Alcohol and Probiotics

alcohol and probiotics

Even though alcohol and probiotics may seem like an unlikely pairing, probiotic supplements can help protect the gut from alcohol-induced damage and reduce negative symptoms. However, if consumed in excess, alcohol can also inhibit the growth of probiotics by killing them.

Probiotics are living bacteria that line the gut and support digestive health. They are beneficial in several ways, including reducing inflammation, boosting the immune system, and aiding digestion. Additionally, studies show that probiotics balance friendly bacteria in the digestive system.

Taking a probiotic supplement can help offset some of the damage caused by alcohol consumption. It can also help reduce symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Probiotics may even improve liver function in heavy drinkers.

With this in mind, the overarching questions remain: How does drinking alcohol adversely affect the good bacteria in the gut? Can you take probiotic supplements with an alcoholic beverage? Does alcohol kill probiotics? Are there probiotics in beer?

In this blog post, we'll explore the relationship between alcohol and probiotics and provide some tips on how to choose the right probiotic products. 

How Does Alcohol Affect Our Gut Health?

Does alcohol affect probiotics

After a night of drinking, most of us wake up with a pounding headache, dry mouth, and a queasy stomach. Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it promotes water loss in the body. This leads to dehydration, which causes many unpleasant symptoms. Additionally, alcohol is a toxin that can damage cells in the gut.

Excessive alcohol consumption can overwhelm the gastrointestinal tract. This kills the beneficial bacteria in the gut, leading to an imbalance in the microbiome. Bad bacteria can then take over, leading to digestive problems and other health issues.

Good bacteria in the gut play a vital role in our health. They help us digest food, absorb nutrients, and keep the gut lining healthy.

An imbalance in gut flora can lead to diarrhea, constipation, IBS, and even depression. Also, it can lead to dysbiosis, an overgrowth of harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi. If untreated, dysbiosis can lead to inflammation in the gut.

Dysbiosis can also be a leading cause of leaky gut syndrome, which happens when undigested food particles enter the bloodstream through gaps in the intestinal lining. Leaky gut syndrome causes inflammation throughout the body while weakening your immune system's ability to fight infection.

Alcohol can cause vitamin deficiencies since it interferes with the absorption of essential nutrients like B vitamins, vitamin C, and magnesium.

Can You Drink Alcohol With Probiotics?

Unlike prescription drugs and some over-the-counter medications, there is no known interaction when taking probiotics with alcohol. However, one of the questions that most people ask is, does beer kill probiotics? The simple answer to this question is yes.

Consumption of alcohol slowly decreases specific bacteria in the gut. In a study, individuals who consumed excess alcohol were found to have reduced bifidobacteria, lactobacilli, and enterococci bacterial strains. So, if you're taking a probiotic supplement, avoid drinking or limit your alcohol consumption.

The amount of alcohol you drink determines the effect on probiotics.

For instance, if you're taking a probiotic supplement and drink moderately (less than one glass of alcohol per day), it's unlikely that all good bacteria will completely be destroyed. If you consume more than that, the beneficial bacteria in your gut flora may be killed.

Therefore, it's best not to drink alcohol when taking a probiotic supplement. If you choose to drink, limit yourself to one or two drinks and avoid binge drinking.


The time you take your probiotic supplement also matters. Drinking alcohol tends to cause inflammation and results in the stomach producing increased stomach acid. If you wait until after you've been drinking, the probiotic bacteria may not work properly. This is because the alcohol can weaken or kill some of the beneficial bacteria in your gut. If you know that you are going to have a drink later in the day, choose to take probiotic supplements in the morning. 

It’s recommended that you take probiotics several hours before consuming alcohol. This spacing allows the good bacteria to colonize your gut before the alcohol can do any damage.

When probiotic bacteria encounter excessive amounts of alcohol in the stomach, there are high chances that a considerable percentage of them will die. Alcohol can also affect the viability and activity of live probiotic cells, leading to reduced benefits.

