When Is It Best To Take Your Multivitamin (Probiotic)?
If you are relying on your multivitamin to provide your body with its essential nutrients, you want to be absolutely sure that it works. Turns out, the time that you take your multivitamin actually plays a massive role in its efficiency and potential for absorption. And let’s face it, if your multivitamin cannot be absorbed, it is not of much use to you.
If you take other medications, you may have been instructed by your doctor or pharmacist on the optimal time to take it -- typically on an empty stomach or with a meal.
Supplements are similar in that there is a good time to take them (i.e. taking them at all), and a best time to take them.
We have all the information on when that best time is, as well as why you should be taking probiotics in the first place, so keep reading!
Why Should You Take Probiotics?
Essentially, probiotics are supplements that introduce live, healthy bacteria into the body’s microbiome. If the term “healthy bacteria” sounds a bit oxymoronic to you, don't worry -- you are not alone!
Bacteria has, rightfully, gotten a bad name over the years for its role in illness. However, the body actually relies on a healthy supply of so-called “good” bacteria to survive.
Your body, and more specifically your immune system, contains something called the “microbiome.” The microbiome consists of many trillions of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa, all adding up to about three whole pounds of your total body weight.
These bacteria, fungi, and other organisms are good (vital, even) for the body, and work to support your overall immune health.
Your microbiome is completely unique to your body -- you start collecting healthy bacteria from the moment you are born, and your environment plays a big role in which microbes you are exposed to. These microbes may start out as invaders, but instead of attacking the body they set up shop in the body and become your body’s friends. You can find these bacteria in the gut, skin, lungs, mouth, vagina, and urinary tract.
The good bacteria within your microbiome help maintain a balanced immune system. Too much bad bacteria can damage your health, just as your body will suffer without the right amount of good bacteria. The better the balance is within your immune system, the more effective and efficient the immune response will be.
In addition to preserving balance within the immune system, good bacteria perform many other important tasks for the body:
- Outnumber: Good bacteria want to be sure that they will be able to overpower any influx of bad bacteria, and they do so by maintaining a steady and consistent army full of soldiers. Basically, it is a numbers game, and in a healthy immune system good bacteria will always outnumber the bad.
- Prevent Growth: Good bacteria are in charge of producing acids (primarily in the GI tract) that will prevent bad bacteria from multiplying or increasing their spread.
- Nutrient Production: You rely on good bacteria to help your body produce essential vitamins, most notably the vitamin B complex (including vitamins B6, B12, niacin, and folic acid). This occurs in the GI tract.
- Regulate: White blood cells play a crucial role in any immune system, and good bacteria help balance out their response to a threat. By doing so, good bacteria ensure that white blood cells are neither underactive or overactive, but instead perform at a healthy in between.
- Aid Absorption: The good bacteria that reside in the GI tract help the body absorb fatty acids and other essential nutrients.
- Break Down: Sometimes other cells in the GI tract struggle to break down things like carbohydrates (sugars) and toxins. Good bacteria can support this process and make digestion smoother.
The purpose of taking a probiotic is to receive all of the benefits listed above, as well as to improve overall immune function. Probiotics offer the body an additional supply of naturally-occurring bacteria and/or yeast, in order to bolster its share of good bacteria and preserve balance in the microbiome.
There are three main strains of probiotics: Saccharomyces boulardii, Lactobacillus, and Bifidobacterium. Saccharomyces boulardii is a type of yeast. Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are both types of bacteria. A probiotic may contain only one of these, or it may contain a combination of the three. Certain strains work better to treat certain conditions, so your primary care provider can help you determine which one is right for you.
Probiotics are very low risk when it comes to side effects. Gas and bloating are the most common side effects, but these usually occur when you are just starting a probiotic and your body is still becoming accustomed to it. As such, these side effects will likely go away after the first couple of months of using the supplement.
Even so, you should discuss any new supplement you take with your doctor before starting it. This is especially true for people taking other medications, as you do not want the two drugs to interact.
When is the Best Time To Take Your Probiotic?
First of all, you should look on your supplement’s label to see if the manufacturer gives any directions on when and how to take your probiotic (be mindful of the serving size as well!) Chances are they have, and you should use the probiotic exactly as directed. Their instructions are likely informed by the strain of probiotics that was used.
For example, one study found that the yeast Saccharomyces boulardii functions well whether it is consumed on an empty stomach or with a meal. The bacteria Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, on the other hand, worked best when taken before a meal/on an empty stomach.
Really, the most important thing is that you take your probiotic consistently. This means that you take it everyday, at the same relative time of day each time. If your particular strain works best on an empty stomach, try taking it each morning right as you wake up. Or if you take your probiotic with food, make sure you consume it with the same meal each day.
No matter what strain you choose, and when you choose to take it, consistency is key! Your probiotic will work best when you use it on a regular, consistent basis.
What is the Best Probiotic For You?
Given the multiple strains of probiotics available, you have a lot of variety to choose from. Different strains work better for different people, and your doctor can help you make an informed decision when it comes to the best strain for you.
In addition, probiotics are measured in colony forming units, or CFU. For a probiotic to be effective, you need at least 1 billion CFU. However, this number is an absolute minimum, and really you should aim for a number much higher than 1 billion CFU. The purpose of this is to make sure the bacteria/fungi within the probiotic are able to survive long enough for you to experience their full range of benefits.
GoBiotix’s Complete Probiotic Multivitamin, which contains Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, has 25 billion colony forming units (CFU) of probiotics, which is more than enough to power up your immune system. By taking this supplement daily, you can soothe and regulate your digestion, improve brain function, restore your supply of good bacteria, and regulate and improve your immune system. Based on the strain of probiotics used, it may be beneficial to take this probiotic before a meal.
This powerful probiotic also doubles as a multivitamin, so you can make sure you are receiving your body’s daily requirements of essential vitamins and minerals. The many nutrients available in this supplement include vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, and E; magnesium, folic acid, calcium, iodine, zinc, iron, and biotin.
And look, if the 25 billion CFU in our Complete Probiotic Multivitamin does not sound like enough, we also have a probiotic that contains a whopping 100 Billion CFU. This mighty supplement will boost your immune system, balance the friendly bacteria in your gut, reduce “bad” cholesterol levels, and support your urinary tract health.
All of our products are third-party tested and produced in a GMP-certified facility, ensuring nothing but the highest quality. So if you are looking for the best probiotics on offer, look no further than GoBiotix!
Finally, no matter what probiotic you decide to take, make sure you use it consistently in order to see the greatest benefits to your health.
With the proper probiotic, you can boost your immune function and promote better digestion, and overall just feel like a better version of you!