You’ve seen it before in a commercial: a famous athlete finishes a strenuous practice and reaches for a Gatorade to not only quench his thirst, but to also absorb essential nutrients that aid in performance and recovery.
Or maybe you saw the Milk industry’s push to make chocolate milk the official post-workout beverage?
While those two options do come with benefits, they also come with a load of sugar and chemicals. Kombucha, however, is a drink that is lower in carbohydrates and has a host of health benefits. But do these benefits extend into athletics? We’re here to give you the facts about kombucha and fitness.
Can’t Spell Healthy Without B
It’s obvious that vitamins play a key role in health, but vitamin B, B-12 in particular, plays an especially important role when it comes to fitness. According to the Mayo Clinic: “Vitamin B-12 is a water-soluble vitamin that plays essential roles in red blood cell formation, cell metabolism, nerve function and the production of DNA.” Red blood cells, responsible for carrying oxygen in the bloodstream, and cell metabolism are crucial bodily functions for good fitness. Since B-12 aids in both of these aspects, it’s clear that having good Vitamin B levels is crucial to peak performance.
While B-12 is found in meat and dairy products, there are thousands who choose to live a plant-based lifestyle. Fortunately for vegetarians and vegans, kombucha is also a good source for B vitamins, including B-12. Consequently, people who don’t want to eat meat can still get enough B vitamins in kombucha to maintain good physical performance.
Good Digestion is Key to Performance
One overlooked aspect when it comes to kombucha and fitness is digestion. While many may question how digestion affects fitness, anyone who has felt the call of nature during any physical activity can attest to connection between proper digestion and good fitness. Our guts are filled with a host of healthy bacteria that work together to make sure we absorb the required nutrients and expel waste. However, when the harmony in the gut is compromised, then everything can be thrown into chaos. Dysbiosis, according to PopSugar, is an “imbalance in our good and bad gut bacteria [and] has been linked to chronic inflammatory conditions.”
Fortunately, kombucha is full of similar healthy bacteria called probiotics. These probiotics can help restore the harmony in a person’s stomach and avoid problems like Dysbiosis. Inflammation is a big problem for active people as it can increase soreness and affect physical performance. Yet, drinking kombucha is a good way to maintain a healthy digestive system and avoid any inflammation, which will improve recovery. When it comes to kombucha and fitness, good digestion is key.
Less Sugar, Less Chemicals
Whenever a person sweats, they release electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium, in the sweat. Electrolytes are crucial because they determine hydration levels, and a person with low electrolytes is prone to muscle cramps. Sport drinks like Gatorade contain electrolytes to allow athletes to compete at a high level, yet still stay well hydrated. Kombucha does not only contain large amounts of electrolytes, but also does not come with a large amount of sugar and various chemicals.
Now, carbohydrates and sugar are crucial as they provide energy during physical activity. However, people who exercise to lose weight or just want to watch their carbohydrate intake may find the high levels of sugar in sport drinks unappealing. For example, an 8 oz serving of Gatorade has 14 grams of sugar while the same serving of kombucha has only 6 grams of sugar. While this may seem like a small difference, it really adds up if you drink Gatorade often. Keep in mind, when you brew your own kombucha you can reduce this amount of sugar contained within it dramatically.
Moreover, processed drinks like Gatorade come with a host of chemicals that many would not recognize when reading the label, such as monopotassium phosphate and sodium citrate. However, unlike Gatorade, you can brew your own kombucha and control every single ingredient that goes into your brew. This means you won’t be ingesting any unknown, processed chemicals, but will still enjoy all the benefits of kombucha.
If you’re interested in brewing your own kombucha, please visit our shop page. We provide kits that make it easy to dive into the world of homebrewed kombucha.
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