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Does Kombucha Break a Fast? Facts to Know
Intermittent Fasting

Does Kombucha Break a Fast? Facts to Know

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Published on 2022 September 8
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3 min

Kombucha is a refreshing, fermented tea product with a wealth of health benefits. It may improve your overall health and wellness, but is it safe to consume it during the fasting window? Here you can learn all about drinking kombucha while practicing intermittent fasting.

Does kombucha break a fast
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Kombucha is a beverage many people enjoy. It has several properties that make it a great drink, including powerful antioxidants and probiotics that keep your body and gut healthy.

You might have heard that black and green tea are safe choices for intermittent fasting. As a tea product, you’re probably wondering if you can sip on kombucha when you’re feeling thirsty in the fasting window. Before making any assumptions, let’s assess the nutrition facts.

In this article, you can learn all about consuming kombucha and intermittent fasting.

Does Kombucha Break a Fast?

Yes, if you drink kombucha, you will break your fast. It is made from fermented tea, and sugar is required to ferment tea (usually cane sugar). Sugar tends to cause an immediate spike in blood sugar levels and signals your pancreas to release insulin. This disrupts your fast and limits the benefits of your chosen eating pattern.

Kombucha also contains calories, with 20 calories per 100g serving. If following a strict intermittent fasting schedule, any number of calories will break your fast. Participants should avoid calorie-containing food and drinks to maintain a clean fast without interruption.

So, because of the calories and sugar present from the fermentation process, you should avoid drinking kombucha during the fasting period. If you love kombucha, save it for the eating window, where you can enjoy this drink without hindering the fat-burning process.

What Is Kombucha?

Kombucha is an ancient fermented beverage of Chinese origin, made traditionally from fermented green or black tea. It traveled to Russia before entering Europe, gaining popularity in the early 20th century, and is widely recognized for its purported health benefits.

Kombucha is made using a fermentation process that combines brewed black or green tea, sugar, and a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY). The mixture is left to ferment for a period of one week to one month, where several new bioactive compounds form.

Taste-wise, kombucha is sweet and sour. It can range from sweet to vinegary-tasting, depending on the fermentation period. Kombucha is often served with spices and citrus fruits to enhance the flavor, and it can be served warm or cold, depending on your preferences.

Does Kombucha Cause an Insulin Spike?

Yes, kombucha can raise your insulin levels. The sugar present in kombucha raises blood sugar levels while signaling the pancreas to release insulin. For this reason, along with the calories consumed, kombucha breaks a fast and interrupts an intermittent fasting diet plan.

During intermittent fasting, you need to avoid consuming anything that will cause an insulin response to remain in the fasted state. When your insulin levels rise, your body exits the fat-burning mode. It also shuts down ketone production and returns to functioning as normal. 

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Is It Good to Break a Fast With Kombucha?

When practicing intermittent fasting, it can be a good idea to drink kombucha when you want to break your fast. Fermented foods are some of the best foods to break a fast. They are great for gut health, as they are full of antioxidants and probiotics (live bacteria and yeasts).

Probiotics help restore the balance between the good and bad bacteria in your gut. This can ease digestive problems, aid digestion, and boost the immune system.

After prolonged periods without food, you should break your fast with food and drinks that are gentle on the digestive system. In the right amount, kombucha can be a good choice. However, too much kombucha can cause stomach upset, causing excess gas and bloating.

Some people prefer to break a fast with protein and healthy fats, as they tend to be easier for the body to handle after fasting. You should never eat highly-processed foods immediately following a fast, as they can upset your digestive system.

What’s the Best Time to Drink Kombucha?

The best time to drink kombucha during intermittent fasting is in your eating window. That way, you don’t have to worry about kombucha breaking your fast and limiting weight loss results.

During the eating period, you can drink kombucha at any time. You can benefit from kombucha in the morning or afternoon when you need more energy, as it boosts energy levels and keeps you hydrated. 

As it usually contains caffeine, most people do not consume kombucha at night.

A Word From Our MD

Kombucha is a refreshing beverage made from tea, sugar, bacteria, and yeast. It is packed with beneficial bacteria and nutrients to support your overall health.

It has strong antioxidant properties due to the high amounts of polyphenols. These polyphenols can help reduce oxidative stress and may prevent the growth of cancerous cells.

Adding kombucha to healthy diet plans alongside fasting may help you lose weight. Kombucha is good for weight loss because it boasts many of the same benefits as green tea. Consuming green tea regularly can increase calorie burn, reduce body fat, and improve blood sugar control.

If you are following the keto diet and fasting for weight loss purposes, kombucha is keto-friendly in limited quantities.

If fasting for diabetes management, kombucha can help stabilize blood sugars and improve insulin sensitivity. More research, however, is necessary to determine the role of kombucha for people with diabetes.

If you are fasting for weight loss and want a caffeine fix to make your fast more comfortable, black coffee, black tea, and green tea are excellent choices. They are very low in calories, so long as you don’t add milk, sugar, and other ingredients that will quickly break your fast.

Conclusion

Kombucha will break a fast, but it makes a great addition to your intermittent fasting diet if you only drink it during the eating hours. It has several purported health benefits that will keep your body strong and healthy while practicing intermittent fasting.

Remember to check the label before consuming store-bought kombucha. Many varieties often contain more sugar and sugar-rich fruit juices that you must limit when trying to lose weight. Try making homemade kombucha to keep the sugar and alcohol content low.

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
Medically reviewed byRosmy Barrios, MD
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