Would Amanda Eat It?

Or perhaps more aptly, for this week: would Amanda drink it?

There’s a trendy beverage going around the health and fitness community, and it has a weird name and an even weirder taste.  It’s called Kombucha.  And if you aren’t sure how to interpret that, let me make it easy for your: it’s drinkable vinegar.

Ok, maybe that’s oversimplifying.  Kombucha is fermented tea, popular for centuries in China and decades in Russia, that has a host of purported health benefits, including live detoxification, arthritis treatment, and gut and immune health (due to the probiotic and antioxidant properties of the beverage).

But let’s cut to the chase: would Amanda eat (drink) it?  Today I’ll be analyzing one of the top Kombucha brands out there – GT – and sticking with the “original” (plain) flavor.

The good:

  • over two billion active probiotic organisms – this stuff is like Greek yogurt without the dairy
  • 20% of all your daily B vitamins (great for energy), plus a 25% kick of folic acid (great for women)
  • low cal (only 60 cals per bottle; 4g sugar)

The bad:

  • the 4g of sugar don’t really “pay off” – it is still very sour, especially in original flavor
  • there are no medically proven health benefits outside of what I mentioned above (healthy bacteria and some vitamins*)
  • too much of a good thing can lead to unfortunate conditions, such as metabolic acidosis and tooth decay (both related to an excess of acid in the body)

The verdict:

  • Yeah, I’d drink some Kombucha – conditionally (through a straw, in small doses  – doctors recommend no more than 4 ounces daily – if I didn’t have access to Greek yogurt, and if I needed the B-vitamin boost).
  • That being said, I personally think it tastes horrid and the carbonation makes it even more abrasive, but if it was between kombucha and say, diet soda – of course I’d choose this, but still in moderation.
  • There is no demonstrated benefit to drinking an entire “serving size” of kombucha offered in these bottles, and due to the lack of pasteurization and slight alcohol content in some of these drinks, they can be harmful for children and pregnant women – so make your own choice about whether kombucha is right for you.

Applications are open for next week’s Would Amanda Eat It – leave your food requests in the comments or hit me up on my Facebook page!

*I had one loyal reader ask me about kombucha with chia, and to that I say – get your chia some other way.  The drinks with chia are only adding texture and sugar calories (more than double the plain stuff).  I say drop the chia in your oatmeal or blend it into a green juice for a healthier dose.

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