Kombucha: Food of the Week

Kombucha: Food of the Week
Presented by Spartan Training®

3 Reasons to Drink Kombucha

1. Guilt-free hydration.

A healthy gut needs adequate hydration to repair the stomach lining and keep food moving smoothly through the digestive tract. When drinking water just won’t cut it, a crisp kombucha can hit the spot, while promoting gut health.

2. Get more from your food.

A healthy gut (promoted by kombucha) is more efficient at breaking down the foods you eat. This efficient break-down leads to better absorption of nutrients. This is vital when your are training to be lean and mean and ready to race.

3. It’s real.

Buying a probiotic pill to help promote a healthy gut may or may not help. And it can be expensive. But by incorporating a variety of the right real foods (that you should be eating anyway), you will not only promote a healthy gut, but you’ll be providing energy and other vitamins and minerals to the body. The most important thing is to include a variety of fermented food or drink (kombucha, kefir, yogurt, kimchi).

Related: Protein Probiotic Recovery Drink

What is Kombucha?

Kombucha is a fermented drink made from a mixture of regular black or green tea, a sugar source, and a SCOBY, or “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast.” These microorganisms are able to co-exist, forming a gel-like, rubbery film. The SCOBY is responsible for the fermentation process. After yeast breaks down the sugar into carbon dioxide and alcohol, bacteria then convert the alcohol into acetic acid, giving the beverage its vinegar-y tartness.

Not all of the alcohol is used by the bacteria, so kombucha will always contain trace amounts of alcohol. Since most of the sugar added at the start of brewing is eaten up by the SCOBY, kombucha is a relatively low-calorie, low-sugar beverage in its natural state. However, many brands mix in fruit juice and additional sugars that can bring its calorie content up to 150-200 calories per 16-ounce bottle.

Related: Can You Drink Alcohol While Training for a Spartan Race?

3 Ways to Stay Hydrated:

  1. Load up on veggies and fruits. They naturally contain water content as part of their plant make up. Top hydrating sources include cucumber, watermelon, and oranges.
  2. Drink half of your weight in ounces of water per day. And no, that coffee doesn’t count.
  3. Replace 16oz of straight up water with a fermented beverage, such as kombucha, and add a little effervescence to your day.

Simple DIY Kombucha Recipes

Kombucha isn't simply a drink. It can be an ingredient in your kitchen. Here are some kombucha recipes to showcase its versatility.

Kombucha Do-It-Yourself Dressing


  • 1 cup olive oil
  • ½ cup kombucha
  • 1-2 tsp of your favorite herbs and spices (choose at least 3, examples include rosemary, thyme,
  • pepper, basil, oregano)
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp honey for sweetness (optional)


  1. Grab a mason jar (or any other glass sealable container). Combine oil and kombucha in jar. Seal and shake well.
  2. Add in spices (hint, add spices slowly and do a small taste test as you go until you find a flavor that hits the spot.)
  3. Once you have found the right mix of spices, you can now add the honey (if you wish) for a sweeter taste. Again, start small and work your way up, tasting as you go.
  4. Store in the fridge for up to 7 days.

Related: Are Fermented Drinks Healthy—or Just Hype?

Strawberry Kombucha Chutney


  • 2 Tbsp kombucha
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp fresh mint
  • 1 lb frozen sliced strawberries


  1. Pull fresh strawberries from freezer and allow them to thaw naturally overnight. As part of the thawing process, the natural sweet juices will seep out, making a nice strawberry “soup”.
  2. When strawberries are thawed, combine kombucha, honey. Chop the mint and add to kombucha/ honey mix. Stir until the honey is fully incorporated.
  3. Combine the strawberries and the sauce. Marinate 1-2 hours before enjoying to allow the flavors to complement each other.
  4. Serve at room temperature, alone or over yogurt. Can also be used as a delicious salad dressing served over a bed of green, walnuts, and goat cheese.

Kombucha Marinated Beets


  • 1 bunch beets
  • 1/4 onion thinly sliced (about ¼ cup)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 peppercorns, or a dash of pepper
  • 1 cup tart kombucha


  1. Prepare a large pot of water for boiling the beets. You should have enough water in the pot to cover beets. Cut any greens or roots off of beets. No need to peel them just yet. Add the beets to boiling water and cook for about 15 minutes (the larger the beets, the longer they will take). Once boiled, remove from stove, drain water, and place under cold running water for a few minutes. Once cool enough to touch, peel off beet skin. Cut to desired size.
  2. Thinly slice onions and rough chop garlic.
  3. Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate at least 12 hours. Remove bay leaf and enjoy.

Related: Race Day Nutrition Guide: How to Fuel Up & Recover Well

Kombucha Marinade


  • 1/4 cup Kombucha
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
  • Juice of 1/2 Lemon
  • Herbs and spices of your choice, or keep it this simple


  1. Combine all ingredients in a gallon size resealable bag or container. Add your favorite raw protein and let marinade overnight in the refrigerator. Use your favorite cooking method and cook to appropriate internal temperature.
  2. The proposed benefits of kombucha will be lost in the cooking process due to the heat, but the acidity of kombucha helps to break down the fibers of the meat, tenderizing it for a delicious, juicy feast.

Go with Ginger

The funky root of the flowering ginger plant isn’t just the base of a great Moscow Mule—it’s also been heralded for its medicinal properties and health benefits. For centuries and across cultures, people have capitalized on these health benefits of ginger, which include the ability relieve pain, nausea, and other stomach troubles.

Try Turmeric

Turmeric grows in the tropics of Southern Asia—mainly in India, where it’s the star ingredient in curry. A relative of ginger, it has a sharp, fragrant taste. Turmeric’s root is dried into the familiar yellow-orange powder used in cooking and medicine, and while it delivers several antioxidant compounds, one in particular, curcumin, is thought to be particularly useful for the prevention of chronic diseases.

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