For those who’ve heard already about milk kefir, did you know he also has a little brother? This one is great for people who are lactose intolerant. Although Milk Kefir is quite mild on the lactose, so if you’ve got a mild intolerance, you’ll be able to drink this treat as well.

However, in this article, we’ll be just covering Water Kefir, as my experience with Milk Kefir is not that good. Well, I’ve tried it a couple of fermentations, didn’t like it, gave it away ;).

Water Kefir Benefits

Let’s have a look first at the benefits of Water Kefir. Water Kefir is a fermented fizzy drink, made from the grains of water kefir. They are living organisms and live off sugar. And at the same time, they give back a lot of probiotics that can help you with all sorts of things.

#1 Boosts The Immune System

It might seem a bit obvious, as probiotics are like good soldiers helping you battle whatever bad soldiers enter your body. And as Water Kefir has a lot of these good soldiers in them, they’ll also give a strong boost to your immune system.

Another great thing about this fizzy drink is that it also may reduce inflammation. And, when you drink it regularly, it can even prevent certain infections.

#2 Helps With Losing Weight

Well, this one is a bit double. It does support your diet, but you’ve got to do the main work yourself. So, when you are already in the process of losing some weight, you can add this to your list of products you can use.

Water Kefir losing weight

As the Kefir eats the sugar, this drink is low in calories, and therefore a great substitute for your soda intake. Of course, water is still better than kefir if it comes to hydrating yourself.

However, it must also be said that when you drink Kefir, your gut will be healthier. This means that it will make that your food will be processed more sufficient.

#3 May Aid in the Combat Against Cancer

the emphasis here lies on MAY. Even though research has been very promising, tests have been done in vitro. Meaning that they’ve taken blood and cells and everything, made a culture out of it and tested it with kefir.

Water Kefir against cancerThe results have been very good, but as long as humans haven’t been tested yet, we can’t know really for sure.

Anyway, if you are going through cancer treatments, kefir might be a good drink to have and give your immune system a boost.

#4 Dairy-Free and Vegan

What you make yourself always tastes better, we all know that. Although it’s not always that easy and it might be time-consuming to do everything yourself. That’s why we have supermarkets, where we buy our stuff ready and good to go.

Luckily, Kefir isn’t that hard to make, you have to add water and sugar to your grains and just let it set.

And as you know what you are adding to your drink, you don’t have to worry that it’s not vegan or dairy-free. So, you can stop from now on looking at labels of your soda looking for animal or dairy products. And yes, you’ll be surprised by it.

#5 Improves Your Overall Gut Health

Water Kefir will create a good balance between good and bad bacterias in your guts. They might be quite useful when you have digestive issues. Of course, every body is different and you need to test it for yourself first to see what effect it has on you.

Water Kefir Dangers

Alright, dangers might be a big word to explain some precautious you might need to be aware of. Almost every type of food has it, especially the good ones, but I just feel that they should be mentioned as well. Not a lot of articles do that, you know ;).

#1 Might Cause Constipation

This one should be taken with a grain of salt. And it’s a warning for when you are using tap water. You don’t really know the mineral composition of your water, so it might be that you have a lot of calcium in your water. Which causes constipation.

This in general isn’t that bad, but with kefir releasing more minerals into your drink, the calcium levels might be too high. A solution for this is to use bottled water where you can see the amount of calcium inside of the water.

#2 Might Not Be Suitable For People With a Sensitive Stomach

dangers of water kefirIf you’re prone to stomach and belly aches or issues, maybe it might not be the best thing to take water kefir. Or at least you should start off slow and build it up.

For your stomach, it might come as a big shock to get all these goodies and it might cause diarrhea and other intestinal issues. If you lowered the dose and you still experience side-effects, maybe Kefir just isn’t your thing. And then it’s time to look for something else.

#3 Not Suitable for People Who Take Immunosuppressants

It does make sense that when you are taking pills to lower the immune system that you can’t take anything that will boost it again. One will way out the other and the reason why you’re taking these drugs is a waste of money. Not just that, but you’ll also be playing with your health, as there is a reason why the doctor prescribed these.

#4 Not So Safe For Children and People Who Can’t Drink Alcohol

One of the by-products of the fermentation process with kefir is alcohol. Don’t worry, it’s generally about 0,3%, so it won’t get you drunk. But it also depends on the time you let the fermentation go on. So it can actually go up to 3% if you accidentally forgot your Kefir in the fridge…

So, this brings us to the conclusion that it might not be such a good idea to let your kids drink this goody. Alcohol has a different effect on them and might cause problems in their future life.

