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Home arrow Health arrow Gut Health arrow Probiotic Drinks: 9 Healthy Beverages to Fuel Your Gut Health

Probiotic Drinks: 9 Healthy Beverages to Fuel Your Gut Health

Dr. Donika Vata
Written by Donika Vata, MD
HR_author_photo_Edna
Fact checked by Edna Skopljak, MD
Last update: July 24, 2023
7 min read 2380 Views 0 Comments
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Probiotic drinks are a convenient way to get your daily dose of live, active cultures. They offer an alternative to probiotic foods, but what exactly are they? Discover the health benefits of drinking probiotics and the best beverages to include in your diet.

Probiotic drinks

You might be familiar with probiotic foods like sourdough bread, sauerkraut, and yogurt, but did you know you can get your dose of probiotics from liquids?

Plenty of beverages are packed with probiotic cultures to boost your digestive and overall health. These drinks are highly convenient – when you don’t have the time to snack on your favorite food products, you can quickly get your fix from a drink instead.

So, what are probiotic drinks, and how do they work? 

What Are Probiotic Drinks?

Probiotic drinks are drinks containing live, active cultures. These beneficial bacteria are good for you as they deliver health benefits, particularly for your gastrointestinal health. That’s because they balance out the good and bad bacteria living in your digestive tract.

Many people eat probiotic foods or take probiotic supplements to boost their gut health, but you can also get a healthy dose of bacteria from consuming drinkable products. Probiotics are usually added to the drinks during the fermentation process.

Various fermented drinks are available for those who don’t get enough bacteria from natural food sources or want to increase their intake for a health kick.

9 Best Probiotic Drinks to Feed Your Gut

Now you know the benefits of drinks with active ingredients, it’s time to think about the options available. If you’re wondering what the best probiotic drink is, keep reading.

#1 Kefir

Kefir comes top of the list regarding the best probiotic in liquid form. It is a fermented milk drink cultured from kefir grains. The grains are added to the milk (usually cow’s), where the bacteria and yeasts begin to multiply and ferment the milk’s sugars.

Kefir is not a yogurt drink but has a distinctive sour, yogurt-like taste.

It is a super healthy drink that contains probiotics and other nutrients like calcium, magnesium, vitamin D, and B group vitamins. If you’re not keen on other fermented dairy products like aged cheese, you can simply opt for a cup of fresh milk kefir.

#2 Apple cider vinegar

If you want something dairy-free, try raw apple cider vinegar. It is made from fermenting the sugar in apples and contains natural probiotics and potent antioxidants. It has a ton of purported benefits, from improving the appearance of skin to supporting immunity.

Another bonus is that apple cider vinegar is low in calories and may support weight loss by promoting satiety and aiding blood sugar control. This makes it a good choice for people with diabetes or blood sugar problems.

#3 Kombucha

Kombucha is a firm favorite in the health world. This fizzy fermented drink is made from tea, sugar, and a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY). It has a sweet and sour taste and offers probiotics, organic acids, antioxidants, and B vitamins.

Drinking kombucha can boost the beneficial bacteria in your gut, which may alleviate common digestive issues like gas and bloating. It can help regulate cholesterol levels, support weight loss, boost immunity, and improve digestion.

Keep in mind when determining your daily intake that, as a carbonated drink, it can cause adverse digestive effects. You can also get creative with your choices and opt for flavored kombucha, with variations like ginger lemon, raspberry lemonade, and strawberry.

#4 Yogurt drink

Drinkable yogurts are dairy products very similar to traditional yogurt that you eat. They contain live probiotics to fuel your gastrointestinal system with healthy bacteria. Yogurt, in general, offers multiple health benefits, including support for diabetes and heart disease.

There are many brands and variations of yogurt drinks. Greek yogurt is most often linked with a higher amount of probiotics. Remember to check the nutrition facts on the label to ensure you make a nutritious choice. Many contain added sugar that you should try to avoid.

#5 Kvass

Kvass is a Russian, fermented probiotic drink traditionally made from stale rye bread and barley malt or rye flour. It is considered a non-alcoholic beverage, although it does contain a very small amount of alcohol.

Kvass is highly nutritious, providing magnesium, manganese, selenium, iron, vitamin B12, and other vitamins and minerals.

Furthermore, it’s packed with living cultures to nourish your gut environment. Animal studies show that this beverage can significantly improve gastrointestinal function and motility.

#6 Traditional buttermilk

Traditional buttermilk is the buttery liquid left behind after churning milk into butter. It is originally consumed as a drink but is more popular today as an ingredient in baking. However, you can still add buttermilk as a probiotic-rich drink to your routine.

The more modern variety, known as cultured buttermilk, has been pasteurized and homogenized with lactic acid cultures added to ferment the lactose in milk. However, this type of buttermilk has no value if you want to gain probiotics from your drink.

#7 Coconut kefir

Coconut kefir is a dairy-free variation of the original kefir fermented milk drink. It is made from coconut milk or coconut water fermented with kefir grains. Like its dairy counterpart, coconut kefir is packed with benefits for your gastrointestinal system.

