Do Children & Kombucha Mix?
It’s not surprising that mothers want the best for their children. Consequently, once a mom hears about a new health sensation and verifies its benefits, she would naturally want to share these benefits with her children.
Many people, especially mothers, have discovered the wonderful benefits of kombucha. In addition to being a delicious, fizzy beverage, kombucha brings a multitude of health benefits in the form of probiotics, microorganisms that ensure healthy digestion and better overall health. Unsurprisingly, many mothers want to share the benefits of kombucha with their children. However, some are concerned about things such as the caffeine and alcohol content that is found in kombucha and wonder if children and kombucha mix?
So, is kombucha safe for children? If so, how much should children consume? We’re here to bring you the facts about children and kombucha.
Alcohol and Caffeine
One of the primary concerns parents have of giving children kombucha is the alcohol and caffeine found in all versions of the drink. It’s true that all kombuchas, be it home brewed or store bought, have some alcohol and caffeine. Since kombucha is brewed from primarily black tea, which contains caffeine, there will always be some amount of caffeine in your brew.
However, it’s important to know that the fermentation process eliminates over half of the caffeine in the drink. According to Caffeine Informer, there is only about 24mg of caffeine in an 8oz serving of kombucha, which is very low. So, if you’re worried about giving your child a glass of kombucha due to its caffeine content, just know that there is less caffeine in that cup of kombucha than a cup of black tea.
Another concern parents have with children and kombucha is the alcohol content. During the fermentation process, the SCOBY eats the sugar in the brew and produces a small amount of alcohol. Once again, this is an unavoidable process and every bottle of kombucha will contain some alcohol. The Atlantic states that a bottle of kombucha can have between 0.5% to 2.5% of alcohol. Typically, due to food regulations, a bottle of kombucha in your grocery must have an alcohol by volume concentration below 1%.
It’s important to note that it’s extremely difficult, if not near impossible, to become drunk from kombucha as the alcohol content is very low. Many compare it to drinking a glass of orange juice that has been left out at room temperature for a few days, or consuming apple cider vinegar. In addition, when you maintain control of the brewing process, it is possible to reduce the amount alcohol that is in the final product.
When it comes to children and kombucha, the key is moderation. While regular doses of kombucha will be fine for children to consume, it’s important not to overdo it. Another solution is to dilute the kombucha with water or another liquid if you’re truly concerned about the alcohol content. Just remember that all kombuchas contain a tiny amount of caffeine and alcohol, and it’s always best to practice moderation, especially with children.
Benefits of Probiotics For Children
It’s no secret that kombucha contains probiotics, tiny microorganisms that aid in the fermentation process and also contain a host of health benefits. Many of the benefits of probiotics stem from the fact that we have a host of bacteria in our digestive system that maintains good digestion and overall good health. Adding more of these microorganisms into our system maintains the proper harmony in our bodies, ensuring that we feel well.
When it comes to children, probiotics also have a host of benefits. For example, the Cleveland Clinic states that one of the main benefits for probiotics is as a supplement for antibiotics, especially for ear infections and diarrhea illnesses. These illnesses stem from an imbalance of microorganisms in the body, and taking probiotics is a good way to combat these conditions. There is even some research that suggests probiotics can help manage eczema, a very common and painful skin disease. While it’s not true in every case, there is some evidence from the American Academy of Pediatrics that suggests probiotics can be beneficial for both children and adults.
However, it’s important to know that while probiotics can help with these ailments, they do not replace the need for actual medicine and medical care. Always consult with your doctor to fully treat any ailment.
What About Sugar?
Recently, governments have fought to reduce children’s intake of sugar in order to fight child obesity. For example, the UK has recently implemented a sugar tax to try to reduce the amount of sugary snacks and beverages consumed by children, especially soda. Moreover, many schools have removed vending machines that once made soda easily accessible to any student with a few dollars to spare.
Despite these changes, it’s still easy for children to have soda. However, kombucha can be a great alternative to soda because it shares the same fizzy taste, but with significantly less sugar in each serving. For example, an 8oz serving of GT’s Gingerberry Kombucha contains 4g of sugar; on the other hand, the same serving of Coke contains 26g of sugar, which is more than six times the amount of sugar found in kombucha. While both drinks still share the same fizzy taste that people love, it’s clear that kombucha can serve as a great alternative to sodas, especially for those who want healthier options for their children without sacrificing taste.
Another common beverage that children enjoy, especially the ones who play sports, is sports drinks. While these drinks are designed to give much needed electrolytes to the body, they are also sometimes packed with sugar. Kombucha is a great alternative to those parents who want to give their children a beverage that still has a host of health benefits, but not as much sugar.
Now, some of you may wonder how kombucha has so little sugar when so much of it is used in the brewing process. In fact, sugar is what the microorganisms eat in order to carry out the fermentation process that turns regular black tea into kombucha. Thus, every bottle of kombucha will have some sugar in it, but not nearly as much as sodas or sports drinks. If desired, it is possible that kombucha has zero sugar in it, it just would have a strong vinegar taste which many would not prefer.
As with anything in life, moderation is key. While kombucha has some clear benefits for children, it’s wise to never give your children an unlimited supply of any beverage except water. Still, if you’re interested in kombucha for yourself or your family, go visit your local grocery store to see its selection. Alternately, you can choose to brew your own kombucha as it allows you to control what exactly goes into your brew.
If you’re interested in brewing your own kombucha, please visit our shop page.
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