What is the Best Time of Day to Take a Probiotic Supplement?
Timing is everything. While most people associate timing with completing tasks, it also plays a significant role in maintaining healthy habits and using products properly. Mistimed use of a product could impact its efficacy for your needs, making it important to ensure you time things right.
Most products are clearly marked with instructions to help people use them at the proper time and with the proper medium. Some products are a little more complicated due to their use not being well-developed in modern society. Probiotics are among the substances that make their use confusing; despite not being a new concept, it is not something we learn about without research.
Fortunately, probiotics have been researched extensively, so it is easier to identify the ideal time to use probiotics effectively. Without this information, you might waste a fairly expensive resource when your body needs every resource. Therefore, we will explain the details that determine the timing of probiotic supplements, so you are fully informed.
What is the Right Time to Take a Probiotic?
Taking a probiotic is designed to improve multiple aspects of your health, focusing on gastrointestinal health. Considering gastrointestinal health is particularly sensitive, tools that can help reinforce it are extremely valuable. This makes probiotics a mainstay in modern holistic medicine practices since the microorganisms are known for bolstering gastrointestinal health.
Dealing with gastrointestinal distress or other health issues usually causes us to seek the fastest relief possible. While probiotics do not provide instant relief, they must be properly used if you want them to work. The first step to proper use is knowing when to use your supplement, so it takes effect when it is supposed to.
Unfortunately, the science behind timing probiotic use is not exact, and multiple theories exist about when to take them. The most common recommendation is to take your probiotic supplement in the morning to give your body as much time as possible to absorb it. Others believe the time of day is irrelevant and the timeframe should focus on your meal schedule.
Most groups recommend consuming probiotics 30 minutes before a meal, regardless of when you eat. Let us assume you plan to take your probiotic supplement first thing in the morning, but you eat breakfast every morning at 7:00 A.M.
According to this recommendation, you would want to take your probiotic at 6:30 A.M. to meet the 30-minute mark. However, no empirical evidence suggests that taking your probiotic at a specific time of day will affect its viability. Therefore, you can schedule your probiotic use as you please, with the only restriction being to wait 30 minutes before eating. This restriction might seem arbitrary, but there is a logic behind the 30-minute wait time between your probiotic and your meal.
Should You Take Probiotics on an Empty or Full Stomach?
Many probiotics experts recommend allowing for 30 minutes between when you take your probiotic and when you eat. This is because there is a theory that probiotics work best when administered on an empty stomach. Because of this theory, most product manufacturers recommend taking the supplement on an empty stomach.
Unfortunately, they are misinformed since more variables are involved in probiotic survival and efficacy than whether you have eaten. Probiotics are not chemicals or substances but are microorganisms that are viable and alive when introduced to your system.
Multiple types of probiotic microorganisms are found in various foods and drinks, with dairy being a primary source of the most popular probiotic. These microorganisms, while similar in most respects, have crucial differences that change how effective they are when consumed, according to the aforementioned recommendation.
The popular recommendation of consuming probiotics 30 minutes before a meal was made because 2 genera of probiotic microorganisms thrive when introduced without food in your stomach. These genera are microorganisms belonging to the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium families. Research indicates these bacteria thrive when introduced 30 minutes before a meal.
Conversely, there is a species of probiotic microorganism that is equally effective regardless of whether you have eaten. This microorganism, Saccharomyces boulardii, provides similar benefits to microorganisms from other families. The big difference is that they are found in alternate food sources and can survive on an empty or full stomach. While this might make the science behind the timing seem sound, there is a crucial detail these manufacturers omit when they make the recommendation.
They make a recommendation based on the bacteria in their product without alerting their customers of this difference. Aside from this, the acid levels in the stomach are lower before you eat, so the environment is somewhat safer for the bacteria. This can be a double-edged sword since the pH of the acid in an empty stomach is low, meaning the acid is more corrosive and hostile to microorganisms. Therefore, the situation becomes situational depending on the probiotic organisms in your supplement.
These biological aspects of probiotic use can make it seem like you have little control over the probiotics you use. While there is a degree of truth to that, evidence suggests we can control other factors that promote a better environment for microorganisms.
Meal Composition Plays a Factor
When probiotic supplements are manufactured, the microorganisms inside are usually tested to determine their survival rates in the stomach. This is a more intensive process than you might expect since the environment can change due to physical issues that might impact the health of our gastrointestinal tract. Illness and poor diet can turn an otherwise standard gastrointestinal system into a hostile environment, so these tests determine how well the microorganisms in the supplements can withstand those environments.
While these tests effectively produce a probiotic supplement, there is no accounting for every potential issue. Therefore, it is beneficial to enhance your diet to improve the probiotic's odds of survival.
Limited research has uncovered a beneficial association between probiotics and certain foods, making protecting the microorganisms from your stomach's hazards easier. While these foods optimize the probiotics, it is important to remember that these techniques will not give probiotics the kick they need to replace certain medical treatments.
