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SDSU students swept up by Kombucha health craze

by Brittany Turner

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Caitlin Johnson, staff writer

Caitlin Johnson, staff writer

Bloated? Stomachache from excessive eating? No energy before class? If any of these symptoms sound like something you’ve struggled with, you’re not alone. San Diego State students are rapidly recognizing the powerful effects kombucha has on their bodies. Consumers visit Olive Oil Organic Cafe in West Commons to get a taste of the new detoxifying drink.

“I drink kombucha when I have eaten too much food, which causes my stomach to feel bloated,” pre-nursing freshman Frank Giles said. “It works very fast. Immediately after drinking just one bottle of kombucha, I no longer feel bloated or have any kind of stomachache.”

What is kombucha tea?

This “ancient elixir” is a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. One popular brand of GT’s Synergy Kombucha has seven main ingredients work to detoxify the body: omega-3, antioxidants, fiber, detoxifiers, electrolytes, organic acids and probiotics. Synergy is 100-percent organic, vegan, gluten-free and raw.

How does it work?

Kombucha gives the body what it needs to heal itself. It aids the liver by removing harmful substances and promotes balance in the digestive system because of its rich, health-promoting vitamins, enzymes and acids.

Each bottle of GT’s Synergy Kombucha states each bottle is “designed to nourish your body from the inside out.

Olive Oil Organic Cafe staff member Gladys Karmo said customers often tell her they feel addicted to the drink.

“I tell them that they are not addicted to the drink, they are addicted to the healthy and clean feeling that kombucha provides,” Karmo said.

Where does kombucha come from?

Author of “Kombucha: The Miracle Fungus” Harald W. Tietze says kombucha originated in Northeast China during the Qin Dynasty and in the early 1900s, kombucha was known as the “tea of immortality” because it was “a beverage with magical powers enabling people to live forever.”

What are the effects of kombucha?

Although no scientific evidence supported Tietze’s claim, Olive Oil Organic Cafe’s consumers agree with him, and describe the after-effects of kombucha as energizing, cleansing and quenching.

Freshman Giles recognizes kombucha’s “magical powers” and said the drink’s “detoxifying abilities” make a significant difference in his daily life. Giles waits in line at Olive Oil Organic Cafe at least twice a week to get a bottle of what he called “addicting kombucha.”

“I’ve only been drinking kombucha for three weeks,” Giles said. “After I drink one bottle, it settles my stomach and I’m left feeling enthusiastic, energized and vivacious.”

Giles, who works out at the SDSU Aztec Recreation Center, said kombucha is “better than water because it quenches my thirst and replenishes my energy after a long workout.”

After trying out kombucha for herself after a workout, Olive Oil Organic Cafe staff member Brandy Ibarra agrees with Giles and said, “I think after working out, kombucha is much better for my body than a protein shake. Not only do I lose water from sweating, I also lose electrolytes. Kombucha is packed with electrolytes, along with other important ingredients that your body needs after any high energy activity.”

What are the flavors of kombucha?

“The current most popular flavor being sold at the Olive Oil Organic Cafe is grape with Chia seeds,” Karmo said. “We sell out of this flavor first before all of the others. I think this is because of the many health benefits chia seeds provide for our bodies.”

The Synergy brand of Kombucha states the health benefits of chia seeds on the front of every.

“Raw Chia = Raw Energy: Often called runner’s food, Chia is a nutrient-rich superfood that provides sustained energy for your body.” According to the label, Synergy contains more omega-3s than salmon, more antioxidants than blueberries and more fiber than oatmeal.

Other Synergy flavors include gingerberry and cherry chia.

Where can I try kombucha?

Currently, Olive Oil Organic Cafe is the only place on campus selling Synergy. At $4.50 per bottle, Karmo said the price doesn’t keep students from flocking to the restaurant for their weekly detox drinks.

“They are flying off the shelves so quickly that by Wednesday or Thursday, we sell out of all 84 bottles and have to order more,” Karmo said. “Students even research kombucha themselves and request new flavors. We didn’t used to carry gingerberry until SDSU students started special requesting us to order it.”

Try a bottle of kombucha. Grab a delicious flavor on the way to class and see for yourself if kombucha makes you feel “enthusiastic, energized and vivacious.”

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3 Responses to “SDSU students swept up by Kombucha health craze”

  1. AN on March 25th, 2013 7:35 am

    This reads like an advertisement for the product and you should proof-read before you publish.



  2. Lauren Yap on March 26th, 2013 3:47 pm

    Hello AN,

    Recently, kombucha Synergy has experienced a rapid growth in popularity at SDSU. The author explained the product and also interviewed students about the drink for this feature. We carefully edit every article we publish. However, we are not immune to mistakes and appreciate constructive feedback.

    Thank you for reading our paper,
    Lauren Yap
    Features Editor


  3. Jesse M. on October 8th, 2014 7:34 am

    I drink Kombucha regularly and have not had a common cold or flu since I began drinking it three years ago. I give it to my 4 yr old son as well and he loves it. He too is almost never sick. Drink Kombucha if you don’t enjoy having colds!!!


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