Eating and drinking habits are different for different people. Some people like drinking energy drinks in excess, and some pertain themselves only to juices, and some like to drink tea or coffee excessively. One such drink where some of them get addicted to is Kombucha. If a pregnant lady before her pregnancy has the habit of drinking Kombucha daily, then definitely a question arises in her mind that is it safe to consume kombucha during pregnancy. This doubt arises because Kombucha contains alcohol and caffeine in it, which may pose health risks to the mother to be and the little one growing inside.

What Is Kombucha?

Kombucha, also known as tea fungus or tea mushrooms, is a fermented, slightly alcoholic, sweetened green or black tea mainly consumed for its health benefits. The origin of this tea is still not clear. Some say that it is originated from Manchuria China, and some of them say that it came from Eastern Russia. This tea is prepared by fermenting sugared tea using a Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast (SCOBY). The living bacteria in the SCOBY is said to be probiotic, one of the main reasons for the popularity of this drink.

See More: Hot Dogs while Pregnant

How Safe Is Kombucha During Pregnancy:

Health experts and nutritionists cannot assure you of the safety of this drink during pregnancy. Most of them say that, if the pregnant lady before her pregnancy has the habit of drinking Kombucha, then it is safe for her only if consumed in lesser amounts. The main reason behind this is that Kombucha contains alcohol in it, which may affect the mother and the baby present inside, and hence most of the doctors do not advise pregnant women to consume this drink.

Health Benefits Of Kombucha During Pregnancy:

Kombucha, a drink most often avoided by pregnant women because of the alcohol and caffeine content present in it. Although, some studies proved that consuming kombucha during pregnancy in limited quantities showed some positive health benefits.

1. Energy Boosting:

This drink is quite famous for boosting the energy of the person, take it to be an athlete or a pregnant lady. Kombucha boosts energy by delivering small doses of B Vitamins and caffeine.

2. Improves Digestion:

Constipation and indigestion are the regular complaints from a pregnant lady. Drinking kombucha in moderate amounts enhances the digestion and bowel movements. The good bacteria present in the drink acts as a probiotic that helps in proper digestion and free bowel movement.

3. Stress Buster:

Stress, insomnia, and trouble sleeping are some of the common problems that are faced during pregnancy. Adaptogens are substances that assist the body respond to stress in a better way. This drink is considered to be a natural adaptogen that helps the pregnant lady’s nerves under control and relieves the stress.

4. Leg Cramps:

One of the typical complaints during pregnancy is about leg cramps. Lack of calcium content in the body causes leg cramps. Kombucha has no evidence of calcium present in it, but consuming this drink along with calcium increase the absorption of calcium into the body.

5. Prevents Kidney Stones:

Some studies showed that consuming kombucha can prevent kidney stones. Still, no scientific evidence is present on this benefit. Some pregnant women might be suffering from kidney stones before pregnancy, and the medication is used for kidney stones cannot be continued during pregnancy. During these times, doctors advice to consume kombucha in lesser quantities.

Risks of Drinking Kombucha During Pregnancy:

Doctors use a big red flag for kombucha to drink during pregnancy. It is generally not safe to consume this drink during pregnancy because of the alcohol, caffeine, and the bacteria present in it.

A. Contains Alcohol:

Alcohol is a natural by-product of Kombucha during the fermentation process. Even though the percentage of alcohol (0.5%) present is very less and has no amount of risk during pregnancy, doctors suggest avoiding alcohol altogether during these nine months.

B. Presence of Bacteria:

Kombucha is generally available in the market as a bottled product, or this drink can be prepared at home under a suitable environment. In the bottled products, there is a chance of bacterial contamination that can affect the mother and the baby. The harmful bacteria present in the kombucha has to be reduced using proper sterile techniques or by pasteurizing it. Most companies do not follow pasteurization because they believe that the probiotics present in the drink are destroyed during this process. The unpasteurized drink is harmful to the pregnant lady.

C. Preservatives:

You need to inspect the ingredients before you purchase a product from the market as it may contain artificial preservatives. Some women have side effects, and some people might be allergic to some ingredients too.

D. Presence of Caffeine:

During pregnancy, the amount of caffeine should not exceed 200 mg per day. A usual cup of kombucha contains 15-130 mg of caffeine, depending on the type of od tea that is brewed.

See More: Can you Eat Cheesecake when Pregnant

How to Consume Kombucha:

As a beginner, first, dilute few ounces of Kombucha in a glass of water and enjoy the drink. Wait for 1-2 days and observe for any side effects. If you do not experience any side effects, then it is safe for you to consume this drink. As a pregnant lady, if you do not have the habit of drinking Kombucha before pregnancy, it is not at all suitable to have it during pregnancy.

Precautions and Tips of Drinking Kombucha:

Now, before consuming this wonder drink, follow certain precautions and tips to keep you and the baby safe.

  • Avoid the bottled drinks which have more alcohol content in them.
  • Check for the expiry date and purchase it only from the notified vendors.
  • Do not consume kombucha, which has been preserved for days or months. The preservation helps in fermenting the liquid, which in turn increases the alcohol content in it.
  • Always consume this drink in dilution. The raw kombucha may cause throat burns, heartburns, and stomach problems.
  • If possible, prepare this elixir drink at home and consume it. The bottled ones may contain unnecessary preservatives that may harm the pregnant lady and the baby.

See More: Barley Water for Pregnant Ladies

How Safe Is Kombucha During Breastfeeding:

Health experts and nutritionists cannot assure you of the safety of this drink during breastfeeding and nursing. This is because of the existence of caffeine, alcohol and lack of pasteurization. During nursing, if the mother consumes kombucha, a small amount of alcohol ends up in the breastfed milk, which passes onto the baby, and similar will be the case with the caffeine. Hence doctors advise breastfeeding mothers not to consume kombucha.

At last, it can be concluded that even if the pregnant lady has the habit of consuming kombucha before pregnancy, it is better to stop drinking it during pregnancy and nursing. We understand that pregnant women will have weird cravings, but kombucha during pregnancy is not safe. Try to find an alternative drink or food that can satisfy your cravings.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers:

Q1. How much Kombucha do you require to drink during pregnancy?

Ans: It is generally unsafe to drink Kombucha during pregnancy. But if you still want to consume it, drink not more than a glass, i.e., one or two ounces of kombucha in a glass of water.

Q2. How much alcohol is present in Kombucha?

Ans: Kombucha contains 0.5% of alcohol content in it. It varies because of the fermentation process that is being adopted. The bottled Kombucha contains up to 3% of alcohol in it.

Q3. What are the alternative drinks for Kombucha during pregnancy?

Ans: Homemade juices are the best alternatives to drinking during pregnancy.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are just advice, and the website is not responsible for the side effects it may cause. It is better to ask a doctor before you consume anything, especially when you are pregnant.


About Yashasvi

Yashasvi developed a deep passion for writing ever since she was completed her Master’s in Mass Communication and Journalism from Andhra University, Visakhapatnam and has chosen a career that is driven by creativity. A Parenting expert who believes in communicating effectively with a personal touch, she writes about pregnancy, baby care, lifestyle, and just about anything else.