Probiotic food like kefir, kombucha or sauerkraut is itself a food or a food supplement, so there is no exact prescribed or optimal time to consume. But we can choose ourselves the best time based on our intuitive feeling and preference to consume to receive the maximum benefits.
Some importan factors to consider choosing the best time to drink Kefir, Kombucha or any other probiotic food –
- Is it right to have first thing in the morning and on an empty stomach? Early mornings, after long hour of fasting throughout the night, there will be no food or nourishment for the friendly bacteria to feed. Friendly bacteria feeds on high fiber plant based food, so those bacteria’s has to wait for the food until you eat. Then, you may have to add vegetable salads to your morning breakfast menu; usually we eat veggies in the afternoon or night, so please consider this.
- It is also best to have kefir along with the meal, may be after the meals also. The powerful stomach acids will be busy breaking the food consumed, so the friendly bacteria strains will have easy passage and settle in the gut and break down the complex fibre foods.
- Choosing night time (before going to bed) to drink milk Kefir is also a good idea, as Kefir is loaded with amino acid “Tryptophan” a natural sleep inducer and serotonin enhancer which calms down the nervous system by promoting quality sleep and increase emotional well-being.
Important Note: Add high fibre vegetables, fiber rich cereals and fruits (for example: raw onion salad, spring onion, raw garlic (1 – 2 cloves per day), asparagus, unripe banana or raw inner peel layer, savoy cabbage, legumes, chickpeas, baked beans, watermelon, bran & barley, etc.) to your meal plan while consuming your kefir or kombucha to stimulate and nourish the good bacterias.
How much Quantity of Kefir and Kombucha Tea to Drink?
Kefir Milk & Kefir Water
– For adults it is recommended to start 1/2 Cup (100 ml) per day of kefir for first week, this will help to get used to the live good bacteria and yeast diet. Few people whose gut system is dominated by bad bacteria’s and yeast report some side effects like bloating, constipation or cramps, so it is advised to go slow. We have given some remedies for the temporary side effects.
Later, you can increase to 1 cup (200-300 ml) daily if you feel comfortable.
– For children start with 2-4 tablespoon for a week and increase to 100 ml per day once they are comfortable. Milk kefir and coconut water kefir is best suitable for kids.
Kombucha tea a probiotic tea and detoxifier, mainly recommended for adults, not children below 12 years of age. One can start with 50ml per day for the first week and can increase to 100ml to 200ml after first week.
Coconut Water Kefir –
Best suitable for kids (above 2 years) and adults (all ages).
For kids – It is recommended to give one or two tablespoon coconut water kefir diluted with 2-3 tablespoon of drinking water for first 3 -4 days until the probiotic drinks suits the baby stomach, later you can increase upto 50-100 ml based on the kids willingness. Kids may enjoy direct chilled coconut water kefir as it tastes like carbonated soft drink beverage like Limca.
For adults – Adults can start with 50ml for first 3 – 4 days and later increase to 100-200 ml per day. Best time before bed time. Tastes great when served from fridge.
For Pets (Dogs) Dosage:
Dogs can have milk kefir too, they would love it. Start off slow, let their gut develop tolerance to it. Just pour 1-3 tablespoon of kefir milk and mix it in regular food before feeding on a daily basis. Also you can feed the excess grown kefir grains to the dog, it would love it. Please be careful in feeding huge dose of kefir in initial stages, your doggy may get gassy and have some runs before he gets used to it.
Frequently Asked Questions Answered –
- Is it good to have Kefir or Kombucha in empty stomach?
Kefir or Kombucha is itself a food or beverage, so we can take anytime we wish to have, there is no absolute recommendation. We have a suggestion, Kefir is a probiotic beverage with plenty of good bacteria or yeast, so we can consume kefir post meal (after having good portion of plant based food with fiber) which will nourish the newly entered micro organisms with prebiotic food.
- Is there any course of Kefir which we should take?
Kefir or Kombucha is a natural fermented food, and not a medicine or anti-biotics, so there is no course or prescription. Colony of good gut bacterias are like a passing travelling organisms, they enter our digestive system surviving our acidic enzymes, populate in colon, help in proper digestion and later some passes through the stool. So, topping up with probiotics is always a good part of our diet, the excess beneficial bacterias will always pass away.
- Is it good to drink kefir morning or night?
Instead of considering morning or night, it is best to have along with good meal or post meal immediately which can be helpful for bacterias to survive high acidic level before food and get nourished with green or fibre based food which we consume. And it is good idea to consume along with night meal. PubMed has done a research on this, please check this research result.
- Can we consume along with anti-biotic medications?
Anti-biotics kills all kind of good bacterias or bad bacterias, so it is a good idea to add back good bacterias when we are taking anti-biotics, and also post anti-biotic medications. This will help to replenish our microbiome system. But, you should seek advice with your doctor about consuming probiotics like kefir with your medical condition and treatment.
How to consume milk kefir?
Kefir has a sour taste, bit creamy and has mild yeasty smell. Kefir is similar to curd, but it does not set like a curd, it looks slimy and runny.
- You can drink it in a plain form, by just adding some sea salt / himalayan pink salt to taste. If you want the drink to be runny like buttermilk, dilute with some water. (See video demo below)
- Make traditional buttermilk! Dilute the kefir with water, add some salt, season with ginger juice, and add herbs like coriander leaves and curry leaves.
- Milk kefir is too sour? If your milk kefir gets too tart for you try adding a tablespoon of cream, half & half, or whole milk to the finished kefir. Add more to reach the point where you like the flavor.
- You can mix kefir milk in smoothies! Use kefir as base for smoothie and blend with your favorite berries or fruits.
- You can dress your vegetable salads with milk kefir, or make mint chutneys with kefir as a base instead of curds or yogurt.
- You can make ice cream using kefir milk as a base and add some flavors like vanila, strawberry, etc..
- You can blend a sweet lassi with some healthy sweetener, kids would love it. Add a dash of cinnamon powder, it tastes great.
- Use as topping for your cereal, it tastes great with tangy flavor.
How to consume water or coconut water kefir?
Coconut water kefir or water kefir has a sparkling soda taste with a fizz effect, just like soft drink beverages (minus sugar) when served chilled.
- You can drink in plain form, it tastes like plain soda. It tastes great when served chilled.
- If you would like to enhance the taste and experience, you can squeeze some lemon juice, ginger juice or mint leaves.
- You can also second ferment the ready kefir with preferred fruits (orange, pear, pomegranate etc.) and berries sliced or crushed for other 24 hours in room temperature and store in fridge. This will be fruit kefir with additional probiotic benefits and enhanced taste. If you want a spicy twist, you can add some cinnamon bark pieces.
7 Flavoring Options of Coconut water kefir (video) by my daughter Disha – (Kids will also enjoy this)
Milk Kefir Flavoring –