Food & Drinks

Fermented Drinks: What Are They and Are They Healthy?

What Is A Fermented Drink?

The initiated among you might be wondering, “wait, isn’t all alcohol technically fermented?” And you would be right! But when we’re talking about fermented drinks, we’re specifically referring to beverages that have undergone a second fermentation process with the addition of yeast and sugar.

So, what is a fermented drink?

A fermented drink is any beverage that has been through a fermentation process. This is done with the addition of yeast, bacteria, or other microorganisms and with the help of fruits or vegetables containing natural sugars. Fermented drinks are beer, wine, kombucha, cider, and kefir.

The fermentation process gives these drinks their distinctively sour or tangy taste and slightly fizzy texture.

And while some might think that all fermented drinks are alcoholic, that’s not the case. There are plenty of delicious non-alcoholic fermented drinks, like kombucha and kefir.

This article will discuss fermentation’s chemistry, biology, and some of our favorite fermented drinks. We will also narrow down the numerous benefits of fermentation so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not to add fermented drinks to your diet.

What Is Fermentation?

What Is Fermentation?

To understand fermentation, we need to get a bit geeky and talk about its science.

Fermentation is a breakdown caused by bacteria and yeast consuming sugars and converting them into alcohol, acids, and carbon dioxide gas. The result is a slightly fizzy, slightly alcoholic beverage teeming with probiotics (good bacteria) that are great for gut health.

There are two types of fermentation: aerobic and anaerobic.

Aerobic fermentation occurs when yeast ferments sugar in the presence of oxygen, while anaerobic fermentation happens in the absence of oxygen.

Wine and beer are drinks that undergo aerobic fermentation, while kombucha and certain types of milk undergo anaerobic fermentation.

The Different Types of Fermented Drinks

The Different Types Of Fermented Drinks

Fermented drinks have been around for centuries and are enjoyed worldwide. They were likely discovered accidentally; many cultures have their unique fermented beverage.

In China, there is baijiu, a distilled liquor made from sorghum. In Japan, there is sake, a rice wine brewed using a special type of yeast. And in Korea, there is soju, a distilled liquor made from rice, wheat, or barley.

Some of the most popular fermented drinks in the Western world include beer, wine, cider, kefir, and kombucha.


Beer is the most popular fermented drink in the world. It is made by brewing grain (usual barley) with water and then adding yeast. The yeast consumes the sugars in the grain and produces alcohol and carbon dioxide gas.

The type of beer that you drink depends on the type of yeast used in the brewing process, the type of grain, and how long it is fermented.

There are two main types of beer: lagers and ales.

Lagers are made with bottom-fermenting yeast and fermented at cool temperatures, while ales are made with top-fermenting yeast and fermented at warm temperatures.


Of all the fermented drinks, wine is probably the most well-known. Wine is made by crushing grapes and allowing the juice to ferment. The wine you drink depends on the grape used and the fermented time.

Red wine is made with red grapes and fermented for a longer period, while white wine is made with white grapes and fermented for a shorter period.


Cider is made by crushing apples (or sometimes other fruits, such as pears) and allowing the juice to ferment. The type of cider you drink depends on the apple used, and the time it is fermented.

Dry cider is made with apples that are high in sugar and fermented for a more extended period, while sweet cider is made with apples that are low in sugar and fermented for a shorter period.


Kefir is a fermented milk drink that originated in the Caucasus Mountains. It is made by adding kefir grains (a type of yeast) to milk and allowing it to ferment. The outcome is a drink that is slightly sour and slightly fizzy. The health benefits of kefir are due to the probiotics (good bacteria) that it contains.


What’s a list of fermented drinks without kombucha? This trendy beverage is popular for its probiotic content and health benefits.

Kombucha is a fermented tea that adds bacteria and yeast to sweetened black tea. The bacteria and yeast consume the sugars in the tea and produce alcohol and carbon dioxide gas.

The resulting beverage is slightly fizzy, slightly alcoholic, and contains probiotics that are good for gut health.

Health Benefits of Fermented Drinks

The Health Benefits Of Fermented Drinks

The popularity of fermented drinks is due in part to their health benefits. There are many benefits to consuming fermented drinks, including the following:

1. They Are Rich in Probiotics

Fermented drinks have been proven to be rich in probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that help to improve gut health. Probiotics have been shown to reduce the risk of diarrhea, constipation, and other digestive issues.

2. They Help To Improve Digestion

Research has shown that fermented drinks can help improve digestion by increasing the number of good bacteria in the gut. This, in turn, helps to break down food more efficiently and absorb more nutrients.

3. They May Help To Boost the Immune System

Fermented drinks contain antioxidants that can help to protect the body against disease-causing free radicals. These antioxidants may also help to boost the immune system. The probiotics in fermented drinks may also help fight harmful bacteria and viruses.

4. They Help To Reduce Cholesterol Levels

Some studies have shown that fermented drinks may help to lower cholesterol levels. This is likely because they contain live bacteria that help to break down cholesterol in the gut.

5. Help To Regulate Blood Sugar Levels

Fermented drinks may help to regulate blood sugar levels by slowing down the absorption of sugars into the bloodstream. This is beneficial for people with diabetes or prediabetes. This effect has been most studied concerning kombucha.


Fermented drinks are any beverages that have been through a fermentation process. This process involves adding bacteria or yeast to a sweetened beverage, which then consumes the sugars and produces alcohol and carbon dioxide.

Some popular fermented drinks include beer, wine, cider, and kombucha. These drinks are popular for their health benefits, which include being rich in probiotics, helping to improve digestion, boosting the immune system, and regulating blood sugar levels.