The Ultimate Verdict Between Kombucha vs Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar and kombucha are two distinct beverage varieties that have grown in popularity recently. Because of this, curious people looking for a healthy beverage wonder about the issues with kombucha versus apple cider vinegar. Do these two beverages really provide any advantages? How do they compare with one another? 

One study found that apple cider vinegar can reduce cholesterol and improve heart health. Another study found that kombucha tea might boost immunity and assist with digestion. Traditional medicine has long utilised both drinks, and many individuals vouch for their health advantages. 

Read on to uncover the difference between kombucha vs apple cider vinegar in this post below. 

What is kombucha?

Made by fermenting tea and sugar with the help of bacteria and yeast, kombucha is a popular beverage among consumers. It contains organic acids, antioxidants, and living cultures that support immune system health and aid in digestion. Authentic kombucha has a significant number of beneficial bacteria and yeast and is never processed or pasteurised.

How is it made?

Kombucha is a type of tea that has been fermented. The main ingredients for this beverage are usually black tea and cane sugar. You can try different teas, but their taste will not be like traditional kombucha's.

The starting point of kombucha fermentation is a SCOBY, which stands for "symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast". This SCOBY works like a sourdough starter but has its unique shape. The sugars found in the tea are fermented, and this process turns them into alcohol and acid. It's these changes that create kombucha's unique taste as well as its healthful characteristics.

The drink's popularity comes mainly from the large amount of bacteria in the SCOBY (and later in kombucha). In general, you receive a delicious and beneficial beverage that could assist with bettering your gut health, possessing cleansing characteristics, and enhancing immunity. No wonder it's so liked! It includes a lot of probiotics.

What is apple cider vinegar?

Fermenting apple juice produces apple cider vinegar. Yeast transforms sugar into alcohol, which bacteria then convert into acid, giving vinegar its sour flavour and pungent odour. There are several varieties of apple cider vinegar, each having unique qualities that may make it more suited for a given use. 

For example, distilled ACV appears clear in the bottle because it is typically filtered or pasteurised before bottling, which might eliminate beneficial components such as "the Mother." Raw, unfiltered, or unpasteurised ACV has these beneficial chemicals, enzymes, and live cultures, making it a healthier option overall. Some individuals use apple cider vinegar in cooking, while others eat it straight for potential health benefits. 

Characteristics Of apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar contains 94% water and around 5% acetic acid. The remainder is generally just carbohydrates. This vinegar, like most others, has no lipids or proteins. The colour of apple cider vinegar can vary greatly. There are pale pink items, transparent, translucent golden products, and even beverages that resemble orange juice. The colour of the vinegar varies according to how much it has been filtered. Naturally, the more you filter it, the clearer it becomes. Tapioca and maise starch (natural examples) aid in the removal of colour, resulting in transparency. 

Difference kombucha vs apple cider vinegar

When yeast breaks down the sugar in tea and converts it to carbon dioxide, bubbles develop. Because alcohol degradation is restricted to anaerobic breakdown, vinegar has a high concentration of acetic acid. Kombucha is a pleasant and delightful beverage with a variety of interesting tastes for everyone. Still, ACV is not and is rarely drinkable, sometimes diluted with water and consumed in "shots". 

Kombucha is also suitable for ingestion throughout the day. In comparison, apple cider vinegar is not something you'd drink all day! Another important distinction between these items is that kombucha is prepared from tea and sugar. While there are many different varieties of apple cider vinegar, none of them include tea. While typical home vinegar lacks yeast colonies, kombucha does - even if it becomes kombucha vinegar. Take a look at the table below for a detailed comparison between kombucha vs apple cider vinegar.



Apple Cider Vinegar


Fermented tea beverage made from tea, sugar, and a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY).

Fermented apple juice or cider, primarily consisting of acetic acid and water.


Often fizzy, slightly sour

Tart, sour taste 

Health Benefits

It aids in digestion, boost immunity, and promote gut health.

It may help with weight loss, lower blood sugar levels, improve skin health, and act as a natural disinfectant.

Acidic Content

Low acidity

Highly acidic 

Culinary Uses

Consumed as a beverage, often served chilled. It can also be used as a base for cocktails or mixed with other drinks.

They are used as a condiment in cooking, salad dressings, marinades, and as a natural household cleaner.

Popular Varieties

Traditional, flavoured (e.g., ginger, berry, citrus).

Unfiltered, filtered, raw, organic.

Fermentation Duration

They are typically fermented for 7-14 days.

The fermentation process can take several weeks to months.

Alcohol Content

Generally low, typically less than 0.5% alcohol by volume (ABV).

It may contain trace amounts of alcohol, often less than 0.5% ABV, but can vary depending on fermentation.

Nutrition: kombucha vs. apple cider vinegar

Kombucha has more calories, probiotics, and a broader spectrum of vitamins than apple cider vinegar, although it may include different quantities of sugar. On the other hand, Apple cider vinegar is extremely low in calories, has less sugar, and is best recognised for its acetic acid concentration, which is linked to several health advantages. 

Apple cider vinegar may help you lose weight, regulate blood sugar, and enhance your heart health. ACV also includes trace levels of minerals, such as potassium. While it contains some helpful bacteria, it usually has less probiotics than kombucha. 

Kombucha is highly appreciated for its probiotic content, promoting healthy gut microbiota. These live bacteria can help with digestion, enhance the immune system, and promote nutritional absorption. Kombucha also includes trace amounts of B vitamins, which are needed for energy metabolism, as well as antioxidants that help fight free radicals. 

However, the nutritional composition of kombucha varies based on the brand and preparation technique. Some commercial kombuchas may have additional sweeteners or flavours, so always read the label for clarity. 


Kombucha and apple cider vinegar offer unique health benefits and can be incorporated into a balanced diet and lifestyle. While kombucha provides probiotics and a refreshing beverage option, apple cider vinegar boasts a longer history of use and potential weight loss benefits. Ultimately, personal preferences, dietary needs, and professional guidance should be considered when choosing between these two natural products.


1. Can I replace apple cider vinegar with kombucha in recipes?

While they have different flavours and acidity levels, you may occasionally replace kombucha with apple cider vinegar in recipes. For example, kombucha may provide a sour edge to salad dressings or marinades. However, it is better to stick with ACV for recipes that require apple cider vinegar's strong flavour.

2. Which one contains probiotics?

Kombucha contains fermentation probiotics (beneficial bacteria), while apple cider vinegar does not include live probiotics.

3. Can they be used for weight loss? 

Both have been associated with potential weight loss benefits. Apple cider vinegar may help promote feelings of fullness and reduce calorie intake, while kombucha may aid in digestion and metabolism.

4. Are there any alcohol concerns? 

Kombucha contains a small amount of alcohol (typically less than 0.5%) due to fermentation, while apple cider vinegar is non-alcoholic.

5. Can they be used topically? 

Yes, kombucha and apple cider vinegar can be used topically for various purposes, such as hair rinses, skin toners, or as a natural cleaning agent.


Zandu Ayurvedic Team

Zandu Ayurvedic Team has a panel of over 10 BAMS (Ayurvedacharya), boasting a collective experience of over 50 years. With a deep-rooted understanding of Ayurveda, they are committed to sharing their expertise & knowledge through our blogs.
We use all kinds of Ayurvedic references in our content. Please use the contact form for any editorial queries.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published