Is Kombucha Good for Weight Loss? (2024)

Kombucha—the fizzy, tangy, fermented beverage that's been all the rage for gut health—is gaining a reputation for its potential weight-loss benefits. But what exactly is kombucha? It's a fermented drink made from tea, sugar and a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY). During fermentation, the SCOBY consumes the sugar and produces probiotics, organic acids and enzymes that support gut health. These components are what experts say provide kombucha's potential effects on weight loss.

Here, we consulted a registered dietitian to explore kombucha's health benefits, find out what to look for when purchasing kombucha, and discover whether kombucha lives up to its hype around weight loss.

Homemade Kombucha

Is Kombucha Good for Weight Loss? (1)

Kombucha Nutrition

Kombucha's nutrition varies depending on the product. Also, flavored kombucha often contains more added sugar than unflavored or homemade kombucha. Here's the nutritional profile of an 8-ounce serving of kombucha tea, according to the USDA FoodData Central.

  • Calories: 40
  • Carbohydrates: 10g
  • Dietary fiber: 0g
  • Total sugar: 10g
  • Protein: 0g
  • Total fat: 0g
  • Saturated fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 0g
  • Sodium: 5mg

Health Benefits of Kombucha

Kombucha offers several health benefits. However, it's important to note that kombucha products vary widely, and health claims made on labels aren't strictly regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.

Promotes Gut Health

Kombucha promotes gut health by providing beneficial bacteria and probiotics that support a balanced gut microbiome. These probiotics, such as Lactobacillus nagelii, Gluconacetobacter, Gluconobacter and Komagataeibacter, aid digestion and nutrient absorption by helping to restore and maintain a healthy balance of gut bacteria.

"Certain types of kombucha have been linked to improved gut health in animal models," says registered dietitian and nutrition writer Brittany Lubeck, RD. "In one study, kombuchas from green and black tea were associated with favorable growth of beneficial gut bacteria, leading to a more balanced gut microbiome. These results were thought to be due to phenolic compounds found in kombucha."

What Happens to Your Body When You Take Probiotics Every Day

Possesses Antimicrobial Properties

Kombucha's fermentation process produces acids like acetic and lactic acid, which possess antimicrobial properties. These acids help inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria and yeasts, making kombucha a natural antimicrobial agent that supports a healthier immune system.

"Antimicrobial agents are created during the fermentation process of kombucha. These antimicrobial properties are thought to be useful against a wide range of bacteria and fungi. However, little human research exists on this subject, so we only know about these potential benefits through lab studies," explains Lubeck.

How Much Fermented Foods You Should Eat When Taking Antibiotics

Supports Liver Health

The antioxidants in kombucha, including polyphenols, help protect the liver from oxidative stress and inflammation. Research suggests kombucha can help prevent liver damage caused by this stress and environmental toxins.

"Kombucha may be good for your liver, but the jury is still out on how effective the fermented drink is," states Lubeck. "According to one animal study, kombucha tea may protect liver cells from toxicity and even help with inflammation and fibrosis of the liver. Human trials should be conducted to support this research better."

Is Kombucha Good for Weight Loss?

While there isn't conclusive evidence showing kombucha consumption leads to weight loss, it's still low in calories compared to high-added-sugar sodas and juices, making it a healthy choice for quenching your thirst without overdoing it on added sugar or calories. Also, kombucha contains probiotics that support gut health by helping to improve digestion and nutrient absorption, which is essential for maintaining a healthy weight. Additionally, thanks to its polyphenol content, kombucha is known for protecting cells from oxidative damage and supporting the liver which naturally detoxifies our body. This can help your body eliminate toxins and assist your weight-loss efforts.

"There's some anecdotal evidence that kombucha can help with weight loss, but there isn't any scientific evidence to back this up," says Lubeck. "Kombucha may or may not aid in weight loss, but it can certainly be a part of a healthy diet. Remember that no single food or drink can cause weight loss. Nothing beats a well-balanced diet for general health."

What to Look For When Buying Kombucha

Store-bought brands often add sweeteners to their kombuchas, which can have negative effects on your health and weight-loss goals over time if consumed in excess. Look for options with minimal added sugars or products that use 100% fruit juices for flavor.

"Anyone can make kombucha these days, so it's important to buy kombucha from a reputable brand," advises Lubeck. "Look for kombucha that isn't full of added sugar and other unnecessary ingredients. The simpler the better."

The Bottom Line

Kombucha, a fermented beverage made from tea, sugar and a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY), has gained popularity for its potential weight-loss benefits. While scientific evidence is lacking, kombucha is low in calories and contains probiotics that support gut health, digestion and nutrient absorption. Its detoxifying properties and antioxidant content may also assist in weight-loss efforts. However, choosing reputable brands with minimal added sugars and other added ingredients is important when purchasing kombucha. Ultimately, kombucha can be a part of a healthy diet, but it's essential to adopt healthy lifestyle habits for overall health and weight management.

What Happens to Your Body When You Drink Kombucha Every Day

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Does kombucha help you lose belly fat?

    While kombucha can be a part of a healthy weight-loss journey, there's no magic solution for losing belly fat. Kombucha may support overall weight management by supporting digestion and gut health, but it's not a stand-alone solution for targeting belly fat.

  • Is it OK to drink kombucha every day?

    Kombucha is generally safe to enjoy daily if consumed in moderation. According to the Cleveland Clinic, this amount is 4 ounces per day. However, always be mindful of added sugars and potential alcohol content in some varieties. If you have specific health concerns or are on certain medications, consult your health care provider to ensure drinking kombucha daily is safe for you.