Nevertheless, a study was conducted that assessed the benefits of combining probiotics with oatmeal or low-fat milk versus water or apple juice. This study helped determine whether the microorganisms had a higher survival rate when used with one or the other. When the study was finished, it was determined that the probiotics combined with oatmeal and milk had higher survival rates than those combined with water and apple juice.
The theory behind this effect is that fat is conducive to bacterial growth in the body. Combining beneficial bacteria from probiotic supplements with healthy fats from milk or similar products can create a beneficial connection. The effects are not extensive but sufficient for giving probiotic organisms an extra boost to help them survive in the stomach.
Further research determined that probiotics using Lactobacillus bacteria have a higher survival rate when combined with sugar or carbohydrates. This effect was less surprising since Lactobacillus organisms rely on glucose in an acidic environment. Therefore, combining Lactobacillus probiotics with foods with high glucose levels will give the organisms more of that resource rather than relying on what might already be there.
It is worth reiterating that these combinations only offer slight improvements to a probiotic's chances of survival in the stomach. They do not impact the "appropriate" time to take your supplement. Ultimately, the appropriate time seems to be a matter of debate, but improving the overall conditions of the stomach can be more significant. Unfortunately, this is not a blank check to use probiotics in reckless combinations. Using probiotics means introducing bacteria to your body willingly, which means certain combinations can cause more damage than they repair.
Beware of Harmful Interactions
Introducing a new substance to your body will always be scary since you can never know how to respond until you take the chance. Probiotics can be especially daunting since we are told at an early age that bacteria are bad and cause health issues. While the bacteria used in probiotics are not harmful, that stigma is difficult to shed. Unfortunately, beneficial bacteria can become a threat if not administered properly.
While the effects of poorly administered probiotics will not be fatal, they can make life uncomfortable until you recover. Even when used properly, certain products can have unpleasant side effects as your body acclimates to the new substance. These side effects are usually minor and fade as your body adjusts, but side effects can be overwhelming.
Fortunately, probiotics lack serious side effects and are safe for use with little risk. That said, certain side effects can affect you in the early stages of probiotic use that you must endure before you enjoy the benefits. When you first use probiotics, you can experience bloating and excessive gas as your body adapts to the bacteria.
These effects are unpleasant but usually fade with time, but in rare circumstances, it persists, and the person must suspend the use of the product. These early side effects can be mitigated by adjusting when you take your probiotic. As a matter of fact, this is probably the only genuine reason to schedule your probiotic use for a specific time.
Taking your probiotics at night can limit your daytime symptoms of the early-stage side effects. While you might still experience slight discomfort the next morning, it will be less severe than if you take the probiotic first thing. Once the symptoms fade, you can take your probiotic whenever you deem appropriate since you will no longer have to navigate the side effects. However, you might have another concern about the lifespan of your probiotics if you are on prescription antibiotics.
Antibiotics are known to cause gastrointestinal distress that causes diarrhea, which is highly unpleasant for everyone involved. Probiotics are often cited as a tool to curb diarrhea and restore gastrointestinal health. The problem is that antibiotics are designed to kill bacteria to prevent illness, so you are probably wondering if the antibiotics would kill the probiotics you are taking to stop diarrhea caused by the antibiotic. Fortunately, several strains of probiotic organisms are immune to antibiotics due to their chemical composition.
That said, if you are taking other prescription medications and want to use probiotics, you should consult a physician. Sometimes, probiotics and prescription medications can interact with each other in harmful ways. This is not to say a probiotic will inhibit your medication, but it can have the opposite effect and make your medication too effective.
Finding the Right Blend
Taking a probiotic might be intimidating to first-time users since they are designed to introduce bacteria to your body. While probiotic bacteria are beneficial, we commonly resist introducing something to our body when the name carries a stigma. Fortunately, probiotics are perfectly safe and will only cause minor side effects at worst.
Contrary to popular belief, the timing of probiotic use has no significance on the product's efficacy. While there are recommendations about taking them before eating, you must consider the bacterial strain before listening to that advice. The only real challenge of probiotic use is finding a supplement you can trust.
We at Teami believe wholeheartedly in the benefit of probiotics and espouse the philosophy that natural substances are the best tools. That is why we have dedicated ourselves to natural products with several health and beauty benefits. Among our products is our Gut Love Probiotic + Prebiotic Powder, which will provide the effects of probiotics with the benefit of prebiotic treatment. We encourage you to visit our website and test our product to determine its effectiveness. After all, finding the right blend is a Teami effort.
Do you have any questions about probiotics, our Gut Love Probiotic + Prebiotic Powder, or anything else we mentioned in this article? If so, we're always more than happy to assist you, so please feel free to reach out at any time. We'll gladly answer any questions, provide any recommendations you may need, and so much more!
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