The Best And Worst Time Of Day To Take Your Probiotics
Youve probably heard 100 times by now how important your gut health is for your overall well-beingand that the healthy bacteria that live in your digestive system play a huge role in keeping that gut health in tip-top shape.
After all, these probiotics help us digest food, destroy microorganisms that might trigger disease, and even produce vitamins. Our bodies naturally house both good and bad bacteria, but as long as the two are in balance, our immune system stays strong, which is crucial for our general health, explains Sarina Pasricha, M.D., M.S.C.R., a Harvard-trained, double-board certified gastroenterologist with the Delaware Center for Digestive Care in Newark, Delaware. In fact, probiotics have been shown to help us fight off everyday bugs, overcome irregularity in the bathroom, and manage digestive conditions.
Given their many benefits, its no wonder many of us have added probiotic supplements to our daily routines. Thing is, benefiting from a supplement isnt quite as simple as just remembering to take it at some point every day. Turns out, when we take our probiotic supplements actually has a pretty big impact on just how much theyre able to do for our digestive system.
Heres what top gut expertsand the latest sciencehave to say about when to take your probies.
How To Ensure Your Probiotic Will Work
- Good Quality: Buy probiotic supplements that show proof of effectiveness.
- Stored correctly: Different strains require different places to store, read labels and store it as it states.
- Safe for you: Read the label and note added ingredients. Watch out for added fillers and binders, which might cause reactions.
Should I Take A Probiotic Every Day
The short answer: Yes, you should aim to take a probiotic every single day if possible. “It’s best to take probiotics at least once daily with water or milk,” Dr. Asike says. There are many different forms of probiotics you can purchase in the wellness aisle from powders to capsules, tablets to liquid suspensions, but a regular dose on an even basis should be a goal regardless of which strain of probiotic you take.
If you’re wondering what may be the best option for a daily probiotic, Dr. Asike recommends looking for multi-species or multi-strain products before single-strain supplements, as they may provide more benefits overall. Saccharomyces boulardii, as well as Lactobaccilus rhamnosus,are popular options that may provide more relief to those experiencing irritable bowel syndrome, he adds. “There isn’t one over-the-counter brand that’s better than another when it comes to strains I advise looking for multi-species or multi-strain , and to grab a store brand if that’s what’s available.”
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Use Probiotics With Multiple Strains
Single-strain probiotics might offer fewer benefits for your body, so a high-quality, multispecies and multistrain product for optimal benefits would be ideal for you. Each probiotic strain performs different functions. Also, as the bacterial strains work in teams, their combination could help yield optimal and additional results.
Why Use A Probiotic
Probiotic literally translates to for life in Latin. Its a pretty good description of what they do. They help to stabilize your digestive systems lining, and they help to make sure that the flora in your intestines can work as it should.
Probiotics are the kind of bacteria that you want to have in your intestine, and they are usually generated naturally by the body.
There are all sorts of bacteria, both good and bad, inside our bodies and they all do different things. Some of them help you to absorb nutrients, some help to digest food, and others help to reduce toxins.
If the bacterial populations in your gut are disrupted and become unbalanced, then theres a chance that it can cause some problems for your GI tract. Taking a probiotic supplement can often help to get your body back on the right track.
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Mistake #: You Think All Probiotics Are Equal
Its not good to assume that all probiotics will provide the same benefits, says Millette. There are a variety of probiotic strains and not all strains have the same health benefits. The human body houses more than 500 different strains of bacteria. Some are for immune support. Some are for digestive issues. Some are for weight maintenance. And there are even strains for heart health.
Examples include: Lactobacillus Acidophilus has been shown to help blood pressure, cholesterol, allergies and digestion, while Lactobacillus Rhamnosus can help with blood glucose, immune function and cholesterol, and Lactobacillus helveticus reduces blood pressure, improves sleep quality and bone health.
Check the packaging, talk to your health care provider or even double-check with a pharmacist to make sure what youre buying is what you need. Thankfully in Canada, foods with probiotic claims must be truthful and not misleading , and supplements must meet requirements for its claims as well as science to support its efficacy, safety and quality.
Mistake #: You Put Your Probiotics Into A Personalized Pill Box
Sure, organizing your daily pills and supplements in a handy pill box will help you to remember to take them, but it could compromise how effective your probiotics are. Like crackers, probiotic capsules will expire more quickly when exposed , says Millette. And Nielsen agrees. She says to keep your probiotics in sealed individual doses away from bright light and heat.
