From kale to MCTs, there have been a number of buzzy wellness trends that we’ve seen over the years. While we can’t always get behind all of them (*ahem* diet tea), there are a few diamonds in the ruff — like probiotics.
Found in supplements and some foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, and yogurt, probiotics are live microorganisms that are known to improve gut health.
But what are prebiotics? And when is the best time to take them? We’ll tell you.
In this article, we’re exploring prebiotics to uncover what they are, how they can benefit you, and more. So if you’ve ever wondered about the new wellness trend hitting the health community — keep reading.
What Are Prebiotics?
Though the name may be similar to its counterpart, prebiotics are not the same as probiotics. And despite what many people may think, they don’t actually contain bacteria. Instead, they help bacteria grow.
You see, all prebiotics are a type of dietary fiber. The fiber inulin — which is commonly found in bananas, yams, chicory root, and asparagus — is a prebiotic that can nourish your healthy bacteria and support your digestive health.
When the good bacteria in your gut are well-fed and happy, they can better protect you from harmful pathogens that cause illness and disease.
With that in mind, here are some of the top benefits you can reap by simply adding a prebiotic to your daily supplement lineup:
- Promote regularity
- Stimulate the body to make hormones
- Improve immunity
- Produce neurotransmitters
- Boost anti-inflammatory response
- Strengthen bones by helping them to mineralize and absorb calcium and phosphorus
When shopping for a prebiotic, stick with a trusted company that only uses high-quality ingredients in their supplements.
Not sure where to shop? Check us out here at Love Wellness — we create clean, doctor-developed products that are 100% good for you and second to none.
What Are Probiotics?
Simply put, probiotics are live cultures — just like those that are found naturally in your digestive system. They are readily available in many foods but can also be found in probiotic supplements. These itty-bitty gut bugs help you in a number of ways:
- Help your body break down, digest, and absorb nutrients
- Create vitamins
- Boost immunity
- Help support the cells that line the gut to prevent harmful microbes from entering the blood
- Keep bad bacteria in check to prevent an imbalance
That said, your gut contains both “good” and “bad” bacteria — both of which are necessary for a healthy gut. But sometimes, the bad guys outnumber the good guys, which can quickly manifest into a number of icky health issues (think: constipation, belly bloat, diarrhea).
Fortunately, the “live cultures” found in probiotic supplements — like Gut Feelings Probiotics — can help repopulate the good bacteria to balance the gut flora. This functional relationship boosts immunity and overall health.*
When Is the Best Time To Take Prebiotics?
Now you know that taking prebiotics supports the bacteria in your gut, resulting in health benefits that impact everything from digestive and mental health to immunity, metabolism, and mineral absorption.
But how and when do you take them?
Here are five things you should know when taking prebiotics:
1. Consistency Is Key
Prebiotics work best when they are taken consistently. That means the best time to take your prebiotic supplement is whenever you can stick to the routine of taking it daily. So start by choosing a time that’s easiest for you to remember to take your supplement and keep at it until it becomes second nature.
2. Take Prebiotics and Probiotics Together
Probiotics can’t survive without prebiotics, so it’s good to take the two supplements together. Or, simply opt for a good quality probiotic that contains both — like Gut Feelings Probiotics.
This innovative prebiotic and probiotic formula supports gut bacteria’s entire life cycle to promote immunity and healthy gut function.
3. Wait At Least Two Hours Before or After Medications
Since prebiotics pass through the GI tract without being absorbed, they could decrease the absorption of certain medications and supplements. To be safe, it’s best to wait for at least two hours before or after taking your medications to take a prebiotic supplement. If you have any concerns, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider.
Note: Antibiotics work by killing bacteria (both good and bad) in the body. So, if you’re taking an antibiotic, it’s important to wait up to three hours before or after taking any supplement containing live bacteria.
4. Take Before Bed to Avoid Digestive Discomfort
If you have a condition like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), you may want to hold off on taking your prebiotic supplement until it’s time to hit the hay. Since your GI tract is at rest as you snooze, this helps avoid any uncomfortable side effects, like belly bloat, gas, or constipation.
5. Listen to Your Body
Like anything else, always be especially mindful of how you introduce a new prebiotic supplement to your body. If you don’t typically eat prebiotic fiber, too much in one sitting may be hard for your body to digest. This can lead to abdominal pain and bloating — no, thank you!
If you’d like to steer clear of any potential digestive upset, consider increasing prebiotic-rich foods in your diet slowly before taking a supplement. As soon as your system is accustomed to the fiber, add a prebiotic supplement for boosted gut health and beneficial bacteria.
Some of the best prebiotic foods include:
If you increase your fiber intake slowly but are still struggling with tummy woes, we recommend our Bloating Kit — this powerful combo of digestive enzymes and probiotics works synergetically to support gut health while banishing bloating.*
A Final Word
Prebiotics are essential to a healthy gut microbiome. They’re nutrients that get broken down by gut bacteria — or food for your friendly gut bugs!
To make sure you’re fueling your digestive system with the nutrients it needs to thrive, we recommend a supplement containing probiotics and prebiotics — like Gut Feelings Probiotics. Simply take one capsule a day to balance, optimize, and support a healthy gut.*
At Love Wellness, we understand that a healthy microbiome means better digestion and improved immunity. That’s why we created our probiotic+prebiotic supplements with hearty strains that get through the gut more effectively to ensure they make it where you need them most.
Whether you’re looking to ease an upset stomach, soothe acne flares, or combat belly bloat, you can always count on us to have your back.
Ready to support your friendly gut bacteria? Check us out today and calm your digestion tomorrow. Trust us — you’ll be glad you did!
Probiotics: What You Need To Know | NCCIH
International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics | ISAPP