Kefir is a fermented milk beverage that many people enjoy, but does it make you poop? I’ve done some research and here’s what I discovered!
According to Healthline, kefir may help to alleviate constipation as it contains probiotics that have been shown to increase stool frequency, stool consistency, as well as helping to decrease intestinal transit time to speed up a bowel movement. That said, if your GI system is unable to handle it, you may experience diarrhea.
Keep reading to find out who should avoid drinking kefir altogether, as well as some benefits, and useful dosage tips to bear in mind when enjoying this healthy beverage!
Does Kefir Give You Diarrhea?
According to Livestrong, kefir milk contains live and active cultures, similar to yogurt, except in liquid form. If you are a healthy adult, it is unlikely that you will experience diarrhea or any adverse stomach reactions. However, if you are lactose intolerant or allergic to milk, you may have diarrhea.
That said, kefir can be used to treat diarrhea for most people, due to the cultures in the milk. If you do experience diarrhea after drinking kefir, then you may have an intolerance towards it.
Diarrhea from Milk Allergy
Kefir is made from milk, meaning that if you are allergic to milk, you should avoid drinking kefir altogether. If you have a milk allergy and decide to drink kefir,m you can expect a severe allergic reaction. Diarrhea from a milk allergy is not actually caused by the digestive system, but rather by an immune system reaction.
The proteins found in the milk trigger the immune system to defend the body, as the immune system mistakenly identifies them as harmful substances. This reaction causes the body to produce chemicals to shield itself. These chemicals result in inflammation and irritation to your digestive system, respiratory system, and your skin.
Diarrhea from Lactose Intolerance
Kefir also contains the milk sugar known as lactose, which can result in diarrhea for some people. Not every dairy product contains an equal amount of lactose. With that being said, kefir contains relatively small amounts of lactose. The live cultures found in kefir produce some lactase, which is an enzyme that breaks down lactose.
This reduces the total amount of lactose found in kefir, meaning that if you are only moderately intolerant to lactose, you may still be able to enjoy kefir without developing adverse reactions. Lactose intolerance generally results in diarrhea, gas, bloating, and nausea within the first two hours of ingesting the drink.
Insider Tip: If you do develop diarrhea, avoid using over-the-counter anti-diarrhea medications, unless your doctor specifically advises you to do so. This is because these medications can cause further issues. If you are looking for the benefits of kefir but you cannot consume milk, rather purchase probiotic supplements that contain no dairy.
Want to learn more about the effects of milk and dairy on your digestion and bowel movements? Read our article Does Milk Make You Poop? Here’s What You Didn’t Know!
Is Kefir Good For Your Colon?
One commonly asked question is whether kefir is really as good for your colon as many people claim it to be. If you’re wondering this yourself, then keep reading to find out exactly the kefir is so good for your digestive system and colon, according to Healthline:
1. Kefir Is a More Powerful Probiotic Than Yogurt
Certain microorganisms may have beneficial effects on health when they are consumed. These are known as probiotics, and they can influence health in many ways, including digestion, weight management, and mental health.
Yogurt is currently the best known probiotic food found in the Western diet, but what most people don’t know is that kefir is actually far more potent and effective.
Kefir grains contain an impressive 61 strains of bacteria and yeasts, meaning it is loaded with diverse sources of probiotics. Other fermented dairy products are made from significantly fewer strains and do not contain any yeasts whatsoever.
2. Kefir Has Potent Antibacterial Properties
Certain probiotics in kefir are believed to shield against infections, which includes the probiotic known as Lactobacillus kefir, which is totally unique to kefir.
Some studies have shown that this probiotic can inhibit the growth of different types of harmful bacteria, including Salmonella. Additionally, Kefiran, a different type of carbohydrate found in kefir, contains antibacterial properties too.
3. The Probiotics May Help With Certain Digestive Problems
Probiotics such as kefir can also help to promote the balance of healthy or “friendly” bacteria in the gut. This is why they ate so effective at treating different forms of diarrhea. Additionally, there is plenty evidence to suggest that probiotics and foods containing probiotics can alleviate many digestive problems.
These include irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) as well as ulcers caused by infections and various others. Due to this, kefir may be extremely useful if you have any digestion problems.
How Much Kefir Should You Drink?
Since kefir contains such a considerable amount of bacteria and yeast, it is sensible to consider exactly how much of this beverage is safe to consume. You should start your dose of kefir slowly and gradually by drinking no more than 100 ml of kefir per day.
You will probably feel the effects of kefir a whole lot more quickly, but this also depends on your sensitivity and your diet. Reactions can differ, and sometimes they maybe a little more intense until your body completely adapts.
Some people have experienced stomach cramps, constipation, and bloating when starting with kefir, but this affects everyone differently
Increasing Your Dosage of Kefir
When you manage to overcome the initial side effects of kefir and your body begins to adapt, you can slowly build up your intake of kefir. It is recommended to drink about 200-300 ml of fresh milk kefir per day (1 cup) and you can also add a little more if you drink water kefir (1.5 cups).
It is recommended to drink kefir for at least 3 months to feel the overall benefits of your health and digestion.
Kefir is an excellent drink to promote a healthy digestive system as well as to encourage healthy and regular bowel movements. If you do have an allergy or lactose intolerance (or suspect you do) then rather consult your doctor for another alternative, as you certainly don’t want diarrhea! As long as you follow the dosage instructions, you should have no problems at all enjoying kefir and the wonderful health benefits it has to offer.
Does kefir make you gain weight?
If you include low-fat kefir in your diet, it will actually help you to lose weight rather than gain. Kefir is packed with protein which helps you feel fuller for longer periods of time. Although, consuming kefir in excess can hinder your weight loss goals and potentially lead to weight gain.
When is the best time of day to drink kefir?
Since kefir has such a strong effect on your digestive system, it can prevent you from getting a good night’s rest. Instead, you should rather try to drink your kefir during a time when you know you are going to be more active. Even if you decide to drink it a little later in the day, rather make sure it is at least a few hours before you go to sleep.