Probiotic Benefits: When To Take Probiotics for Optimal Gut Health
So today I'm going to answer the question that you may have wondered about in the past.
"What is the best time to take probiotics?"
Now, even if you've never tried probiotics, I'm sure you've heard of them. And so there are some interesting things we want to keep in mind when we're taking our probiotics to get the best benefit.
My name is Marcie Vaske, and I'm a functional medicine nutritionist specializing in gut health. I work with the Oswald digestive clinic, so I see a lot of clients that struggle with gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and of course, that's just to name a few things.
So if this sounds like you or someone you love, you can easily make an initial appointment with one of us clinicians.
Or if you're the kind of person who likes to do things on their own, you can download our FREE GUIDE: Five Ways to Improve Your Gut Health.
So let's dig into our topic today of when is the best time to take probiotics.
I know in the past when I've used probiotics, I've taken them in the morning and they tended to make me feel just off. My stomach was a little bit more grumbling and I just didn't feel very good. So I eventually started taking them at night, and it turned out it worked pretty well for me.
But does that work well for everybody...
So we know that probiotics, those beneficial bacteria, do a lot of things for us, and a few of them are to help our gut digest food, help make nutrients, and they even keep our moods improved and keep our immune system strong.
So we definitely want to be sure that we have good little bacteria in our gut, what we call the "microbiome", and we've, over the years, people have used probiotics to help ensure that.
When To Take Probiotics?
Now just like taking any other supplement or vitamin, there are certain times that it's best for those as well. For example, magnesium is going to be best taken at night because it helps us sleep and calms us down. So probiotics are very similar.
Now, a lot of manufacturers will tell you to take your probiotic at least 30 minutes before a meal or even in the morning. Now, of course, we all want to follow directions, but I think it really comes down to what works best for you as well.
When To Take Probiotics: Understanding Why Timing Matters
But another few key things to keep in mind is that prior to the meal is helpful because the hydrochloric acid, or the acid in our stomach hasn't started churning yet. And if we take that probiotic before the meal on an empty stomach, then there's a better chance of more of those bacteria making it through to our large intestine.
Now, we can also take it after a meal, but you wouldn't want to do that right after a meal, maybe a couple of hours later when digestion has calmed down and you digested your food. Or you can even take it at night like I do when I do a probiotic.
When To Take Probiotics: Tips For Optimal Usage And Timing
Tip #1: Incorporate Fat in Your Meal
Now, another little tip to keep in mind is that researchers found that bacteria in our probiotics tend to survive better if there's a little bit of fat in a meal that you're consuming.
So for example, if you took your probiotic 30 minutes before you ate on an empty stomach, and then you had breakfast with a few eggs, maybe a little butter, and some vegetables, you're getting that little bit of fat that helps to increase the survival rate of that flora in the probiotic.
So it's kind of a two-for-one, no stomach acid 30 minutes before, and then a nice little meal that can help ensure the flora gets to where it needs to be.
Tip #2: Consistency is Key
So when it comes to the best time to take a probiotic, we also have to think about how are going to be most consistent in taking the probiotic.
Because if we take one on a Monday and then we don't take one all week until next Wednesday, that's not going to do much good. And whether you take it in the morning or at night won't even matter because you're not getting the good flora.
So on top of taking and thinking about getting the best benefit out of your probiotic, you're also going to want to make sure that you're very consistent with taking them.
That's how you're going to get that best benefit to help your gut be stronger, digest food better, have a stronger immune system, and know that the money that you're putting into a probiotic, you're actually getting something worth it.
So I hope this helped today. It's just a quick blog with some tips on the best time to take probiotics.
If you'd like to explore any of this information further or obtain an individualized nutrition plan, you can schedule an initial appointment at our clinic. We also take insurance and some of our clients get full coverage, which is great.
Or you can just start by downloading our FREE GUIDE: 5 WAYS TO IMPROVE GUT HEALTH