Soda Alternatives for the Summer! Probiotic and Prebiotic Sodas
Whether it's coffee created with liquid nitrogen or CBD infused teas and tonics, health beverages have been all the rage recently. For years, kombucha has been one of the most popular, but a new take on the concept, probiotic and prebiotic sodas, appears to be gaining traction. Imagine some of your favorite sodas from your youth, but with health advantages and far less of the less-than-desirable additives (like high fructose corn syrup) found in standard sodas. While companies like Olipop, Poppi, and Health-Booch Ade's Pop are frequently put together when discussing this beverage category, they all use different substances to improve gut health.
- Probiotic and prebiotic sodas each have different health benefits over regular soda
- Drinks like these can be part of a strategy along with good diet to maintain your health
Probiotic and Prebiotic Sodas
The presence of probiotics or prebiotics is an important distinction to keep in mind. If you want to learn a little more about just how different these two types of ingredients are, click here. These beverages are divided into two groups. Some of them contain prebiotics, which are compounds that nourish the good bacteria in your stomach. Others may or may not contain prebiotics, but they do contain probiotics. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria and yeasts for your health. Fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, raw apple cider vinegar, pickles, some cheeses, and fermented teas contain probiotics. Some of these ingredients can be manufactured at home or purchased at our local grocery and incorporated into a meal.
Prebiotics are more difficult to bring to this market because many prebiotic foods are best kept unprocessed. Garlic, asparagus, and leeks are some of the most prebiotic-rich foods, and unaltered would not make for the tastiest drink. Transforming these ingredients into more commonly accepted and marketed meals and beverages could dilute their effectiveness or introduce new hazards. This is one of the major concerns with probiotic and prebiotic sodas. Additionally the various claims for health benefits related to these new drinks are not verified. There is little to no data proving the myriad of issues these sodas say they can remedy. However, it is pretty clear that all these prebiotic and probiotic sodas are better than the traditional stuff.
Soda is the most common source of added sugar in our diets, and the majority of individuals consume much too much of it, so maybe probiotic and prebiotic sodas are the answer.
Although these drinks contain sugar, they contain far less than a conventional cola. For the sake of reference, a 12-ounce can of Coke contains 39 grams of added sugar. That's nearly ten teaspoons! There are around 4 to 6 grams (or 1-1½ teaspoons) of added sugar in [probiotic and prebiotic] drinks.
Drinks on the Market
Each can contains about a table spoon of apple cider vinegar, which has been proven to improve many gut issues. One of the issues with using this as a remedy to a health problem is consistency. Making this a habit is crucial if you really want to get the benefits. Poppi claims their beverage improves gut health and immunity, but also improves complexion, lowers cholesterol, promotes weight loss, stabilizes blood sugar, and improves energy.
To restore intestinal equilibrium, it uses plant-based fibers. This gut-friendly beverage contains 9 grams of plant fiber, prebiotics, and bacteria-balancing botanicals to help you maintain a healthy gut. Plant fibers operate as prebiotics, and botanicals aid in the creation of an environment in the gut that encourages probiotic growth and flourishing. They claim to host a balanced formula of pre and probiotics.
3. De La Calle
This recipe comes from Mexico and has apparently been around for centuries. It is called tepache (teh-pah-che) and, like kombucha, this fermented drink claims the same gut boosting properties.
4. Any Kombucha with low sugar
The options out there for kombucha are pretty vast nowadays especially if you're living in Los Angeles. My advice is to try a flavor that appeals to you but check that it has a reasonable amount of sugar and no other sketchy ingredients.
A drink like this can be part of a strategy, but it's also important to eat a range of plant foods to meet the fiber objectives of 25 grams per day for women and 38 grams per day for men. Reduce your intake of excessively processed foods, particularly those with added sugar and refined carbohydrates, as these items have been linked to an unfavorable gut bacterial composition. A comprehensive strategy is more involved than simply drinking a probiotic soda, but it is the most effective strategy to improve both your gut and overall health. If you have food allergies, a delicate digestive system, or are pregnant or nursing, you should talk to your doctor before adding them to your diet.
Prebiotic and probiotic sodas are a really neat concept however, their benefits are not verified. Personally I love kombucha and brew my own. I love trying new beverages and am excited to see what new drinks are invented or like tepache, reinvented. I think that soda as we know it traditionally will slowly disappear from the marketplace. As people become more conscious and concerned about their health and learn just how toxic sugar is, companies will shift their recipes to fit the wants of the consumers.
Written by Kiana St. Onge