I Drank Kefir Soda Daily for 12 Days, and It Completely Reset My Digestive System and Regularity

Photo: Stocksy/Alita.
This past fall, after traveling for five consecutive weeks staying in hotels and subsisting solely on restaurant fare for my meals, to say I needed a *major* gut reset would be an understatement. Although I spent a month in South Korea (where I ate all sorts of gut-friendly kimchi and nutrient-rich side dishes, aka banchan, daily) and a week in Israel (where the Mediterranean-influenced cuisine is as healthful as it is delicious), my digestion was still worse for wear. TMI alert: While I typically pass at least one BM daily, I felt lucky if I’d have a solid toilet sesh every two or three days while on the road. Also, towards the end of my travels, I was starting to experience gas pains like I never had before, and felt like I was hiding a massive bloat-induced belly ache under my T-shirts.

By the time I got back home, I was grateful to have two six-packs of Buchi Kefir Soda waiting for me in my fridge. I eagerly got to testing this fermented beverage to see if it’d provide the digestive relief my body craved.

What is kefir soda?

The kefir soda from Buchi—a female-founded, independent brand that brews “high quality living drinks”—is a carbonated probiotic tonic brewed with raw heritage tibicos (aka kefir cultures, water kefir grains, African bees, or sea rice) sourced from cactus plants. According to the brand, tibicos cultures have been used for centuries to refresh and replenish people across the world. Buchi’s kefir soda—of which there are currently five flavors—boasts beneficial bacteria, digestive enzymes, and detoxifying acids. It’s also USDA-certified organic, non-GMO, and gluten-free. Plus, while you may be more familiar with dairy-based kefir, Buchi’s kefir soda is 100 percent vegan, so it’s a suitable beverage for a variety of dietary preferences and needs.

Generally speaking, fermented foods and drinks (especially those that contain probiotics) are revered for their ability to nurture the gut microbiome. A healthier, more balanced gut can yield benefits including improvements in digestion, mood, sleep, skin health, and then some… which is why I always load up on kimchi, kraut, and kombucha. Moreover, “Many health-promoting effects have been attributed to kefir, including tumor suppression, improved wound healing, and antimicrobial properties,” Brooklyn–based dietitian Maya Feller, MS, RD, CDN, previously told Well+Good.

My Buchi Kefir Soda review

Although I’m pretty new to water kefir, I was more than willing to put on my researcher’s hat in the name of gut-friendly goodness. (I’m also a huge fan of anything sour and things that basically scream health—including vinegar, kale, and even the *earthiest* of green juices.) I committed to drinking one bottle of kefir soda a day for 12 consecutive days to see how my digestion fared.

I enjoyed my first bottle of Buchi the second I got home from the airport in an attempt to counteract airplane bloat—and, you know, the effects of going five weeks without a home-cooked meal. By the time I woke up the next morning, my circadian rhythms were still certainly out of whack, but I was ecstatic to discover that my digestion was on the upswing. TMI alert number (ahem) two: I passed the most solid, voluminous BM in recent memory.

In the days that followed, I tried all five flavors: Lemon Lime Echinacea, Ginger Turmeric Cayenne, Strawberry Coconut Passionflower, Pear Ginger Chamomile, and Watermelon Mint Tulsi. (Is your mouth watering yet?) While I truly enjoyed each flavor, I’d unequivocally say that the Lemon Lime Echinacea was my favorite. It tastes like a mildly carbonated, less-mouth puckering lemonade, sans the sugar bomb. (Though Buchi sweetens their kefir soda with organic cane sugar—which also helps to facilitate the process of fermentation—it contains about a third of the sweet stuff typically added to lemonade.)

As for the gut benefits, I’m happy to report that Buchi’s kefir soda—alongside a meal plan containing a lot of whole foods, like fiber-rich veggies—helped me get my digestion back on track throughout the testing period, in the form of daily BMs and virtually no bloating. This desperately needed digestive balance naturally yielded a better mood and a sense of restoration and relief across the board. I’d definitely want to stock up on this kefir soda again for the next time I need a gut reset, or simply crave a sweet yet healthy bubbly bev.

Soda not your thing? Here are some other ways to enjoy kefir.

Lifeway Plain Kefir
Lifeway, Kefir Plain Low Fat Milk Smoothie - 32 oz. — $3.00

Enjoy it the original way—as a fermented milk drink, similar to yogurt. Lifeway’s creamy kefir is rich in gut-healthy goodness and protein and tastes straight-up delicious. Enjoy it plain or in sweet raspberry.

Cultures for Health, Water Kefir Grains — $17.00

Take the DIY approach and make your own kefir at home. Similar to kombucha, water kefir needs to be fermented to turn it into such a healthy drink. These dehydrated cultures are everything you need to make your own kefir for years to come and include step-by-step instructions to get fermentin.’

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