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Can You Drink Kombucha While Pregnant?

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Can You Drink Kombucha While Pregnant 1 2 Parenthoodbliss

Even though kombucha is a fermented tea that was first made in China thousands of years ago, it has recently shot into popularity due to its potential health benefits. In addition to providing healthy probiotics, kombucha tea provides the same health benefits as drinking black or green tea. However, there is a lot of debate about whether you can drink kombucha while pregnant or breastfeeding.

We are here to answer this question and leave you some tips on what you can drink instead of Kombucha while pregnant. Meanwhile, take a look at what teas during pregnancy are safe to consume!

But First, What Is Kombucha?

Before we get into the science of whether pregnant women can drink kombucha, let’s understand what this popular brew is. Kombucha is a fermented beverage that is frequently made with green or black tea. There are many different ways to make kombucha. However, it typically entails a process of double fermentation.

  • A SCOBY, a round, flat culture of bacteria and yeast, is typically fermented for a few weeks at room temperature in sweetened tea.
  • After that, the kombucha is put to ferment in bottles.
  • It carbonates for another one to two weeks. As a result, the beverage is slightly acidic, slightly sweet, and refreshing.
  • To speed up the fermentation and carbonation process, kombucha is typically stored at room temperature after that.

Although grocery stores sell kombucha, some people prefer to make their own, which necessitates careful preparation and monitoring. Fermented tea has expanded in deals as of late because of its apparent medical advantages.

It is a good source of probiotics, which feed healthy bacteria to your gut. Probiotics have been linked to several health benefits, including better digestion, weight loss, and the potential to lessen systemic inflammation.

Concerns About Consuming Kombucha While Pregnant or Nursing

Despite the numerous health benefits, there are a few things to keep in mind before you can drink kombucha while pregnant. Take a look:

Contains Alcohol

Alcohol is produced in trace amounts during the fermentation process of kombucha tea. According to Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) regulations, kombucha is marketed as a “non-alcoholic” beverage which means it can still contain no more than 0.5% alcohol. A 0.5% liquor content isn’t much because that’s the amount in most non-hard brews.

However, health agencies continue to advise keeping alcohol consumption to a minimum throughout the entire pregnancy. Additionally, the CDC states that alcohol of any kind can be equally harmful. In addition, home-brewed kombucha typically has a higher alcohol content, with some brews reportedly containing as much as 3%.

If a breastfeeding mother consumes alcohol, it may enter her milk. One serving of alcohol, which typically consists of 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of spirit, must be metabolised within one to two hours. Despite the fact that kombucha contains much less alcohol than one serving of alcohol, it should still be considered harmful because babies metabolize alcohol at a much slower rate than adults. It is still unknown how small amounts of alcohol will affect a woman who is pregnant or nursing.

It Is Unpasteurized

Pasteurization is the process of heating food and beverages to kill harmful bacteria like salmonella and listeria. When fermented tea is in its most perfect structure, it has not been sanitized. Milk, soft cheeses, and raw juices that have not been pasteurized should not be consumed during pregnancy, according to the FDA, as they may contain harmful bacteria.

Pregnant women and their unborn children could suffer harm from exposure to harmful pathogens like listeria, including an increased risk of stillbirth and miscarriage. Before you decide whether you can drink kombucha while pregnant, read further to uncover more risks.

It Is Acidic

After it has finished fermenting, kombucha contains some acetic acid, which gives it the vinegary flavor and smell. It is about as acidic as soda, which can lead to tooth decay and heartburn. Check the label of the kombucha you buy to see if it contains added sugars. However long it doesn’t irritate your stomach, bubbly beverages are presumably fine from time to time — simply wash out your mouth to safeguard your teeth.

May Contain Harmful Contaminants

Kombucha can become contaminated with harmful pathogens, although this is less likely to occur in commercially prepared beverages than in home-brewed kombucha. Sadly, the environment in which friendly and beneficial probiotics in kombucha are produced is also the environment in which harmful pathogens and bacteria thrive. For this reason, fermenting fermented tea under clean circumstances and legitimate taking care of will be of extreme significance.

It Is Caffeinated

Can I drink kombucha while pregnant is synonymous with asking if can I drink caffeine during pregnancy. Kombucha does contain caffeine because it is typically made with either green or black tea. Caffeine is an energizer and can uninhibitedly cross the placenta and enter a child’s circulation system. The amount of caffeine in kombucha varies, but it’s important to keep in mind that your body needs more time to process caffeine when you’re pregnant.

Furthermore, for breastfeeding moms, a little level of caffeine winds up in breast milk. Consuming a lot of caffeine while breastfeeding could make your baby more irritable and help you feel more awake. Along these lines, pregnant and breastfeeding ladies are encouraged to restrict caffeine utilization to something like 200 mg each day.

