Why Revive Wants to Help You End Your Soda Habit (and Improve Your Gut Health)

October 27, 2021

Drinking kombucha and taking probiotic supplements may help you find that optimal balance of bacteria in your gut, but adding them to your diet can feel more like a chore than a treat.

Revive had something different in mind when they set out to make a brand of sparkling probiotic beverages more than 10 years ago: rather than focusing solely on the digestive benefits, they first zeroed in on the flavor potential—by ambitiously challenging themselves to create beverages that weren’t just tastier than other probiotic drinks, but were even tasty enough to replace soda.

The Revive Story

Back in 2010, Revive founders Sean and Rebekah Lovett began brewing their own sparkling probiotic drinks in the garage of their home in Sonoma County, California. From that first flavor—a low-sugar, probiotic-rich take on cola that’s now a brand mainstay—Revive set itself apart from similar healthy beverage brands by taking a decidedly more fun approach. After years of selling their probiotic beverages at local farmers markets, the brand grew from garage to warehouse to custom built brewery, eventually expanding their flavor offerings and adding things like coffee and yerba mate to their lineup.

We spoke to Revive co-founder Sean Lovett about the merits of drinking sparkling probiotics, and he shared a recipe for a fall-inspired cocktail that’s both good for your gut health and fun to drink. 

What is a Sparkling Probiotic (And Why is it Good for You?)

Sparkling probiotic beverages are made from organic kombucha cultures, which consist of yeast and bacteria cultures from a tea base, combined with a small amount of organic cane sugar. The probiotics come from lactic and acetic acid bacteria, which help to supplement the existing bacteria in your gut (what is known anecdotally as “good” bacteria, compared to the “bad” bacteria that may contribute to disease).

Lovett explains that Revive’s sparkling probiotics are brewed and fermented using techniques that will sound very familiar to anyone who knows about the logistics of craft brewing—but that’s about where the similarities end. They’re very low in sugar (unlike sodas and even many kombuchas) though they’re filled with probiotic cultures that support gut function and immune health. “Our hope is that when people drink [our sparkling probiotics], we will have expanded their minds about the possibilities of taste and health in beverages.”


Talking Gut Health, Sugar, and Kicking the Soda Habit with Revive Co-Founder Sean Lovett

We’ve read that you started Revive out of your garage. What else do you think sets your brand apart from similar beverage brands?

SL: From day one, the mission has always been to be good to our bodies, while taking care of the earth and our community.  Today, we’re still a family-like crew, brewing our sparkling probiotic sodas with a culture of heart and fun. Our homegrown roots are part of the magic of Revive and the incredible people who breathe life into this brand.

Why is it so important to incorporate probiotics into your routine?

SL: About 70% of the immune system is housed in the gut. Incorporating a small amount of probiotics on a daily basis can help keep your gut healthy so it can do its best work: supporting your immunity. Probiotics also support digestion, regularity, athletic performance and recovery, cardiovascular health, and more. My suggestion is to drink at least a can a day for a couple of weeks to start feeling the benefits.

How do you consciously minimize sugar in your beverages while still prioritizing taste?

SL: Flavor is foundational to who we are as a brand, and our ingredients are the star of the show. If it doesn’t taste good, we won’t make it—it’s just that simple.

Our Director of R&D studied at the Culinary Institute of America in New York. He and I work together (though it really feels more like playing together) to develop flavor combinations that are inspired, intriguing, and delicious. We love to have fun in our innovation lab, pushing the boundaries on flavor and creating joy in every sip. But we are also committed to creating drinks that are low in sugar, and it’s not easy making things super tasty without sugar. Any home cook knows this. We do it by designing every recipe with premium ingredients that naturally deliver amazing flavor, like organic fruit juices, purees, flavors, and herbal extracts. It’s amazing how much flavor we can get in a can with only 5g of sugar and 35 calories.

Are there benefits to drinking probiotics versus taking them in supplement form?

SL: Probiotics supplements are excellent for lots of reasons, but they do require a strong digestive system to be able to break down the capsule or outer coating that the probiotic is encased in. Sometimes this can be hard for older or immunocompromised individuals. Also, a powder or capsule can feel like taking medicine. Drinking our sparkling probiotic is a deliciously fun and simple way to incorporate probiotics into your lifestyle. Being healthy should be fun, so why not combine your refreshing afternoon beverage with your daily dose of probiotics? We made it easy for you.


Revive’s “Cinn-ful Pear” Sparkling Probiotic Cocktail Recipe

Yield: 1 serving

Active time: 5 minutes

Total time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

Juice from one lemon (for rimming the glass)

¼ teaspoons sugar (for rimming the glass; or use sweetener of your choice)

¼ teaspoons Thrive Market Organic Ground Cinnamon (for rimming the glass)

2 ounces Revive Green Apple Pear Sparkling Probiotic (about ⅙ can)

1.5 ounces spiced rum

3 teaspoons lemon juice

1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon bark syrup (recipe below)

Instructions

Rim a coupe or martini glass with lemon juice. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a dish. Dip the rim of the glass in the mixture to coat. Set aside.

Combine all ingredients (except Revive Sparkling Probiotic) in a shaker filled with ice. Shake until very cold, about 20 seconds.

Strain into the prepared coupe or martini glass.

Top with Revive Green Apple Pear Sparkling Probiotic.

Garnish with a pear wheel.

To make the cinnamon bark syrup:

Ingredients

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup sugar (or use sweetener of your choice)

5 Thrive Market Organic Cinnamon Sticks (about 2-3 inches long each), crushed

Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, until sugar has dissolved.

Remove from heat and allow to cool in the pan, then transfer to a jar or food storage container. Allow the bark to steep overnight.

Strain through a fine mesh strainer and discard the bark so only the syrup remains.

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Amy Roberts

Amy Roberts is Thrive Market's Senior Editorial Writer. She is based in Los Angeles via Pittsburgh, PA.

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