You call it "nature's sports drink." We call it delicious!
Listen - we are fully aware there is not one do-all, cure-all drink or supplement. When it comes to your personal health, we believe in a holistic lifestyle approach. However, lately there has been a rise in athletes of all kinds declaring kombucha an essential tool in their workout regimen (some even referring to it as “nature’s sports drink”). So what’s up? Can kombucha really help with sports performance and recovery?
On Your Mark
Before we take off, let’s talk sports drinks. Many athletes have been drinking these fluorescent, sugary drinks in plastic bottles since they were kids in little league. (You remember the days: pair it with a ziplock bag of orange slices and you’ve got yourself a post-game party!) These beverages were originally developed to help athletes replenish the sodium and electrolytes lost during athletic performance. And while the motive there sounds valid enough, many modern athletes are now steering away from drinks with artificial ingredients and coloring, not to mention all the added sugar - and seeking an alternative… kombucha!
Athletes reference kombucha’s anti-inflammatory and energy-boosting properties as their reasoning for using it as their pre- and/or post-workout fuel. Unlike typical sports drinks, kombucha contains live and active digestive enzymes - promoting a happy gut and stable energy. This fermented tea is said to aid in overall metabolic and health functions by bulking up your body’s natural immune system.
Although research is ongoing about kombucha’s direct link to joint health, kombucha drinkers repeatedly report significant relief from arthritis-type symptoms. According to our friends at Kombucha Kamp, “the common wisdom, backed up by many lab studies, is that properly brewed Kombucha contains a number of specific substances that can directly improve joint health, most importantly Glucuronic acid (also responsible for Kombucha’s powerful detoxification properties), Chondroitin sulphate, Mucoitin sulfate, Heparin, Hyaluronic acid and the incredible Glucosamine. These enzymes are believed to be responsible for helping the body to rebuild tissue, especially in the knees.”
Glucuronic acid is an acid derived from glucose, occurring naturally as a constituent of hyaluronic acid and other glycosaminoglycans. It is thought to be a natural and powerful detoxifier that helps cleanse the body and support the liver. Although there is some debate amongst researchers concerning the prevalence of glucuronic acid in kombucha, many studies have proven its existence, claiming the presence and quantity of the chemical components are variable, mainly depending on the specific SCOBY’s microorganisms, as well as fermentation time and temperature, sucrose content, and type of tea used.