Many people call kombucha a “healthy soda-pop.” It contains a high amount of probiotics and beneficial acids you won’t get from any soda-pop, plus a lower sugar content. It’s fizzy and delicious like soda-pop and, if you started with caffeinated tea, it will give you a bit of a caffeine boost.
However, it is NOT true that it is sugar free. A study done by Cornell University showed:
- At the 7-day mark, the yeast had used the minerals from the tea to produce enzymes that separated the sugar into glucose and fructose. At this point, the sugar was easier to digest, but not diminished in total volume.
- At the 15-day mark, the yeast had eaten enough sugar to reduce the concentration from 4 tsp. to about 3.3 tsp per cup. The sour flavor comes from the acids that are forming, but that sweet tone is still the sugar.
- At 30-days, the sugar was gone, but the drink was too sour for most people to drink without adding a sweetener.
Note: You must use real sugar to brew kombucha. The SCOBY can’t use stevia, xylitol or other artificial sweeteners to create the probiotics and acids that make kombucha so good for you. If you want or need to know the sugar content of your home brew, you can use sugar test strips. Diabetics may be able to brew the sugar out of the kombucha, then sweeten it with something safe. I haven’t tried this, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work.