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We’re passionate about the benefits of kombucha, so we’ve started this blog to share ideas, thoughts, articles, recipes and much more! 

Saturday, 26 October 2013 08:08

Kombucha tea: a positive use for sugar

We're often asked how can kombucha tea be healthy when sugar is listed as a main ingredient?

Sugar is listed as the second ingredient after water, much like most high-calorie colas and sodas. However, GO! Kombucha – unlike other commercial kombucha tea brands who add flavourings and additional sugars prior to bottling - contains just four ingredients; the absolute basics for making fermented tea.

Of the other two, tea leaves and the kombucha culture can't technically be measured by their volume alongside the water and sugar as their role is to activate processes - of tea-making and fermentation respectively - with both physical ingredients being removed after each process is complete; hence why labeling laws require such ingredients to always be listed last.

food source

Sugar can't be all bad because without it there would be no kombucha tea, at least not as we know it, and sugar is after all a feature in over one third of all tea preparations in the UK. Refined or semi-refined sugar is the only food source that the yeasts can digest easily and quickly and convert into the aundance of acids and enzymes that give komucha tea its zingy bite and strength - while maintaining just enough in the end brew to appease the sweet toothed.

Critically, around half the sugar originally added is broken down in this way, leaving around just 5g of sugar per 100ml as compared to artificially carbonated sodas that can contain up to three times that amount. And even when bottled the sugar continues to be digested in a process known as secondary fermentation, or bottle conditioning; the older the bottle, the likelihood is that the sugar is closer to 4g/100ml - or even less!

Furthermore, kombucha tea is alkalizing in the body whereas sugar-laden products tend to be acid-forming, and despite the bad rap sugar gets it is high-fructose corn syrup - which saturates the US food industry - that is the leading cause of America's' obesity epidemic. A 2010 Princeton University study found that rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained substantially more weight than those consuming an identical caloric intake of table sugar.

21 calories per 125ml

Where kombucha tea is concerned, what's important to note are the number of calories per 100ml. A 250ml bottle of GO! Kombucha contains less than 50 calories in total, or <21 calories per 125ml, making it one of the lowest-calorie on-the-go drinks availalble that has not been artificially sweetened.

Of course some will choose to demonize and avoid sugar entirely come what may, including kombucha tea despite its overwhelming plethora of good stuff. Yet drinking unsweetened kombucha tea regularly - that is, well-fermented tea with no additional fruit sugars or syrups added prior to bottling – can recalibrate our taste buds to crave sweet foods less - and even reject them altogether!