What's the best time to drink Kombucha?
Emma Thackray, Hip Pop co-founder
December 16, 2021
Whether you’ve developed a taste for the sharp-sweet twang of kombucha, or you’re interested in finding a fun alternative to juice, regular soft drinks or coffee, there are lots of reasons to love this fermented tea drink. In fact, over the last few years, kombucha has seen a boom in popularity - and it's not at all surprising why. Even a quick Google will bring back lots of first hand reports from kombucha converts all over the world, who drink kombucha every day as part of a balanced diet.
One of the most common questions we get asked is whether there’s a particular time of day that it is best to drink kombucha. The short answer is you can enjoy kombucha tea throughout the day – alongside a meal, or on its own. However, there are some advantages you might find from picking a certain time of day to drink kombucha.
But first, let's discuss two of the types of tea we use in making our kombucha.
Unlike other types of tea, green tea has not undergone the withering and oxidation process - where tea leaves are exposed to air for drying and darkening for added aroma and strength. The less tea leaves are exposed to oxidation, the more their antioxidant properties retain. For this reason, green tea contains the most antioxidants and beneficial polyphenols compared to other widely consumed tea types. Green tea is made from Camellia Sinensis leaves and buds and is believed to originate in China.
Like green tea, black tea is also made from the leaves and buds of Camellia Sinensis. However, it is more oxidized and generally stronger in flavour than the other types of teas. The process of oxidation gives it its brownish to black color, though tea manufacturers can control how much oxidation the leaves and buds undergo. It’s also oxidation that turns the tea leaves from green to a dark brownish-black color. Oxidation means the leaves are exposed to moist, oxygen-rich air.
You can enjoy kombucha tea throughout the day – alongside a meal, or on its own. However, there are some advantages you might find from picking a certain time of day to drink kombucha.
Why you might enjoy drinking kombucha tea in the morning
Kombucha contains a small amount of caffeine. In fact, it’s about the same amount as one third of the equivalent measure of tea. So by replacing your morning cup of tea with kombucha, you can enjoy the incredible flavour without entirely sacrificing your morning hit of caffeine.
Because kombucha tea is made via the process of fermentation, it means that some sugar and yeast are added to the tea at the start of the process. The good news is that a lot of the sugar is used up by the live cultures present, as they ferment the tea. So the finished product does contain some sugar, although this is often not as much as sodas or fruit juices. Hip Pop kombucha contains between 2.5g-3.0g of sugar per 100ml. To put things into perspective it’s less than natural carrot juice. Natural orange juice is around 8g and bottled smoothies can contain up to 18g of sugar per 100ml. What it does mean is that it’s sweet and enjoyable, and real kombucha can give you the morning boost you need to start your day the right way!
Kombucha on an empty stomach
Since kombucha is made from teas with natural antioxidants, drinking it on an empty stomach enhances its antioxidant activities. However, this will also depend on your tummy sensitivity. If you are not used to drinking kombucha just yet, you may have to ease yourself into kombucha. Most people can drink at least a bottle a day but if you have a sensitive tummy we recommend starting with half a bottle a day and see how it makes you feel. But again, this is a case-to-case basis and will vary from person to person.
Why you might enjoy kombucha in the daytime
The fermentation process means that kombucha has a very low amount of alcohol contained within it, usually 0.5% abv, or less. Don’t worry this is normal for a fermented food and this level of alcohol won’t have any impact on your day to day functioning. It’s so small it’s known as ‘trace alcohol’, and in fact many other foods you may not think of contain similar amounts of trace alcohol, such as soy sauce!
What about drinking kombucha at night?
As mentioned earlier, there is a small amount of caffeine and sugar in kombucha drinks, less than a cup of tea and much less than a cup of coffee. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy them at night, but if you have difficulty sleeping, or more generally you just try and avoid caffeine late at night, do bear this in mind. This is also true if you’re giving kombucha to younger family members.
As long as you’re happy with the small amount of caffeine, that shouldn’t put you off enjoying an evening kombucha drink. In fact, because of its tangy, sweet flavour, it can be a great alternative to fizzy drinks and other sugar-laden options. So if you’d usually find yourself reaching for a can of soda in the evening, you might find that kombucha gives you just as much flavour and enjoyment, without the levels of sugar you'd normally find in a fizzy drink.
A final thing to bear in mind is that kombucha is an acidic drink. This acidity gives kombucha its recognisable flavour, but just like cola and other acidic drinks, it’s important to take care of your dental hygiene. This definitely shouldn’t dissuade you from drinking kombucha, it’s just something to bear in mind if you’re enjoying it late at night, as you should still leave time to brush your teeth afterwards.
The best time to drink kombucha is when it suits you the best - whether that’s in the morning on an empty stomach, in daytime with a meal, or our favourite - at night in a wine glass. We recommend drinking your kombucha chilled but there are people that enjoy it a bit warmer too. Like with everything else the best time of day to enjoy your booch varies from person to person. Whether this is your first time trying booch or your 364th bottle this year, cheers to this delicious alternative to sugary soft drinks! Order your kombucha today! Visit our website or follow us on Instagram and Facebook to check all our amazing flavours!
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