The 7 Best Kombuchas of 2021, According to a Dietitian

Probiotic beverages to support gut health

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Kombucha is made from combining bacteria, yeast, brewed tea, and sugar. This mixture is then left to ferment for weeks, resulting in a carbonated, sweet, and tangy beverage that contains live, active cultures called probiotics. Probiotics are considered “good” bacteria that help promote a healthy digestive system by balancing the gut microbiome (microorganisms in the gastrointestinal tract) and keeping “bad” bacteria from overpopulating. A healthy gut microbiome improves digestion, supports your immune system, and helps your body synthesize essential nutrients like vitamins B and K.

While more research is needed, current studies show that consuming probiotic-rich products—like kombucha—may help to prevent intestinal diseases, manage gastrointestinal disorders, and support overall health. Kombucha has also been found to have antimicrobial effects, an added immune system benefit of this beverage.

Here, the best kombuchas, so you can get your probiotics in a tasty drink.

Best Overall: Better Booch Kombucha Organic, Variety Pack

Better Booch Kombucha Organic, Variety Pack

Better Booch is an organic, non-GMO, craft-brewed kombucha. They brew their kombucha in small batches for better quality control and flavor. With 50 calories and 10 grams of sugar per 16-ounce can, Better Booch is a great probiotic-packed, refreshing beverage. 

Organic herbs and botanicals are used to create their eleven unique flavors. Try the Morning Glory flavor brewed with black tea that contains naturally existing L-theanine, an amino acid that may enhance mental clarity as well as improve sleep. The Ginger Boost flavor is made with ginger and mint, which may ease an unsettled stomach and improve digestion. A bonus: Better Booch ships their product in temperature-controlled packaging to preserve the probiotics.

Best Budget-Friendly: Suja Organic Mixed Berry Kombucha

SUJA Kombucha Mixed Berries

Suja offers all the probiotic benefits at an affordable price point. This kombucha is sweetened with fruit juices and cane sugar, containing 60 calories and 14 grams of sugar per 16-ounce bottle. Suja brews their beverages with adaptogenic herbs and plants, which have been used as healing agents in Ayurvedic medicine for hundreds of years. Adaptogenic herbs are believed to reduce the effects of chronic stress on the body.

Try the pineapple passion fruit flavor with turmeric, which offers anti-inflammatory benefits. The mixed berry flavor is also delicious and delivers an antioxidant boost.

Best Tasting: GT's Organic Kombucha Gingerade

GT's Organic Kombucha Gingerade

GT’s Enlightened Synergy Kombucha is made with bacteria culture, black tea, green tea, and cane sugar, with most flavors containing about 50 calories and 12 grams of sugar per 16-ounces. This product has been on the market for years, and the balanced flavor profiles always keep us coming back for more.

Top flavors include the spicy kick of the Gingerade, or the Trilogy with fresh-pressed raspberry, lemon, and ginger juice. If you’re looking for a dose of greens, try the Multi-Green flavor which has spirulina, blue-green algae, and chlorella, containing B-vitamins, beta-carotene, vitamin E, minerals, and antioxidants. 

All kombucha is a fermented tea that contains trace amounts of naturally-occurring alcohol from the fermentation process, as sugar molecules break down to alcohol and carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide is what gives the drink its natural carbonation. Many kombucha products on the market contain less than the 0.5% alcohol by volume (ABV) cut off, and are therefore not considered alcoholic beverages.

Best No Sugar Added: Bear's Fruit Kombucha

Bear's Fruit Kombucha

We love the unique flavors that Bear’s Fruit offers including, Strawberry Jalapeno, Blueberry Lavender, and Lemon Rosemary—all made from whole organic fruit and herbs. These flavors perfectly balance the naturally sweet and tangy taste of kombucha.

Each bottle is 10 fluid ounces and contains under 50 calories and just 9 grams of sugar. Bear's Fruit brew their kombucha with whole organic fruit instead of extracting the juice concentrate, which keeps the total sugar content down. There is cane sugar used for the fermentation process, but no sugar or fruit juices are added after that stage. Choose this kombucha if you’re looking to keep your daily sugar intake to a minimum.

Best Flavor Variety: Health-Ade Kombucha Tea Organic Probiotic Drink, Variety Pack

Health-Ade Kombucha Tea Organic Probiotic Drink, Variety Pack

Health-Ade has over a dozen kombucha flavors, so you’ll be sure to find one that suits your taste buds. This product comes in 16 fluid ounce bottles containing around 70 calories and 14 grams of sugar.

For a festive sip, skip the glass of wine or champagne and try the Bubbly Rose flavor. Instead of apple cider, try the Pink Lady Apple for a similar fall crisp flavor and beneficial bacteria. Other flavor favorites include Watermelon, Blood Orange Carrot Ginger,  Mint Limeade, and Tropical Punch.

