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Best Time to Take Probiotics*

best time for probiotics

Daily probiotics are a popular way to help support a healthy gut microbiome. But did you know that there may be an ideal time of day to take them so that you can get the most out of their benefits?*   

Probiotic supplements contain good bacteria that live naturally in your intestines. Stress, processed foods, toxins in our water and food, pollution, and radiation can all negatively impact the diversity and number of beneficial bacteria in your gut.*

Certain medications can also take a toll. Antibiotics cannot decipher between good and bad bacteria and will kill the healthy bacteria that we require in the gut. It is recommended to take probiotics with antibiotics to support a healthy gut microbiome.*

There are a variety of probiotic supplements on the market, each with its own set of recommendations for use. This article discusses the best time to take probiotic supplements and why it matters.* 

When to Take Probiotics*

Research shows the time of day may not matter for probiotic absorption. However, there are other factors at play. The best time to take probiotics depends on stomach acid, strains, quality/delivery method, and meal composition. Keep reading to find the best time to take your probiotics.*

Stomach acid levels

It seems logical to take probiotic supplements when your stomach acid levels are lower to support survival. However, all bacterial strains are different. Some strains of good bacteria can survive extreme environments like the gastrointestinal tract, while others cannot.*

Your stomach's acidic environment plays a crucial function in digestion. Stomach acid is responsible for the digestion of carbohydrates and proteins and killing pathogens that enter the body through the mouth.

The pH of the stomach ranges from 1.7 to 2.0 (highly acidic). The pH of the small intestine rises until it reaches 7.0 (neutral) in some regions. Due to the higher pH value, the small and large intestines are home to most of your digestive system's beneficial bacteria. (1)

Pay attention to how probiotic supplements are manufactured. Probiotics that are non-enteric coated are best taken with or just before a meal for the best outcomes. (2)* 

Hyperbiotics BIO-tract probiotics are designed to protect the beneficial flora as the tablet travels through the harsh environment of your stomach acids. This supports probiotic delivery to your gut. Furthermore, BIO-tract® ensures that the active organisms are released slowly over an 8-10 hour period while making the journey through the intestinal tract, successfully bypassing your stomach acids so that they can colonize in your small and large intestines, where you need them.^*

Shop BIO-tract probiotics here

In the Morning

Some strains of bacteria (like Saccharomyces boulardii) are hardier than others, and you can take them any time of day without affecting their absorption.* 

As such, it’s typically more important to focus on the consistency in which probiotic supplements are taken and how long. (3)*

That said, there’s a good argument for taking a probiotic supplement in the morning. It’s easier to stay consistent with your dosage, and if you have breakfast every day, it’s ideal for taking it then.* 

Taking probiotics with food or 30 minutes before a meal supports absorption into your gut. (2) This allows the probiotic capsule or any other form of probiotic supplement to make its way into the intestine with the beneficial bacteria intact. Since breakfast is usually much lighter than dinner, your first meal of the day is the best time to take your probiotic.* 

take probiotics in the morning

At Night

There may be some cases when taking your probiotic supplements before bed is best. One of the benefits is that your digestive system works at a slower pace while you sleep.* 

Determining how much probiotics to take each day depends on the recommendations made by your healthcare provider and any health conditions you may have. The bottom line is that the benefits of probiotics will still impact the body at any time they are taken. It is more important to focus on the bacterial strain, dosage measured in colony-forming units (CFUs), shelf-life, and delivery system. (4)*  

Strains

Different probiotic strains have unique characteristics. Some bacterial strains are more resistant to stomach acid and, as a result, have a higher survival rate as they transit through the stomach than others.

For example, L. acidophilus and Bifidobacterium strains survive in more extreme conditions, colonize the intestine, and support optimal health regardless of the time they are taken and the delivery mechanism. (5)* 

Quality

The quality of your probiotic is also important in determining how to choose a probiotic supplement. Only some manufacturers prioritize gastric acid resistance and survivability when producing a high-quality probiotic supplement.*

For example, Hyperbiotics proprietary BIO-tract® tablets deliver up to 15 times more probiotic bacteria than standard veggie capsules. BIO-tract® technology improves the stability and protection of probiotics, so they can survive stomach acid and make it to the intestine, where they are most needed.^*

Other Medications

If you're taking antibiotics, you should consult your healthcare provider before taking probiotic supplements simultaneously. Antibiotics kill off the new good bacteria created, possibly defeating the point of taking probiotics simultaneously or right after antibiotics.* 

However, some practitioners recommend taking probiotics alongside antibiotics at least two hours before or after your medication. The hope is that some probiotics may survive to help support the microbiome. Another option is to take a probiotic more resistant to antibiotics, such as the yeast-derived probiotic Saccharomyces boulardii.*

If you are looking to take probiotic capsules with other medications, it is always advised to consult with a healthcare provider to ensure no interactions.*

Meal Composition

Taking probiotic supplements with certain foods may support their effects.*

Some research shows that probiotics have a higher survival rate when taken with food, such as oatmeal or low-fat milk, instead of water or apple juice. According to one study, a modest quantity of fat may help bacteria survive in the digestive tract. Lactobacillus probiotics also fare better in the presence of sugar or carbohydrates, as they rely on glucose to thrive in an acidic environment. (2)*

Splitting Times

If you are just starting probiotic supplements, begin with a smaller dose by splitting the serving in half and taking it at different times of the day. Small increments support digestive comfort in regard to common issues like bloating or gas.*

The obvious disadvantage is that this will cut their potency in half. However, most people can work up to the recommended dosage after a few days.* 

Is There a Wrong Time to Take Probiotics?*

Most people tolerate probiotics well, and timing them correctly is more about ensuring these beneficial bacteria' survival than avoiding probiotics’ side effects.* 

While anyone who takes a probiotic supplement for the first time may experience some transient gas and bloating, probiotics seldom produce serious adverse effects. If they do, it's more likely that you need to take the right probiotic supplement with the best bacterial strains for you.*

Click here to take the Hyperbiotics quiz to find the best probiotic formula for you!*

Summary 

When taking a probiotic supplement, the most important thing is to follow the recommended use on the package or as directed by your healthcare provider.* 

The timing of taking probiotic supplements may not matter if they were manufactured to withstand the harsh stomach environment. This would include Hyperbiotics BIO-tract® tablets designed to release probiotics at a specific time.* 

Remember to follow recommendations made by your healthcare provider and confirm if you should be taking probiotics every day based on your individual needs.*

Shop Hyperbiotics Precision Probiotics HERE*

References

  1. Dan Med Bull. 1999; 46(3):183-96 [PMID: 10421978]
  2. Benef Microbes. 2011; 2(4):295-303 [PMID: 22146689]
  3. Biomed Res Int. 2014; 2014:208064 [PMID: 24579075]
  4. PLOS One. 2018; 13(12):e0209205 [PMID: 30586435]
  5. Am J Clin Nutr. 2001; 73(2 Suppl):399S-405S [PMID: 11157348]

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

^BIO-tract® vs. instant release formulations under in vitro test conditions.

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 healthcare 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.

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