Stomach Acid And Timing Probiotic Use
The vast majority of your healthy gut bacteria live in the small and large intestine where they are not exposed to stomach acid. The bacteria in your probiotic supplement must travel through the stomach to reach the small and large intestines.
Certain factors such as the timing and size of your last meal determine how quickly your probiotic bacteria can pass through the stomach into a more hospitable environment.
What Are The Signs That My Probiotic Is Helping Me
If you’re taking a probiotic supplement and notice an improvement in your overall health and well-being, it’s likely that the probiotic is doing its job. Some common signs that a probiotic is working include:
better skin health
reduced allergies and sensitivities
If you’re taking a probiotic and don’t notice any changes after a few weeks, it’s possible that the particular strain of bacteria isn’t effective for your specific needs. It may be helpful to switch to a different probiotic supplement or strains of bacteria.
Probiotics are generally considered safe, but it’s always a good idea to speak with your doctor before starting any new supplement, especially if you have a medical condition.
Should You Take Probiotics On A Full Or Empty Stomach
Yes, timing does matter. First and foremost, consistency is key.
The natural environment for probiotic bacteria is the small and large intestine. That is where they perform all their goodness to strengthen your digestive tract and immune system.
To get there they have to pass through your stomach where the environment is very acidic.
Your stomach is designed to kill any bad bacteria and viruses that might make their way into your body via food and water. For the probiotic bacteria, this is bad news as prolonged exposure to stomach acid kills them.
The goal is to get the probiotics through your stomach acid as fast as possible. To do this, its recommended to take probiotics ideally on an empty stomach , so the probiotics bacteria can move through the stomach as fast as possible.
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Clinical Studies Into How A Probiotic Before Bed Affects You
A 2008 study found that taking probiotic supplements before bed can help you sleep better. In the study, participants were given a placebo for three weeks followed by either bifidobacteria or yogurt containing Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidus bacteria strains.
Participants who took the probiotics slept an average of 44 minutes more per night than those on placebo.
This may be due to how gut microbes interact with brain function: when our microbiome is healthy, it produces compounds like phenylethylamine which promote feelings of wellbeing as well as production and release of melatonin this helps regulate your circadian rhythm so youre ready for deep restful sleep at nighttime.
If your gut isnt happy though, then your sleep can be disrupted and so too can your circadian rhythm.
Thats why its so important to pay attention to the gut health of children today, as they are forming healthy habits early on that can lead to more restful nights in the future.
Interestingly, those who took probiotics had better quality sleep too. This may be because gut bacteria help us digest our food better which means were getting more nutrients from the food we eat, and thats been linked to a boost in quality sleep.
Not only did people who took probiotics sleep better and longer, but they also said they felt less fatigued during the day than those on placebo.
Any Side Effects Of Taking Probiotics At The Wrong Time
Probiotics are very well-tolerated in most people, and timing them right is more about ensuring the survivability of these healthy bacteria than about avoiding side effects. So, whether you take a probiotic day or night, with or without food, youre not likely to experience any major issuesâat least not as a result of when you take them.
While anyone may experience some temporary gas and bloating when first taking a probiotic supplement, probiotics generally dont cause significant side effects beyond thatâand if they do, its more of an indicator that youre not taking the right probiotic supplement with the appropriate strains of bacteria. It may take some trial and error, but by looking for strains that are targeted to the issue you want to treat, you can find the probiotic thats just right for you.
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Probiotic Strains And Research
There are other factors that matter more than whether to take probiotics morning or night, or whether we can take probiotics on an empty stomach or not. For example, of greater concern would be checking that you have the best specific probiotic supplements for your needs. Not all probiotics have the same health benefit as they all have different properties, so it’s best to use specific probiotic strains to target specific health conditions. Dont forget to also make sure these strains have lots of clinical trials to back up their efficacy! To learn more, read our article: Are all types of friendly bacteria the same?
Many gold standard clinical trials involving the use of probiotics dont specify the time of the day the supplements were administered and its not a strictly controlled factor, which indicates that the researchers do not see it as a limitation. But, it still brings up the question of “is there a right or wrong time to take probiotics?”
Should I Take Probiotics Every Day
Is it safe to take probiotic pills every day? This is a popular question concerning probiotics. While there are a few exceptions to this rule, the general response is that taking them everyday is safe and typically advised. Its important to remember that probiotics are a natural supplement, not a drug.
