This writer found a so­lu­tion to her weak gut.

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Kombucha loads your sys­tem with good bac­te­ria and this can cause a mini ‘war’ in your gut.

In­ever un­der­stood the im­por­tance of gut health un­til I be­came lac­tose in­tol­er­ant fol­low­ing a se­vere bout of food poi­son­ing last year. Once my di­ges­tive sys­tems was down, I was fall­ing sick more of­ten and feel­ing lethar­gic all the time. But this was also when I started get­ting re­ally in­ter­ested in pro­bi­otics. Pro­bi­otics are the good bac­te­ria that help to sta­bilise your gut and strengthen your im­mune sys­tem. They can be found in fer­mented foods like yo­gurt, kim­chi and kombucha.

Since I can’t take dairy or spicy food, I turned to kombucha to get my pro­bi­otic fix. Ac­cord­ing to Win­nie Ong, fer­men­ta­tion ex­pert and co-founder of lo­cal kombucha and ke­fir mak­ers Craft & Cul­ture, kombucha is a fer­mented drink brewed with tea, su­gar and a sym­bi­otic colony of bac­te­ria and yeast (SCOBY). It tastes like some­thing be­tween sparkling ap­ple cider and cham­pagne, de­pend­ing on the types of teas and su­gar used. As the kombucha cul­ture di­gests the su­gar, it pro­duces a range of or­ganic acids like glu­curonic acid, glu­conic acid, lac­tic acid, acetic acid, vi­ta­mins (in par­tic­u­lar B vi­ta­mins and vi­ta­min C), as well as amino acids and en­zymes. And of course, there are all the ben­e­fits of the pro­bi­otic micro­organ­isms.

Healthy adults are ad­vised to drink one to two bot­tles of kombucha a day. For those who have re­cov­ered from a course of an­tibi­otics or who have a weak gut, it’s best to drink just half a bot­tle and in­crease that to one bot­tle a day grad­u­ally.

When I first re­ceived my batch of kombucha, I couldn’t wait to try it out and fin­ished a bot­tle of it in one sit­ting. I’m a huge fan of the tart, slightly acidic taste (vine­gar lover here) and the kombucha from Craft & Cul­ture is hon­estly de­li­cious. The bad news though, was that a full bot­tle of kombucha proved to be too much for my sen­si­tive gut to han­dle. I ended up with bloat­ing and the runs the next day. Upon check­ing back with Win­nie, I’m told that this isn’t un­usual for those with poor di­ges­tive health (i.e. me).

Kombucha loads your sys­tem with good bac­te­ria and this can cause a mini ‘war’ in your gut. The so­lu­tion? Give your gut time to rest and con­tinue tak­ing pro­bi­otics, but in smaller amounts. A few days later, I start sip­ping only half a bot­tle of kombucha. To make it eas­ier on my sys­tem, I also di­lute my kombucha with an equal part of wa­ter. This turns out to be the sweet spot for me and is also when the magic starts. Here’s what hap­pened af­ter I drank kombucha daily for two weeks.


I’ve al­ways strug­gled with clock­ing qual­ity sleep and of­ten wake up groggy and tired de­spite be­ing in bed for seven or eight hours. I also start feel­ing slug­gish by 3pm when the food coma hits. Af­ter drink­ing kombucha for a week, I no­tice that I’m more re­freshed and alert even if I don’t get enough sleep. Per­haps it’s the dose of B vi­ta­mins nat­u­rally present in the brew that help to sup­port en­ergy pro­duc­tion.


On that note, my Fit­bit Alta HR ac­tiv­ity tracker also shows that I’m clock­ing deeper sleep ev­ery night now that I’m a kombucha reg­u­lar. I can’t find any stud­ies on­line that sup­port this, but per­haps bet­ter gut health just equates to bet­ter di­ges­tion and, ul­ti­mately, bet­ter sleep. This is es­pe­cially in­ter­est­ing since kombucha does con­tain trace amounts of caf­feine (it’s brewed from tea, af­ter all).


While I don’t strug­gle with mov­ing my bow­els, kombucha just made the whole process a lot faster and smoother. Roughly half an hour af­ter I wake up in the morn­ing, I’ll en­joy toi­let time with­out a hitch. Must be all those pro­bi­otics do­ing their thing.


Pre­vi­ously, my gut was so sen­si­tive that I started de­vel­op­ing a fear of eat­ing out and tak­ing car rides. I just never knew when I’d need to rush to find a toi­let should my tummy start churn­ing again. I strug­gled with a lot of bloat­ing and dis­com­fort, and any­thing re­motely dif­fi­cult to di­gest would trig­ger my stom­ach. Drink­ing kombucha reg­u­larly seems to have re­ally im­proved my gut health though. I no longer ex­pe­ri­ence the un­com­fort­able gas and churn­ing af­ter a meal. More im­por­tantly, I hold my food bet­ter and usu­ally only have to clear my bow­els once – as op­posed to five or six times – a day.


Af­ter two weeks of drink­ing kombucha daily, I must ad­mit that I’m now a con­vert. I love how it tastes and – more im­por­tantly – how it makes me feel. In time, I’ll prob­a­bly up the dosage of kombucha to a bot­tle a day, but my part-wa­ter-part-kombucha so­lu­tion works great for me at the mo­ment. Give kombucha a try and check out the of­fer­ings at Craft & Cul­ture if you’re look­ing to im­prove your di­ges­tive health. Af­ter all, a healthy gut is the cor­ner­stone of a healthy body!

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