“GTS Trilogy Kombucha” picture with a Kaws “Small Lie” figure. Taken by Jake Santo
Kombucha is a brew-style tea, that consists of naturally fermenting bacteria, that are rich in probiotics and tons of other healthy vitamins and amino acids. This might sound like a lot of components for a bottle of liquid you can buy at CVS and other everyday retailers. However, I recently have had a stint of common digestive issues and as a result; I drink a bottle of Kombucha every day. Along with one or two supplements, I drink a bottle of Kombucha tea every morning and I am typically symptom-free the entire day.
The origins of Kombucha are not fully known, however, the first recorded use was sometime around 200 BCE in China. The name “kombucha” comes from Japan around 400 CE, but “The Tea of Immortality” has been used across Eastern Europe, Russia, and Japan for centuries. Also known as the “Manchurian mushroom”, this mushroom-based brew may not “cure cancer” as some say but it does provide some daily health benefits when incorporated properly to your daily routine.
While “common digestive issues” may sound nonchalant, experiencing them is a whole other story. For a period of a week or so, I was having awful, shooting pains in my abdomen. Along with waking up in the middle of the night (from the pain), I was fatigued, and overall in a funk during the height of my symptoms. For all intents and purposes, the most sever condition I had was, indigestion, but it was one of the most debilitating ailments I’ve ever had. Thus providing me a new respect for common ailments like: indigestion, acid reflux, and good old fashioned nausea. Thankfully for Kombucha and some other dietary changes, I have been symptomless for a couple weeks now. Apart from my own story, here are a few reasons why I made Kombucha part of my morning and daily routine.
1. Morning Wake Up
On an ordinary day, most people drink coffee or tea to get themselves out of bed and into a productive mood for the day at hand. This early morning injection of caffeine helps a lot of people, including myself. Since my little digestive scare, the only thing I will drink in the morning is Kombucha. Not only does it take away any symptoms that I start my day with, it also provides a small amount of caffeine, electrolytes, and plenty of healthy amino acids. As well as depending on the flavor (Gingerade, Greens, Rasberry, Mango, etc.), you may see other added benefits from the all-natural ingredients in each bottle. For example, the pressed ginger juice in “Gingerade” by “GTS Kombucha”, aids in relieving nausea, appetite loss, and muscle soreness.
2. Digestive Aid
As I’ve mentioned many times already, Kombucha is a great digestive aid. It contains tons of probiotics (good bacteria that live in the digestive tract), which help reduce stomach acid production along with painful indigestion. While you might think the caffeine and small percentage of alcohol present (~.5%) in Kombucha, would cause more acidity in the gut. However, the fermentation and culture of the bacteria themselves actually creates an alkaline solution once it is digested; even though the pH of Kombucha itself is lower than coffee (coffee = pH 5, Kombucha = pH 3)
3. Naysayers of Kombucha
Since I have started to drink Kombucha, I have heard a few common quarrels with it from my friends. A few are: “I don’t like the taste”, another “It looks like it has weird stuff in it” and lastly “Don’t vegans drink that”. Well to address the first one, Kombucha does have an uncommon aftertaste, but it is often masked depending on the flavor you get. The company GTS alone produces a large variety of flavors, along with Kevita, Health-Ade, and Reed’s Kombucha, there are a plethora of different brands to indulge in to find your favorite. Next up is the weird stuff that resides in the bottom of most Kombucha bottles on the shelves. That is the Kombucha brew that needs to be lightly shaken to mix with the rest of the beverage, if you’ve ever had a cold pressed fruit juice or something of the sort, it is the same concept; separation is natural, sometimes it just needs a quick shakeup. Lastly, yes I am sure many people who are vegan and vegetarian drink Kombucha, as it is a very healthy, and also trendy, beverage. However, do not let the vegan stigma hold you from enjoying a healthy gut and a viable coffee replacement. If your feeling extra crunchy go for the vegetable flavored one, but if you’re like me; someone who likes a well-balanced diet and proper digestive health, any of the other “less crunchy” flavors will suffice.
4. Kombucha and Literature
The link between literature and Kombucha is not a direct one, besides writers often having stomach pains from the constant sentiment of rejection, the correlation is a cloudy one. For me, I find that I am much more motivated to read or write when I am both well hydrated and slightly caffeinated. While some may argue otherwise, being alert and attentive during the creative process, to me, is a necessary quality. In this regard, most people prefer coffee, however, coffee is a dehydrant. Thus you can either drink continual cups of coffee and water; or you can simply drink a Kombucha, which will invigorate your mind and digestive tract for the laborious creative process to come.