One of the main questions that people ask about probiotics is often something like – “what is the best time to take probiotics?” or “When to Take Probiotics”?
The benefits of taking probiotics either as fermented foods or supplements are well known. They are good in treating diarrhea, relieving constipation or even clearing skin issues. They are really nature’s miracle answer to most of our health challenges. But a question still remains: what is the best time to take probiotics? One may even ask how often should they take probiotics.
The Harvard Medical School states on their website that a person should take one to two tablets of probiotic supplements most of the days in a week.
We know that not all the gut microflora acts in a beneficial way. That’s actually why probiotic bacteria are good for us. They primarily aid in the absorption of nutrients from the food we eat. They help improve our gastrointestinal health. They also help to “crowd out” bad microbes in our digestive, urinary, oral and reproductive tracts.
Probiotic bacteria live in beneficial symbiosis with us. They feed on some of the foods we eat and our bodies thrive on the byproducts released by their life processes.
How Often Should You Take Probiotics?
When starting to use them, you will not only worry about the best time to take probiotics but also how often should you take them.
We have the two most important reasons for taking probiotics. The first is to increase the number of good or probiotic bacteria in your body. Second, to replace them when something has killed them off. Based on these goals and the extensive benefits of probiotics, the correct answer is – “Any time”!
Every culture prescribes foods with probiotics like yogurt for ailments affecting the digestive tract. They also use it for improved digestive health. For a healthy lifestyle and diet, probiotics should be part of your regular routine. This is due to their gut health benefits and disease-preventative properties.
We recommend that people take a probiotic every day. You may, though, need to acclimatize your system to these powerful do-gooders. Start by taking a supplement every few days. Eat probiotic yogurt or drink probiotic juices daily. It’s a good idea to take a variety of probiotic supplements and foods on at least a weekly basis so you can enjoy the benefits of each one.
Note that different kinds of probiotics have different effects on your body. Furthermore, probiotics affect different disorders in different ways. For these reasons, you may need to customize your probiotic intake from time to time as your health condition changes.
When is the Best Time to Take Probiotics
There are some specific times when a doctor may suggest adding certain probiotic foods or supplements to your diet. This could be when you need treatment for specific disorders. It may also be when your general health could use a boost after a bout of sickness or antibiotic use.
Probiotics can prove to be particularly helpful in these situations. But make sure to check out the probiotic benefits in detail, to understand when you may need them.
Here are some of the best times to take probiotics:
1. You Suffer from Digestive Disorders
Probiotics can help treat a wide range of digestive disorders. Note that the digestive tract naturally has a balance of beneficial micro-flora. The micro-flora helps the body assimilate food and the nutrients it contains.
A poor diet, lack of sleep, stress, and antibiotics can kill off these beneficial bacteria. And, this will lead to a number of gastric disorders. It is the best time to take probiotics to replace the lost gut flora and bring a balance in gut microorganisms.
So, if you’ve been suffering from digestive issues, probiotics can help a lot. They can likewise reduce the severity of conditions like the following:
⦁ Inflammatory bowel diseases
⦁ Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
The lactobacillus probiotic bacteria are generally the best probiotic for irritable bowel syndrome. They also do well in treating other common stomach ailments. In addition, research has shown probiotics to be good in treating more serious conditions like Crohn’s disease too.
2. You’ve Been on Antibiotics
Antibiotics are the wonder-drugs that have reduced the occurrence of diseases and their effects. But they’re not the best thing for the natural probiotics in your system. The problem is that they are unable to tell the difference between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria. Powerful antibiotics, in particular, can kill off significant numbers of probiotic bacteria.
Here’s how probiotics can help improve your gut health after antibiotic use:
- Probiotic supplements can help to back bring colonies of bacteria that had been destroyed by strong antibiotics.
- Probiotics can be taken together with many antibiotics to support their fight against pathogens. They are able to fight alongside antibiotics.
- Just after a long course of antibiotics is over, probiotic supplements can recolonize the gut with good microbes. This helps to restore proper gut microflora balance.
- Probiotics can provide relief from symptoms and disorders associated with antibiotic use. Take them for a couple of weeks or longer, depending on the potency and how long you’ve been taking antibiotics.
Have you just completed a powerful antibiotic regimen? Then this is the best time to take probiotics to restore your good gut flora.
3. You’re Recovering from a Stomach Infection
Food poisoning is caused when harmful microbes enter the body and establish themselves. Probiotics help prevent these organisms from establishing themselves and spreading. They limit the effects of the pathogens and help you recover faster.
- If you have a stomach ailment or something you’ve eaten isn’t sitting right, there’s probably some bad bacteria trying to infect your body.
