When is the Best Time to Take Probiotics?

by Raychel Agramon, RN, MPM, February 20, 2020

best time to take probiotics

When is the best time to take probiotics? Are you thinking of starting with a probiotic regimen? Well, you should! After all, these live microorganisms bring many benefits to your body. From improving digestion to clearing your skin, there is just so much that you can expect with these beneficial bacteria.

Now that you know why you should take probiotics supplements, the next step is to determine When to take probiotics. This is particularly important as the time you take your supplement can influence the way your body absorbs it. Take it the wrong time and it’s like you did not take any probiotics at all. 

As time is of the element (especially when it comes to taking probiotics,) make sure to read these 5 helpful facts regarding the best time to take your probiotics. 

When is the best time to take probiotics
  • It is best if you take your probiotic pills at nighttime.
  • According to medical experts, the ideal time to take probiotics is during the night, when the stomach is idle. Since there's not much action going on inside the gut, there is a higher chance that probiotics get to stay there longer. That's what you want – for them to linger in the gastrointestinal tract so they can exert their benefits for a longer time.

    Apart from getting a longer dwell time, taking probiotics at nighttime will prevent it from interacting with your other medications (This is especially vital and will be discussed in detail in number 5.)

  • ...or you can take it on an empty stomach. 
  • If you keep on forgetting to take your probiotics at night, don’t worry. There’s another ideal time for you to take your probiotics – on an empty stomach, preferably in the morning.  

    Taking pills before eating is important since foods and drinks might decrease the absorption of the probiotics. Some can even neutralize the effect of probiotics. If you take your probiotics with food, there’s a good chance you won’t absorb any of its gut-improving goodness. 

    Another tip: If taking pills before food upsets your stomach, another alternative is to take the probiotics 2 hours after eating. The stomach is done digesting here so its condition is similar to when it's empty. You want this because it's a favorable condition for probiotic absorption.


    best time to take probiotics
  • You should take your probiotic supplement daily.
  • Like the usual vitamins, probiotics need to be taken daily. That’s because it can only exert its effects when it’s present in the body. Like any other supplement, it goes out of your system eventually. When they’re out – they are out the door! Additionally, you should consume your pills at regular intervals so your body can enjoy all the benefits without any disruption. 

  • Don’t take probiotics with chlorinated water.
  • Chlorinated water is a godsend because it can kill most bacteria and viruses. It has been helpful in many situations, especially in third-world countries plagued with diarrhea and other water-related problems.

    While chlorinated has its own merits, it is not recommended for those who take probiotics. It has additives that kill microbes – so there's a huge chance that it can inactivate your probiotics as well. Keep in mind that probiotics are good bacteria – so they can easily be killed with substances that are used to destroy bad bacteria. 

    With that being said, avoid tap water when taking your probiotic supplements. Opt for purified or distilled water instead. 

  • Avoid taking probiotics within two hours of taking prescription drugs. 
  • If you’re taking your probiotics at daytime on an empty stomach instead of nighttime, then you need to remember this: ingest your pill at least 2 hours after taking prescription drugs. 

    Like food, meds, specifically antibiotics and antifungals, can interfere with probiotic absorption.  It may also lead to drug to drug interactions, where there are changes in the effects of one drug (mostly for the worse) when it is taken with another medication. 

    When to take probiotics

    Here’s another reminder: 

    Make sure to check with your health care provider before taking probiotic supplements. 

    While the National Institutes of Health considers probiotics as generally safe for use, you must exercise caution before doing so. One way to do so is to consult your health care provider before starting a regimen, especially if you have a health condition or if you are taking any medication. This is because probiotics may bear some adverse effects on individuals with grave illnesses or compromised immune systems.

    You can even ask your physician about best time to take probiotics pills you are interested in taking. Let him check the label to see if it contains the right ingredients for your condition.

    There are numerous Benefits of Probiotics – from the management of digestive conditions to the treatment of acne and other skin disorders. However, when you take it the wrong way, you might end up wasting your money for nothing. So if you want to maximize the effects of every pill, make sure to follow these tips on when to take probiotics.