Are There Any Probiotics in Wine?

Red wine is one of the most popular alcoholic drinks in the world. It has a rich taste and is an excellent source of antioxidants that improve overall health. The question is, does wine have probiotics?

In a study regarding the effects of red wine on the body, researchers found that there are polyphenols in red wine. Polyphenols are naturally found in a number of fruits and vegetables, providing antioxidants and a number of other benefits. Antioxidants can support the microbes in the body. 

However, it's important to note that the amount of probiotics in red wine varies depending on the types of grapes and the production methods used. Furthermore, these bacteria are found in small amounts, most killed by alcohol during fermentation.

It's worth noting that wine is not the only alcoholic drink that contains a small amount of probiotics. Tequila is a probiotic drink that can also enhance the growth of beneficial bacteria in your gut in small amounts. Some beers also contain probiotics.

However, it is important to weigh the benefits against the harmful effects alcohol can have on the body. It is not recommended to solely be used as a source of probiotics. It is prudent not to replace your gluten-free probiotics with ginger beer probiotics.

Which Probiotic Strains Are Most Effective At Restoring The Gut After Alcohol-Related Damage?

There has been research focusing on the probiotic strains that may assist in

Can you drink alcohol with probiotics

replenishing healthy bacteria in the gut after moderate to heavy alcohol use. Helpful strains have included Bifidobacterium bifidum and Lactobacillus plantarum to restore bowel flora and improve alcohol-induced liver issues. 

These two strains have been found to reduce the number of harmful bacteria in the gut and improve the overall balance of gut flora. They can also play a role in improving liver enzymes that may be affected by alcohol consumption. 

As far as alcohol and probiotics are concerned, these are two of the best strains you can take to restore your gut health during alcohol use. If you’ve been drinking alcohol, taking a supplement that contains Bifidobacterium bifidum and Lactobacillus plantarum, such as PRO-15 Advanced Strength is a good way to help your gut recover.

How to Find the Right Probiotics For You 

There are many different products and brands to choose from when it comes to probiotics. So, how do you know which one is right for you?

Here are a few tips on how to find the right probiotic supplement for your needs:

Talk to a Doctor

Your doctor is an excellent resource for finding the right probiotic supplement. They will recommend a product that is tailored specifically for your needs.

Check the CFU Count

The number of colony-forming units (CFUs) is an excellent way to judge the potency of a probiotic supplement. Look for a supplement with a proper CFU count so that you can get the most benefit from taking it.

Consider the Bacterial Strains

Probiotic supplements contain various bacterial strains, including Bifidobacteria, Lactobacillus, and Saccharomyces. Everyone has a different microbiome makeup and supplementing with different probiotic strains can be beneficial on your health.

It is crucial to consider the bacterial strain(s) in a supplement. Some supplements contain more than one strain of bacteria for enhanced effectiveness. It's best to choose the supplement that meets your unique health needs and have scientific data backing the probiotic strain effectiveness.

Choose a Reputable Brand

Another critical factor to consider is the brand. Make sure you buy a probiotic supplement from a reputable company to ensure you are receiving high-quality products that follow good manufacturing practices.

Check out reviews of different brands online before deciding which one to buy. This will help you make an informed decision to choose the right probiotic supplement for your needs.

It is also important to consult with your healthcare provider before taking a new supplement to ensure it is suitable for your individual needs. 

Final Thoughts

Alcohol consumption can be controversial when it comes to the benefits some beverages may offer, but also when comparing the damaging effects of consuming too much alcohol.

Always follow the recommendations that are directed to you by your healthcare provider. When alcohol consumption is occurring, and liver enzymes are off, a probiotic may be recommended to balance the gut microbiome and support overall health. 

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**This blog is for information and education purposes only. This information is not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions in regards to a medical condition. A qualified healthcare professional can best assist you in deciding whether a dietary supplement is suitable based on your individual needs.