Gut-Friendly Probiotic Sodas Are Trending, Here’s Everything to Know

If your social media feed looks anything like ours, you’ve probably noticed those eye-catching cans of probiotic sodas adding a burst of colour to snapshots of picnic feasts and party drink stations. With the rise of the sober-curious movement and new research highlighting gut health’s impact on digestion, mood, and disease prevention, it’s no wonder these delicious, low-sugar drinks have become some of the trendiest beverages of the moment.

Here’s everything you need to know about probiotic sodas and where to buy them in Canada.

What’s the difference between probiotics and prebiotics?

Probiotics are a natural part of your body, made of good bacteria and yeast. It’s normal for good bacteria to exist harmoniously with bad bacteria, but sometimes things like an infection can create an imbalance in your system. Adding more probiotics to your diet can reduce the amount of harmful bacteria, which improves gut health.

Prebiotics are non-digestible fibres and compounds that promote the growth and activity of beneficial gut bacteria. In other words, they act as a food source for the good bacteria in your gut and prebiotics help probiotics grow.

Check out this list of some of the best probiotic-rich foods to add to your diet.

Is probiotic soda good for you?

As much as we love enjoying a classic soda, many popular options are high in sugar and don’t have any nutritional value. On the other hand, probiotic sodas naturally contain fibre. Many brands are made with natural juices, low sugar, or good-for-you ingredients like apple cider vinegar, making them a healthier substitute for people still craving a bubbly afternoon pick-me-up.

Related: Stock Your Bar with These Standout Non-Alcoholic Alternatives 

Can you drink too much probiotic sodas?

Like most of your favourite beverages, it’s best to enjoy probiotic soda in moderation. Drinking too many cans of probiotic soda (or consuming large doses of probiotics in general) can cause uncomfortable digestive symptoms like gas, bloating and stomach cramps. Because probiotic sodas contain carbonated water, individuals who experience acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) might notice that consuming probiotic soda worsens their symptoms. The combination of carbonation and acidity in probiotic soda can have a similar effect to other fizzy beverages like sparkling water or regular soda.

Related: New Canadian Non-Alcoholic Drinks to Try Now

What’s the difference between kombucha and probiotic sodas?

Kombucha is a bubbly and fermented drink made from tea, sugar, bacteria, and yeast, while most prebiotic sodas have a base of carbonated water with added plant fibres and botanicals. Prebiotic sodas aren’t fermented. Kombucha contains natural prebiotics, like kefir and kimchi, making it a healthier alternative than your average soda. However, some kombucha drinks have high amounts of sugar per serving, so if you’re watching your sugar intake, be sure to read the labels carefully.

Read on for some of our favourite prebiotic sodas that are available in Canada.