Probiotics seem to be top-of-mind for anyone and everyone interested in personal health and wellness, or starting on their journey to being more mindful about nourishing their body.
While they are a trending supplement, there is a lot of research to suggest the benefits of daily probiotics and why they could be worth a try. Before we get into the why, let’s first chat about the what.
What Are Probiotics, Anyway?
If you haven’t hopped on the probiotic bandwagon, here’s a quick rundown of why probiotics are getting their 15-minutes of fame and why you might want to incorporate them into your daily routine.
We’ve chatted before about the importance of maintaining a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut. There’s good bacteria, which you’ll find in a probiotic and foods with live cultures like yogurt, and bad bacteria which can cause upset stomach, diarrhea (hey, we’ve all been there).
Probiotics are filled with live microorganisms that help to promote the balance of good bacteria and might also help with gut inflammation and offsetting digestive impacts due to antibiotics and other medications. This boost of good bacteria may prove helpful with digestive upsets and discomforts; usually when we experience such, our bacteria is off balance and there’s likely to be more ‘bad bacteria’ floating around in there! Now, a probiotic is not an immediate fix to these digestive issues, but rather something that might be helpful in the long-run.
So, maybe you’ve decided that now is a great time to start incorporating a probiotic supplement into your daily routine and nourishment. Great! But, is there a best time to take your probiotic? Keep on reading to find out.
Is There Only One Way to Take A Probiotic Supplement?
Great question! Actually, there are a few ways to get probiotics into your daily nourishment. One is the standard supplement in pill capsule form. You can find a number of options in your local pharmacy’s supplement aisle.
There are also probiotic supplement powders on the market that you can scoop into your water, coffee, tea – you name it. This can be an easy way to add probiotic ingredients to things you’re already drinking!
Another way to incorporate probiotics can be through the foods you eat. Some foods, like fermented milks, yogurt, and even chocolates can be high in living microorganisms that contribute good bacteria to your gut.
How Do I Know Which Probiotic Form Is Right For Me?
We always recommend checking in with your healthcare provider before starting a new supplement or addition to your diet. Depending on your lifestyle and other medications you might be taking, your doctor might recommend a particular form of the supplement, dosage, or brand.
If your doctor doesn’t highlight any restrictions, then it can come down to personal preference. You might have to try a few different ones until you find what works best for you (and tastes best!).
When Should I Take My Probiotic?
Most probiotics – if taken in capsule or powder form – are recommended to take before eating or a while after eating a meal. So, this might clue you into when you plan to take your probiotic.
Some experts recommend taking your probiotic shortly before your nutritious breakfast – especially if the particular supplement you’re taking is a slow-release formula. This way, it has time throughout the day to get to work!
Alternatively, other experts suggest that taking your probiotic at night time is best (so think after dinner). They recommend this time for a similar reason – because the probiotic can live in your gut longer while you sleep.
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Why Do I Have To Take My Probiotic With Food?
Since food seems to be the main time constraint with taking a probiotic, you might be wondering what the big deal is. Before – or immediately after – eating, your stomach is less acidic than when it has digested food in it. So, when you take a probiotic before your body has digested too much food, you’re giving your stomach a buffer to breakdown the probiotic, while also letting it work it’s magic as a digestive aid.
How Often Do I Need To Take A Probiotic?
Probiotics help to manage gut health – so they actually don’t live in your gut too long before being excreted. Due to the fast-moving nature of probiotics in your system, it’s usually best to take a daily probiotic until your gut health is feeling improved.
If you’re feeling more relieved with the addition of a probiotic, you can check with your doctor to confirm that it is ok to continue taking them daily – even once you ‘feel ok again’.
Since probiotics are natural supplements, the consistent daily use of them can help increase their benefits. Now that we know more about probiotics and how they can be helpful in maintaining a happy, healthy gut, will you be incorporating a daily probiotic into your routine?