Is Kombucha Keto?

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Written by Brenda Peralta, Registered Dietitian and medically reviewed by Abby Courtenay

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Kombucha is a popular drink known for supporting your digestive system. 

One of the drawbacks of a ketogenic diet is that you can get stomach issues like constipation. So, it sounds like this drink might be a good solution for this issue. 

But, you might be wondering if kombucha is keto-friendly. 

This article will discuss everything related to this delicious drink and a ketogenic diet. Find out where it comes from and what it’s made of, how many grams of carbs it contains, if you are allowed to have it on a keto diet, and how much. We’ll also cover which types are best and what you can have it with. 

Let’s get this started!


What is kombucha?

Kombucha is a term to describe fermented tea. 

You start with a sweet base. It can be sweet tea or fruit juice with sugar. You then add a component called SCOBY, which means Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast. 

Or, in simpler words, bacteria and yeast are added, then they use/ferment the sugar. 

During this fermentation process, the sugar is eaten by the bacteria and yeast (probiotics) and a gas is created as a byproduct. That is why it is a fizzy drink. 

Thanks to the addition of SCOBY, this beverage contains some probiotics and shares similar properties to sauerkraut, kimchi, and kefir. 


Kombucha nutrition facts

So now, let’s get into the good part. 

Let’s talk about the nutrition facts of this drink. How many carbs does it have? Is it high in calories?

Remember that each brand may have its own recipe, which means they can vary in nutritional value. However, here is a standard option for you to compare the macros and calories. 

Serving size: 100 mL

  • Calories: 17 kcal
  • Fat: 0 g 
  • Net carbs: 3 g
  • Total carbs: 3 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 1.1 g

As you can see, it is a drink with a low calorie and carb content. 

Nonetheless, remember that this is for a serving size of 100 mL, which is slightly less than 1/2 cup. Many bottles and cans may have more than twice this amount, so you may not want to drink the whole bottle in one sitting.

It’s also essential to keep in mind that different brands can have a lower or higher carb content

The drink doesn’t have any fats or significant protein content, meaning you might need to add some to your meal to balance it. 



Are you allowed to drink kombucha on keto?

Yes, kombucha can be keto-friendly, but it depends on the brand and how much you drink.

It varies depending on the amount of sugar it contains. Search for a type that has less than 3 grams of sugar per serving. 

If you get one with a higher carb content, you should be decreasing the portion size or reducing other carbs sources throughout the day to avoid affecting your goals. 

However, if it only has 3 grams of sugar or less, this is not a high intake that can affect your ketosis levels, as long as you are careful with the portion size. 

This brings us to the next question. 


How much kombucha can you have on a keto diet? 

The quantity of kombucha depends on the number of carbs you can consume throughout the day. 

For example, if you want to stay below 50 g of net carbs per day, you can have 1 cup (240 ml) of this drink. This would give you 7.2 g of net carbs. 

The more kombucha you drink, the more you need to decrease the number of carbs in other food options to compensate and avoid coming out of ketosis. 


What kind of kombucha can you have on keto?

It bears repeating that the number of carbs in kombucha depends on the brand. Some brands have more, while others have less. 

Even within the same brand there are different flavors, so you really need to check the label each time.

Generally the most keto-friendly kombucha flavors are original or ginger. Drinks with fruit juices tend to be higher in carbs.




What can you drink kombucha with?

Since it already has some carbs, for the meal you want to focus on non-starchy vegetables, protein, and healthy fats. 

For example, you can have a glass of this drink along with some salmon, green salad, and avocado. Here you have the carbs from the drink, protein from the salmon, fiber from the vegetables, and fat from the avocado. 

You can also have it as a snack with some Greek yogurt or a couple of nuts. 

The most essential thing is to balance out the carb content in the drink with other low-carb options. 


Keto-friendly kombucha alternatives

This drink is not for everyone. While some people love it, other people hate it. There is just no in-between when it comes to this drink. 

So, if you are looking for other ways to increase your probiotic content, here is a list of other foods you can include that are keto-friendly. 

  • Kefir
  • Sauerkraut 
  • Kimchi 
  • Pickles
  • Miso
  • Tempeh

On the other hand, if you are looking for something to drink, you can include:


FAQ about kombucha on a keto diet

If you still have some questions related to this delicious and refreshing drink with the ketogenic diet, here are some of the most frequently asked questions. 

It is a source of probiotics, the healthy bacteria you want in your gut. A healthy gut can help improve your immune system and aid your digestive issues by reducing bloating symptoms.

Yes, since it contains probiotics, it can help reduce your symptoms of constipation. 

One of the drawbacks of a keto diet is constipation due to a reduction in fiber. Adding a glass of this drink can help your bowel movements get back on track. 

It usually has around 2 to 8 grams of carbs per serving (which is usually about 100 mL). However, some brands and flavors are even higher in sugar and carbs, so you need to read the label.

It has acetic acid, which may bring some weight loss benefits. Its common name is vinegar.

Acetic acid may help reduce your glucose response, preventing your insulin levels from spiking. Preventing spikes of insulin (a fat-storing hormone) may help with weight loss. 

You can drink other low-carb or sugar-free beverages. Tea, coffee, and sugar-free beverages like water are all encouraged on a keto diet. Diet soda is also permitted.

On the other hand, drinks high in sugars like soft drinks and fruit juices are not allowed on a keto diet since they are high in carbs.

They both have excellent health benefits you can take advantage of. They both contain antioxidants which can help reduce inflammation in your body. 

When choosing between the two, remember that green tea does contain caffeine, so if you are sensitive to the  effects of caffeine, it may not be the right option for you.