FYI: Timing is everything. Here’s when some experts say to take a probiotic supplement.
Ever wondered if your probiotics are working? When it comes to supplementation of any kind, it can be hard not to equate efficacy with some sort of felt sensation—or a visible, specific result. In today’s hyper-paced, go-go-go world, the notion that you need to see—or feel—the effects of a formula in order for it to be doing its job is certainly tempting. But as the age-old adage goes, judging a book by its cover—or in this case, judging a supplement purely by its physical indicators—isn’t really the best approach.*
That’s not to say that physical sensations don’t provide valuable insight; they certainly can. But when assessing how well a supplement performs in the body, there’s much more to consider, especially when it comes to gut support. Here, we cover key things to know, from what to expect from the adjustment period to why daily consumption is so important.*
What are probiotics and why take them?
The World Health Organization defines probiotics—also known as good bacteria, healthy bacteria, or beneficial bacteria—as “live microorganisms, which when administered in adequate amounts, provide a health benefit to the person taking them.” There are many benefits of probiotics: Among other things, they work to support gut health, digestive health, and immune health.* (1,2,3)
Each of us has a distinctive gut microbiome shaped by our environment, diet, and lifestyle—and imbalances in our gut microbiota can be caused by any number of things, from poor diet, stress, travel, and the use of certain medications to various other lifestyle and environmental factors. (It houses trillions of microbial cells, so it’s no wonder there’s so much going on in there.) (1,2,3)
That’s why ingested live probiotics can be so beneficial—to help support microbiome balance.* (1,2,4,5)
New to probiotics? There may be an adjustment period
Emphasis on “may”—because each of our bodies are so different, it’s impossible to say for sure who will feel what. Some people experience an adjustment period with a new probiotic (regardless of whether they’re new to gut health supplements), whereas others don’t feel a thing.*
Here’s what we can say: If you’re part of the former adjustment period camp, it’s completely normal and to be expected. When first starting a regimen, the gut flora may need a little time to adapt—so some people may experience side effects such as minor digestive discomfort, gas, bloating, or stomach rumbling. The good news? These “symptoms” are temporary and should subside with ongoing use.*
When to expect feeling effects
Again, everybody is different: Some people may feel effects within two to four weeks of consistent use, while others may not notice anything at all. The principal takeaway here is that just because you do not feel it, does not mean it is not working.*
Why some feel effects (and others don’t)
The body may experience a temporary period of acclimation with any new supplement (or even dietary change)—and probiotic bacteria are no different. The changes happening in the gut microbiome, along with the new bacteria being introduced, may lead to minor GI discomforts. While this discomfort typically subsides within a few days, if symptoms persist longer than two weeks, it never hurts to consult a trusted healthcare professional.*
What’s happening to the body when feeling effects?
If you’re feeling physical sensations like the ones mentioned earlier (minor gas, bloating, stomach rumbling), not to worry. This is simply the body changing and acclimating to the introduction of ingredients—in the case of Synbiotic+, our prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotic.*
Essential reading → Postbiotics: A Missing Key to Gut Health Support?