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Probiotic Yoghurt Drinks vs Kombucha: What is better for you?

By Lewis Comber

Probiotic Yoghurt Drinks vs Kombucha: What is better for you?

Have you ever fancied yourself a nice little tipple of Yakult? We’re going to think not. One of the most popular gut-health drinks on the UK market are those teeny tiny small bottles of Probiotic Yoghurt Drinks. Some of the most popular brands include Yakult and Actimel. These little babies of probiotic dairy punchers have been around for a while (since the 1930s) and recently resurfaced due to their infamous feature in Netflix’s ‘To All the Boys I have loved before’. Often found in the dairy aisle, they propose a tricky proposition for alternate milk lovers as there is no viable alternative.

So, if you want to ride the wave of gut-health but dairy options aren’t viable for you, or you just don’t want to drink a probiotic milk shot, we have an option for you! Kombucha has risen in popularity in the UK, thanks to the increase in brands becoming accessible in local supermarkets.  But it can be difficult to navigate what functional drink is better for gut health. Join us on this non-dairy, vegan, and lacto-friendly rollercoaster to unpack why Kombucha may be the best option for you when you’re next popping a gut friendly drink into your trolley.

Getting Nitty Gritty with the Difference Between Probiotic Yoghurt and Kombucha 

Both Kombucha and Probiotic Yogurt Drinks are rich in beneficial bacteria, making them a great option for supporting you on your gut health journey. However, there are some key differences between the two, so let’s get into the nitty-gritty and discover which might be the best for you. 

Check out this video: Kombucha vs Probiotic Yoghurt Drinks

From our YouTube channel - The Gut Health Channel


Kombucha: Originated in the Far East and one popular theory is that its origin is dated back to ancient China during the Tsin Dynasty around 221 BCE. Fun fact: it was known as the “Tea of Immortality”. From its original origin, it is believed to have travelled along the Silk Road to Russia and Eastern Europe… What a great holiday!

Probiotic Yogurt Drinks: Yakult was the first Probiotic drink produced. It is the most popular probiotic beverage and was first made in Japan in the 1930s. Its origin comes from a lovely chap called Dr Minoru Shirota, who created a strain of bacteria called Lactobacillus Casei Shirota. This bacteria is the only bacteria that is found in Yakult.  


Kombucha: The Bacteria in a Kombucha SCOBY will vary and can include different strains of bacteria. The amount of bacteria found ranges from 100 million - 100 Billion. Kombucha is made using brewed tea, which is usually green tea or black tea, or both! Fun Fact: Kombucha culture can be used to ferment other liquids like fruit juices and coffee. Hip Pop Kombucha contains only 2.8 grams of sugar and 14 calories per 100ml. This makes it a great lower-sugar and calorie alternative to other fizzy drinks and there are multiple health benefits of kombucha

Probiotic Yogurt Drinks: The contents of Yakult are quite different to that of kombucha. Firstly, Yakult and other Yogurt drinks contain dairy, which is not suitable for those who are Vegan, Lactose Intolerant or individuals that live a dairy-free lifestyle. Yakult UK also includes a whopping 13.6 grams of sugar and 66 calories per 100ml. Not to mention, ingredients such as Glucose-Fructose syrup.


Kombucha: Kombucha fermentation involves a SCOBY (pronounced SCO-BEE not SC-OO-BY like Scooby Doo). This SCOBY floats peacefully on top of the surface and sugar mixture - what a life. The SCOBY consumes the sugar and metabolises it. This process results in the production of acids such as acetic acid, ethanol, and carbon dioxide. 

Probiotic Yogurt Drinks: Yakult undergoes a controlled fermentation process where the specific strain of Lactobacillus Casei Shirota is added to the mixture. The bacteria consume the lactose and convert it into lactic acid, which gives Yakult its characteristic tangy flavour and acts as a natural preservative.


Kombucha: Kombucha can taste tart, refreshing, and slightly sweet. The unflavoured taste of Kombucha can taste apple-like. However, Kombucha has the ability to taste like whatever flavoured tea you brew it with. It can also come in carbonated forms making it slightly sparkling. This makes Kombucha a great drink for winding down on an evening or as a midday pick-me-up. 

Probiotic Yogurt Drinks: Probiotic dairy drinks can taste overpoweringly sweet, due to their high sugar content. It can also taste a little sour due to Lactic Acid Bacteria. It has a watery consistency to flow all of that gut-friendly bacteria to the depths of your gut. The drinking times of Yakult and Kombucha can be quite different. Yaklut may be better for those post-workout pick-me-ups or best to accompany your breakfast. Whereas Kombucha can be consumed at any point in the day, you can find more out about the best time to drink Kombucha here


When a person walks into a bar, you don’t really overhear “Can I have a Yakult please!” But in an age of increasing health-conscious consumers “Can I please have a delightful can of CBD Kombucha” at a bar. 

Unlike Probiotic Yogurt drinks, which are typically only found in supermarkets in the UK, Kombucha is becoming much more of a convenient drink that can be grabbed on-the-go, as part of your meal deal and is generally becoming more readily available. You’ve probably seen more and more kombucha brands popping up in your local supermarket and grocery stores.

Kombucha also provides a great alcohol-free alternative for those evenings when you want to wind down without the hang-over. Our go-to favourite for this is our CBD Kombucha, which can help soothe those weary eyes after a long day. 

 Yakult Drinks

Let's Round This Up - YeeHaw

In this blog, we’ve ridden the Gut Health wave and discussed the differences between Probiotic Drinks and Komnbucha. As a case study, we have used Yakult, the most popular Probiotic Drinks Brand, but many other alternatives are available.

Overall, both drinks provide you with great bacteria to aid you on your Gut Health journey. However, if you are a cow-loving vegan, or just simply a non-dairy lover we’ve found that Probiotic Yogurt Drinks such as Yakult may not be the best option for you. If you are as milk-loving as the Milky Boy Kid, Probiotic Drinks may be a great option for you to get in that gut-friendly bacteria at breakfast time or post-workout. 

The sugar and calorie contents may also come into consideration when deciding between Probiotic Yogurt Drinks and Kombucha. The Sugar content in our case-study brand, Yakult, has 10.8 grams more sugar than kombucha generally, with Hip Pop’s Core Kombucha range per 100ml. The calorie contents were also 52 calories higher in Yakult when compared to Hip Pop’s Kombucha. 
Kombucha does also provide a great alcohol-free alternative when Probiotic Yogurt Drinks, like Yakult, may not. Although they both are convenient, Kombucha is arguably the cooler option.

So my fellow Gut Lovin’ friends, we have come to the end of our journey to find the best drink suitable for your needs. If you fancy giving Kombucha a go, or are looking for a new kombucha brand to try, make sure to check out Hip Pop’s core range of kombucha! See you next time!

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