Can You Drink Kombucha on a Carnivore Diet? (Why and Why Not?)
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There are many reported health benefits resulting from drinking Kombucha, and you might even find it a refreshing cold drink to replace potentially harmful sodas.
I believe there is a good case for people to drink Kombucha on a general Low Carb diet, but can you drink Kombucha on a Carnivore Diet? The answer is a strong “no,” but it does have some reasoning, as you will see below.
Easy Definition of a Carnivore Diet
- You only eat animal products.
- You avoid plant-based products.
I should mention here that if you are somewhat new to the carnivore diet, I highly suggest reading this book by Dr. Shawn Baker called “The Carnivore Diet.”
You will see some people are super strict because they are fighting against an underlying illness or because they feel better the more stringent they are.
These articles will explain the tea and coffee situation in more detail and insight.
- 11 Reasons to Quit Coffee on a Carnivore Diet (#7 is a Surprise)
- Can You Drink Tea On the Carnivore Diet? (Why and Why Not?)
Is Kombucha animal-based or plant-based?
Kombucha is plant-based, making it not carnivore diet compatible.
Kombucha is a flavored fermented tea that is drunk cold and mildly fizzy.
It is made by fermenting tea, usually black or green. You place room-temperature tea in a vat, jar, or bucket, then add sugar for a plain Kombucha flavor.
There are many different flavors of Kombucha, though, and they are usually made by adding fruit into the fermentation process.
Why is Kombucha OK on Low Carb Diets?
To make Kombucha, you make the tea; then you add a ton of sugar which will get the nerves of Low-Carbers jangling.
However, you also place a SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast) in the tea and sugar solution. A SCOBY is a bacteria and yeast live culture. The SCOBY feeds on the sugar and drives the fermentation process.
When the Kombucha is ready to drink, some sugar is left, which gives the drink some sweetness.
Notably, most of the sugar that has been added has been consumed by the SCOBY. This is why it has become a drink suitable for people with low-carb diets.
Usually, the longer the fermentation process, the less sugar is left behind in the drink. Some people let it ferment for 5-30 days.
According to Sencha Tea, Kombucha generally has 3 grams of carbs within a 6-ounce serving.
Shop-bought or homemade?
I would say 99.9% of the time if you can make something at home, then you should.
If you pick up a Kombucha once every month from the local shop on a hot day, it will not be worth making it yourself.
Yet, if you want to drink it regularly, I think you should make it yourself. This is because you will know precisely what is in it and control the quality of the products used in making the Kombucha.
There are plenty of Kambucha starter kits you can order online with instructions.
I would have concerns about the ingredients used in shop-bought Kombucha. Plus, the longer Kombucha is sold to the masses, the more popular it becomes, and the poorer the quality of Kombucha will become.
Eventually, it will probably not even be remotely what traditional Kombucha is. You will probably start seeing drinks with labels like Kombucha Style, meaning it tastes like Kombucha, but it isn’t Kombucha.
You have to look at Soy Sauce for an example of this. I am not a big fan of Soy Sauce because I am not a fan of any Soy products.
However, Soy Sauce was traditionally fermented and, therefore, probably mitigated many of Soy’s harmful properties.
Soy Sauce in supermarkets today is nothing like traditional Soy Sauce and is just a pale imitation. Read this article on Medium, and you will see what I am talking about.
Potential health benefits of Kombucha
There are several potential health benefits of Kombucha, I am mainly skeptical of these, but I am open to experimentation to see if they are real:
These are a few of the “potential” benefits that were highlighted in an article by Healthline.
- Source of probiotics
- Source of Polyphenols and other antioxidants
- Can kill “bad” bacteria and yeasts like Candida
- Can help raise HDL and lower Triglycerides
- Helps reduce blood sugar levels, therefore, could increase insulin sensitivity
The Case for Kombucha on a Carnivore Diet
If you are just starting, there is a case for Kombucha on a Carnivore Diet. Transitioning to carnivore can be challenging for some people, and there can be many temporary issues, especially in the gut and with digestion.
Kombucha is a probiotic drink, so drinking Kombucha in this transition period may help. Then as you adapt to carnivore, you could gradually reduce the amount of Kombucha you drink and ween off it to where you eventually drink none.
Kombucha is also sweet and fizzy; many people trying the carnivore diet are addicted to sugar.
So, Kombucha might help you mentally and physically as you withdraw from your sugar addiction.
I have been told fermented products are the least harmful of the plant-based products you can consume. So, if you must have some plant-based drinks, Kombucha may be a better option.
The case against Kombucha on a Carnivore Diet
Kombucha is plant-based, so it immediately fails the test on a strict Carnivore Diet, and even though a lot of the sugar is fermented, there is still some present, and I am not a fan of sugar.
Drinking Kombucha might keep those sugar cravings around longer and increase your chances of cheating.
Plus, Kombucha can be high in caffeine, so maybe you don’t even like Kombucha, but you are addicted to caffeine.
If you do not think caffeine addiction is real, cut it out for a few days and then come back to me, haha.
Plus, Kombucha has alcohol, which is definitely not a good idea when attempting a carnivore diet.
Some Kambucha has more alcohol than others, and you can even find “hard” Kambucha, which has high amounts similar to beer and wine.
If you have alcohol questions surrounding a carnivore diet, you will want to read this.
Also, there is nothing in Kombucha that is essential that you cannot get from animal products.
Therefore, why not drink something animal-based, like Raw Milk, if you are sick of drinking just water?
By drinking Kombucha, you might unknowingly harm yourself or potentially inhibit the full benefits of the Carnivore Diet.
Like everything in life, there are many shades of grey.
I would never say you cannot have this or that, but it depends on your goals and your current level of health. Obviously, talk to a doctor about all health concerns and issues.
For most people on a carnivore diet, having an occasional Kombucha will not hurt and might increase adherence. However, for some people, it might spin them into a depression, or their arthritis might return…who knows?
Therefore, you need to know what is good and bad for you, and it does not really matter if it is good or bad for someone else.
Motivation is the biggest challenge for people attempting diets and replacing bad habits with good ones. You may be interested in getting an affordable coach at MeatRX. There you will also find some fantastic testimonials of people who have tried a carnivore diet.
Also, check out our YouTube channel, which has plenty of carnivore diet-style recipes and carnivorous content.
And check out this recent article on the Top 4 Least Toxic Cookware Brands for a Carnivore Diet.
Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor or dietician, or nutritionist. Consult with and ask your doctor about any diet or medical-related questions. No information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease or condition.