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Probiotic Wrap Up: From What To Look For To The Best Time To Take Probiotics
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Taking Probiotics: Can You Take Too Many Probiotics
Probiotics are only effective while theyre moving through your body. With that being said, theres a connection to your frequency of consumption and the time of day that you take them.
Probiotics also dont die after you consume them. They continue to live inside your body until theyre pooped out, explaining the importance of regular intake when using probiotics for treatment purposes. That is, until you feel well enough to where you no longer need an extensive regimen.
Your body works differently than others. Because of that, theres no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. A doctor can also advise you on how frequently you should take probiotics based on your condition and bodys needs, along with the correct dosage.
Now when it comes to the right time of day to consume probiotics, thats something we can more comfortably provide further insight on.
If youre on antibiotics, avoid taking probiotics at the exact same time you take antibiotics. The two dont mix well when taken concurrently. It also defeats the purpose of taking probiotics because of the simple fact that antibiotics will kill off the new healthy bacteria thats produced.
You can, however, take probiotics when youre actively using antibiotics. Timing plays a role in this as well, as you have to be very careful when actively taking both substances.
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The Final Thoughts: Timing Your Probiotics
Probiotics are different than regular vitamins and nutrients pills.
These small pills have live microbes in them. If taken incorrectly, they will die out even before reaching your intestine.
So, knowing when is the best time to take probiotics is necessary.
Heres a bit of help!
- Digestive Issues: Take probiotics right after your meals having healthy fats.
- Sleeping Issues: Take probiotics before you hit the sack.
- Oral Issues: Take probiotics right before you hit the bed.
Whether you want general health benefits, mental health boosts, better sleep pattern, good gut health, or weight management, probiotics are for you.
So, whats the right time to take probiotics for your health benefits? Tell us in the comment section right away!
Stomachacid Kills Probiotics And Makes Them Ineffective
Actually, this one is partly true.
Research shows that stomach acid can kill some strains of probiotics. Up to 60% is often quoted.
But heres what you need to know before you start worryingabout whether you are delivering living organisms to your digestive tract.
First, theres actually a lot of variability in die off across probiotic strains. Some probiotic strains, like Saccharomyces boulardii, Bifidobacterium animalis and Lactobacillus johnsonii arent affected by stomach acid at all.
Also, a lot of this research takes place in test tubes, which cant reproduce the dynamic complexity of your gastrointestinal tract. Some studies have attempted to correct this by using simulated models of the upper digestive tract. Research with these models show better survival rates of probiotic bacteria than in test tubes, Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source however even a dynamic model cant fully replicate what happens in our digestive system.
Mechanistic studies like this often miss the big picture. Inthis case we have over 500 studies to show that when humans take probioticsupplements, there are a multitude of health benefits and few side effects.This is the science that we need to be paying attention to. Dont getsidetracked by mechanistic studies done in test tubes and model digestivesystems.
Bottom line: While stomach acid may have some impact on the viability of certain probiotic strains, probiotic supplements work well anyway.
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Less Frequent Effects Of Probiotics
While few in number and less researched, some strains of probiotics have been found to aid neurological function, immunological function, and endocrine function .
As you can see, there are numerous ways probiotics help us and its important to know that we may need different strains to get different results since not all help our body in the same way.
While much research still needs to be done, the identification of specific strains which support us in very specific ways is being done. A few examples of how a specific strain may help us include:
- Lactobacillus delbruekii bulgaricus and Streptococcus salivarius thermophilus aid in lactose digestion
- Lactobacillius rhamnosus GG strengthens intestinal mucosal cells and the production of lactic acid
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When Must I Take A Probiotic
As a result of dietary supplements like probiotics are not regulated via the U.S. Meals and Drug Management, every probiotic complement would possibly include other instructions on dosing and timing. An important recommendation is to make a choice a time youll be able to in truth persist with, particularly if in case you have bother remembering to take tablets within the first position. Consistency is the important thing with taking probiotics if one needs to harvest the prospective advantages, Dr. Asike says.
Whilst the time of day is in the long run as much as you, this skilled means that probiotics could also be best if you happen to plan to take them about half-hour sooner than a meal and best if you are taking your complement sooner than breakfast. Probiotics can have a better impact to your small gut if you are taking them sooner than you consume: All the way through a quick or previous to consuming, the tummy would possibly not be as acidic and this may permit the probiotic pill or pill in an effort to make its manner into the gut, he explains.
