Dana asked, “I can’t seem to find a definitive answer or even the answer to what happens if you do, but is it possible to drink too much KT? In a month I’ve worked up to drinking probably 40 oz/day and I feel great! I could drink more! Some days I know when to back off because I get a little sour indigestion, but other than that are there any health risks?”
What a great question! I get asked this time and time again so I am happy to share my thoughts on the subject. Those who are new to Kombucha and are purchasing it at the store may fall into what I call the “treat mentality trap”. Basically, when you pay $4+ for a bottle of KT, you want the instant gratification and may chug the whole bottle! You certainly get a Kombucha blast, but the real benefits of drinking Kombucha are felt over time. So how much Kombucha is right for you will be predicated on a few different factors.
Kombucha is a tonic. Like ginseng and other adaptogens, Kombucha is non toxic, non specific (works on the whole body) and balancing. As such, when first incorporating Kombucha into your diet, you may notice that you crave it. Part of this craving is due to the gut being in dysbiosis. Because Kombucha is a fermented food, it contains healthy bacteria and yeast that bring the gut back into balance and improve digestion. As a tonic, it is best consumed in small quantities (4-8oz) on a regular basis (1-3 times a day).
Healing Crisis. Sometimes when you add a new food to your diet, especially if it has a detoxifying effect, your body may experience a Herxheimer reaction or healing crisis. This is a physical manifestation of toxins leaving the body. As they leave, you may re-experience symptoms such as headache, fever or moodiness. If this happens, then dial back the amount of KT and increase the amount of water you are drinking to help the body rid itself of the toxins. I had a similar experience when KT detoxed poison oak through my skin years after I had the initial break out.
Trust YOUR Gut! Notice that the YOUR is emphasized. What works for my body may or may not work for yours, but the key is to listen to how your body reacts. I like to think of Kombucha as a way to reconnect to your core being – your gut. This is why I recommend starting your day off with a glass of Kombucha on an empty stomach. This allows you to really “feel” how the Kombucha is working in your body. Then, listen to your body. If you crave more, drink more.
Listening to your body is key. Drinking “too much” Kombucha will likely result in frequent trips to the bathroom. Unless the immune system is severely compromised, adding KT to your daily routine is an excellent way to get the healthy bacteria & yeast that balance the gut.
Got questions about brewing Kombucha, fermented foods or traditional diets? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave them in the comments below!