What is Hard Kombucha? Is this drink healthy?
Hard kombucha is a new trend in beverages, but is this drink healthy for us? Does it have any nutrition, let us know more about it.
An adult beverage that is fast becoming a new trend is hand kombuchas. It is a new choice for people who wish to drink and yet remain healthy. Hard kombuchas are advertised as a natural drink that is rich in probiotics and good for gut health as compared to drinks like wine and beer.
In this article, we will know more about hard kombucha and if it is healthy and nutritious for our body so that we can substitute it with other drinks.
What is hard kombucha?
You would have already heard about kombuchas, which is a fermented drink. Tea is fermented with sugar and active culture of yeast or bacteria to make this drink. This process produces regular kombucha with some alcohol naturally. But the strength of alcohol is too less to give a drunk feeling. These are known as “virgin” kombuchas.
On the other hand, hard kombuchas are made with greater strength of tea, sugar, and active culture of bacteria or yeast. Their fermentation process takes a longer time. As a result of the longer time for fermentation, more alcohol is produced from sugar and the content of alcohol by volume is more. Thus hard kombucha is produced and is an alcoholic beverage.
Hard Kombucha and its probiotic content
Regular kombuchas are known to contain probiotics. Probiotics are helpful bacteria that improve gut health and therefore they are good for digestion. But it is not yet known clearly of hard kombuchas also contains the probiotics that will be useful for the stomach. A renowned nutritionist Tracy Lockwood is of the view that hard kombuchas may not contain the required helpful bacteria due to its higher alcohol content. She further says many companies have conducted tests and have seen that the helpful bacteria cannot live if the alcohol content is higher. Some nutritionists believe that hard kombuchas may have some gut-friendly probiotics, but its required amount may not reach the lower gastrointestinal tract to be helpful as usual.
Nutritionists have a divided view on the effectiveness of probiotics found in hard kombuchas, but they firmly believe that higher alcohol content will adversely affect gut health.
How healthy is hard kombucha?
Even if we believe that the probiotics in hard kombuchas may not be as helpful, but still they contain other healthy ingredients. As we know that hard kombuchas are produced with the fermentation of bacteria or yeast with tea and sugar, so they will contain minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants that are helpful for our body.
Hard kombuchas, just like the regular kombuchas, also contain acids like lactic acid, acetic acid and butyric acid that are good for our body. These acids are useful for the digestive process and increase oxidation activity.
Since hard kombuchas have a higher alcohol content, we cannot label them as healthy beverages.
Nutritional comparison of hard kombuchas and other drinks
By comparing the content of alcohol, we can say that hard kombuchas will rank between beer and wine. Hard kombuchas contain 5 to 7% ABV whereas beer and wine contain 5% and 12% ABV respectively.
Hard kombuchas are made from the fermentation of sugar, so they naturally contain more sugar as compared to other alcoholic beverages. But if we compare it with some juices like cranberry, the sugar content can be said to be lower. Most hard kombuchas may have sugar between 2 to 10gm. Some of their varieties are also sugar-free.
As far as calories are concerned, hard kombuchas contain between 80 to 150 calories in one can. This is quite less when compared to simple mocktails. Another plus point for hard kombuchas is that they are completely free from wheat and barley and so can be a better option for those looking for gluten-free drinks. This comparison can tell if hard kombucha is healthy drink or not.
Which are the popular hard kombucha brands?
Some of the very popular hard kombuchas brands that you can try are:
- JuneShine Hard Kombucha
- Wild Tonic Jun Kombucha
- Boochcraft High Alcohol Kombucha
- KYLA Hard Kombucha
- Flying Embers Hard Kombucha
- Tura Alcoholic Kombucha
- Dr Hops Kombucha Beer
- Unity Vibration Kombucha Beer
- New Holland Kombucha IPA
- Lambrucha Hard Kombucha
- G.T.’s Classic Kombucha
Hard kombuchas can be considered as a better choice than beer, wine. They can be a better alcoholic choice than the high sugar content drinks too.
But since it is also an alcoholic drink, it cannot be put in the category of superfoods. Health experts do not recommend more than one to two drinks for adults.
Just like any other alcoholic drink, hard kombuchas should be consumed responsibly just for the liking of taste. These should not be taken thinking they will give any health benefits.
There are many popular brands of hard kombuchas like Flying Embers, June Shine, and Boochcraft which offer unique tastes and flavors like pineapple, pineapple chili, black cherry, honey ginger lemon, and orange mint.
You can enjoy hard kombuchas like any other alcoholic drink knowing if it is healthy for you and enjoy the different flavors.
Part of the Diet for Weight Loss Editorial Team 2021