, because it just seemed to me that it might still have "residual" sugars in it.  I have done okay without it, but I do miss it; and today decided to make a fresh batch for when my whole30 is over.  I will be very careful with it and see if it induces any cravings.  (I hope not!)  My new batch will be ready on the 2nd (two days after my whole30).  Thanks for the topic and responses!  :-)

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I tried my first kombucha today after reading up about its benefits.

 

I was pleasently suprised, I smelled the stuff first and I thought it was going to taste awful (I bought the Equinox Mixed Berry Kombucha) But it was actually pretty good, it tasted similar to cider?

 

How often would you recommend drinking kombucha? I shared a bottle with my boyfriend, I'd like to drink it more often because of the benefits but not too often

 

Thanks

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It's usually better to drink smaller amounts more frequently. I was drinking 16oz. all at once with my dinner, but I switched to drinking 8oz. each with breakfast and lunch instead. I like to drink it with meals so that the bacteria have food to work on and if I don't I get a slightly upset tummy. If you find you get strong detox symptoms, start with less, like 2 ounces, and work your way up to having 8-16 ounces a couple times a day.

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I hate to sound redundant but now the bottles say that you have to be 21 to buy Synergy's Kombucha because it may contain over .05%. But it is still acceptable?

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A mod may weigh in with official word, but - to me this sounds like legalese/covering their butts. I doubt they've changed the formula to add alcohol. So I'd guess yes (assuming no added sugar post-ferment) unless a mod says otherwise.

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