Kombucha and apple cider vinegar are widely known fermented beverages. However, I observe people often get confused when it comes to kombucha vs apple cider vinegar. 

As a nutritionist I will guide you to know the differences between these two. This will help you to decide which is better apple cider vinegar or kombucha for your needs. 

Kombucha Vs Apple Cider Vinegar: Decoding Nutrition & Benefits 

Before delving in details, let’s take a quick look at various metrics of kombucha vs apple cider vinegar:


Tea, Sugar & SCOBY

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apples, Sugar & Water


Sweet & Tart

Apple Cider Vinegar

Acidic & Sour


5-10 days

Apple Cider Vinegar

6-8 Weeks


1-2 cups

Apple Cider Vinegar

1-2 Tablespoons



Apple Cider Vinegar



Very Good

Apple Cider Vinegar




Apple Cider Vinegar




Apple Cider Vinegar

Morning or Noon


Very Good

Apple Cider Vinegar



 1-3 months

Apple Cider Vinegar

1 Year



Apple Cider Vinegar

Very Good



Apple Cider Vinegar


*Source: USDA; Quantity defined is 1 cup

How Is Kombucha vs Apple Cider Vinegar Made?

Kombucha is an ancient drink which is basically a fermented tea. This tea can be black or green. For kombucha tea, sugar and SCOBY are mixed. Here SCOBY stands for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast.

Apple cider vinegar is also known as ACV.  If you are preparing from scratch then you will need apples, sugar and water. This process takes a long time.

You can also make ACV faster by using  ACV “mother” culture or yeast with the other three ingredients.

Kombucha vs Apple Cider Vinegar: Compare the Taste and Color

Kombucha is originally a traditional Asian drink which reached Europe via silk road. It is a perfect mix of sweet and tart flavors. You can definitely taste the slight bitterness of tea as it is one of the base ingredients.

Unflavored, homemade kombucha has an orange-brown color. 

ACV is much more acidic in taste compared to kombucha. Due to the high pH level, apple cider vinegar has a distinguished vinegary smell and sour taste.

ACV’s color may vary from light orange to golden depending how much it is filtered.  Raw ACV is cloudy because of the live bacteria in it. 

How Much Kombucha vs Apple Cider Vinegar Can Be Consumed in a Day?

There is a big difference between kombucha and ACV’s recommended daily intake. You can have 1-2 cups of kombucha a day. 

On the other hand, due to its high acidic nature limit ACV’s consumption up to 1-2 tablespoons or 15-30 ml. You must dilute it with water before having it straight. 

More Calorie Dense: Kombucha or Apple Cider Vinegar

Both of these fermented drinks don’t contain much calories. Since it is suggested to have a very small amount of ACV, it hardly gives you any calories. 

Calories in Kombucha depend on the amount of sugar you use. Some packed kombucha tea have high calories due to added sugar or flavor enhancer. 

Kombucha vs Apple Cider Vinegar: Which Takes Longer to Ferment?

Kombucha can be ready in 5-10 days. The fermentation of this bubbly carbonated tea depends on weather conditions too. Usually, warm days reduce the days of fermentation. 

If you are making ACV from scratch then it might take 6-8 weeks to get the final product. However, you can cut down the fermentation duration by adding yeast or “mother” culture in your crushed apples and sugar mixture. 

Nutritional Values of Kombucha vs Apple Cider Vinegar

Kombucha contains many helpful bacteria and probiotics to promote your overall health. It also preserves all the health benefits of tea.

The good bacteria in kombucha protects your body from harmful bacteria. It also improves your immunity to fight a number of diseases. 

Apple cider vinegar has been consumed for thousands of years to treat cough and cold. Many people also believe that ACV is helpful to maintain the sugar level in the blood. 

ACV also contains some amount of vitamin B and C. However, there is a lack of evidence to prove its health benefits. 

If ACV contains “mother” culture in it, then it is called raw apple cider vinegar. If you compare Kombucha vs raw apple cider vinegar, the later one has more antioxidants and ant-microbes. 

Kombucha or Apple Cider Vinegar: Which to Pick for Gut Health?

The bacterial and probiotic properties of kombucha improves your digestive system. It replaces and restores the good bacteria in the stomach.

However, if you’re having kombucha for the first time then you might feel nausea or bloating. I will recommend starting with a small quantity to get adjusted. 

Due to its low recommended daily intake, it doesn’t provide you enough bacteria to enhance your digestion. Besides that, its acidic nature can help some people while in others it may indigestion and nausea.

When to Add Kombucha Tea vs Apple Cider Vinegar to Your Daily Diet?

It is better to include kombucha during afternoon time. You can have it before or after 30 minutes of lunch. 

Apple cider vinegar can be consumed in the morning or in the afternoon. If you are on some kind of medication then you must consult your doctor before adding ACV in your daily diet. 

Kombucha vs Apple Cider: The Better Drink for Hydration

Plenty of water is used while making kombucha and apple cider vinegar. Hence, both these fermented drinks are good for hydration. However, don’t consider them as a replacement for water. 

ACV can lower down your potassium level, which is an electrolyte. Electrolytes help the body to maintain the fluid balance in the body. 

Comparing the Shelf Life of Kombucha Tea vs Apple Cider Vinegar

Once fermented, kombucha can stay for 1-3 months. If you are preparing kombucha at home then once fermentation is over, store it in the refrigerator to stop the further fermentation. 

On the contrary, a closed bottle of ACV can be stored for 2-3 years. Once the bottle is opened, you can use it for up to 1 year. You don’t need to store it in the fridge. 

Which Has More Versatile Uses: Kombucha or Apple Cider Vinegar

Besides drinking straight you can also add kombucha to your salad dressings. You can also make kombucha based cocktails and mocktails. Kombucha can be a good choice to marinate meat such as pork or lamb. 

You can’t drink ACV straight but you can definitely add 1-2 tablespoons to your salad dressings. ACV has versatile uses out of the kitchen too. You can also use it for cleaning fruits and vegetables. 

You can mix it with water and spray in the garden to avoid pests. Some people use ACV as skin toner but it is necessary to dilute it before directly applying on skin.  

Do Kombucha or Apple Cider Vinegar Cause Any Allergy?

Kombucha and ACV, both are dairy and grain free drinks. Hence, they are safe to have if you are allergic to lactose and gluten. 

However, in case you are allergic to apples then you must not consume ACV. Also, vinegar allergy is not that common but few people might have it. In that case avoid both of these fermented drinks. 

Do Kombucha and Apple Cider Vinegar Do the Same Thing to Your Teeth?

No, not at all. Kombucha consumption is not harmful for your teeth but apple cider vinegar can lead to tooth enamel erosion. Enamel is the white color outer layer on your teeth which protects them from any damage. 

To reduce this drawback of ACV, consume it for a short duration. Avoid too long or too much consumption of apple cider vinegar. 

Since kombucha is a tea based fermented drink, it is often called kombucha tea. Tea can be green or black however green tea kombucha is a better option than black tea. If you ferment kombucha tea for longer, it can be as acidic as ACV. 

In terms of Kombucha tea vs apple cider vinegar’s health benefits, I will suggest the first one for sure. However, packed kombucha is much more expensive than apple cider vinegar. 

I will recommend you to prepare your own kombucha at home. This will give you freedom to adjust sugar’s quantity and quality