11 Best Low-Sugar Kombucha Brands You Can Buy
Probiotics are producing a lot of buzz for good reason: Populating your gut with these beneficial bacteria is essential for maintaining a healthy immune system, proper brain function, clear skin, and a functioning digestive system. While many of us choose to get our daily dose of probiotics from foods, such as yogurt and kimchi, kombucha is a solid and oft-overlooked go-to.
What is kombucha?
The probiotic drink is concocted by fermenting sweetened tea (usually a blend of green and black teas) with a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, also known as SCOBY. Concerned about the added sugars? Kombucha requires a dash of the sweet stuff because the yeast feeds on the sugar in order to ferment the mixture. The amount of sugar present in kombucha will continue to reduce the longer it is left to ferment. That being said, the "Total sugar" you see on kombucha brand labels is actually the amount of sugar that is present in the kombucha after fermentation.
After the cooled sweet tea is mixed with SCOBY, Colleen Sheehan, AADP Holistic Health Practitioner from NutritiousLife.com, explains that the brew takes about eight days to ferment until it can be bottled and spiked with flavor. After that, the brew is left to ferment at room temperature again for about three more days. "The building of the pressure in the bottle causes the kombucha to become more carbonated," she explains.
What are the benefits of kombucha?
There are many benefits of kombucha; however, there is still research to be done to confirm the extent to which kombucha can improve your health. "We currently know very little about kombucha and how it affects human health. No current or conclusive research has been done," says Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN, registered dietitian and founder of Isabel Smith Nutrition.
That being said, we know that kombucha is rich in organic acids and probiotics. "Bacteria in the form of probiotics may support gut health, boost immunity and play a role in regulating blood sugar," explains Smith.
One concrete health benefit of kombucha is that if you swap this bubbly brew for a high-sugar beverage like soda, your health is bound to be better off. Not only will you save yourself dozens of grams of added sugar, but you'll also consume fewer empty calories, which no doubt can help you lose weight.
The 11 best kombucha brands you can buy
Ready to add this bubbly drink to your weekly routine? Below, we've rounded up the best kombucha brands offering the lowest-sugar picks on the market. Each pick features bold flavors coming from fruit, herbs, and spices that help balance the beverage's natural acidity. For more ways to get your probiotic fix in liquid form, don't miss these 9 Best Probiotic-Rich Kefirs for Your Gut.
This ginger-lemon flavor strikes a balance between sweet and tart, while surprising you with a subtle kick in every sip thanks to cold-pressed juices. Almost unbelievably, Health-Ade crafts their kombucha with the utmost of care, brewing in small, two-and-a-half gallon glass jars. The result is a hand-crafted, high-quality kombucha — you can really taste the difference.
Looking for a healthier, lower-sugar lemonade? We bet you'll swoon over GT's Lemonade kombucha, crafted with green and black teas, kiwi juice and lemon juice, and two billion CFUs of gut-healing probiotics. For just six grams of sugar per serving, you'll be happy you picked up a tangy bottle. Before you crack open a bottle, GT recommends tilting it back and forth instead of shaking it to evenly distribute the sediment.
An invigorating blend of rosemary, peppermint, sage, and green tea helps clear your mind come midday while providing a plethora of antioxidants. One cup contains just five grams of sugar, deeming Brew Doctor the ultimate antidote to the 2 p.m. slump. What's unique about Brew Dr. is that the company doesn't add any juices, flavoring, or sugar to sweeten their kombucha after fermentation. Instead, the fruity and herbal notes you taste come directly from the hand-picked tea blend.
Prep your body for that post-work spin class by hydrating with Humm's hopped grapefruit kombucha. Grapefruit contains natural electrolytes such as potassium, which can help replenish stores to prevent fatigue, dizziness, and nausea. This also happens to be a low-calorie, low-carb substitute for a hoppy IPA beer.
Jun is a particular type of kombucha that's brewed using honey rather than sugar or fruit juices. The result is kombucha with mellow honey notes that are complemented with Wild Tonic's careful selection of fruity and botanical flavors like blackberry mint. As far as low-sugar kombucha goes, opting for Wild Tonic's large glass bottle is the way to go. With a resealable lid, you can pour yourself smaller servings at a time to keep your sugar intake low.
For a midsummer pick-me-up, grab a bottle of Kevita's blueberry and basil refresher. It's brewed with sweet blueberry juice and aromatic basil extract and sweetened with a dash of stevia. What's more, this potent probiotic pick is organic, vegan, and kosher.
Cherry and hibiscus combine for a tart and floral treat that will transform your day from drab to fab. The low sugar and calorie counts will make the benefits of kombucha even more satisfying. For more body-benefiting bacteria other than the best kombucha, add these 18 Best Probiotic Products For Gut Health to your diet pronto.
With zero added sugars, Better Booch is one of the best kombuchas you can buy if you're watching your sugar intake. The natural L-theanine present in this black tea blend can help sharpen your focus and keep you energized without giving you caffeine jitters like a cup of coffee would.
Take a mental trip to the tropics with this pineapple- and passion fruit-spiked bev. In addition to the organic fruit juices, Suja adds anti-inflammatory turmeric, which has been shown to improve ailments ranging from irritable bowel syndrome to depression and even acne.
If you're craving a little kick in your drink, Bear's Fruit strawberry-jalapeno kombucha is the way to go. It's made with organic whole fruit and herbs instead of fruit juices. Bear's Fruit is proudly fermented and bottled in Brooklyn, New York.
Rowdy Mermaid makes one of the best kombucha cans. It contains the lowest amount of sugar, and it's also one of the most flavorful options. Soothing lavender and botanical elderflower mellow out the slightly tangy and acidic notes of kombucha in this delicately balanced beverage.