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:
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:
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?
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.
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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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