Kombucha & Athletic Performance
15 Minute Read
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?
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.
Most kombucha is also thought to be rich in an amino sugar called glucosamine. Glucosamine is a natural chemical compound in your body that helps keep up the health of your cartilage. Studies have attributed this ingredient to alleviating joint pain, not only for athletes but also those who suffer from arthritis. Adding a little lubricant to the gears that keep our body moving? We’ll take it!
Athletes understand more than most: properly recovering from a long or intense workout is crucial. The properties in kombucha may lead to healing, repairing, or preventing joint damage by supporting joint collagen. Combining hydration with health optimizing nutrients is the first step toward a speedy recovery. Pair that with kombucha’s antioxidants, which research suggests can help combat free-radicals that can be produced during physical exertion, and you’re almost there. Reaching the summit is difficult to do when you’re not feeling your best. By diversifying your gut microbiome, drinking kombucha supports your immune system - helping you give it your all! (Could this be why the Charlotte Hornets keep Buchi stocked in their locker room?🤔💙)
While much of the information surrounding kombucha’s direct effect on athletic performance is anecdotal, the stories are in: kombucha just makes the body feel good! And that’s what it’s all about: healthy guts, happy hearts, and open minds!
Not an athlete? Don’t sweat it. You don’t need to run marathons or flip tires to gain the powerful and magical benefits of kombucha. Pick up a Buchi today to see what it can do for you! (HOT TIP- A personal recommendation: Buchi Summit! Developed specifically for fueling your next adventure!)
This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. For educational purposes only.
In 2022 we took some time to reflect on where we’ve come and where we want to go. As with any business, there are areas where we shine, and areas that are a bit challenging and might not serve us as they once did.