Tested: KeVita Sparkling Probiotic Drink

kevita on the table

I’ve heard the virtues of probiotics for many years now, but mostly from Activia yogurt commercials and the numerous supplements on the store shelves. But what if dairy doesn’t agree with you and you’re not too fond of pills either?

You might want to try an alternative called the KeVita Sparkling Probiotic Drink. This is a water-based beverage containing four strains of live probiotics. No dairy, no pills, yay!

KeVita is also certified organic, non-GMO, gluten free, and vegan, so it conforms to the most strict diet requirements I know of.

Now that tells us why KeVita is a great source for probiotics, but what’s the point of probiotics in the first place?

Basically, probiotics help keep your digestive system healthy. If you think the digestive system lacks importance for endurance athletes, you’re sadly mistaken! These good bacteria can prevent issues such as constipation, gas, bloating, and diarrhea (issues which have been known to ruin races for many athletes of all levels.) Better digestion also means you’ll get more out of your fuel.

On top of that, endurance exercise can wreak havoc on your gut, setting off an inflammatory response in your intestines. So your training is going to make all those GI issues more likely to occur. Had I realized the importance of probiotics earlier, a lot of race days probably would have been less stressful!

Want specifics?

KeVita’s Health and Nutrition Info

Here’s the key info from the label:

[Lemon Ginger] Ingredients:

Reverse Osmosis Purified Water, Organic KeVita Probiotic Culture (Bacillus coagulans GBI-30 6086, L.paracasei, L.plantarum, L.rhamnosus), Organic Cane Syrup, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Organic Cold Pressed Lemon and Ginger Whole Plant Extracts, Organic Fig Concentrate, Purple Carrot Juice Color.

Nutrition Facts:

kevita live probiotics

A serving size is 8oz, so there are two servings per bottle. I’m going to go ahead and list the per bottle amounts here, because who’s going to drink half a bottle of sparkling beverage then put it away?

Calories 90
Total Fat 0g
Sodium 10mg
Total Carbs 22g
Sugars 18g
Protein 0g

Looks like most of the calories are from sugar! So it’s a little high in sugar, but you have to applaud them for having such a natural list of ingredients. Aside from the individual probiotics, each item is easy to understand and pronounce!

My KeVita Taste Test

This drink comes in eight standard flavors, some common, some rare. Plus, there are two new flavors that are Whole Foods exclusives. I initially tried the two flavors that seemed most exotic, but I’m planning to try the rest soon.

kevita strawberry acai coconut flavor

Lemon Ginger
This had a very pleasant flavor where I could taste both lemon and ginger. The ginger was just right – strong, but not overpowering. (I’ve had ginger drinks before that were wayyyy too strong, and I like ginger.) As I got to bottom of bottle, the slight burn of the ginger stayed in my throat. It was a great feeling!

The light carbonation made this one enjoyable to sit and sip. The strawberry flavor was a bit too fizzy at first, but the lemon ginger was perfect right off the bat. (I would not suggest letting this one sit overnight after opening – there won’t be enough fizz left.)

kevita strawberry acai coconut flavor

Strawberry Acai Coconut
This one really smelled amazing – I loved the sweet strawberry scent. It looked neat, too. It was kind of cloudy with small white bits floating around (not sure if those were probiotics in there or just some coconut pulp.)

The carbonation seemed much stronger in this one, while the flavor was very light. It was more like a sparkling tonic water since the flavor was so light. There was a bite to it, either from the carbonation or the acai, but it didn’t really add to the flavor.

Fortunately, after letting this one sit in the fridge a few hours, it improved! As I worked my way down, the drink lost some of its fizz and let more flavor through. It had the same style ‘bite’ to it, but it was subdued, while the flavor was much stronger than it was initially. Awesome! It actually reminds me of a strawberry yogurt I used to eat, Dannon fruit on the bottom I think.

Note: It turns out that each bottle is handcrafted, so the exact taste and carbonation will vary slightly. Pretty neat!

kevita lemon cayenne flavor

Daily Cleanse Lemon Cayenne

You definitely taste lemon in this one, but it was only a light to moderate flavor – not something overpowering. “Zesty” you could say.

There was also a bit of cayenne flavor, but not much – just enough to give the drink a little “zing.” As I got through the bottle, I could feel the warmth in my mouth from the cayenne, which was a pretty neat sensation. (I’m used to putting lots of cayenne powder on veggies and in fruit smoothies and other items.)

I could also taste vinegar, which wasn’t bad, just surprising – this was the only flavor where I tasted it, even though each flavor contains ACV.

I don’t think there is much of an actual ‘cleanse’ involved here, so don’t get too excited about that. The “10 calories per bottle” factor will be of interest to dieters, though.

Overall, it was OK, but I highly preferred the lemon ginger.

kevita lime mint coconut flavor

Mojita Lime Mint Coconut

This reminds me of a mojito without the alcohol. That’s cool with me because I don’t like tequila at all! The light mint and lime flavors tickle your tongue while still allowing a hint of the coconut water to shine through. So, think of this as a coconut water-based virgin mojito.