- Probiotics seal the junctions between your intestinal cells. This prevents toxic substances and infectious microorganisms from entering the blood system.
- Taking probiotics before and during a trip keeps the number of good bacteria in your body high. This can help you avoid regional stomach bugs.
The number of good bacteria in the body determines the body’s defenses against harmful bacteria. Good bacteria are also essential in keeping the number of harmful bacteria down.
4. Your Immune Responses are Weak
Have you already burned through all your sick days because you’re falling sick all the time? Then there’s a good chance it’s because your immune system is weak. And, this is the best time to take probiotics!
Probiotics might just be the solution to all your woes. Many clinical tests and research have found that they can boost your immunity. Good bacteria trains your body to differentiate between naturally-occurring probiotic microbes and harmful “foreign” ones:
- Certain strains of beneficial bacteria can combat pathogens. They do that by creating a hostile environment for them, so they don’t multiply.
- Some probiotics also trigger the production of lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are good indicators of healthy immune system activity.
- Maintaining a healthy diet is important. You can also have probiotic-rich foods and beverages. Examples are miso, kefir and soy beverages.
Probiotics can help strengthen your immune system if it is moderately weak. If you suffer from a very weak immune system, you should consult your physician before you start taking probiotics or make any changes to your diet.
5. You Suffer from Yeast or Bacterial Infections
Candida, vaginosis and recurring yeast infections are good indicators of harmful bacteria. Bacterial and yeast infections can occur in the vaginal, urinary and GI tracts. This happens more often when heavy antibiotic use has disturbed the balance of microflora in these areas.
We have already mentioned that it is the best time to take probiotics after extensive use of antibiotics. Recurrent yeast and bacterial infections can also be a signal for the best time to take probiotics.
Research has found probiotics to be helpful and effective at tackling these infections:
- You can take probiotics to support the antibiotics prescribed to treat bacterial and yeast infections.
- They help relieve your body of the painful symptoms that go with infections of this nature.
- They repopulate your system with helpful bacteria. This way they crowd out the harmful microbes and reduce chances of recurrence.
Bad bacteria feed on some sugars, so eliminating these sugars from your diet can also help the spread of good bacteria. This also speeds up the recovery process.
6. Best Time to Take Probiotics: During Flu Season
Apart from your regular flu shots and vaccines, taking probiotics can reduce the chances of falling victim to seasonal infections. Besides fighting bad bacteria, probiotics are effective against viruses and some parasites too. They’re particularly helpful for children, who are often at the greatest risk. During a flu season is, without doubt, the best time to take probiotics.
A medical study involving children between 3 and 5 years of age revealed some interesting facts about probiotics:
- Children treated with 2 different probiotic strains had an impressive 63% lower occurrence of fever.
- These children were also less susceptible to symptoms like a runny nose and cough by 54% and 63% respectively.
- The symptoms of a whopping 80% of the children taking probiotics abated within half the time (3.4 days) as those on the placebo (6.5 days).
For infants and babies, it’s important to consult a doctor before including unpasteurized foods in their diet or giving them any dietary supplements.
7. When You’re Pregnant
A woman’s body goes through a lot during pregnancy, childbirth and even afterward. Probiotics can help build strength and immunity for tackling these changes. There are now a number of probiotics for babies, though they haven’t been thoroughly tested yet.
Research conducted on how taking probiotics during pregnancy has revealed some surprising facts, especially when it comes to the child’s allergies.
- The balance of good bacteria colonizing the mother’s gut is passed on to her newborn through the vaginal tract during birth, and through breast milk after.
- Asthma and allergies are linked to hypersensitive immune responses which probiotics seem to help dampen in children and adults alike.
- In fact, children whose mothers took regular probiotics during pregnancy were at a 12% lower risk of allergies compared to the others.
Make sure that you consult your doctor before changing your pregnancy diet to include fermented or unpasteurized foods or any extra supplements.
What is the Best Time to Take Probiotics
Probiotics have definitely shown promising results, though the research is still ongoing. One of the things that impacts their efficacy is the time of the day you take them. Well, there are a lot of differing opinions. However, one factor that we all agree on is that strong stomach acids kill off good bacteria.
Most agree that the best time of the day to take probiotics is about 2 hours after a meal since acid levels are lower and more bacteria survive. One thing to consider is that they can cause flatulence and bloat, especially during the first few days. So, it might be better to take them at night till they’ve established themselves.
A probiotic supplement will typically include different strains, each of which has its own benefits. So, it’s not just about what is the best time to take probiotics, but which one to take too.