Also for cultures who aren’t allowed to drink alcohol at all, might best step away from this drink.

#5 Cautious When You Have Diabetes

Even though Kefir eats most of the sugar that you’ve added to it, it might still contain some residue of it. This is why people with diabetes should be cautious when they drink it.

They can drink it, of course, just make sure that you measure your sugar levels to see if they are still balanced.

Water kefir and diabetes

Preparing Kefir

Now that you know the pro’s and cons of Kefir, let’s have a look how easy it is to prepare! I’ve mentioned before that it’s an easy homemade replacement for soda, so let’s talk more about this and give you a couple of ideas.

There are a couple of things you’d need before you start making your Kefir. Normally they’re quite easy to find and you’ll probably have some of them already at home.

What Do I Need To Make Water Kefir?

The first step would be to find some water kefir grains. If you are living in or near a big city, it might be easier as people will share their culture with you. They grow amazingly fast and every two or three weeks you can give away about 2 portions to other people.

When you’ve got this, you need to look for a jar that is big enough for about 1 liter/ 4 cups of water, just to give it some space as well. And a plastic bottle that is free of BPA might come in handy as well.

When you’ve got all of these things, you can start with the fermentation process.

How To Make Kefir

What you’ve got to do is put about a handful of kefir grains into 500 ml/ 2 cups of water. Add 3 tablespoons of sugar and close the lid on top. Be sure that you put a kitchen towel or something under the lid as well. This way air can escape and your jar won’t break.

Let is ferment for about 24 hours in a dark space at room temperature. Kefir can handle normal temperatures pretty well, but you’ve got to make sure it’s not too hot nor too cold.

After 24 hours you can already start drinking it, but it won’t be that carbonated. If you don’t mind that, or if you can’t handle a bit of gas in your drink, you can already enjoy your refreshing drink.

You can also decide to start the second fermentation. For this, you’ve got to put your drink into the plastic bottle, add some goodies like fruit or herbs that you like. Put it in the fridge for another 24 hours and it’s done!

Be careful though, your water kefir has carbonated even more, so you might see that the bottle has poofed up a bit. This shouldn’t be a big problem, although if you leave it in longer than 24 hours, the cap might blow off.

This is also the reason why you shouldn’t put your drink into a glass bottle ;).

Let’s have a look at a couple of amazing recipes to make your own Kefir water even healthier or tastier!

Alright, this is milk kefir, but I didn’t have any other picture just yet. It’s the same principle though and this is what the first fermentation should look like!

Water Kefir Recipes

Lemon Ginger Water Kefir

Lemon Ginger Water Kefir

For those who’ve been following my website, by now you must know that I’m a ginger/lemon fan. Lots of Vitamin C to give that extra kick to your immune system!

  • Prep Time 10 Minutes
  • Fermentation Time 24 Hours
  • Serves 2 People


  • 2 Cups / 500 ml Water Kefir (1st Fermentation)
  • 1 inch / 2,5 cm Ginger (Chopped into blocks to fit your bottle)
  • 1/2 Lemon


  1. When the first fermentation of your Water Kefir has finished, it's time to put it into a bottle.
  2. Add the chopped ginger en squeezed lemon into the bottle.
  3. Leave it into the fridge for about 24 hours.
  4. Serve and ready to drink!
Strawberry Mint Water Kefir Recipe

Strawberry mint water kefir

This one is great and refreshing for those hot summer days. It will give you sweetness and coolness at the same time!

  • Prep Time 10 Minutes
  • Fermentation Time 24 Hours
  • Serves 2 People


  • 2 Cups / 500 ml Water Kefir (1st Fermentation)
  • 2 Strawberries
  • 3 Mint Leaves


  1. Poor the Water Kefir into your plastic bottle.
  2. Chop the strawberries nice and thin and add it into your bottle. You can also crush them a little to release some juice into your bottle. It will just give a little mess afterwards though.
  3. Wash the Mint and add it into the mixture as well.
  4. Close up, cool it in the fridge for 24 hours and it's ready to serve!
Orange Lavender Water Kefir

Orange Lavender Water Kefir

This might look like an unusual combination, but it’s really one for those who dare. Lavender is a taste that you just need to like, and if you do, then this recipe is something for you!