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Are There Any Side Effects Of Taking Probiotics
The most common side effect is digestive upset, such as gas and bloating. If you experience these symptoms, it’s best to start with a lower dose of probiotics and increase gradually as your body adjusts.
Some people may also be allergic to certain strains of probiotics. If you’re unsure whether you’re allergic to a particular strain, it’s best to speak with your healthcare provider before taking probiotics.
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Should I Take Probiotics With Food
Some people just want to take probiotics with food, while others like to take probiotics before meals or at certain times of the day. Its really up to you!
However, you should consider how you digest food and how often you take probiotics. You should also consider your lifestyle and what works best for you.
Most doctors recommend taking probiotics with food at least a couple of times a day. Youll find that some days youll need to take more probiotics than other days.
If this happens to you, its probably a good idea to take probiotics with food at every meal that you have. The probiotics will kick in at just the right time and kick your digestive system into gear.
Youll notice an increase in your energy levels and some weight loss too. You should be able to take probiotics for longer periods of time if you follow a couple of tips that are explained in the next section.
You should always take probiotics when youre not hungry. Take probiotics as long as you feel that you need them, no matter how much you want to.
If you take probiotics in the evening, you should take them about 30 minutes before you go to bed.
Some things that are important to remember are that you should not take probiotics with food if you are allergic to them or you have any type of health problem.
Why You Need A High
In addition, your supplements quality is just as important as when you take your probiotic. Keep in mind that the quality will affect how much good bacteria makes it to your small intestine.
First, I recommend choosing a probiotic in capsule form. Probiotic capsules are more likely to survive stomach acid when theyre coated. The coating serves as a barrier that helps to prevent disintegration due to the acidity of the gastric environment.
Also, be sure to store your probiotic according to the instructions on the label. Some probiotics must be refrigerated, while others are fine at room temperature. Also, be sure to take your probiotics before they expire.
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Myth #: Stomach Acid Kills Probiotics So Taking Them Is Ineffective
Sometimes, theres a grain of truth hiding in a myth. In this case, stomach acid definitely can kill off some probiotic bacteria when you take a probiotic supplement, possibly up to 60% . However, that doesnt mean that the probiotics arent effective.
Firstly, some strains like Saccharomyces boulardii, B. animalis, and L. johnsonii arent bothered by the acidic environment of the stomach at all. They are able to pass through into the intestines totally intact and alive. But heres the really fascinating thing: Studies show that even non-viable probiotics, strains that have died off on their journey through the digestive system, still have health benefits . This underlines the fact that were still learning about how probiotics work within the human digestive system.
Ultimately, we have hundreds of well-designed clinical trials showing that probiotics are beneficial for many aspects of human health. This is the science that we should pay attention to, rather than mechanistic studies that cant fully replicate the environment within the digestive tract.
Common Mistakes When Taking Probiotic Supplements
There are some common missteps that can prevent you from getting the most out of your probiotics, according to Strealy. These can include:
- Leaving probiotics on the shelf when they require refrigeration.
- Not taking a probiotic for long enough. I recommend taking it for at least a month, Strealy says.
- Not taking a high enough dose. This might occur because there arent enough live cultures in your probiotic, or if you dont follow the dosing directions, such as taking two supplements in the morning instead of one in the morning and another at night.
- Choosing a probiotic strain that hasnt been studied for the symptoms you want to manage.
- Using a probiotic that also contains prebiotics if you have IBS. Some prebiotics are FODMAPs , which are fermentable starches and fibers that can cause gas, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation for those with IBS. Initially, to manage IBS, I recommend selecting a probiotic that does not contain prebiotics, says Strealy.
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So What Could You Do Instead
Well, we recommend waiting until after breakfast to take your probiotics. One of the best things about morning time is the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables available for consumption.
Why not enjoy one as soon as possible after waking up? The fiber from these foods will help feed the probiotic bacteria and get it out of the stomach quickly.
So you could have a kefir drink with fresh berries and grated apple to get those good bacteria out there while theyre most active.
Not only that, the morning time is an excellent opportunity to eat foods rich in antioxidants, which reduce inflammation and boost energy.
Fresh orange juice or even just a few segments can help kickstart your day, and there are tons of other foods you could have.
Are you a coffee drinker? Why not try having it with lemon juice so you can get the antioxidants from the citrus fruit along with a little added vitamin C to boot!
