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The Best Time to Take Probiotics

So, you have your probiotics. You are eager to get started on a happier, healthier you. But then you are looking at the bottle, wondering. How do I take them? Am I going to take it on an empty stomach? With food? What time of the day should I take them? 


Probiotics are a wellness trend that’s hot right now. Not only you can get them in supplements and drinks, but even glazed tortilla chips are laced with them. In case you forget what probiotics are, they’re good bacteria believed to improve the health of the microbiome. They play a role in the mood, digestive system, and they help make certain vitamins. They help breakdown nutrients and level out harmful bacteria. There’s also evidenced that probiotics can help reduce inflammation for people with ulcerative colitis.  


How often should I take them? 


Probiotics don’t stay in the gut for too long. For probiotics to be effective, you need to take them every day until you feel better. Why? Because any benefits from probiotics only occur as it passes through your body. Because of that, you need to take them daily to be more effective.  


When should I take probiotics? 


The best time to take your probiotic supplement is on an empty stomach. For most people, this means taking your probiotic supplement first thing in the morning, an hour before a meal, or right before bed. 


Why take them on an empty stomach? Your goal is to see that a large colony can make its way down the large intestine where the good bacteria ultimately do the most jobs. Your gut is rather inactive at night. You don’t wake up in the middle of the night just to poop. So, taking probiotics when your bowels are at rest helps ensure that the good bacteria hang around, multiply and potentially integrate into your body. 

When you take them with foods, your stomach’s acidity increases, which likely kills some bacteria and reduces the number of CFUs that get to their ultimate destination.  


Some manufacturer of probiotic supplements suggests taking probiotics with or just before a meal containing fat. Fat helps keep the stomach from becoming too acidic, which allows more bacteria from the probiotic supplements to survive long enough to reach the large intestine.  


Can I take it with my other medications? 


Continue taking your probiotic supplement at night, even if you are taking vitamins and other medications, including antibiotics, during the day. If you will give the good bacteria more time in your gut, they have more time in healing your digestive issues. Just remember not to take them at the same time. Otherwise, you risk having all the good bacteria killed off by your antibiotic treatment. If you are taking an antibiotic at night, wait for at least two hours before taking probiotics. If you are taking medications for your thyroid, or antifungal medications, do not take probiotics for a while to prevent interfering with the optimal absorption.  

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