Timing is everything, and in the case of Probiotics, how and when you take it is the difference between absorbing the “friendly bacteria” and wasting away an entire supplement. If you’re not already familiar with probiotics, they are live cultures of “good bacteria” whose function resonates with the bacteria found naturally in our gut. Probiotics comes from the Greek words: support of life and for the most part, often refer to the dietary supplements of good bacteria that can be consumed in pill or powder forms.
Like all living things, probiotics consume and use resources; produce and excrete waste; reproduce and eventually die. The addition of probiotics to your body is also known as the maintenance of the microorganisms found in our gut. Introducing probiotics into our highly sensitive bacterial mix helps restore the proper levels of intestinal microflora to levels where the prevention and inhibition of an infection caused by harmful pathogens is ensured. The leveling out of your bacterial mix also guarantees the proper digestion and absorption of food as well as the inhibited overpopulation of common harmful microbials such as Candida albicans and Clostridium botulinum.
The benefits of probiotics are not limited to the aforementioned, instead its true effects still holds some ambiguity in the medical realm, but regardless it still holds favor and yields positive results to the human digestive and immune system. So if you’re looking to add this powerful supplement into your daily regime, chances are you’re probably wondering: when would be a good time to start?
When Should I Start Taking Probiotics?
The general consensus is that everyone needs “probiotics” added into your daily regime. But if you’re looking for a good reason to start taking probiotics supplements then consider the last time you took antibiotics and how terrible you felt afterwards. It’s no mystery that antibiotics are as harmful to our body as it is helpful. The problem with antibiotics is that when taken their intended purpose of eradicating bad bacteria in our body is not limited and the same medication will go forward and destroy many different colonies of beneficial bacteria in your body as well. This is why antibiotics comes with an array of side-effects such as nausea, upset stomach, irregular bowel movements and diarrhea. Studies have even found that some antibiotics are so potent that in some instances many of the beneficial bacteria that die off during treatment never repopulate. This results in a crippling blow to our digestive and immune systems and subsequently our overall well-being. Since we become incapable of rebuilding the community of live organisms in our stomachs, the next best step to take in restoring a healthy bacterial balance is adding probiotics into your system.
As aforementioned, probiotics are live organisms that are specifically grown to emulate the functions of our natural gut flora. By adding probiotics into your system you can help reintroduce the necessary beneficial organisms that your intestine needs for optimal function. During that time that your intestine is devoid of beneficial bacteria, probiotics also stand in as the major inhibitor of bad bacterial growth and help stave away the potential for worst infections that many people experience after taking antibiotics such as the overpopulation of the yeast Candida albicans.
If a course of antibiotics was never a problem for you, then consider the amount of external factors you undergo every day. Lifestyle habits, poor health, stress, exposure to chemicals in your food, water and the air you breathe are all examples of factors that cause a deficiency in the body. Any deficiency or offset that occurs to your body is often felt first in the intestine, which once again is not surprise whatsoever. The bacterial mix in the digestive tract is highly sensitive and any change, minor or major, can have everlasting or devastating effects on the equilibrium of your intestinal flora. Beyond the restoration of a depleted system, probiotics are essential for maintenance and prevention. Anytime the bacterial mix in your gut is compromised, your health is subsequently put at risk. Not taking probiotics is like not eating food, it’s important to always maintain a healthy balance in your system and if it’s the difference between getting a cold or enjoying the winter sniffle free, then starting probiotics today may well be worth it.
What is a Recommended Dosage?
There are many considerations that must be placed when implanting probiotics into our diet. Aside from picking the right supplement or getting a decently priced brand, the most common question when taking probiotics is how much and how often. Different brands of probiotics can contain anywhere from one to 10 billion colony forming units or CFUS. As it turns out, a daily dose of 1 billion to 10 or 15 billion organisms can constitute a good dose, the exact amount is based upon the severity of the situation. For example, individuals who are taking antibiotics or have just completed antibiotic treatment should take at least 10 to 15 billion CFUs daily to ensure the proper and swift transition to a healthy tract. Other individuals who have minor gastrointestinal problems or unusual bowel movements should consider taking around 8 to 10 billion CFUs a day. And finally, those who have a moderately healthy digestive system and don’t suffer from any particular ailment will do just fine on one billion CFUs a day. Everyone is unique and therefore should either seek a medical practitioner’s advice or use their best judgment when taking probiotics.
Quality of the probiotics are also a major factor to consider when considering dosage. This is because some probiotics brands will separate the 15 billion CFUs into a daily dosage that compromises of 6 capsules. While it does contain the necessary amount, it can also mean that you do not receive the proper balance between strains. If you are not experiencing positive results or are having problems with the current probiotic you are taking, consider looking into another brand that requires less capsules per recommended dosage.
Overdosing is very possible when taking probiotics, especially when your digestive tract is healthy and functioning at optimal levels. If your system receives more CFUs than it needs you may experience side effects such as gas, bloating, abdominal tenderness or even pain. While there are no prolonged and major side effects, when this happens it’s recommended to stop taking probiotics and begin reintroducing them in smaller doses. By using this method you can work your way up and reach a specific comfort threshold where the supplement and your body works in complete harmony for your general well-being.
First Thing in the Morning or the First Thing during a Meal?
Of all the people who take probiotics for its benefits, at least 80% of them do not know the best time to take their supplement. If you are obtaining your share of probiotics through food, then there is no exact time frame or situation that it is optimal. Since you are consuming it throughout the day it doesn’t necessarily make a difference. However, if you are taking probiotics in supplement form then you must take them at optimal times to ensure you receive the maximum bacterial strain.
The common misconception is that the best time to take a probiotic is first thing in the morning and on an empty stomach. Probiotics are living organisms and very much like living organisms they need food, water and warmth to survive and multiply. In the morning there is water in the body, some food and it is warm – however these conditions are not optimal for probiotics simply because there is not enough of anything for the bacterial strains to flourish.
The absolute best time to take probiotics is alongside your meal. Right before or just after the meal is best for getting the most out of our probiotics. The journey through your digestive tract is a long and treacherous one, in the case of probiotics their biggest danger is the powerful acids in the digestive system meant to break down and disintegrate the materials that travels through its passage. If enough acid overcomes the enteric coating of a probiotic capsule it could kill the delicate strains and render your supplement completely useless since the probiotic is not delivered to its appropriate destination – the intestine. By consuming your probiotic with food you provide a buffering system for the supplement and ensure its safe passage through the digestive tract. Aside from protection, food also provides the friendly bacteria in your probiotic the proper food and nourishment to ensure it survives, grows and multiplies in your gut.
In short, the consumption of both a healthy meal and your supplement offers the optimal environment and situation to get the most out of your probiotics.
Timing is everything, so why not take charge of your health and introduce a dose of friendly bacteria to your body today?