You've likely heard of Kombucha, as it's popularity has significantly resurfaced again since the late 1980's, but how about Kefir Soda? Like Kombucha, Kefir Soda is a fermented beverage that boasts gut-loving probiotics, but instead of tea, it is made with water kefir grains. Both Kombucha and Kefir Soda are relatively low in sugar, particularly in comparison to regular soda, and the sugar that these beverages contain is necessary for feeding the live bacteria cultures.
Let's take a look at their nutrition labels:
Both beverages contain billions of live cultures. The types of live cultures differ among these specific flavors and breaking down the benefits and differences with each strain will be spared at this time as it would be quite extensive. In general, the main function of probiotics is optimizing gut-health by promoting good bacterial growth while inhibiting the bad and boosting immune function. Calorically speaking, this Kombucha is slightly higher for a full bottle, though it is important to note the 4 oz difference in bottle size accounting for this difference. Grams of sugar are slightly higher for the Kefir Soda, however, this is seemingly of low significance as no sugar was added after fermentation for either beverage. The most significant difference between these beverages would be the vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant component present in Kombucha yet minimal in Kefir Soda. Also, Kombucha typically contains caffeine due to the tea it is made with while Kefir Soda is caffeine-free.
So, what's the verdict? Both beverages are a suitable choice for promoting gastrointestinal function due to their probiotic content, particularly following a course of antibiotics or for sufferers of gastrointestinal disorders such as IBS. Kefir Soda and Kombucha are great probiotic options for those that are intolerant of dairy and cannot drink the milk kefir or tolerate yogurt.Better yet, they are a much more health-conscious fizzy alternative to soda. Try them both and see which suits your palate better!
aureys D, De Vuyst L. Water kefir as a promising low-sugar probiotic fermented beverage. Archives of Public Health. 2014;72(Suppl 1):P1. doi:10.1186/2049-3258-72-S1-P1.