What is water kefir?

Water Kefir is a bubbly fermented probiotic beverage made with water kefir grains that is excellent for gut health. It is made with water, natural sugars and a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts (SCOBY)held in a polysaccharide biofilm matrix created by the bacteria. These are known as “water kefir grains”. However, they are not actually grains, but are referred to in this way because of their appearance. Water kefir grains are also known as “tibicos”. Water Kefir has traditionally been consumed for centuries and their most widely accepted origin comes from Mexico, where the “tibicos” are harvested from the pear cactus.

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are live bacteria and yeast that have an ability to generally improve or restore balance to the gut flora. Probiotics are generally referred to as “good” or “helpful” bacteria because they keep the gut healthy and are great for digestion. Gut health, in turn, is associated with a myriad of other benefits such as a strong immune system and improved energy and mood.

How many probiotics are there in B.Gutsy water kefir?

Each 300ml can contains over 3 billion live cultures, including live strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium - probiotics that help the body break down food, absorb nutrients, and fight off the bad bacteria that can cause disease in the body. 

What are the benefits of water kefir?

Let’s try and cover all of them, shall we?

- Better digestion due to balanced gut flora

- Better sleep

- Helps lose belly fat

- Reduced severity of allergies and eczema

- Supports the immune system

- Prevents and alleviates bloating

- Helps manage free radicals in the body

- Reduces blood pressure and cholesterol

- Energy booster

While water kefir may not be a magic health bullet and effects may vary from individual to individual, these benefits have been reported widely. There have also been several studies proving the different health benefits of water kefir.

What does water kefir taste like?

Water kefir has a slightly sweet, slightly tangy flavor and can be likened to a natural, light and refreshing soda. After the first fermentation, B.Gutsy water kefir is infused with fruits and/or herbs and is put through a second anaerobic fermentation to create our carbonated signature flavors.

How much water kefir should I have in a day?

Half a glass of water kefir is a good place to start if you are new to fermented foods – just to see how your body reacts to it. You can build up your intake to a 1-2 glasses over a period of two weeks. You may experience minor symptoms (e.g. extra bloating) for a couple of days in the beginning (especially if you have sensitive digestion), but this should sort out within a week or two of regular consumption. Generally, water kefir allows a gentle detox of the body. The most important thing is to listen to your body. If you’re craving more, go ahead and indulge yourself. Water kefir is just like any other natural food, albeit with healing properties – no manufactured ingredients or extra/fake sugars that can trick your body. As with everything though, moderation is best.

When is the best time to drink water kefir?

Any time is a good time to have water kefir. After a workout to replenish those electrolytes, before bed-time to promote better sleep through the night, or alongside a meal as a soda-alternative.

What is the advantage of water kefir over probiotic pill supplements?

Probiotic pill supplements usually have only one or a select variety of bacteria. The gut thrives when there is bacterial diversity. B.Gutsy water kefir goes through a natural fermentation process and can contain up to 40 different strains of bacteria. Water kefir is considered a functional food because it offers enzymes, pre-digested nutrients, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, calories/energy and billions of probiotics, all in one.

I have diabetes. Can I still drink water kefir?

The base for water kefir IS made out of sugar water so it isn’t possible to make a sugar-free version. However, this sugar is for feeding the bacteria and yeast. By the time a can of B.Gutsy water kefir reaches your hands, most of that sugar has been broken down during the fermentation process. The end product is a very low-sugar, low-calorie drink (3 gm sugar and 25kcal per serving approx - this amount reduces even more over time). Moreover, the sugar (sucrose) is broken down into fructose and glucose – and fructose does not spike the blood sugar level of people with diabetes in the way sucrose does. A good idea would be to check your sugar levels regularly to monitor the effects water kefir has. Also, check with your doctor to see if water kefir is something you can include in your diet.

Can I give water kefir to my kids?

Water kefir is safe and beneficial for kids, but a child’s digestive system is smaller and can be more sensitive so caution must be exercised when it comes to the amount they are given to drink. Give it to them straight up from the can or freeze it in popsicle molds for fun and super healthy popsicles!

I am doing intermittent fasting. Can I have water kefir during my fast?

Even though water kefir is made from a sugar base, the end caloric value is minimal since the bacteria break down all the sugars into beneficial enzymes and amino acids. If you’re aiming to keep your caloric intake at a minimal (during the fast) water kefir will only help in replenishing electrolytes in your body - without any significant sugar intake. You would also be promoting a healthy gut microbiome within your gut (leading to better digestion!) by adding all the good bacteria in the water kefir leading to more bacterial diversity. It would be helpful to include prebiotic foods in your diet too (like onions, garlic, under-ripe bananas), to help stimulate the growth of these helpful bacteria.

How do I store my water kefir?

Water kefir should be kept refrigerated at all times. Even though our water kefir comes in a can, it is NOT shelf-stable. This is because your drink is literally alive and fermentation is an ongoing process. At higher temperatures, the fermentation process can speed up and you may notice the can lid "pop up" due to pressure build-up. Although we recommend that you consume your drink within a week of receiving it, your drink (like most fermented foods) will not go “bad” for a long time. The taste, however, WILL change as the bacteria and yeast further consume the sugars in the drink – making it more sour. 

What is the difference between water kefir, milk kefir and kombucha?

Kombucha is tea-cultured while water kefir is water-cultured. Water kefir is thus caffeine-free. Water kefir has a sweet taste, while kombucha has more of a bitter taste to it. Water kefir is also considered to have a greater number of probiotic bacteria strains.

Water kefir and milk kefir share some common bacterial strains, but have many of their own unique ones too. Milk kefir is a yogurt-y drink and has some wonderful health benefits too, but is not suitable for those who are sensitive to milk products. Water kefir is dairy-free and lighter to taste.