THE EDITOR Market editor Justine Carreon
THE LOVE Health-Ade Kombucha Cayenne Cleanse, $24 for 6
Sit me down at dinner and regular tap water is not enough. I am a big fan of beverages. I’m also a sucker. I don’t know what “gut health” is or whether or not I should be paying attention to it, but I believe in the power of Kombucha. It might have to do with a disgusting habit of eating rice with vinegar as a kid, but ‘buch is something I drink often and without fault.
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I’m far from what I think of as a stereotypical Kombucha drinker (i.e., I don’t live off a plant-based diet). Instead, I work in a corporate office and buy it on the reg from my local bodega because honestly, I just like how it tastes. As I’ve matured—pronounced in that spine-tinglingly creepy way—my tolerance for sugar has dropped. A childhood of sugary soda developed into finding the taste of Coke akin to maple syrup. I dabble with sparking drinks, but even ELLE.com-backed Spindrift is too sweet for me.
When my friend Devon, who is unsurprisingly vegan, introduced me to Health-Ade, I was hooked. I stick to the Cayenne Cleanse or Ginger Lemon flavors because I’m a beverage sadist who loves a carbonated burn. It makes me feel like I’m chugging the entire wellness industry in one gulp, negating the Oreos and chicken tenders I eat regularly. I treat it as a magical elixir solving my dietary faults. My stomach really does feel better after I’ve emptied the amber-tinged glass (it looks like it belongs in a medical cabinet). If that’s the placebo effect at work, call me double blind, pass me another bottle of fermented tea, and leave me in ignorant ‘buch bliss.