Best Organic: Revive Sparkling Kombucha

Revive Sparkling Kombucha

One can of Revive’s probiotic-filled kombucha contains only 35 calories and 5 grams of sugar. Their beverages are flavored with organic fruit purees and citrus juices and are non-GMO and certified organic.

This is a great pick for stashing in your bag on-the-go as it does not require refrigeration to preserve the probiotic cultures, thanks to their air-sealed canning process. Revive flavors include: Strawberry Lemon, Cherry Hibiscus, Mango Orange, and Citrus Ginger.

Best Make Your Own: The Kombucha Shop Kombucha Starter Brewing Kit

The Kombucha Shop Kombucha Brewing Kit with Organic Kombucha Scoby. Includes Glass Brew Jar, Organic Kombucha Loose Leaf Tea, Temperature Gauge, Organic Sugar and More!

If you're feeling crafty, try this at-home kombucha brewing kit from The Kombucha Shop. It comes with a one-gallon brew jar, organic loose leaf black and oolong tea, kombucha culture, liquid starter, pH test strips tea bag, a temperature gauge, a pipette, and a step-by-step guide to brewing.

Brewing your own kombucha is definitely an art and requires a quick science lesson, but the results are worth it. This kit is great for those who want to literally take their health into their own hands and prefer to make their own food and beverages from scratch when the time allows. This also makes for a great gift for your health-focused friend who likes to experiment in the kitchen.

Final Verdict

Better Booch (view at Amazon) and Bear’s Fruit (view at Fresh Direct) are our top picks due to their minimal ingredients and sugar content less than or equal to 10 grams per bottle.

What to Look for in Kombucha

Sugar

All kombucha contains some amount of sugar, as it’s needed for the fermentation process. Look for brands with minimal added sugars (usually found in the form of cane sugar or fruit juices). Aim for less than or equal to 15 grams of sugar per bottle.

Serving Size

Note that 16-ounce bottles contain two servings, so be sure to read the label carefully when choosing your kombucha.

Alcohol Content

All kombucha contains trace amounts of alcohol from the fermentation process, with some products exceeding the .5% ABV alcohol cut-off. Be sure to consult your physician before consuming these products if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have a medical condition. If you avoid alcohol, always read the label closely to ensure you're selecting a product that aligns with your lifestyle.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Does kombucha have caffeine?

    Kombucha does contain caffeine. The amount depends on the caffeine content in the tea leaves used to brew the tea. Caffeine content may also depend on how long the tea was steeped in hot liquid, how long the kombucha ferments, and if any caffeine was added at the end. Most kombucha contains much less caffeine than a typical cup of coffee, anywhere from 15mg to 30mg, barely noticeable even to the most caffeine-sensitive.

  • How nutritious is kombucha?

    An 8-ounce serving of kombucha typically contains about 30 calories, 4 to 6 grams of carbohydrates, and 3 grams of sugar. This may vary depending on how much sugar is added. Kombucha is fat- and cholesterol-free. 

  • What are the benefits of drinking kombucha?

    Drinking kombucha has many health benefits. Due to its fermentation process, kombucha contains a large amount of “good” bacteria that is key for improvement of gut health, digestion, and inflammation. Kombucha is also a good source of antioxidants that are thought to prevent cancer, improve cholesterol, and blood sugar control. 

  • How does kombucha affect your bowels?

    Because kombucha is a good source of probiotics, it has many benefits for your bowels. Kombucha promotes gut health and prevents constipation. Research shows that probiotics can decrease constipation by 10% to 40% in adults. Kombucha also helps with improving stool consistency and regularity of bowel movements due to its ability to keep you hydrated. 

  • How is kombucha made?

    Kombucha can be brewed at home or commercially. The first thing you need is a large jar (about 1 gallon), a cheesecloth, and a lid.  Brewing begins with making sweet tea, a combination of tea leaves, water, and sugar. It is then fermented using a “SCOBY,” which stands for "symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast." The bacteria in the SCOBY, with the yeast, eat much of the sugar in the tea. This process transforms the tea into a fermented, fizzy drink. 

What Experts Say

"Kombucha is an excellent beverage to add to your routine. While I generally recommend avoiding beverages with added sugar, the probiotic benefits of kombucha offset the drawbacks of consuming naturally occurring sugar. It's a great afternoon pick-me-up or substitute for an alcoholic beverage."
Eliza Savage, MS, RD, CDN

Why Trust Verywell Fit?

As a Registered Dietitian, Anne Carroll uses her clinical expertise to cut through marketing claims and get down to the science. These are all products that she has researched, vetted, and would recommend to her clients in private practice and incorporate into her own diet.

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Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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