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Last Updated on May 14, 2021

15 Tasty Probiotic Drinks That Are Worth Trying for Better Digestive Health

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15 Tasty Probiotic Drinks That Are Worth Trying for Better Digestive Health

There are several types of healthy and tasty probiotics drinks available now to get them from sources other than yogurt.

There are several benefits of probiotics, in helping to balance your gut flora and overall digestive health, so it’s a good idea to make them a regular part of your routine. You can find out more about the benefits of probiotics here: 15 Benefits of Probiotics (And How to Find One That Actually Suits You)

But it’s not always convenient or possible to take a supplement or eat yogurt. In those cases, you can drink your way to gut health.

There are three basic types of probiotic drinks: kombucha, kefir, and drinks supplemented with probiotics. In kombucha and kefir, the probiotics are brewed naturally as part of the drink. Supplemented probiotic drinks will simply have a probiotic culture added to it.

Kombucha is brewed by placing a scoby (which is the mother culture, kind of like a sourdough starter) in brewed tea along with sugar. The sugar acts as food for the probiotics, so as the kombucha is brewed the sugar is converted into probiotics.

Kefir is made in a similar way but with kefir grains. These are specific to each type of medium being cultured, so there are different strains of kefir for milk or water. Kefir also needs sugar as a food source, and converts it into probiotics.

In addition to a regular routine of drinking water, eating healthfully and exercising regularly, having some probiotics every few days can help you get to that next level of wellness.

Here’re 15 probiotics drinks to try:

1. GT’s Kombucha

    The GT’s brand was started by Dave, and is still handcrafted, despite being the most widespread brand of kombucha on shelves across the US and around the world.

    If you look for kombucha, chances are you will find GT’s on the shelf. It’s a high quality brew, using kiwi juice for natural sugars in the brewing process, and always based on the same tea mix and then flavored with natural juices or other things – like ginger or cold brew coffee.

    More about the drink here!

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    2. Kevita Master Brew Kombucha

      Kevita brews their kombucha with black and green tea, and adds green coffee bean extract and green tea extract for an added energy boost. Their flavors are created naturally with juices and extracts, and sweetened with stevia.

      More about the drink here!

      3. Suja Kombucha

        Suja’s kombuchas are incredibly high quality and optimized for gut health, with no artificial flavors, concentrates or extracts. Some of their flavors have the added bonus of including adaptogenic herbs like ashwagandha (stress management) and reishi (immune booster).

        More about the drink here!

        4. GT’s CocoKefir

          GT’s makes a dairy-free kefir by using water kefir grains in coconut water. There are a whopping fifteen billion cultures in a two ounce shot. They have a few flavors to choose from, each of which is flavored naturally with fruits and juices.

          More about the drink here!

          5. Coconut Milk Kefir (Vegan)

            Coconut milk kefir is made by either using a probiotic starter powder in coconut milk, or by culturing water kefir grains to mix with coconut milk. There don’t seem to be too many brands offering this on a large scale yet, perhaps because it’s highly perishable but you can easily make it at home.

            More about the drink here!

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            6. Kevita Sparkling Probiotic Drink

              Kevita makes a drink that’s based on a water kefir culture, and a bit of a milder flavor than kombucha. They’re flavored with juice or extracts, sweetened with stevia for a low sugar content. Some of their flavors have added botanicals for health-boosting effects, like stress-relieving ashwagandha.

              More about the drink here!

              7. GoodBelly Probiotic PlusShots

                GoodBelly’s PlusShots are a concentrated probiotics drink. They combine pure fruit juices, probiotics, vitamins and calcium in one delicious wellness shot.

                More about the drink here!

                8. GoodBelly Probiotics StraightShots

                  GoodBelly’s StraightShots are just like how they sound – a straight shot of twenty billion probiotic cultures, in an oat milk base. They are lightly flavored from pure fruit juice, with no added sugar as they’re sweetened with stevia.

                  More about the drink here! 

                  9. Suja Probiotic Water

                    Suja is making a flavored water type of product, by infusing water with a small amount of pressed fruit, along with two billion probiotic cultures. At only ten calories and two grams of sugar, this makes an excellent mid-day hydration option as well as a gut health promoter.

                    More about the drink here!

