When To Take Probiotics For Maximum Benefits
What Are Probiotics?
Probiotics are live microorganisms thought to help good microbes in the body. They consist of bacteria but can include some yeasts.
They may restore and maintain a healthy microbiome balance in the body.
They can be taken as a supplement or by eating probiotic-rich food.
When To Take Probiotics, In The Morning Or Evening?
The best time to take probiotics can vary from person to person. Getting the timing right depends on the reasons for taking them, the types, possible side effects, and daily routines.
Stomach acid can harm the microorganisms before they reach the intestines, making probiotics less effective. Some experts say taking probiotics in the morning allows it to move from the stomach to the gut quickly.
The stomach tends to be less acidic in the morning, giving probiotics a better chance of reaching the gut.
Morning is often the most convenient time because of daily routines.
Probiotics bacteria are resident strains, transient strains, or a combination of both.
While resident strains populate the gut, transient bacteria are temporary and get evacuated at the end of the digestive process.
It’s best to take probiotics with transient bacteria at night. The digestive system slows down at night, leaving bacteria in the gut longer.
The longer these bacteria spend in the gut, the more beneficial they are.
Though side effects are rare, some individuals experience temporary digestive symptoms like bloating. Taking probiotics before bed may help reduce these symptoms during the day. These symptoms generally go away within a couple of days.
When first taking probiotics, it may be best to split a dose to help the gut flora adjust slowly. Having half in the morning and a half at night allows you to determine how your body reacts to small doses.
For digestive problems, it’s best to take probiotics with every meal regardless of the time.
Bottom line: Taking probiotics at any time during the day is more beneficial than not taking them at all.
When To Take, On An Empty Stomach Or With Food?
Probiotics have to survive the acid in the stomach to get to the intestines. The type(s) of you take determines whether to take it with food or on an empty stomach.
In most cases, taking them alongside food is best. In other words, right before, during, or right after a meal.
Food acts as a buffer and helps protect probiotics until it reaches the gut. A 2011 study found healthy fatty foods may offer the best protection.
On the other hand, eating signals the body to secrete digestive enzymes that may damage these organisms before reaching the gut.
Some manufacturers suggest drinking a glass of water 30 minutes before taking probiotics on an empty stomach. There is no conclusive proof that it has a significant impact on their effectiveness.
Despite all the conflicting opinions, there is one thing most agree on. Taking probiotics after a big, heavy meal makes them less effective.
Heavy meals take longer to digest. Probiotics are more likely to be damaged by stomach acid because of this delay.
In short, taking probiotics with a light meal seems to be beneficial, especially if it contains healthy fat. It’s fine to take on an empty stomach too, but eating a heavy meal beforehand is not advisable.
Should I Take Them On A Daily Basis ?
While it’s reasonably safe to take probiotics daily, it’s not always necessary. According to researchers, a daily dose doesn’t have a significant effect on healthy individuals.
Every microbiome is unique, and what works for one individual may not work for another. Taking some strains may displace resident bacteria when taken daily.
On the other hand, they help to increase beneficial bacteria in the gut, but these changes aren’t permanent. Treating some conditions may require daily supplements.
Probiotics often contain transient bacteria that don’t colonize the gut. They provide benefits as they pass through the GI tract.
In one study, participants took a daily probiotic supplement for 14 days. Researchers found the beneficial bacteria decreased after participants stopped taking probiotics.
Healthy individuals should maintain the gut microbiome with probiotic-rich food, like yogurt, kefir, or sauerkraut, rather than supplements.
How Long Should Probiotics Be Taken?
The reason for taking probiotics will determine how long you should take them. There are some guidelines, but the exact length is hard to determine.
MedlinePlus compiled a list of conditions that may improve with probiotics. It also includes the recommended dosage and the duration of treatment. But it’s for quick reference only, so discuss the duration of treatment with your doctor.
When To Take Probiotics And Antibiotics, Can I Take It At The Same Time?
Probiotics may be particularly beneficial during antibiotic treatment, but timing is vital.
Antibiotics don’t discriminate. They destroy all bacteria and can cause unpleasant side effects, like diarrhea, acne, and yeast infections.
Taking both at the same time is pointless. Instead, take them at least 2 hours apart.
This won’t stop the antibiotics from killing all the bacteria, but it may give probiotics enough time to reduce some of the damage.
It’s important to continue taking probiotics after antibiotic treatment to help restore gut health.
There are a lot of opinions and recommendations when it comes to taking probiotics. There’s not enough evidence to conclusively indicate the best time to take them. Therefore, you can choose the time best suited to your daily routine. It is better than not taking it at all.
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