  • Prep Time 10 Minutes
  • Fermentation Time 24 Hours
  • Serves 2 People


  • 2 Cups / 500 ml Water Kefir (1st Fermentation)
  • 1/2 Orange
  • 4 Lavender Buds


  1. Poor the 1st fermentation of Water Kefir into your plastic bottle.
  2. Put in the lavender buds. Try to use the amount mentioned above. It's always best to add more in with later fermentations than that you've got to throw it away because you don't like lavender.
  3. Squeeze the lemon and add it into the mixture.
  4. Store into the fridge for about 24 hours and serve.
Ginger beer kefir

Gingerbeer Kefir

This one is great for those summer nights when you’ve got some visit over. It’s non-alcoholic but it can pass as a virgin cocktail because of its fizziness and sharp flavor.

  • Prep Time 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time 45 Minutes
  • Total Time 60 Minutes
  • Serves 2 People


  • 1 inch / 2,5 cm of Ginger (grated)
  • 1 cup / 250 ml of Water
  • 4 Tablespoons of White Sugar


  1. Put the grated ginger and water together in a pot.
  2. Bring mixture to a boil and add the sugar.
  3. Keep boiling until most of the water evaporated. The ginger should look caramalized. If not, add a bit more water and repeat the process.
  4. Put the candied sugar into a container and boil two cups / 500 ml of water.
  5. Add one tablespoon of the ginger into the water.
  6. After 5 minutes, turn off the stove.
  7. Let everything cool down.
  8. ;Add the water to your jar of Kefir and let ferment for 24 hours
  9. After 24 hours you can put your drink into the fridge, or poor yourself a cup. It's done!
  10. Add a bit of lemon if you like the acidity.

Faq's about Water Kefir

why do you put the 2nd fermentation in the fridge?

This is kind of my preference. The 2nd fermentation can go really fast, creating a lot more carbonation than I’d like. And also because I’m terrified of coming home after work with the cap blasted off ;).

Basically, you don’t have to put it in the fride. You can easily leave your bottle out and this way it will ferment faster. The golden rule here is if it’s hot inside, better put it in the fride or the process will go too fast.

What's The Best sugar to use?

There’s not really a best kind of sugar for your water kefir grains. They all will do the trick, they’ll just give your beverage a kind of different flavor at the end.

In general, white sugar is giving just a plain sweet taste to your drink. While brown sugar makes your kefir more intense. 

You can also use coconut palm sugar, but not everyone is recommending it. I’ve had no issues with it so far though. 

Another thing to be aware of is that you can also use syrups and honeys, but the thing is that it should be as pure as possible. Honey these days isn’t what it used to be any more, as they add some other things.

If you do get your hands on like a raw or fresh honey, go for it, your grains will like it a lot!

And another piece of advice: you don’t like to eat the same food every single day, and your Kefir also doesn’t like that. Mix it up and use all kinds of sugar. This way you’ll also find out which flavor is actually your favorite.

my grains are growing! what should I do?

The moment that you’ve got way too much grains in your jar, you really will have to do something about it. This becaus you will have to use more sugar to feed them, but when they don’t have space to ferment, you won’t get the best results.

I know, you get attached to them and you’d like to keep them. So, if you have a second jar, you can decide to split them and create more flavors.

If just one jar is good enough for you, you can decide to distribute your kefir to people who’d like to start their own culture.

If you can’t find anyone who’d like them, I’ve read you can also make soap out of your grains. I’ve never tried this before, so please leave a comment if you’ve done this already!

And ultimately, if you really don’t know anything to do with them, it might be time to let them go…

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Dale

    Until today I had never heard of Water Kefir or any kind of Kefir for that matter.  It does sound like an interesting and refreshing drink.  Especially with the strawberries.

    I really enjoy what you list as the benefits, however being diabetic I would really need to do my homework before hand and also talk to my Doctor.

    This article is a great one for me to show my Doctor to see if this is something I should entertain myself or stay away from.

    One question I do have is how often do you drink water kefir?

    Either way It was a great article that happened to make me just a little smarter today.

    Thank you

    1. Virendra

      Hi Dale, in general, when you do change your diet, you should always ask your doctor first. If you are diabetic, I would actually go more for the milk kefir, rather than the water kefir. It has the same benefits, but it doesn’t have sugar in it (other than the milk sugar).

  2. abdul

    This has been really informative! 

    I didnt know what kefir even was, much less milk or water. This is a very interesting concept, and i guess it would in fact be quite beneficial. However as you pointed it out, it is kinda alcoholic, which makes it impermissible for me. But its an interesting concept anyways! 

    Thank for the information! 

    1. Virendra

      Hi Abdul, it’s a good thing to know that it does contain a little bit of alcohol, we mustn’t lie about something as other cultures or religions might not allow this beverage, even though it might be healthy.

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