Which One Will Be a Better Choice for You Between Kvass & Water Kefir?

Rohit Panwar

Supermarket shelves have begun offering many fermented beverages options. Kvass vs water kefir is one of the confusion created by these choices. 

As a nutritionist, I will explain unique traits of kvass and water kefir. This detailed information will be handy for you to pick the right fermented drink for yourself. 

Kvass vs Water Kefir – How Do They Differ From Each Other?

Find out the differences between these two traditional probiotics:


Rye Bread or Vegetables

Water Kefir

Water & Water Kefir Grains


Sour & Sweet

Water Kefir

Sour & Mild


3-4 days

Water Kefir

1-2 days


1 cup

Water Kefir

1-3 cups



Water Kefir




Water Kefir




Water Kefir




Water Kefir

Morning or Noon



Water Kefir



 4-6 weeks

Water Kefir

 1-2 weeks



Water Kefir


*Source: USDA; Quantity defined is 1 cup

Kvass vs Water Kefir: What Are Their Key Ingredients?

Originated in Russia and Slavic countries, Kvass is a yeast based fermented drink. It can be rye bread based or beet based. To prepare kvass, breads or beets are soaked into the water for several days to ferment. 

Water kefir is made by mixing sweetened water with water kefir grains. These water kefir grains are a mix of yeast and bacteria.

Kvass vs Water Kefir: How Different Do They Taste?

Kvass and Water kefir are low-alcohol fermented drinks. Kvass tastes like a tangy mild beer with a pinch of sweetness. It has a watery consistency. You can add some salt in it to give a savory flavor. 

On the other hand, water kefir tastes like a carbonated drink. Since sugar is added while making water kefir it gets very well along your taste buds. 

Which Takes Longer to Ferment: Kvass or Water Kefir?

Water kefir takes less time to ferment compared to kvass. It takes around 24-48 hours to prepare water kefir. 

For kvass fermentation time depends on the ingredients. Bread kvass takes around 3-4 to ferment but beet or fruit kvass gets ready in 2 days.

Once prepared, you can store water kefir and kvass in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. 

Kvass vs Water Kefir: How Much Can You Have Daily?

You can drink 1-2 cups of kvass per day. A normal healthy adult can consume 1-3 cups of water kefir. 

If you are new to fermented drinks then I will suggest starting with a smaller quantity. Let your body give time to adjust with these probiotic drinks.

A Lower Calorie Option: Kvass or Water Kefir

As it is quite clearly visible in the table above, water kefir contains less calories compared to kvass. However, calories in both these drinks depends on the base ingredients.

Beet kvass has 25 calories which is quite less than the bread kvass. On the other hand, the quantity of sugar decides the calories of water kefir.

Some people like to make water kefir with fruit juice. This will increase the calories in your water kefir. 

Kvass vs Water Kefir: Comparing the Nutritional Diversity

Kvass gives you a healthy dose of probiotics or good bacteria. Bread kvass contains a little amount of protein, vitamin 12, selenium and manganese.

Some packed kvass also have added whey or pea protein. Beet kvass has more antioxidants with potassium, vitamins A, C and natural nitrate.   

Water kefir is an excellent way to introduce good bacteria to your body. Other than probiotics, It also contains a small amount of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B1, B6 and B12 and magnesium.

In comparison to kvass, water kefir is a less nutritional choice.

Which One Is Easy to Digest: Kvass or Water Kefir?

Kvass and water kefir both are considered as functional foods. They improve your gut health and boost your immunity. 

They are easy to digest and help the body to absorb nutrients. They help to reduce the cholesterol in your body. Compared to bread kvass water kefir is better for your stomach.  

Find Out the Best Time to Consume Kvass Vs Water Kefir

Kvass and water kefir have many health benefits if you consume them on a regular basis. You can add kvass to your afternoon routine, mostly after your lunch. 

Water kefir can be a part of your morning or afternoon. This amazing source of antioxidant is a great way to start your day. 

Hydrating Drink: Which Is Better Kvass or Water Kefir?

Kvass and water kefir both are good to supply enough liquid to your body with electrolytes such as potassium and magnesium. 

Compared to bread kvass, water kefir and beet kvass are better choices to beat the heat and stay hydrated. However, I will recommend avoiding any flavored or extra sweetened water kefir or kvass. 

Which One Can Stay for Longer: Kvass or Water Kefir?

Kvass has a longer shelf life compared to water kefir. Kvass can be stored for up to 1-2 months. Whereas you can keep water kefir for 1-2 weeks only.

Though, remember to store them in the refrigerator once fermentation is done. I will suggest having these fermented drinks as fresh as possible. More you keep them, the alcohol ratio will increase.

The More Versatile Drink: Kvass or Water Kefir

Kvass and water kefir are generally used as beverages. There are not many uses of these in cooking. However, you can use kvass as a base for cocktails or mocktails. 

Water kefir can be used as the base for smoothies. Instead of water you can add coconut water or fruit juices to enhance the flavors and nutritional values. 

Both of these fermented drinks have anti-inflammatory properties. They help you to fight many diseases such as neurological conditions, cancer, cardiovascular diseases etc.

Kvass or Water Kefir: More Allergy Friendly?

Kvass and water kefir both are dairy free products so they are suitable for lactose intolerant people. They both  also environment and vegan friendly beverages. 

Bread kvass might cause a problem if you are allergic to gluten. In such a situation, it is better to opt for beet kvass or water kefir. 

In the dilemma of kvass vs water kefir, find which goes well to your taste preferences. All other aspects are more or less the same. 

In the end, I will also say that try to make these drinks at home to avoid high level of sugar in packed ones. Thank you for going through.

Rohit Panwar

Hi! I'm Integrated Nutrition Coach Rohit Panwar. I hold twin Certifications from IIN, New York & SAFM, Massachusetts. I am a passionate vocalist of holistic lifestyle and have fully committed the past several years to educate & empower people towards their wellbeing. Despite a successful yet hectic corporate stint of 21+ years, I have prioritised nutriment in my life. I truly hope my personal journey from illness to wellness helps everybody reading this forge their own path.