Kefir is a fermented drink that is rich in probiotics. This drink is something that many people swear by and indulge in daily.
There’s certainly a lot to be said about probiotics, as they can help improve your digestive health and overall wellbeing, but how bioavailable is it? How much should you be drinking per day?
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This product contains bacterias and yeasts that can have a significant impact on your gut flora. How much you should drink depends on what your usual diet is, and the status of your gut health.
If you aren’t someone who usually takes in Kefir, you may want to start with just a small amount, since it’s likely that you will feel the effects quite quickly.
Some people experience cramps, bloating, or constipation when they first start taking it. If you keep taking a small amount each day, then eventually, you will find that you can tolerate it better as your gut flora adapts.
Is Kefir Safe?
Kefir is safe for most people to take. There may be some contraindications for some people, however. If you have AIDS or any other condition that weakens the immune system, or if you are taking immunosuppressants, then you should not take it.
You should also avoid it if you are seriously ill, have a weak immune system, or an autoimmune disease. Kefir is not recommended for children under one year of age.
It contains casein, so if you are trying to eliminate casein from your diet because of intolerance or allergy, you should look to other forms of probiotic instead.
How Much Kefir Should You Consume?
Most people start by taking about 100ml of Kefir per day. This should be enough for someone who is not used to drinking probiotics. For the first couple of weeks, you might find that your gut responds to the Kefir with some bloating or gas.
However, if you keep on taking in Kefir, a small amount each day, then you will find that the side effects start to subside. That means that your gut flora has become better balanced.
Once you are no longer experiencing side effects, you can start increasing the amount of Kefir per day. If you are drinking milk kefir, work up to 200-300ml per day, every day. If you are drinking water kefir, then try to aim for a little bit more (about 350ml is a good goal).
How Long Do You Need to Drink Kefir to Feel the Benefits?
For most people, it takes about three months of daily consumption to notice a change in your wellbeing.
Your gut flora responds to what you are eating and drinking, and you will likely find that after three months of probiotics, you feel better, have more energy, and a better overall mood and you crave sweet treats less.
Your immunity, mental clarity, and appetite should be generally better.
Can You Drink Too Much Kefir?
It is possible to drink too much Kefir. Remember that Kefir contains bacteria and that while a lot of that bacteria play an essential role in digestive health, too much Kefir may strain your immune system, and there is the risk of illness. Most people are unlikely to experience side-effects beyond a little cramping or bloating, however.
If you do find that Kefir makes you feel unwell, and the side effects persist for more than a few days, talk to a doctor and stop drinking Kefir in the meantime.
Remember that it takes time for your gut flora to adapt to changes in your diet. Many people who are experimenting with probiotics for the first time try them for a week or two, and if they do not feel massively different at that time, stop taking them.
That is not the best idea since they are giving up before there is a real change. Just like it can take weeks to form a habit, it takes weeks (or months) to change your gut health.
Kefir not only contains yeast but bacteria, too. Kefir milk is a good source of calcium, which is vital for your bone health. Water kefir is a good option for people who want to avoid dairy for whatever reason. Milk kefir is rich in protein, which is essential for muscle growth and repair.
It can help to supply a lot of the nutrients that are missing from a standard western diet, and as such, it is a useful addition to your day to day routine. Try drinking a glass per day so that you can enjoy the full benefits. Remember that there are other fermented foods out there as well. Experiment to find the foods that work best for you, and that you like the taste of so that you can stick with taking them every day.