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Kombucha and... electrolytes?

 
pollinator
Posts: 169
Location: Emporia, KS
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I love brewing my own kombucha, and I've found that it makes a refreshing beverage after a workout. But I got curious as to whether it contains electrolytes, and a quick Google search turned up dozens of sites claiming that it does:
https://www.google.com/#q=kombucha+electrolytes

Then my high-school chemistry kicked back in and said wait a minute, where would they come from? The water and sugar only contain hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon. The acetic and ascorbic and oxalic acids in the finished product are just rearrangements of those three elements. The SCOBY, impressive and intimidating as it is, is also just carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. The only source for electrolytes such as sodium, magnesium, and potassium would be the tea, but the amounts present in tea are insignificant to consider it any sort of hydration drink:
http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=tea+nutrition

So, it seems to me there are three possibilities here: 1) Some people add salt to their kombucha during the brewing process. 2) The people making these claims believe in alchemy. 3) The people making these claims are just repeating stuff they've heard others say without checking their facts.

Any thoughts from other kombucha brewers out there?
 
Posts: 3366
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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I am going with 2 & 3.

I grab a salty snack to go with the booch, usually some good nut or trail mix or occasionally a salty almond shortbread-style cookie.
 
master steward
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My husband makes his with molasses, which gives it some magnesium and potassium. So depending on what sugar one is using, there may or may not be some electrolytes there...
 
pollinator
Posts: 2389
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
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I often wonder, how is it dividing and building new cells is there is no protein/nitrogen and all the micro-minerals that each cell needs.

When I make my water kefir, you are suppose to add baked eggshell and or molasses. I also add a milti-vitamin once ever 2 month to give them a super boost but they taste funny for a week after.
 
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For what it's worth, you will have some Hydrogen Carbonate as a result of produced carbon dioxide reacting with the water...
 
Posts: 101
Location: Nebraska
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I am going with 4: it's magically delicious.

I don't think there would be any more electrolytes in the kombucha than is in the water (tea) that is used for the brew. Adding some trace mineral drops is a good idea, though. Happy brewing!
 
Posts: 1444
Location: Fennville MI
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Ben, if your local water supply only contains H2O, you have an unusual water supply Distilled water is only hydrogen and oxygen. The stuff we get out of our wells, taps, etc., has quite the variety of other stuff in it.
But you are right that the kombucha is not going to make electrolytes appear that were not there.
 
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