What If You Are On Antibiotics As Well
If you are taking antibiotics for another condition, you shouldnt take probiotics at the same time. Antibiotics kill off all bacteria in the body including probiotics. So, they will also eliminate all the bacteria that live in your digestive tract.
If you are taking probiotics to treat an existing bacterial infection, you might want to check with your doctor to make sure that they will stay in your system once youre done with the antibiotic course.
You might find that a probiotic supplement could be useful after taking antibiotics to prevent a relapse.
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Do I Need To Refrigerate Align
No, Align Probiotics do not require refrigeration. Align Probiotic 24/7 Digestive Support*Â§ capsules do not require refrigeration because the bacteria have been freeze dried. The capsules have a 24-month shelf life, and have been formulated and tested to confirm theyâll remain effective during that timeâno refrigeration required.
We do recommend keeping the capsules in their blister pack until you are ready to take them. The blister packs protect the capsules from the environment around them. And, after all, you do want those probiotics to be alive when they reach your gut so they can work to give you the health benefits you want.
Use Your Best Judgement On When To Take Probiotics
You are welcome to experiment with taking your probiotics with or without food, in the morning or evening, mixed into a beverage or in capsules. You may find that tying your probiotics to a certain time of day or consuming them with a meal helps you remember to take them. Or if you are sensitive to supplements in general, taking probiotics with food may act as a helpful buffer to your digestive system.
Whatever works for you is the best way to take probiotics. Fortunately, taking a probiotic is not like taking a medication, so there arent any set rules about when or how to take them. Use your best judgement and find what works for you.
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When Is The Best Time To Take Probiotics
According to health experts, nighttime is the right time to take probioticsthe best time to take probiotics is before bed. It has something to do with the fact that its a period of inactivity for your gut area, and it doesnt have to work as hard in the evenings.
Believe it or not, probiotics works best in the presence of stationary bowels. While youre sleeping, ingested probiotics that are taken before bed are more likely to stick around until you poop them out the next day. This gives the probiotics a chance to work proactively in your digestive system, allowing you to experience the maximum benefits of its gut-healing abilities.
You should also aim for the probiotics to move through your stomach acid as quickly as possible. Taking probiotic supplements on an empty stomach can help you make sure of that. Experts have backed this as well.
Can I Take Prebiotics And Probiotics Together
Yes! Probiotics and prebiotics are known to work synergistically with each other, as prebiotics are non-digestible food ingredients usually found in dietary fibers that probiotics feed on and use to grow. So, not only is it smart to take them together, but it’s also encouraged. Think about prebiotics like adding fertilizer to the soil of your plants to help them grow. Sure, with proper care, your plants will still grow and stay healthy, but the fertilizer optimizes the benefits that are already there, and plants can use it to grow more easily. The combination of pre- and probiotics is called a synbiotic.
Beyond pro- and prebiotics, you may have also heard about something called postbiotics. Postbiotics function as a sort of byproduct of probiotics, and while the probiotics are known as live bacteria, postbiotics are the health conferring materials that are released by probiotics, and are not live. However, they still have an important place in digestive health benefits.
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When Is The Best Time To Take A Probiotic When Its Convenient For You
Probiotics are a remarkable therapy for gut health, immune system regulation, brain and cognitive support, and many other facets of your health and wellness.
While a few outlying studies may show benefits to taking your probiotics with food or before a meal, the large majority of studies simply specify that the benefits of probiotics come with taking them consistently over time. One general rule to be mindful of is to get your optimal diet in place before starting probiotic therapy. But other than that, theres no need to stress about the best time to take a probiotic just follow a schedule that works for you.
If you would like the support of an experienced practitioner to figure out how probiotics can support you on your health journey, reach out to us at the Ruscio Institute for Functional Medicine and book a consultation.
Probiotics Improve Other Areas Of Health And Wellbeing
The benefits of probiotics dont stop at gut health. Research shows that probiotics have beneficial effects on a number of other health conditions and systems of the body, including:
- Autoimmune diseases, including Type 1 diabetes
- Allergies, both food and seasonal
This is just scratching the surface of the benefits of probiotic supplements.
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Taking Probiotics With Medications: Yay Or Nay
Its generally safe to do soin fact, some people take probiotics for the sole purpose of restoring gut bacteria after a course of certain meds . That said, if youre considering it, we recommend touching base with a trusted healthcare provider beforehand to make sure you can write off any potential interactions or side effects.*