When To Take Probiotics? – The Best Time (REVEALED)

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Most people don’t have any idea about the best time to take probiotics, as even the brands selling their products don’t have any clear guidelines about the when to take probiotics on the bottles or packaging. 

Probiotics contain billions of live bacteria, which are essential for maintaining our gut health. And if taken at a wrong time, millions of bacteria would be killed due to the acid present in our stomach. 

When is the worst time to take Probiotics?

The worst time to take probiotics is immediately after a meal, as this means that your digestive system is hyperactive after digesting the meal consumed by you earlier on, and your stomach is full of acid, which is used to break food into smaller particles.

Stomach acid is known to be lethal to most types of gut bacteria, including the good ones which are found in probiotic supplements. If you take them after having a meal, then most of the good gut bacteria will be killed as soon as they reach your stomach. 

A study conducted to see the effects of taking probiotics before and after meal found that the bacteria in in them have a much higher chance of surviving if you consume the probiotic 30 minutes before taking a meal as compared to taking it 30 minutes after the meal (1).

When is the best time to take Probiotics?

In some cases, this may depend on the purpose of taking probiotics, but we can safely assume that for most people, the optimal time of day to take them is in the morning immediately after they wake up.

When you wake up, it’s been several hours since you’ve eaten up anything, and this essentially means that your digestive system is inactive. Your stomach doesn’t contain any acid associated with the digestive process. This provides the best environment for the bacteria found in probiotics.

How often should I be taking Probiotics?

The balance of good and bad bacteria in our stomach changes regularly. As such, you also need to take probiotics usually to maintain a healthy balance between good and bad bacteria.

They are designed to be taken daily, and most people consume the supplements daily to get the maximum health benefits of probiotics. Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are two of my favorite strains that have helped with my digestive health.

Can I take Probiotics Before Bed?

You can take probiotics before bed but ensure that you haven’t eaten anything at least in the last few hours as it’s always best practice to keep a gap of at least a few hours between eating food and probiotics.

As we mentioned in our opening paragraph, the correct time also depends on the purpose for which you are taking probiotics and, in some cases, time before going to bed is best.

How Much Probiotics Should I take?

There is no consensus on the right amount of probiotics that a person must take as our bodies are fundamentally different. Generally, you can divide probiotics into normal ones i.e, with 1-10 billion CFUs (colony forming units) and strong ones with 20-50 billion CFUs.

Strong ones are used only for treating some specific stomach issues such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crohn’s disease, etc. Ideally, a dose of 1-10 billion CFUs is ideal for the vast majority of people (2).

How Long Do They Take to Work?

They work quite fast, and most healthy adults need anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes to digest probiotics assuming that they’ve taken them on an empty stomach.

Some people may need a bit more time, as their body may take longer to digest probiotics. But in the vast majority of cases, they can start working after 1-3 hours. 

Can you take probiotics when on antibiotics?

Most strains used in probiotics don’t react with antibiotics, research suggests you can safely consume them together with antibiotics. (3).

Many people take probiotics along with antibiotics to help with things like antibiotic associated diarrhea. 

Do you take probiotics with food or on an empty stomach?

As we’ve explained above, taking probiotics with food is a bad idea, and you should take them on an empty stomach to get beneficial bacteria. Research shows that probiotics are most effective when taken on an empty stomach (4). Eating fermented foods can be a great way to get natural healthy bacteria in your gut. Foods like yogurt are also good if you are not vegan.

Final Thoughts

There is no easy answer to the question when to take probiotics. It's going to be different for each person. Depending on their circumstances, health, and the reason why they are taking the supplement in the first place. 

Although, we can assume that for most people, taking them early morning on an empty stomach works best, and you can take them immediately after you wake up each morning. My number 1 Best Vegan ProBiotic is Ora Organic, you can read my full guide to find out why.

The content in this guide is purely informational and should not be taken as medical advice. I am not a Doctor. Probiotics should not be taken as a substitute for medicines to treat conditions or diseases. If you experiences any symptoms or side effects you should consult with your medical professional.

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