Kombucha, the fizzy, vinegary drink that’s been all the rage for close to a decade. From your local farmers market to supermarkets worldwide, kombucha has established itself as the hip, wonder-drink of an entire generation. Sure, there are numerous reported medical benefits but the most important question of all – the question readers of The Posterior demand to know – does kombucha make you poop? We’ll answer that shortly but first, a little background on this amazing probiotic drink.
What is Kombucha?
Kombucha is thought to have been created over 2000 years ago in China. It was initially prized for its healing qualities and was brought from China to Japan by Dr. Kombu, hence the name kombucha. The ingredients for kombucha usually consist of a mixture of yeast, sugar, and black or green tea. After an aging process that lasts 7 or more days, the mixture is strained and placed in bottles like the ones that are store-bought.
Kombucha is often times referred to as “mushroom tea” although it does not actually contain any mushrooms. The people who describe it as “mushroom tea” point out what is called the symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY).
The SCOBY is a biological organism consisting of bacteria and yeast. The bacteria and yeast interact in such a way that they form a symbiotic relationship. As part of the fermenting process, the SCOBY produces a byproduct which is the antioxidant and probiotic rich mixture we know as kombucha.
The fermentation process also produces a small amount of alcohol (about one to three percent). Because of the alcohol content, you may notice that some kombucha products require you to be 21+ to purchase them.
What Are the Benefits of Kombucha?
Kombucha contains probiotics which are a type of friendly bacteria. The friendly bacteria are said to support a healthy digestive tract and are key to various health benefits. Drinking kombucha increases the number of “good” bacteria while decreasing the “bad” bacteria in the gut leading to a more balanced digestive system.
Current research indicates that kombucha has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties as well as being high in antioxidants and polyphenols. In terms of gut health, eating foods that have gone through a natural fermentation can help support the natural gut biome and decrease inflammation.
Will Kombucha Make You Poop?
Now to the pressing question: Does kombucha make you poop? Ultimately, each individual may experience different results when drinking kombucha. A couple of theories include:
- The bacteria and yeast can affect a sensitive stomach, causing you to poop.
- The process of drinking kombucha will balance your gut, which has a side effect of prompting a poop.
Since clinical studies are currently limited, it may be awhile before we learn if kombucha is a natural poop-inducer.