At first you don’t think about the coconut flavor. You notice it, but can’t really tell what it is. You just know there’s more to it than lime and mint. Then you realize it’s coconut and it all comes together.

This flavor was plenty sweet without being sugary, and you can’t taste the stevia at all. That’s awesome and makes this a very enjoyable flavor, maybe as good as the strawberry acai coconut!

kevita mango coconut flavor

Mango Coconut

This one smells absolutely delicious, like a fresh cut mango! And it has (what I believe to be) coconut flakes floating around. So I was very excited for it!

As often happens, it was a bit too sparkly for my liking, right at the first sip. (Normally I’d let it sit overnight, then finish it in the morning, but I needed to drink this one since I wasn’t at home and didn’t have time on my side.)

Unfortunately, the mango flavor is not that strong. You’re better off just smelling it than drinking it if you want the most potent mango flavor! After a few sips, the flavor starts to build up, which is great, but the carbonation still overpowers the fruity taste.

I like mango, even coconut water + mango, but in this case, I don’t really like the combo. I like other Kevita flavors much more, so I’ll skip their mango from now on.

kevita pomegranate coconut flavor

Pomegranate Coconut

I only bought this flavor since I thought one of my friends would enjoy it, but I liked it so much, I didn’t want to share! You can taste both the pomegranate flavor and coconut water, which to me ends up tasting a bit like cranberry juice. It goes down real easy – I finished half the bottle without even realizing it!

It’s a common, familiar flavor that’s both tasty and easy to drink, which is good… but at the same time, it’s not that special. I could drink it every day and not get sick of it, but I’d much rather choose one of Kevita’s more original flavors.

kevita pomegranate black tea

Pomegranate Black Tea

I believe this is the only tea-based Kevita, so it’s a bit different. First, make sure you swirl this one a little more than usual, because the pomegranate juice concentrate seems to settle on the bottom, while the thinner tea sits on top. Second, know that it contains 75mg caffeine per bottle!

It smells delightful, and it tastes like sparkling tea with lots of pomegranate flavor; I’d go as far as saying it’s 60% sparkling pomegranate juice and 40% black tea. It did surprise me at first, because I can’t say I’ve ever had a “sparkling tea” that was anything like this. (Sparkling teas I’ve had tasted artificial, while this most certainly tastes like real tea and real pomegranate.)

I left a little bit in the bottle to consume 24 hours later, and it maintained a light sparkle, but tasted more like cranberry pomegranate juice (the black tea taste seemingly disappeared.)

I enjoyed this one quite a bit, more so when first opened, and I’d definitely drink it again. Just remember that it is noticeably different from the other pomegranate flavors.

kevita living greens flavor

Living Greens

I had to search all over for this one, for months, but it was worth the effort!

I figured I’d like it, but it was even better than I expected! You first taste a little grass, perhaps seaweed, then it’s kinda sweet; not as sweet as Naked’s Green Machine, of course, since that is full of fruit. It’s more like Barlean’s Greens, but perfectly smooth, since it’s not a powder.

Yes, it does need plenty of shaking and mixing, and then there are still chunks floating around, but you don’t notice them at all. Some people will find it disgusting to look at, but if that stops them from tasting it, it’s their loss! (One of my friends was reluctant to try it, but she did, and realized it wasn’t nearly as scary as it looked!)

What I didn’t realize at first is that there’s green tea and matcha tea in it. It does have that taste of sweet matcha tea! Overall it’s more like green tea with stevia than anything, so all around, it’s a good drink. I’d drink this everyday! Highly recommended!

Overall, these were very refreshing drinks. I like sparkling flavored water, but I prefer something with more flavor. These were ideal – a “happy-medium” you could say. I could sit and enjoy one of these like a good beer! (Something I couldn’t really do with a plain coconut water, an Honest Tea, etc.)

max and his kevita

Max is licking his lips thinking about the mojita!

My final verdict is…

At $2.99 (or even $3.99) per bottle, I won’t be drinking these on a daily basis. Especially if I’m not experiencing any gastrointestinal distress. But if I’m browsing the refrigerated section and see these next to the drinks from Odwalla, Naked, Bolthouse Farms, etc., it will be hard to resist snagging one.

Also, if you have any GI issues, give this a shot (and let me know if it helps!)

Official website: www.KeVita.com

Product Review Details
Company: Kevita.
Product: Kevita Sparkling Probiotic Drink
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 3.9 out of 5
Date last updated: 2013-06-19
Obtained Product: Purchased at retailer with coupon.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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2 Comments so far

  1. Natalia on April 12th, 2013

    Saw these on sale at the local health food store so i picked up 3 of them today. As a dairy and soy allergic/intolerant person who cant swallow pills for a free trip around the world i think these are great. I had the mango coconut today. Im actually not much a fan off the fizz so i open mine and let it sit a while. I have a sweet tooth but i find these fine on their own. Heres to hopeing they help my chronic digestive distress.

  2. Levi on April 13th, 2013

    @Natalia

    These sound ideal for you! I hope they work out!

    Side note – ever tried probiotic gummies? I’ve considered those myself (since our pill swallowing abilities seem equally useless.)

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