Does Kombucha Make You Poop?
There is a lot of talk about kombucha and its health benefits. But does it make you poop?
It is true that some people do report more frequent or easier bowel movements after drinking it. But has science backed up these anecdotes?
In this post, we’ll explore the facts about kombucha and bowel movements.
What is Kombucha?
Kombucha is a fermented beverage that begins as a sweetened tea. A culture of bacteria and yeast is added to begin the fermentation process.
The fermentation produces carbon dioxide that yields a fizzy beverage that is both tart and sweet. Most types have added flavors ranging from floral to fruity.
Probiotics in Kombucha
Probiotics are naturally produced during fermentation. The good bacteria and yeast turn sugar into acids and alcohols. This provides a unique tangy flavor.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that support good digestion. They are known to promote healthy gut flora, which is essential for maintaining regular bowel movements.
Kombucha and Bowel Movements
Some people find themselves using the restroom after drinking a bottle of kombucha.
This may be attributed to its potential role in digestion. Fermentation adds probiotics or good bacteria which assist the digestive process. Typically, smoother digestion results in easier bowel movements.
Also, the liquid in this drink can promote bowel movements.
Does Kombucha Make You Poop?
There is no evidence to state with certainty that kombucha makes you poop. But because of the active ingredients, there’s a good chance that it can help.
Is Kombucha a Laxative?
A laxative is any substance that helps to relieve constipation and promote easier bowel movements.
Some foods—such as prunes—have natural laxative properties. However, kombucha is not considered a laxative.
Kombucha and Constipation
The probiotics in kombucha may improve stool consistency, gut transit time, and bowel movement frequency.
For those who struggle with constipation, probiotic-rich food and drinks have been shown to be an effective dietary addition.
Healthy management of constipation involves increasing fiber-rich foods, drinking enough water, and getting plenty of physical activity.
Gut Health and Kombucha
Kombucha is a powerhouse of probiotics, the beneficial bacteria that optimize your gut health. What’s more, it is packed with enzymes that aid in digestion by breaking down food.
In addition, probiotics have been linked to the prevention of gastric inflammation.
You should be aware, though, that not all the ingredients in kombucha are desirable for the gut. It has a high sugar content and small amounts of alcohol.
For that reason, we advise you to read the labels carefully when choosing and to select one lower in sugar.
Side Effects of Drinking Kombucha
Although kombucha is a healthy drink, it is not without its drawbacks.
It contains a small amount of alcohol (1%), and the sugar content may vary from one brand to another. It should be consumed in moderation, as drinking too much at once can upset your stomach or cause bloating and excessive gas.
Kombucha does not explicitly make you poop. However, some people may experience easier digestion or more frequent bowel movements after drinking it because of its probiotic and water content.
It’s best to enjoy this drink in moderation and make sure you also have plenty of water.
Speak with your doctor or a dietitian if you have any questions about including kombucha in your diet. From there, they can help you determine what is right for your individual health needs.
“Does Kombucha Make You Poop? was written by soon-to-be Registered Dietitian Stephanie Maurici. Edited by Dr. Su-Nui Escobar, RDN.
- Khalesi S, Bellissimo N, Vandelanotte C, Williams S, Stanley D, Irwin C. A review of probiotic supplementation in healthy adults: helpful or hype?. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2019;73(1):24-37. doi:10.1038/s41430-018-0135-9
- Dimidi E, Christodoulides S, Fragkos KC, Scott SM, Whelan K. The effect of probiotics on functional constipation in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014;100(4):1075-1084. doi:10.3945/ajcn.114.089151
- Bashir A, Sizar O. Laxatives. In: StatPearls. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; October 13, 2022.
- Dimidi E, Cox SR, Rossi M, Whelan K. Fermented Foods: Definitions and Characteristics, Impact on the Gut Microbiota and Effects on Gastrointestinal Health and Disease. Nutrients. 2019;11(8):1806. Published 2019 Aug 5. doi:10.3390/nu11081806
- Yang J, Lagishetty V, Kurnia P, Henning SM, Ahdoot AI, Jacobs JP. Microbial and Chemical Profiles of Commercial Kombucha Products. Nutrients. 2022;14(3):670. Published 2022 Feb 5. doi:10.3390/nu14030670
- Hemarajata P, Versalovic J. Effects of probiotics on gut microbiota: mechanisms of intestinal immunomodulation and neuromodulation. Therap Adv Gastroenterol. 2013;6(1):39-51. doi:10.1177/1756283X12459294
Dr. Su-Nui Escobar is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist in Miami, FL. She is passionate about helping women over 40 live their best lives through healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle. Su-Nui is a doctor in clinical nutrition, able to translate complicated evidence-based science into practical advice. Su-Nui is the former spokesperson of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.