  • Does kombucha cleanse your body?

    No, kombucha doesn't have special cleansing properties. Your body has an incredible natural detoxification system that uses your liver and kidneys to eliminate toxins and waste products from your body. Instead of relying on expensive "detox" products, consider focusing on a balanced diet, drinking plenty of water and exercising regularly to support your body's natural detoxification processes.

Is Kombucha Good for Weight Loss? (2024)

FAQs

Is Kombucha Good for Weight Loss? ›

"There's some anecdotal evidence that kombucha can help with weight loss, but there isn't any scientific evidence to back this up," says Lubeck. "Kombucha may or may not aid in weight loss, but it can certainly be a part of a healthy diet. Remember that no single food or drink can cause weight loss.

Does kombucha help lose belly fat? ›

While kombucha can aid in overall health and may even assist with your weight-loss efforts, it's not a magic pill or weight-loss potion. An 8-ounce glass a few times a week can be beneficial to add to your routine, but there's no need to go overboard.

How often should I drink kombucha for weight loss? ›

However, it's important to note that there isn't a one-size-fits-all answer to how much one should consume. Though recommendations can differ based on personal health objectives, it's generally suggested to have at least 2 cups of this beneficial drink daily when exploring how to drink kombucha for weight loss.

Is it OK to have kombucha everyday? ›

The Centers for Disease Control recommends that four ounces of kombucha can be safely consumed one to three times a day. Overconsumption can lead to headache, nausea, gastrointestinal distress, or ketoacidosis.

What does kombucha do to your tummy? ›

Valid medical studies of kombucha are limited. Some studies suggest that it may offer benefits similar to other probiotic foods like yogurt. These probiotic benefits include promoting a healthy immune system and relieving stomach and intestinal issues like diarrhea and constipation.

Does kombucha clean your gut? ›

Boosting your gut health

“Good” bacteria are essential for your gut microbiome to thrive — and fermented foods such as kombucha contain probiotics to help keep those levels high. “Kombucha can really help feed and increase that good, healthy gut bacteria, which can help decrease any bad bacteria,” says Zumpano.

What are 6 benefits of drinking kombucha? ›

Kombucha contains several species of lactic acid bacteria that may have a probiotic function. Probiotics provide your gut with healthy bacteria. These bacteria may improve many aspects of health, including digestion, inflammation, and even weight loss.

Who shouldn't drink kombucha? ›

Kombucha is a fermented probiotic tea that may be beneficial to the body. There are some risks to consider, especially when drinking kombucha in excessive amounts. Some people may want to avoid kombucha, such as those with compromised immune systems and people sensitive to caffeine.

What are the side effects of kombucha? ›

Here are 5 possible side effects of drinking too much kombucha.
  • May Lead to Excess Calorie Consumption. ...
  • May Cause Bloating and Digestive Distress. ...
  • May Contain Excess Amounts of Added Sugar. ...
  • Dangerous for Certain People. ...
  • Could Lead to Excess Caffeine Consumption. ...
  • How Much Kombucha Tea Should You Drink per Day?
Mar 29, 2023

What is the best time to drink kombucha? ›

Drinking kombucha on an empty stomach can also enhance its antioxidant effects. This is because the fermentation process creates natural antioxidants, and drinking kombucha on an empty stomach allows these antioxidants to be more easily absorbed by the body.

Is kombucha anti-inflammatory? ›

Kombucha intake also promoted the growth of butyrate-producing bacteria in the gut that exert anti-inflammatory effects [24].

Do you drink the whole bottle of kombucha? ›

There is no standard “wrong” amount of kombucha you can drink - but there may be a wrong amount for YOU - so tune into that gut! A good rule of thumb is to drink that amount of kombucha that makes YOU feel good! If you're new to kombucha, start small.

Does kombucha melt belly fat? ›

Does kombucha help you lose belly fat? While kombucha can be a part of a healthy weight-loss journey, there's no magic solution for losing belly fat. Kombucha may support overall weight management by supporting digestion and gut health, but it's not a stand-alone solution for targeting belly fat.

What happens to your body when you start drinking kombucha? ›

Kombucha is an ancient fermented tea that may have many health benefits, such as improving digestion, boosting the immune system, lowering cholesterol levels, and supporting cardiovascular health. Today kombucha is widely available in stores, and kombucha starter kits can be purchased to make at home.

How to drink kombucha for weight loss? ›

How to drink kombucha to support weight loss
  1. Swap the booze for booch. ...
  2. Get a sweet hit, without the excessive sugar. ...
  3. Stop the snacks! ...
  4. Stick to your exercise routine. ...
  5. Be kind to your body and mind.
Jan 18, 2021

Which kombucha is best for belly fat? ›

Choose kombucha made from green tea: Every type of kombucha is great for trimming belly fat, but you'll get the most benefits with 'booch derived from green tea leaves. Green tea has way more antioxidants than black tea, which will help speed up the metabolism.

Does kombucha make your waist smaller? ›

While some are low in calories, others can have up to 120 calories per bottle (5). Sipping an occasional kombucha drink won't hurt your waistline, but drinking kombucha daily may contribute to excess calorie consumption, which can lead to weight gain.

What does drinking kombucha on an empty stomach do? ›

To give your digestive system a kickstart, some health professionals advise drinking kombucha on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning. Consuming on an empty stomach means that the living cultures can reach the large intestine more efficiently and better aid with digestion throughout the day.

Does kombucha break down fat stores? ›

It may not be to everyone's taste, but kombucha tea may be able to deliver the benefits of fasting, without the hardest part – the fasting itself.

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