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                    10. Suja Digestion Wellness Shot

                      With a blend of ginger, apple cider vinegar, camu camu, ginseng and probiotics, this is a powerful shot that will help get your gut health back on track.

                      More about the drink here!

                      11. FarmHouse Culture Gut Punch

                        These sparkling probiotics drinks are low in sugar, since they’re made with a base of juiced cabbage and beets, and sweetened with stevia. They have several fun flavors to choose from, and are teeming with four billion probiotic cultures per bottle.

                        More about the drink here!

                        12. FarmHouse Culture Gut Shots

                          With flavors like garlic dill pickle, ginger beet and smoked jalapeno you better be ready for these shots! They pair probiotics with a base of juiced cabbage and other flavors and juices for a tangy shot of gut health.

                          More about the drink here!

                          13. Harmless Coconut Water Probiotics

                            This drink combines coconut water with coconut meat, live probiotics, fruit and cane sugar for a tasty treat to sip. They aim to create a yogurt-like drink, but without using dairy.

                            They use organic, fair trade ingredients and are aiming to create products without wasting parts of the ingredients – like using the meat of the same coconuts from which they’re getting the coconut water.

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                            More about the drink here!

                            14. SCD Essential Probiotics

                              This is a bit different from either kombucha or kefir but is a naturally brewed liquid probiotic supplement. It’s brewed from a base of molasses and juice extracts, and you only need one tablespoon per day.

                              More about the drink here!

                              15. Tropicana Probiotic Juices

                                As a major juice distributor, this is good news for more easily finding probiotics drinks available. These are made with 100% juices that have no added sugar, and have been supplemented with probiotic cultures.

                                With four flavors to choose from, these will make a family-friendly addition to the probiotic selection.

                                More about the drink here!

                                What’s the bottom line?

                                Find the type of probiotics drink that works for you – whether kombucha, kefir, or a juice supplemented with probiotic cultures. Try different flavors, and see what suits your tastebuds.

                                These can work as part of an overall healthy lifestyle, and promote healthy digestion and gut flora balance. They can also make a nice treat, so you can start having kombucha dates with your girlfriends after work.

                                Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                                More by this author

                                Heather Nicholds

                                A vegan, a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, and a food lover.

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                                Published on September 17, 2021

                                How to Take Probiotics for the Best Health Benefits

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                                How to Take Probiotics for the Best Health Benefits

                                Probiotics are a popular topic among health enthusiasts and medical professionals, alike, and rightfully so! As individuals seek to improve their health by becoming advocates for themselves, probiotics are often a good choice to become part of their new health-focused regimen.

                                However, there are some ways that will allow you to maximize the health benefits that you can get from probiotics. Read on to learn more about how to take probiotics for the best health benefits.

                                What Are Probiotics?

                                Probiotics

                                are living bacteria that provide countless health benefits when ingested. These bacteria are naturally occurring in the gut but can—and should—be replenished through external means. The gut contains beneficial bacteria that make up the microbiota and plays a key role in maintaining health in both the body and mind. A healthy gut keeps the digestive process working smoothly, which prevents free radical and toxin build up in the body known to lead to many acute and chronic illnesses[1]

                                It is also thought that probiotics secrete substances that trigger the immune system to react more strongly, thereby preventing pathogens from being able to take root and cause illness.[2]

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                                Can You Take Too Many Probiotics?

                                Taking too many probiotics is not a common issue. For those who have taken too many probiotics (and each person will need to find their own tolerance level), they will likely experience gut disruptions and gastrointestinal side effects.

                                Probiotics are generally safe regardless of the amount taken, and any side effects are generally mild. It is impossible to take a toxic level of probiotics. The most common side effects of taking more probiotics than you can tolerate are gas, bloating, and diarrhea. These side effects can be treated individually and are generally corrected after 24 to 48 hours and stopping the probiotics until they are resolved.

                                It can be tempting to discontinue probiotic use altogether after a negative experience out of fear of another bad reaction, but simply reducing your dose and taking your probiotic as directed should prevent further issues. It is important for those with a weakened immune system or serious illness to discuss probiotic use with their healthcare provider before starting a probiotic regimen.

                                Can You Take Prebiotics and Probiotics Together?

