With temperatures finally on the rise on the coast after a way too long winter, the thirst for refreshing drinks returns. May it be on the beach after a quick surf or walk, after an outdoor workout or when picking the children up from school, sometimes a flavoured fizzy drink is just what we want to refresh.
Being a dentist and health conscious in general, there is always that nagging, guilty feeling when giving in and getting a cold lemonade out of the fridge at the shop. After all, we should know better considering what the high sugar content not only does to our teeth but also to our overall health.
This is why we are always on the hunt for healthier alternatives and were excited when the opportunity came up to have a closer look at the rapidly growing low sugar soft drink alternative Kombucha. Our Gold Coast dentists put some of the most common Kombucha drinks to the test and compared them based on taste, price, sugar content and calories.
What is Kombucha?
Kombucha is one of the fastest growing soft drink alternatives. But what is it? In a nutshell, Kombucha is a fermented tea made up of water, yeast, wild bacteria, and organic sugar. It is also known for several positive benefits such as supporting your gut health thanks to the added mixture of bacteria and yeast (known as Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast – short SCOBY) and being refreshing but low in sugar.
According to Nielsen’s latest Homescan, Kombucha is the fastest growing soft drink alternative with sales increasing by 700 per cent in the last two years.
Kombucha is based on green or black tea. Then bacteria and yeast as well as sugar is added which turns the tea into a tasty fizzy drink. The sugar feeds the bacteria culture and after the fermentation process there should only be a marginal amount left behind.
A healthy, refreshing, fizzy drink with almost no sugar? No question that we had to get some of our dentists together to test this trend!
Coastal Dental Care Kombucha Test
Four of our dentists volunteered for the experiment and taste-tested four different Kombuchas from local grocery stores.
Dr Ishita Mehrotra
Dr Alexis Wiggins
Dr David Li
Dr Lana Kitikova
Kombucha Product Test
|Brand||Store||Price||Price per 100ml||Sugar per 100ml||Calories per 100ml|
|Bucha Strawberry Lime||Coles||$4||$1||less than 1g||5cal|
|Nature’s Way Pomegranate Apple||Coles/
To determine the winning Kombucha drink, we compared the taste, price, sugar content and calorie contents of the drinks on a likert scale. With number 1 being the lowest score and 5 being the highest possible score.
The results were as follows; Kombucha Remedy Ginger Lemon came in first place with an average score of 4.13/5. In second place was Kombucha Bucha Strawberry Lime with an average score of 4/5. Kombucha Nature’s Way Pomegranate Apple received the 2nd lowest score of 3.5/5, and finally the drink that came in last place for the criteria judged was… Kombucha Mojo Passionfruit.
In the table below, we have provided a detailed list of scores each drink received.
|Bucha Strawberry Lime||3||4||4||5||4||2|
|Nature’s Way Pomegranate Apple||3||2||5||4||3.5||3|
Sugar content in soft drinks and how it influences your teeth
We all know that consuming sugary drinks isn’t good for us, but we might not be sure exactly why and how bad it is.
When sugar is consumed it latches onto teeth – bacteria that lives inside the mouth feeds off this sugar. While the bacteria feed on sugar, they produce acid. This acid eats away at tooth enamel, weakening the teeth. The more sugar you consume, the more acid is produced and the thinner and weaker your teeth become.
Weak teeth are more vulnerable to cavities, which can develop into more serious issues like tooth decay.
Sugary drinks like vitamin water, energy drinks and sport drinks are some of the worst offenders in terms of sugar content. The worst part is some of these drinks are perceived to be healthy. It is of no surprise, that these types of drinks are known to be one of the most common causes of tooth decay.
Kombucha drinks are a great alternative for those who can’t resist having a soft drink. Their sugar content is quite low but still always remember to double check the sugar content on the label of the bottle. After all, they do have a similar taste and refreshing effect to soft drinks.