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Knowing when to take your probiotics is difficult, whether you’re a vegan or not. The nature of probiotics means that they’re filled with tiny living organisms (i.e. friendly bacteria) which can be killed in large numbers by your stomach acid if taken at the wrong time, rendering them useless.
Probiotics have a ton of health and nutritional gains for us, so it’s essential that we time our consumption of them correctly, whether they’re coming from foods in our diet or from daily supplements.
Now that you can see the positives of taking these products, I hope you enjoy our tips.
The most frequently touted benefits of probiotics are related to digestive and gut health. But probiotics also promote immune health, brain health, and emotional wellness.
- Amy Sunderman, M.S., R.D
The best time to take probiotics is in the morning when you wake up.
Take them 30 minutes before you consume any food, and take them with a glass of fresh water if possible.
This maximizes the survival chances of the healthy bacteria when they’re in your bowel, so hopefully more of the little fellas will survive.
The idea here is that by taking probiotics on an empty stomach, you’re taking them when your digestive tract is less active because it hasn’t seen food in a while.
As such, your stomach is less of a harsh environment for the good bacteria.
The worst time to take probiotics would be directly after eating food.
This is because the body’s digestive system is in full swing after recently eating a meal, and one of the side effects is that the friendly bacteria are more likely to be killed by stomach acid during the digestion process.
One study found that the beneficial bacteria in probiotics survived in much higher numbers if taken 30 min before a meal compared to 30 min after a meal.
Put simply, the conditions in your stomach are just too volatile after you’ve recently consumed food.
You can take a probiotic before bed, although you ideally should not have eaten for a few hours beforehand.
However, the best hour to take probiotics is also linked to what you’re using them for in the first place.
For example, if you’re taking probiotics because you're having trouble sleeping, then right before bed is the best time of day to take your products.
This is because probiotics help to reduce Liver Cirrhosis, which is directly related to insomnia and sleeping issues (1).
So yes, you can take a probiotic before bed, but most people who are taking the supplements for gut health reasons should be taking them in the morning.
You need to take probiotics in order to maintain good gut health, nutrition, and vitamins in your body, keeping bad bacteria at bay and supporting a good balance of flora in your digestive tract (2).
Probiotics can also help to stave off chronic diseases like IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) which cause people to experience bloating, pain, and stool issues with certain foods.
If you’re on the heavier side and dieting isn’t making a difference, there is also evidence that probiotics can help with weight regulation.
The strains of beneficial bacteria found in these products have a slew of health advantages for the immune system and digestive system alike.
Probiotics you can try:
Watch this video below to know the signs you need more probiotics in your body.
You should be taking probiotics daily, as your body needs this constant supply of healthy bacteria in order to maintain good gut health.
Researchers have noted that you may experience diarrhea for a few days when first taking probiotics, but this dies down as your body gets used to the change.
The whole point of taking probiotics is to restore balance in your gut and keep the level of bad bacteria low, so it’s a good idea to keep your intake regular and uniform unless you want potential stomach issues.
As a reminder, supplement
Yes, it is okay to take probiotics every day. You should be taking probiotics every day if you think that you have GI problems or an imbalance in your gut bacteria.
However, you may not want to take probiotics every day if your gut is already in good condition, as it is likely to have little effect.
Taking a daily supplement nonetheless helps to encourage a well-functioning microbiome, meaning that the flora (i.e. tiny organisms) in your gut are being maintained properly.
You might not be aware of it, but there are billions of bacteria inside you which need to stay in check.
Probiotics take different amounts of time to work depending on your body and your gut, but in healthy adults, probiotics should work within 30-60 minutes (3).
Assuming that you take your probiotic supplements at the best time of day, you have an already-healthy digestive system, and you haven’t recently eaten any food, the good bacteria should begin to do their job within an hour.
With probiotics, you should probably take somewhere between 1 billion and 10 billion CFU (colony forming units) per day, although there is no universal consensus on the recommended daily amount.
Some supplements are designed to be very strong, and there is evidence to suggest that taking doses of 20 billion CFU or higher has the most health benefits.
However, if you do enjoy vegan-friendly probiotic-rich foods such as Miso, Tempeh, and Kimchi, it may be more effective to get your probiotics from these organic food sources.
Taking probiotics is a bit more complicated than taking normal vitamins or pills, as these pills contain tiny living creatures that will die if you take them incorrectly.
It’s all very tense down there in your gut, it seems.
So, be sure to take your products at the best time of the day for you, which is most likely to be the early morning 30 min before breakfast.
These nice bacteria have a cornucopia of health advantages, including mental health boosts, energy boosts, and weight loss assistance, so what’s not to love?
You may also want to check out our list of Recommended Vegan Probiotics.