Is Kombucha Keto-Friendly? (& Substitutes)

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Many calorie-rich drinks are not good for ketogenic diets. Find out whether kombucha is keto-friendly or not and what alternatives you have.

The first thing to note is that the exact amounts of carbs can vary from kombucha to kombucha due to different brewing processes and ingredients.

That being said, one example of kombucha contains around 4 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams. That means that one glass of this kombucha already contains 9.6 grams.

4 grams of carbs per 100 grams is not that high for whole foods but because kombucha is so easy to consume in bigger amounts, it is fair to say that kombucha is generally not keto-friendly.

You can generally expect similar amounts from other kombuchas.

It is typically smarter to go for one of the more low-carb drinks on a ketogenic diet. If you still decide to drink kombucha on keto make sure you choose one that is relatively low in carbs.

How many carbs there are in kombucha

Ketogenic diets are very low-carb diets so knowing how many carbs there are in kombucha is very important. This can help you figure out whether there is any hope for fitting in small portions.

100 grams of one example of kombucha contain the following amounts of carbs (1):

  • Total carbs: 4 grams
  • Of which fiber: 0 grams
  • Net carbs: 4 grams

In theory, you could be able to fit 100 grams of kombucha into your ketogenic diet.

That being said, it is very easy to consume more than half a glass of kombucha.

Even if you would have the strength to stick to this amount, it is likely not worth using so many of your daily carbohydrates on 100 ml of a drink that does not really contain a lot of nutrients.

One glass of this kombucha is about 240 ml (8 oz) and contains the following amounts of carbs:

  • Total carbs: 9.6 grams
  • Of which fiber: 0 grams
  • Net carbs: 9.6 grams

In combination with a reasonable amount of food, the 9.6 grams of carbs in one glass of kombucha is likely enough to kick you out of ketosis.

On top of that, many kombucha brands add extra sugar to their drinks. That makes the number of carbohydrates in it even higher.

Why kombucha is high in carbs

Kombucha is made by taking sweetened green or black tea, adding specific micro-organisms, adding sugar, and letting the mixture ferment.

The micro-organisms consume a lot of the sugar you add but typically not everything. This makes it so kombucha is often high in carbs without really containing any vitamins and minerals.

Why you can typically not drink kombucha on keto

To understand why you theoretically can drink tiny amounts of kombucha on keto, it can be helpful to go over the keto basics.

This will also help you avoid overdoing it which typically means realizing kombucha does not fit into your ketogenic diet.

Ketogenic diets are ways of eating where you limit your carbohydrate to a point where you get into ketosis. Ketosis is a state where you mainly use fat as fuel (2).

Exactly how many carbs and kombucha you can consume before getting kicked out of ketosis depends on details like your body weight, body composition, and exercise habits.

That being said, a typical recommendation is getting 55%-60% of your macronutrients from fat, 30%-35% from protein, and 5%-10% from carbohydrates.

This is not perfect for everyone but does help you get an idea of what it takes to follow a ketogenic diet.

If you apply the ratios above, you will likely conclude that you can eat around 20 to 50 grams of carbs a day (not including fiber).

Substitutes for kombucha on keto

You are likely interested in kombucha on keto because you want to drink something with a bit more taste because you want something with probiotics in it.

While kombucha is not a keto-friendly option, there are a variety of other foods and drinks that can help you with these things.

If you are looking for more keto-friendly fermented foods, a few potential substitutes include pickles, kimchi, and sauerkraut.

These do still contain some carbohydrates so you don’t want to overdo it either.

Besides that, you may also want to know about other low-carb drinks with more taste.

Some examples of these include regular tea, coffee, and water flavored with a bit of fruit juice (like lemon or lime).

Why do you follow a ketogenic diet?

By now it should be clear that kombucha will typically contain enough carbohydrates to kick you out of ketosis. How much of a problem this is depends on why you follow a keto diet.

For example, some people need/want to stay in strict ketosis every minute of the day. If you are in this category, you want to stay away from kombucha.

On the other hand, kombucha can be alright for weight loss and health (but generally not great either). Even if it raises your carbohydrate intake too much to stay in ketosis.

Is kombucha high in sugar?

100 grams of one example of kombucha contain 4 grams of sugar. Many fruit juices and soft drinks are a good amount higher in sugar so compared to these, kombucha is not high in sugar.

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Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.