Tea is a great drink for relaxing and enjoying a moment of quiet, but did you know there are also types of tea that are designed to enhance your health? One of these medicinal tea types is the group of teas known as probiotic tea.
Probiotic tea is tea with live microorganisms added that can help populate a person’s digestive system with beneficial bacteria. This beneficial bacteria helps to improve your digestion by stimulating your intestines to pass food and combating high levels of bad bacteria in your system.
Probiotic tea doesn’t taste like regular black teas, and it doesn’t have the same effects either. Some people may not be able to drink probiotic tea safely. Read on to learn more about probiotic tea and how it should be consumed for optimal digestive health.
Probiotic Tea Is a Digestive Aid
Unlike black teas and herbal teas, probiotic tea is drunk specifically to help encourage healthy levels of beneficial bacteria in the gut. The most popular type of probiotic tea is kombucha, a fermented black tea with many health benefits.
What Do Probiotic Teas Do?
Probiotics work by increasing the number of beneficial bacteria and yeasts in your digestive system, helping to combat the build-up of harmful gut bacteria. There are multiple types of bacteria that can be helpful as part of your digestive ecosystem, including the following:
- Lactobacillus: Lactobacillus, also known as acidophilus, is a type of beneficial bacteria that aids the body in breaking down food in the digestive system. (Source: WebMD)
- Bifidobacterium: Bifidobacterium is one of the first foreign microbes to colonize the human gut. Along with existing naturally in the human digestive system, bifidobacterium also fulfills an ecological niche in breaking down sewage and in insect digestion. (Source: Frontiers in Microbiology)
- Saccharomyces boulardii: Saccharomyces boulardii is a probiotic bacteria that is used to help treat many digestive issues which result in diarrhea, such as rotavirus. It’s also been shown to help treat other digestive issues such as stomach ulcers. (Source: WebMD)
When probiotics help balance the amount of beneficial bacteria in your gut flora, this leads to a healthier digestive system overall. A healthy functioning digestive system means less problems dealing with negative digestive symptoms such as diarrhea, bloating, abdominal cramps, constipation, and irritable bowels.
How Often Should You Drink Probiotic Teas?
The Center for Disease Control says that you can safely drink four ounces of probiotic tea between one and three times a day. Because the beneficial bacteria in probiotic tea are generally harmless, there’s no easy way to “overdose” on probiotic tea. (Source: Cleveland Clinic)
What Is the Best Time to Drink Probiotic Tea?
The best time to drink probiotic tea is on an empty stomach, because this allows the beneficial bacteria direct access to your gut flora without being impeded by digesting food. This means that the best time of day to drink probiotic tea is either first thing in the morning before breaking your fast, or at the very end of the day before you go to bed.
Is It Safe to Drink Probiotic Teas Every Day?
It’s definitely safe to drink probiotic tea every day as long as you don’t have any medical conditions where probiotics are avoided, such as immune system issues. Many people consume kombucha or other probiotic tea daily as part of a holistic health regimen to maintain good nutrition and digestive health.
Do Probiotic Teas Have Side Effects?
In most cases, the only side effect you’ll notice after a few weeks of taking probiotic tea is noticing that your digestive system is working a little better than it was before.
However, there are a few side effects you may notice when you first start drinking probiotic tea as your system rebalances the levels of bacteria in your gut. These side effects are typically harmless and temporary. Here are some of the side effects you might experience before your gut settles down and adjusts to a new level of beneficial bacteria:
- Gas and bloating
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Increase in thirst
While most people can take probiotic tea safely, a very small percentage of people may experience an allergic reaction to probiotic tea. If you experience adverse effects like difficulty breathing or hives after ingesting probiotic tea, cease use immediately and consult your doctor.
Signs That You Need Probiotic Tea
If you’re having digestive difficulties, this can be a sign that you need probiotics in your diet to help balance out your gut flora. There are also other indicators that you may have a lack of bacterial balance in your digestive system. Here are a few of the things to look out for:
- Digestive issues: The biggest indicator that you might need probiotic tea to help with your gut flora is dealing with chronic digestive problems such as diarrhea, intestinal inflammation, and acid reflux.
- Strong sugar cravings: Strong sugar cravings can be an indication that you have an excess amount of sugar-seeking yeast in your system. Yeast like Candida is not normally a problem in the digestive system unless it becomes too prevalent. In this case, it can cause sugar cravings, thrush, and vaginal infections.
- Slow metabolism: Lack of beneficial bacteria can make your digestion take longer and can interfere with the absorption of vital nutrients. This can lead to gradual malnutrition even if you’re eating healthy foods otherwise.
- Antibiotics: Taking antibiotics may kill the harmful bacteria that lead to infections, but they also kill off your beneficial gut flora in the process. You should always take probiotics after taking antibiotics to prevent a disruption of your digestive tract.
If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, taking probiotic tea for a few weeks can help regulate your digestive system and get the beneficial bacteria in your gut back to a healthy balance.
Probiotic Tea Can Improve Digestion
Digestive problems can make life miserable for anybody, but they can often be resolved by adjusting your diet. Probiotic tea is a great way to ensure you have healthy gut bacteria levels so you can get the nutrition you need.