Are you thinking about adding probiotic supplements to your diet? Don’t yet know the best time to take probiotics?
You will be surprised to learn that humans are 90 percent bacteria and fungus. Only 10 percent of the cells present in our body are real human cells. Rest all are there to aid the growth and development of the body.
The world would have been a whole different place if every culture, religion, or creed mandated the use of probiotics in our daily diet. Did you know that Bulgarian peasants lived longer lives because of their yogurt consumption?
Although, this is just a belief held by many smart people including Russian zoologist Elie Metchnikoff. He believed that the primary thing that made Bulgarian peasants live longer was their use of yogurt in their daily diets. In the 30s a Japanese physician, Minoru Shirota performed concluded that consumption of healthy live bacteria can promote gut health.
But what exactly are probiotics? How can humans benefit by consuming live microorganisms?
What Are Probiotics?
Probiotics are live microorganisms sold by pharma and FMCG companies with the promise of improving and restoring gut flora or gut microbiota. It is not yet a recognized drug. Since it’s just a dietary supplement, the FDA does not monitor or regulate it’s production procedure. Neither does it impose any restrictions on the ingredients used by the probiotic drink makers.
It is important to know that a probiotic supplement is great when had along with a balanced and healthy diet. Since, it contains healthy bacteria–and not vitamins, mineral or proteins–it should also not be mistaken as an energy drink. Yakult is a popular Japanese probiotic drink available all across the globe. It contains healthy bacteria called Lactobacillus paracasei.
What Is the Best Time to Take Probiotics
Is there a particular time to take probiotic supplements? If yes, then what is the best time to take it? You benefit from a probiotic supplement only when you give a fair chance for the healthy bacteria to live and thrive in your stomach. To get the complete benefits of a probiotic drink, it is key to take it when the acid content in your stomach is at the lowest level. The
A human stomach contains hydrochloric acids (also popularly known in the pharma industry as gastric acid, or gastric juice). The digestive fluid formed in the stomach and the membrane also contains other components like potassium sulfur chloride (KCl), and sodium chloride (NaCl). Hence, it is advised to consume probiotics early in the morning or late in the night, before bed.
Furthermore, for a pack of five probiotic drinks, you have to shed approximately $3 from your pocket. Let’s say you consume two bottles a day. So two packs a week will cost you $6, and $24 a month. Why would you want to waste $24 worth of probiotics by having them in the middle of the day or immediately after a massive dinner?
Now, since you are informed about the effectiveness of probiotics, you can make the best of them by taking them at the right time of the day.
How to Choose a Probiotic Supplement?
There are several brands selling their probiotics supplements, how will you choose the right one for you?
According to UASLabs (a probiotic company), there are five parameters you need to keep in mind before selecting a probiotic supplement for you. These parameters are:
1) The brand or the maker
2) The number of living organisms
3) Expiration Date
4) Storage information
5) The species and strain of the bacteria
From the above list provided by the manufacturer itself, the first and the third are quite obvious ones. Unless you have visited the manufacturing unit of a particular probiotics company, it is best to stick to the major brands. You can choose whatever popular probiotic brand is available in your nearest grocery or drug store. Just make sure to check the expiration date of the product.
Coming to the dosage of a probiotics supplement, it is best to check at the back of the product for more information on it. Generally, the probiotics companies measure the dosage in terms of colony-forming units (CFUs). One dosage can contain more than a billion living microorganisms. While researching a product online, you can also check out the right species and strain of bacteria for someone with your body type.
Benefits of Taking Probiotics Before Bed
For those who go to bed late can take probiotics just before going to sleep. Probiotics do not contain any psychoactive substances so they won’t make you feel alert or energetic. However, you would be happy to know that probiotics, when taken just before bed, can help you sleep better. A report by Natren Probiotics states that gut microbiota can influence Circadian Rhythms.
Circadian Rhythms or also known as the internal biological clock is responsible for alerting you when it is time to go to bed and also wake up from sleep. This internal biological clock also governs how you feel during the day–your energy level, mood, mental agility, sharpness, etc. There is a strong link between gut health and sleep.
A person with a clean and healthy gut is more likely to sleep throughout the night without any interruptions or issues. On the other hand, someone with an unhealthy gut will fidget, wake up intermittently, and toss-n-turn the entire night.
A Dutch study concluded that gut microbiota can also control the Circadian Rhythm of the host. When you feel sleepy, they feel sleepy. A calm and trouble-free gut means a night of good night’s sleep. The gut microbiota also aids in the production of melatonin. Hence, someone with a sleep-related illness or a disorder should try having probiotics before going to bed.
To reiterate, the best time to take probiotics is when the acid concentration is the lowest. Notably, you should have it either early in the morning or late at night. Also, before heading out to buy a pack of probiotics or ordering it online, you should talk to your family doctor about it. Although probiotics are side-effects free it’s never a good idea to risk your health by consuming a dietary supplement.