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Sober Life | Popular Kombucha Drink Has Alcohol In It

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Kombucha DrinkThe popular kombucha drink is hyped as a powerful probiotic health drink, made by fermenting tea and combining it with yeast and bacteria. This concoction allegedly boosts the immune system and aids in healing physical ailments. This all sounds wonderful, and yet while not clearly labeled, as a result of the fermentation process, the finished product does typically contain alcohol. This poses a potential threat to those who can’t ingest alcohol, like people who suffer from alcoholism, those who have an allergy to alcohol, or anyone who is on medication that can’t be mixed with alcohol.

Kombucha Drink Alcohol Content

What Is Kombucha?

Kombucha is basically fermented tea. Although there are many other distributors of kombucha, the most popular distributor, GT, came out with four different lines of their drink: The Enlightened Kombucha and the Enlighted Synergy, which claim to have zero alcohol, and the Classic Kombucha and Classic Synergy, which can have up to 0.5% alcohol content.

Understanding The Alcohol Content 

The alcohol content in a kombucha drink equates to about one-eighth of a light beer and is equal to that of a non-alcoholic beer. However, fermentation of the tea can continue after production, so even if the alcohol content is 0.5% or below when packaged, levels can continue to rise after leaving the factory, according to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. Just because it is labeled as under 0.5%, doesn’t mean it would be okay to drink if you cannot have any alcohol in your system, especially for those in recovery from alcoholism.

Health Benefits

The kombucha drink is rumored to have plenty of health benefits. It is also referred to as the kombucha mushroom drink, although it has no mushrooms in it. It is actually just a colony of bacteria and yeast which is added to tea and sugar and then fermented. The end product contains vinegar and B vitamins, along with antioxidants and organic acids. According to the Mayo Clinic, there is no concrete evidence at this time that suggests this helps stimulate the immune system, prevent cancer, or improve digestion and liver functions. In many cases, people have reported side effects like upset stomach, infection, and allergic reactions.

Alcohol Content Warning Labels

Hopefully one day, all kombucha drinks and other products like these will have stronger warnings on the front of the labels, instead of hidden in small print on the back, for those who cannot ingest any amount of alcohol. Until then, we must be vigilant about what we buy and what we put into our system as consumers.

If you are in recovery from alcoholism or drug addiction, we do strongly suggest that you stay away from foods, medicines, and beverages that contain alcohol, even if it is a small amount. Since the alcoholic also suffers from the physical allergy to alcohol, it is best not to trigger that reaction. So what can you do to prevent this? Check the labels the next time you are shopping or at a restaurant, and if you have questions, ask! Your life and recovery are worth it.

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