When we hear about bacteria, we think of germs or disease-causing organisms. But what if I told you that there might be some bacteria or microorganisms that might strengthen your digestive system? Well, that’s absolutely true!
The bacteria present in probiotics are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, which have been studied to help relieve symptoms of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). Some of the yeasts, such as Saccharomyces, also play the same role. The foods that contain probiotics are yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, tempeh, buttermilk, etc.
In addition to digestive health, there are several other health benefits associated with probiotics. However, the much-debated question when it comes to taking probiotics is, when is the best time to take them?
In this article, we’re going to figure out the best time to take probiotics as well as discuss all of their health benefits.
When Should You Take Probiotics?
Some probiotic manufacturers suggest that probiotics should be taken on an empty stomach, while some suggest that their efficacy is greater when consumed after a meal.
A study suggests that Saccharomyces boulardii survives in equal numbers when taken before or after a meal. The survival of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, on the other hand, increases when they’re consumed 30 minutes before the meal.
In a month-long study, it has been found that gut microbiomes are changed in both scenarios regardless of whether they’re taken before or after diet.
We can say that when to take probiotics doesn’t really matter in terms of a.m. or p.m. But based on the strains the probiotics contain, the potency could surely be affected depending upon whether you take them before or after a meal. Therefore, probiotic consumption should be planned accordingly.
If you’re taking a live strain probiotic supplement, then it makes sense to take it 20-30 minutes before the meal. Contrary to this, for delayed-release or enteric-coated probiotic supplements, this doesn’t really matter. Also, consistency is an important factor here if you want to reap benefits.
Why Should You Take Probiotics?
A lot of research has been done on probiotics that concludes that consuming probiotics can help with many medical conditions. The effects of probiotics can vary from person to person, and there are some specific probiotics available that should be taken under specific conditions only.
Here’s a list of abnormalities where taking probiotics might be helpful:-
- Gum diseases
- Yeast infection
- Lactose Intolerance
- Urinary Tract Infection
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Bowel related headaches
- Upper Respiratory Infections
- Eczema (inflamed, itchy, rough, cracked skin)
- Constipation (where the bowels are hard to pass)
- Diarrhea (where the bowel movements are watery)
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Inflammation of the lining of the digestive tract)
Should I Consume Probiotics?
If you’re interested in adding probiotics to your diet, then there’s no harm, but many healthcare workers suggest that probiotics don’t work the same for all. An easy way of adding probiotics to your diet is by adding yogurt to your diet.
You can also opt for probiotic supplements for good gut health. But before taking any supplement, it’s always recommended to take advice from an expert. Healthcare experts may be able to give you the right directions and tell you more about the right supplement for your symptoms.
You can also check to do probiotics work right away.
What Are the Benefits of Probiotics?
Effect of Probiotics on Gut Health
- Provides relief from constipation.
- Reduces gas that gets trapped in the gut.
- Probiotics are known for curing antibiotics-associated diarrhea.
Impact on Weight Loss
According to some research, obese people have a different type of gut bacteria than lean people. Thus, changes in the gut microbiome may help in reducing body weight. Many studies have also suggested promising effects of probiotics for weight loss.
However, many things are yet unknown to researchers, such as:
- Side effects of such treatment
- The dose required to achieve weight loss
- The strain of Probiotic which causes weight loss
- Factors affecting such treatment such as age, sex, and health conditions.
In a study, 210 patients who were suffering from excess belly fat, consumed Lactobacillus gasseri regularly. Over 12 weeks, they lost around 8.5% of their belly fat. When they stopped consuming Lactobacillus, they again gained belly fat within four weeks.
Inflammation is the process that helps the body to fight infection, but high inflammation levels can cause damage to the body. Probiotics can reduce systemic inflammation, which can be a major factor in controlling autoimmune diseases.
Depression and Anxiety
Depression and anxiety are the most common mental health disorders. Research shows that Lactobacillus helveticus and Bifidobacterium longum can reduce depression and anxiety in clinical cases.
As we know, obesity is accompanied by other clinical diseases, such as a rise in blood pressure, and probiotics reduce obesity. Hence, they’re useful in controlling blood pressure.
Probiotics are known to decrease the level of LDL cholesterol (Low-Density Lipoprotein) (Bad Cholesterol). However, the research on the topic is still limited.
Research shows that probiotics help in curing problems such as acne, eczema, and other skin disorders. This is because probiotics contribute to a healthy gut and all these skin-related issues are often associated with poor gut health.
Probiotics increase the capacity of cells to replicate and thus extend the life span. However, research is extremely limited.
Why Is Timing Important?
Researchers suggest that the timing of consuming probiotics or supplements of probiotics doesn’t contribute to your gut health in the long term, but consistency is important.
Thus, you need to take probiotics daily at the same time. The reason for this is that when we take any supplement on a daily basis, our body gets used to it without its accumulation, and the normal functioning of the body isn’t hindered.
For example, if you eat yogurt daily to solve bloating issues, and if you miss it one day, your body might not be able to solve the issue on its own.
If you’re taking probiotic supplements, you should follow the instructions on the label for the timing and dosage.
Why Should Probiotics Be Taken on an Empty Stomach?
If you’re asking, “Can I take probiotics on an empty stomach?” Then the answer is yes. In fact, many experts suggest taking probiotics before a meal. Here is why…
The bacteria that you’re introducing inside the body in the form of probiotics are required to endure the digestive acids and enzymes in order to offer stated benefits. Thus, it’s considered best to take probiotics when the stomach environment is the least acidic. This helps the probiotics make their way to your gut much more easily, increasing their potency.
Should I Take a Probiotic on a Daily Basis?
If you want to improve your overall gut health and get rid of digestive issues and skin-related problems, then you should take probiotics on a daily basis.
Consuming probiotic-rich food or taking supplements once or twice a week won’t have a significant impact. Consistency is very important if you want to see significant results.
If you’re on any medication to prevent bloating, to treat diarrhea, constipation, or other gut-related disorders, then you need to follow the instructions given by your healthcare expert. Also, seek permission from them before starting on any supplement.
When Should You Take Probiotics Morning or Night?
Some experts suggest that taking probiotics early in the morning before breakfast is more beneficial as the production of stomach acid is less in the morning and its absorption will be more. If probiotics are taken on an empty stomach, they’re the most effective.
Should You Take Probiotics on Full or Empty Stomach?
If the composition of the probiotic contains Lactobacillus, then it should be consumed 30 minutes before the meal. On the contrary, probiotics containing Saccharomyces can be consumed both before and after meals.
Can You Take Probiotic Before Bed?
Yes, you can, but each probiotic supplement comes with a different timing instruction, which is best to be followed. The most important thing is that you follow it consistently because consistency is the key.
The gut microbiome is changed for the better only if you keep consuming probiotics for a long time with consistency.
Long story short, the timing of consuming probiotics isn’t as important as consistency. Also, whether you should take them before or after a meal depends upon different factors.
For example, Lactobacillus-based probiotics should be taken 30 minutes before the meal. Saccharomyces base probiotics can be taken before or after both.
In addition, if you’re taking a live strain probiotic, then plan it before the meal as it will reach the gut easily. Delayed-release or enteric-coated probiotic supplements can be taken at any time, before or after a meal.
There are many health benefits associated with probiotics, so making them a part of your daily routine is a good idea. Especially if you’re a woman over 50, there are many probiotics for senior women that could help you deal with postmenopausal symptoms.
If you’re looking for a good probiotic supplement, then do check out our Optima Healthy Gut Solution.