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Including a probiotic into your regimen very first thing within the A.M., then, will most likely stay your abdomen from sabotaging your efforts. Breakfast is in most cases eaten round the similar time day-to-day, and has a tendency to be smaller and extra simply digested, Dr. Asike says.
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Be Consistent In Eating Foods With Probiotics
It is great if you can get your probiotics from natural sources of food, such as kimchi and yogurt. Remember that the most popular foods containing probiotics have been around for a long time , and people involved in studies that report benefits have been eating them for the majority of their lives.
Probiotic supplements provide a great boost, but you can never be sure exactly which strains of bacteria your body can benefit from the most. If you eat a diverse diet with a lot of different probiotic foods, you will be giving your body the wide variety of healthy bacteria that it needs.
Tips For Taking Prebiotics Powder
Many people take prebiotics to help reduce bloating, gas, and stomach upsets. Because they help promote the growth of good bacteria, they may help make your digestive system stronger. And, this can help with digestive issues like bloating.
When choosing your prebiotic supplement or powder, its important that you look for a natural supplement that is made in the USA in a federally inspected facility. I opt for non-GMO products because I trust the quality. And, for health reasons, I look for things that are gluten-free with low or no added sugar.
You may want to consider a gut reset.
Difference between prebiotics and probiotics
Prebiotics and probiotics are not the same things. And, the best thing to do is to take a prebiotic and probiotic combination. To put it simply, probiotics are the good bacteria that your gut needs to work right. Prebiotics are the food they need to keep working. So, you can see why its best to take the two together.
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How To Deal With The Problems
In many cases, lowering your probiotic dosage or taking on a different strain of bacteria could be the solution to your problems. Still, if you have a bacterial overgrowth problem on your hand like SIBO , the unpleasant side effect can persist unless you intervene with medications like antibiotics to kill off the excess bacteria.
In case you need to take an antibiotic to kill off extra bacteria in the small intestine, delivering more bacteria to the body is counterproductive. If thats the case, ditching probiotics altogether may be a better choice for you.
What You Can Do
Don’t start taking probiotics without talking to your doctor or pharmacist about whether probiotics might help you. People who have immune deficiency or are being treated for cancer should not use probiotics without a doctor’s okay.
The most common species of bacteria used in probiotics are species of Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium. The bacteria are usually freeze-dried when you take the supplement, they warm up in your digestive system and become fully active. You can find probiotic supplements in most drugstores and supermarkets. They come as capsules or tablets to swallow and as loose powder to sprinkle on food. You’ll want a product that explicitly states a “sell-by” date. Dosages vary by product, so no general dosing recommendation can be made. However, common dosages for adults range from five billion to 10 billion colony-forming units per day. Take just one dose of probiotics per day.
Some people may experience loose stools in the first few days of taking probiotics, but this goes away. Taking probiotics at the end of a meal may help to reduce the symptoms.
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Mistake #: You Store Probiotics In Your Medicine Cabinet
The bathroom medicine cabinet can have fluctuating temperature changes, which will affect moisture in the air, and can compromise the quality of your probiotics.
Its important to note that there are a few ways to take probiotics. While one is in food , you can also take probiotic supplements. They are available in refrigerated or dry formulas. The latter can be kept at room temperatures. Foods and refrigerated supplements must be kept in a cool fridge to keep the bacteria alive. For dry probiotic supplements, check the packaging on how to store them, but generally they must be kept in a dry, dark place thats free of moisture. However, some probiotic capsules are better kept in the fridge, says BioK scientific director Mathieu Millette, PhD, Mcb. A., RMCCM. Check the instructions on the package to ensure youre storing them properly.
Is There A Best Time Of Day To Take Probiotics
There is not enough scientific evidence to show that probiotic effectiveness changes depending on the actual hour consumed so no, there is not yet a generally accepted best time of day to take probiotics.
There is not yet a generally-accepted best time of day to take probiotics what matters is being consistent.
However, what the research does seem to show, is that it is important to be consistent.
Getting into a routine that ensures you take your probiotic every day, preferably at the same time, can potentially increase the effectiveness.
Whether you take it first thing in the morning, with or without food, or before bed, just be sure you take it every day. Studies show that consistency of intake seems to matter more than a best time of day for probiotics.
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