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Is That Kombucha a Fake?

By Sara Butler

Believe it or not, not all kombucha is what it's cracked up to be. This trendy probiotic is all the rage right now, but not all that is available to you can help you achieve the gut health you're seeking. Here are a few of the tell-tale signs that the kombucha you see is a fake and how to pick out the real deal.

What is Kombucha?

Kombucha is a fermented, sweet drink with probiotics. It normally has a base of black or green tea that is fermented with a little sugar and a culture of yeast and bacteria called SCOBY. It's an easy way to get a dose of healthy probiotics that can have a positive impact on your gut health as well as your overall health.

Is It Refrigerated?

Kombucha is alive and that means it can't sit out on a shelf at room temperature. Real kombucha will always be found in the refrigerated section of the store. If you find one that isn't, then it's probably an impostor and should give it a pass. Plus, it tastes better cold!

Check the Ingredients

There are several things that the ingredients can tell you to help you spot real kombucha from fake. It should list black or green tea in the ingredients since that's its base. Avoid any kombucha that says it contains any extracts, essences, or tea flavorings.

Also, never buy kombucha that lists kombucha near the end of the ingredients list. That means that you're buying a weak version of the drink that is mostly water.

The Taste

Real kombucha will have a tangy taste. This flavor is unique and is produced in the fermentation process. If you don't notice that tang, then the kombucha you're sipping on may be an impostor!

Watch Out for Juice

The SCOBY in kombucha needs a little sugar to set off the fermentation process, but sugar should not be a top ingredient. The sugar per serving should actually be very low because quality kombucha doesn't have juice or sugar in after fermentation. Adding flavoring in the form of juice is quite common, though, so make sure to keep an eye on it if you want to watch your sugar intake. Aim for kombucha with less than 10 grams of sugar in a serving.

Kombucha is a great way to get a healthy dose of probiotics, but make sure you're getting the real thing.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Lynnwood, Wash.

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