How Much Sugar Is In Kombucha?

It seems like everywhere you turn these days, people are guzzling down kombucha. Indeed, at many grocery and health food stores, there are whole sections devoted to this fermented beverage. While health claims abound, and some are actually backed up by science, some experts warn that some kombucha brands may have so much excess sugar that it's not that different from drinking a soft drink at the end of the day, and drinking too many may lead to health problems.

Sugar is a necessary ingredient in Kombucha. It feeds the bacteria that drive the fermentation process. Therefore, all Kombucha contains sugar to some degree. According to Aligned Modern Health, some Kombucha brands add as much as 28 grams, or seven whole teaspoons, of sugar per serving. That's exactly the same as an 8.5 oz glass of Coca-Cola (via The Coca Cola Company). But take that big scoop of sugar with a grain of salt, because not all Kombuchas are created equally.

What kind of kombucha is low on sugar?

According to a 2014 study in the journal Food Technology & Biotechnology, Kombucha has health-boosting antioxidants. The trick is to make sure sugar levels are kept at a minimum, using only what is needed to fuel the fermentation process, and not to just make the drink sweeter and more palatable. Fortunately, there are several ways to do this, including shopping smarter and simply making Kombucha at home, that ensure you get the health benefits without overdoing it on added sugars.

According to a recent article in Men's Journal that ran a testing analysis, several of the most common Kombucha brands actually have 10 grams of sugar or less per serving, including Health-Ade Kombucha (6 grams) and Brew Dr. Kombucha (10 grams). The trick is simply reading the label before you buy.

To really make sure your kombucha is low on sugar, however, you may want to consider making it at home, which is a relatively easy process and allows you to just add the smallest amount of sugar needed for fermentation.