                                As probiotics grow in use, prebiotics is beginning to get attention as well. Prebiotics come in supplement form but can also be fiber-rich foods that feed good gut bacteria. Probiotics replenish the good bacteria in the gut while prebiotics maintains the gut microbiome by feeding the good bacteria we have in the gut. Because of this relationship between prebiotics and probiotics, it is perfectly acceptable to take them together. However, if your diet already contains healthy, fiber-rich foods then you will likely not require prebiotic supplements.

                                Prebiotics contain fibers and natural sugars that encourage the growth of essential gut bacteria. They are easy to digest and keep the gut in balance. Prebiotic foods contain fiber and can include bananas, garlic, and dark leafy greens. Probiotic foods contain live cultures and include miso, some yogurts, kimchi, and sauerkraut.[3]

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                                You can learn more in my other article: Prebiotic vs Probiotic: What’s the Difference and Why Are They Important?

                                Can You Take Probiotics While Pregnant?

                                When carrying a child, a mother wants to create the safest environment possible. This is a time where the mother-to-be will begin integrating new and recommended health practices like exercise, supplements, and new diet habits. One question that is asked by pregnant women is whether or not probiotics are safe to take while pregnant. The benefits of probiotics are well documented, and many pregnant women want to know if probiotics will benefit them as well.

                                Pregnancy may be a good time to integrate a probiotic into your regimen simply due to the increased potential for an imbalance in gut bacteria that pregnancy naturally produces. Stress, medications, diarrhea, and vomiting as well as certain diet choices can cause bad bacteria to overrun the gut and lead to a dampened immune response, inflammation, fatigue, and more.

                                The simple answer is yes, probiotics are generally safe to take while pregnant. However, it is always recommended to discuss any introduction or discontinuation of supplements with your healthcare provider.

                                Many studies have shown that not only are probiotics safe to take while pregnant but also that they can add great benefits for mother and baby. A 2019 study by Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology found that the pregnant women’s gut microbiota improved through probiotic supplementation and that her immune system was enhanced.[4]

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                                During pregnancy, the pregnant mom’s immune system will go into a dampened state as the body works to protect and grow the fetus. This places her at greater risk for common illnesses she may have been able to fight off naturally before. Therefore, integrating a probiotic into her supplement regimen may help keep her and her baby safe from unwanted and avoidable illness.

                                One important factor to consider when taking a probiotic during pregnancy is the quality of the product you are purchasing. Not all probiotics are created equal. To maximize benefits while also avoiding unnecessary ingredients, it is crucial to choose a high quality and reputable probiotic.

                                When Is the Best Time to Take Probiotics?

                                As with many supplements and medications, there are certain times and factors that can change their efficacy, for good or bad. Research shows that the best time to take a probiotic is 30 minutes before a meal.[5] Consistency is key when it comes to taking a probiotic and experiencing as many of the potential health benefits as possible. This means that it is necessary to take it daily to ensure routine and regular replenishment of the gut’s bacteria.

                                The stomach is a highly acidic environment, which can make it difficult for many supplements to pass through in their most bioavailable form. The same is true for probiotics. Look for a high-quality probiotic that uses time-release tablets to deliver its bacteria safely to the gut.

                                The composition of your meal can also help or hinder your probiotic’s efficacy. A large meal will move more slowly through the stomach and trigger more stomach acid production. If your probiotic is taken along or prior to this type of meal, the probiotic will move more slowly and be exposed to a hostile environment for longer.

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                                The Bottom Line

                                When taking a probiotic, the most important thing to consider is product quality. Carefully read packaging and websites to ensure you are getting a product that is safe, pure, and effective. Look for a probiotic that will release its bacteria slowly and deliver them safely past your stomach acid.

                                Probiotics have been shown to support the immune system, prevent gastrointestinal issues, combat side effects from chronic conditions, and give extra support during pregnancy. These are just a few from a long list of scientifically backed benefits. Regardless of your motivation, just about every individual can benefit from adding a probiotic to their supplement and health regimen.

                                Lastly, here’s my recommendations on probiotics: 7 Best Probiotic Supplements (Recommendation and Reviews)

                                Featured photo credit: Christopher Campbell via unsplash.com

                                Reference

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