By Jessica Sanders

Flavored soda free of harsh chemicals, sugar and nasty preservative — does such a thing exist? It does, and it’s called water kefir.

Easily made at home, this tasty beverage is filled with beneficial bacteria from the kefir grain. The grains feed on sugar, giving the beverage a mild sweetness. While milk kefir is dairy based, this water kefir is lactose free, making it the perfect beverage for kids and adults, regardless of diet preferences or allergies.

If you’ve never heard of water kefir, then you’re not alone. But you’ll fall in love with it as soon as you learn how easy it is to make and just how beneficial it is to your body, mind and health.

The Benefits of Water Kefir

water kefir benefits

This miraculous drink with an awkward name has enough benefits to make any healthy person squeal with excitement. From digestive health to vegan supplementation, see how your body can benefit:

  • Water kefir is a neutral probiotic supplier, which helps to keep a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria in your digestive tract. Too much of harmful microbes can lead to yeast infections, IBS, Crohn’s Disease, and more.  But when we ingest water kefir, we are letting in more helpful bacteria into our systems to help establish a balanced inner ecosystem for optimum health and longevity.
  • The kefir grains produce right-rotating lactic acid, which is important in the prevention of cancer and helps to maintain healthy functioning of the heart. Lactic acid is a natural preservative that prevents the growth of harmful bacteria, and creates food rich in nutrient values.
  • Kefir is a complete protein (all the essential amino acids), which is critical for healing.
  • It is also filled with vitamins:
    • Especially B12, which builds immunity, increases energy and counteracts allergens. B12 needs calcium for proper absorption
    • B1 (thiamin), which is known as the “morale vitamin” for its beneficial effects on the mental attitude and nervous system.
    • B6 – Studies are showing that individuals who have high levels of B6 have less chance of having damaged DNA, which can lead to cancer.
  • The high-probiotic content of kefir grains also helps to regulate the immune system. A huge percentage (70%-80%) of our body’s immune system resides in the gut. The probiotic bacteria in water kefir can help to strengthen this.

How to Make it At Home

The first step in making this all-natural soda at home is buying the grains. Normally, water kefir grains are translucent, but if you buy them dehydrated, they’ll be more of a dark yellow or gold hue.

Though the grains will likely come with instructions on how to rehydrate them, in general, you want to soak them in sugar water mixture until they become light yellow and nearly translucent.

Once you have hydrated grains, it’s time to make your water kefir! However, this is not an exact science, so everyone has his or her own method. Try this recipe from

water kefir recipe Step 1

  1. Dissolve 1/3 cup of sugar in 1 cup of hot water in a pot on the stove.
  2. Once the mixture has dissolved and cooled, add 3 cups of room temperature water, and pour the new mixture into a half gallon mason jar.
  3. Once in the jar, add enough water to fill it to the 6-cup mark.
  4. Dump 1/3 cup of kefir grains into the room temperature water—you can also put the grains in a muslin tea bag, which makes them easier to remove.
  5. Stacy K., of Keeper of the Home, places 4 drops of liquid aminos in her water kefir mixture because kefir grains thrive on minerals, but this is not a required step.
  6. Cover your mixture with a coffee filter and secure it on the jar.

Step 2

Let this sit in a warm place for 24 to 72 hours, though it’s recommended to let them sit no longer than 2 days, which could ruin or “starve” the grains. Taste it each day to determine if it’s at the level of sweetness you prefer. If you’ve put your grains in a muslin tea bag, take the bag out and it’s ready to drink. If you placed them directly in the water, strain the drink to get the kefir out.

Note: Keep the kefir; it can be used time and time again. Just place the grains in fresh sugar water, juice or coconut water to keep them fresh.

Step 3

If you want to make a flavored drink, now is the time to add fresh or dried fruit—keep in mind, dried fruit is often full of sugar, which you may want to avoid. After adding fruit, seal the container and let it sit for another day or two until it reaches your desired flavor. Strain the fruit and it’s ready to drink. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Add grape, apple, cherry or pomegranate for a fizzy fruit flavored soda
  • Add raisins or prune juice – tastes like Dr. Pepper
  • Ginger and lemon slices for a lemonade flavor


Because each and every water kefir recipe is different in one way or another, keep these basic tips in mind as you find the recipe that works best for you:

  • The longer you let your kefir mixture sit, the less sweet it will be.
  • Always use a plastic strainer, not a metal strainer, when pouring your grains out of the liquid.
  • Use a glass jar, not plastic. Glass is easier to clean and plastic can harbor bad bacteria that will seep into the water.
  • You can use any white sugar or organic cane sugar.

Making water kefir is a great weekend project; start it on Friday night, and it’ll be ready for Monday morning.

With all the great health benefits, from improved digestion to increased immunity, there’s no reason not to give it a try. With a little bit of sugar, water and kefir grains you have a naturalhealthy soda beverage even your little ones might like.

Have you tried water kefir, kombucha or other fermented drinks? Which is your favorite! Comment below and leave a recipe!

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