Ultimately, it offers all the same benefits as dairy kefir and is suitable for people with lactose intolerance. It fuels the bacterial environment to keep your body healthy by fighting off infection, strengthening your immune system, and supporting digestive processes.

#8 Lassi

Lassi is a popular probiotic drink in India. It is a frothy yogurt-based drink made with water, spices, salt or sugar, and occasionally fruit. It’s served cold and is an excellent choice when you need something chilled and refreshing on a hot day.

Lassi is good for your digestive system because it is an excellent source of gut-friendly probiotics. It contains lactobacillus strains, and studies show it may also be effective in lowering serum cholesterol levels.

#9 Ayran

Ayran is a type of yogurt drink popular in the Middle East. It’s made from yogurt, water, and salt and is full of probiotics to help with gastrointestinal problems like constipation and diarrhea. You can also benefit from good amounts of calcium, protein, potassium, and B vitamins.

Do Probiotic Drinks Work?

A probiotic drink containing adequate numbers of good bacteria can support your health. These bacteria travel through your body, altering your existing gut bacteria and restoring the natural balance between the good and bad types.

While the FDA does not approve any health claims for probiotics because they are classed as a nutritional supplement, research suggests they can help improve your life by supporting digestive health, metabolic health, the immune system, and more.

How exactly they work depends on the probiotic strains present in the drink. Different strains offer different health benefits, from improving the skin to supporting the heart.

In addition, everybody’s gut microbiome is unique and probiotic drinks won’t work the same for all.

Are Probiotic Drinks Good for You?

Probiotic drinks are good for you, provided that they contain enough good bacteria. Probiotic supplements, drinks, and foods can all promote a healthy gut in the proper doses by keeping your body in balance. A healthy gut can significantly influence the rest of your health.

A considerable part of your immune system (around 70–80%) lives in the gut, which is why live probiotics are great for immune function. They ward off disease by keeping the unfriendly bacteria at bay, help control inflammation, and support nutrient absorption.

What Does a Probiotic Drink Do?

Like probiotic-rich foods and probiotic supplements, a probiotic drink provides your body with good live bacteria. You might think of bacteria as harmful, but probiotics are a friendly type that the human body needs to thrive and function optimally.

So, consuming a beverage containing these live cultures will help balance your good and bad bacteria or replace any lost microorganisms after a period of illness or antibiotic treatment.

Is Probiotic Water Good for You?

Probiotic water is good for you because, like other probiotic liquids, consuming it delivers friendly bacteria to boost your gut and overall health.

Probiotic water is a type of probiotic supplement drink comprising probiotics dispersed in spring water. It typically contains additional nutrients and electrolytes for an extra health boost. Just be mindful that some products contain sweeteners and artificial flavors.

What does probiotic water do for you?

Probiotic water offers the same or similar benefits as other probiotic food and drinks, primarily supporting your intestinal tract health. It may reduce bouts of common digestive complaints, such as irregular bowel movements, bloating, constipation, and excess gas.

One study shows a water-based probiotic can treat gut pathogens.

FAQs

Are probiotic shots good for you?

Yes, probiotic shots are good for you in the right doses. They typically offer the same probiotic benefits as fermented probiotic drinks and foods. Plus, they provide a fast and convenient way to get your daily probiotics.

How many probiotic drinks a day should I drink?

How many probiotic drinks you should consume daily depends on how many billions of CFU it contains per serving. There is no standard recommendation, but one probiotic drink a day should be sufficient for most people. Too many probiotics might cause digestive upset.

Is it good to drink probiotic drinks every day?

Generally speaking, it’s recommended and considered safe to take probiotics daily. Still, you should always have a conversation with your doctor before adding a probiotic drink to your daily routine, as there are some side effects to consider.

A Word From an MD

Drinks containing probiotics have many perks when added to a well-balanced diet. They can alleviate common digestive complaints and may reduce symptoms of digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome. That’s because these strains feed good bacteria to your gut flora.

You should choose a high-quality probiotic supplement drink. Many options are available, from milk-based items like Yakult to fizzy and flavorsome beverages like kombucha. Remember to check the label before buying to ensure it contains enough colony-forming units.

You may also opt for probiotic supplements in case you can’t meet your daily recommended intake. However, be sure to consult with a medical professional first.

Conclusion

Probiotic drinks are one way of fitting more probiotics into your diet. Many taste good, but best of all, they’re nutritious and good for you. Discovering the best probiotic drink for your needs could help with a mix of health concerns, but don’t consider it a cure.

Talk to your doctor about your current health status and the potential benefits of probiotics.

Written by Donika Vata, MD
Dr. Donika Vata is a highly accomplished MD whose extensive experience in the healthcare industry spans over 5 years, making her a distinguished Medical Writer and Researcher for the esteemed Health Reporter. Notably, she also holds the role of a General Practice Doctor and has rendered her exceptional patient care services in various clinics worldwide.
The article was fact checked by Edna Skopljak, MD
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Dr. Donika Vata
Written by Donika Vata, MD
HR_author_photo_Edna
Fact checked by Edna Skopljak, MD
Last update: July 24, 2023
7 min read 2380 Views 0 Comments
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