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Does Kombucha Make You Poop? [Digestion Benefits]

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a woman is holding a glass of kombucha drink_Does Kombucha Make You Poop
Melissa Mitri post Reviewer Melissa Mitri post Reviewer
Verified by Melissa Mitri
MS, Registered Dietitian, Former President of CT Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics

Table of Contents

Kombucha is a fermented beverage known for its many health benefits. However, many wonder about the relationship between kombucha and bowel movements and if kombucha makes you poop. Read on to learn more!

Kombucha Ingredients & Benefits

Kombucha is a fermented beverage with a refreshing fizz, a slight sweetness, and a very mild vinegar flavor. Due to the fermentation, kombucha is rich in beneficial, gut-friendly bacteria that promote a healthy gut microbiome and digestive system. 

The base of kombucha is sweetened black or green tea. If green tea is used, the kombucha will have added antioxidants that help protect cells in the body from damage.

According to the journal Nutrients, a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast, or a SCOBY, is then added to the tea and allowed to ferment. [1]

Fermentation occurs as the bacteria and yeast break down the sugar in the tea and release probiotic bacteria (good bacteria). This process also creates the bubbly fizz of kombucha. 

The green or black tea kombucha base provides many benefits, mainly due to its antioxidant composition. Antioxidants are compounds found in foods and beverages that help protect cells in the body. They do this by fighting against the harmful effects of free radicals, which are naturally produced by bodily processes, such as energy metabolism. 

Furthermore, free radicals can contribute to a process called oxidative stress, which may play a role in various diseases in the body. [2]

Kombucha and Bowel Movements

The gut microbiome, or microbiota, is the name for the community of good and bad bacteria living in your gastrointestinal tract.

Ideally, you want more good bacteria in your gut microbiome, which can be achieved by consuming a diet rich in probiotics. Besides kombucha, probiotics can also be found in kefir, kimchi, Greek yogurt, and more. 

Probiotics have been found to be effective in improving acute diarrhea and antibiotic-associated diarrhea. However, chronic diarrhea should be discussed with a physician. [3]

Additionally, a study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology in 2014 examined the role of probiotics in irritable bowel syndrome. This study found them effective in increasing the number of stools per week in those with persistent constipation. [4]

However, more research is needed to determine the exact species, strains, and dosages of probiotic bacteria that are most effective for gastrointestinal disorders. 

Another systematic review found that several studies observed an improvement in symptoms like constipation after consuming probiotics. [5]

However, other studies have yielded inconsistent results. Additional research, therefore, needs to be done to learn more about the effects of probiotics on digestion. 

The best way to maintain gut health and achieve your weight loss goals is by having nutritious and balanced meals, drinking enough water, and being physically active daily—no surprise here. Use an all-in-one weight loss app to receive custom meal plans and weight loss tips and track your progress easily.

Potential Side Effects

It is also essential to note that there are possible side effects of kombucha consumption.

Many wonder if kombucha can make them fart or have other uncomfortable side effects. An article published in the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy found that the most common symptoms associated with consuming probiotics such as kombucha are flatulence and bloating. [6]

Therefore, when consuming kombucha, consume small amounts at first to see if you have any adverse effects, then gradually increase as tolerated. Avoid drinking extremely large quantities of kombucha at one time. 

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Is Kombucha a Laxative?

Many also wonder if they can use kombucha for constipation. Since a laxative is a compound that is intended to loosen stools or increase the number of bowel movements, kombucha is not considered a laxative. 

So, technically, kombucha on its own is not a true laxative, nor are any other probiotic-rich foods such as kefir or kimchi.

However, kombucha’s ingredients and probiotic properties can contribute to healthy and regular bowel movements and, therefore, can be considered to have a mild laxative effect.

The use of probiotics such as kombucha improved stool consistency and frequency and increased the speed of fecal movement through the digestive tract. Therefore, regularly consuming foods and drinks rich in probiotics can support a healthy and regular bowel regimen. [7]

However, it is essential to note that kombucha is not a treatment for chronic constipation, which should be addressed with your physician or other health care provider. 

So, Does Kombucha Help Digestion and Make You Poop?

Overall, we have discussed that kombucha benefits healthy digestion and can contribute to regular bowel movements. But does kombucha make you poop?

While kombucha itself is not a laxative, it still may make you poop shortly after drinking it. This is because it contains both probiotics and water. 

Probiotics and water together help speed up the movement of food through the digestive tract.

A diet high in fiber-rich foods can also support healthy and regular bowel movements. Foods high in fiber include fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. In addition, regular amounts of physical activity can help relieve constipation as well. 

How to Choose Kombucha with the Maximum Health Benefits

Are you stumped over which kombucha to choose at your local grocery store or health food store? Let’s talk about some of the considerations when deciding which kombucha is best for your health and which one will give you the maximum health benefits.

  • Opt for a kombucha brand that is low in sugar or naturally sweetened, such as with stevia.
  • Ensure that live cultures are present in the ingredients list.
  • Choose store-bought kombucha over homemade since there is the risk of contamination from improper preparation.
  • Pick a brand and flavor you like rather than simply drinking for the health benefits — drinking kombucha should be enjoyable! 

Final Words

Let’s break down some of the key points we’ve discussed in this article. 

  • Kombucha is a fermented beverage made by adding a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) to black or green tea and sugar.
  • Kombucha is rich in probiotics, which are healthy strains of bacteria.
  • Probiotics support a healthy gut microbiome, which is the community of good and bad bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Probiotics can improve stool consistency and frequency and increase the speed of movement through the digestive tract.
  • The side effects of consuming probiotics can include bloating and flatulence.
  • Kombucha is not a true laxative but can have a mild laxative effect shortly after consumption due to its probiotic and water content. Some kombucha products are highly sweetened, so opt for a lower sugar variety.

Always speak with a physician or health care provider about drinking kombucha, especially during pregnancy.

Disclaimer This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

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