Most examinations show that drinking caffeine during pregnancy in a limited amount may not affect your unborn baby. However, some studies indicate that an increase in caffeine intake may be linked to negative outcomes such as miscarriage, low birth weight, and premature birth.

The Bottom Line: Can You Drink Kombucha While Pregnant?

Kombucha is a fermented beverage with a few health benefits. However, there are significant risks to consider when drinking kombucha while pregnant or nursing. Despite the lack of large-scale studies on the effects of drinking kombucha during pregnancy, due to its low alcohol content, caffeine content, and lack of pasteurization, it may be best to avoid drinking kombucha during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Eventually, the microbiological constituents of this tea require further study to justify its advantages. Try kefir made from pasteurized milk, yogurt with active live cultures, or fermented foods like sauerkraut if you want to include probiotics in your diet while you are pregnant or nursing.

FAQs: On Whether You Can Drink Kombucha While Pregnant

1. Is it OK to drink kombucha when pregnant?

All of the live and active cultures that grow during fermentation are present in raw kombucha. Despite the fact that this is the preferred method of brewing, it produces a product that has not been pasteurized, which many doctors tell pregnant women to avoid.

2. What if I drank kombucha before knowing I was pregnant?

You should probably continue to consume kombucha in moderation if you did not experience any adverse effects from drinking it prior to becoming pregnant or breastfeeding.

3. How much caffeine is in kombucha?

the tea leaves used to make fermented tea (dark, green, white, oolong) normally contain caffeine. Even though kombucha naturally contains caffeine, it only contains about15 milligrams per serving, barely noticeable to those who are sensitive to caffeine.

4. Why is kombucha not pasteurized?

Kombucha is a traditionally fermented beverage that is typically consumed raw, meaning unpasteurized, to preserve the probiotics and nutrients that are present in a living form.

5. What can I have instead of kombucha during pregnancy?

Kefir or yogurt with live and dynamic societies is an extraordinary option to fermented tea and gives various possibly supportive microbes and yeast.

6. Is kombucha OK while breastfeeding?

According to official NHS guidelines, breastfeeding mothers should limit their caffeine consumption to less than 200 milligrams per day. There is some caffeine in kombucha, but only 7.43 milligrams per 275 milliliter bottle, which is well below the recommended limit.

7. How much kombucha is okay per day?

Consuming approximately 4 ounces (oz) of kombucha per day "may not cause adverse effects in healthy persons," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

8. Which kombucha brands are pasteurized?

Kevita Master Brew Kombucha uses a pasteurization process to prevent their kombucha from further fermenting on store shelves, despite their claim of live cultures.

9. Can kombucha be drunk daily?

While a glass of kombucha is fine, multiple daily servings may not be the best option. This may take over the water space reserved in your body, may contain caffeine from the tea, and may harm your teeth due to its acidity.

10. What fermented foods should be avoided during pregnancy?

Not every fermented food is safe for pregnant women. As a general rule, you ought to avoid aged meat, eggs, and crude cheddar. If such food sources were not something you ate before your pregnancy, then start by eating in limited quantities.


Reviewed By:

 Jessica - Nutritionist Dietician

Jessica - Nutritionist Dietician

Jessica is the owner and registered dietitian nutritionist at Nutrition That Heals, LLC. She started her dietetics career working in acute care where she gained a great deal of invaluable experience, learning all about different disease states and their appropriate nutrition interventions. She then worked in long term care where she was able to develop her skills and knowledge base dealing with the elderly population. Following long term care, she worked as an outpatient dialysis dietitian, working with patients to help them eat their best for their kidney failure and often other health conditions (diabetes, heart disease, etc.). She then made the jump back to be an inpatient clinical dietitian. There, she was able to work with patients with strokes, cancer, orthopedic issues, as well as the pediatric population. During her most recent time working as an inpatient clinical dietitian, a great opportunity presented itself and it was a great way to move into focusing more on her dream of opening a private practice. She currently works full time as a contract dietitian with Dietitians on Demand conducting 1:1 nutrition counseling sessions while also working with patients here at Nutrition That Heals, LLC. ​She has been grateful enough to know how powerful good nutrition can be, but after being diagnosed with endometriosis in March 2022, she had to fully focus on the importance of anti-inflammatory foods, proper hydration, and self-care. This diagnosis motivated her to put pen to paper and get her business started - she wanted to teach what she had learned to others - food should be nourishing. Jessica wants to show you how you can heal with good nutrition, and feel your absolute best!

On behalf of the editorial team at Parenthoodbliss, we follow strict reporting guidelines and only use credible sources, along with peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and highly respected health organizations. To learn about how we maintain content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.

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