How Do You Know When Your Probiotic Is Working?

How Do You Know When Your Probiotic Is Working?

It can be hard to determine when a new supplement has begun working especially during the early days when the supplement is only just being supplemented into the body. Probiotics can be just as challenging to know when they have begun working for the gut. It can be increasingly difficult to notice for people who might still be experiencing symptoms (due to poor gut health) for a while before the probiotics can help. Probiotics need time to work on their three main functions to help support a healthy gut and overall digestive system. It takes time for the probiotics to decrease ‘bad’ bacteria, increase the levels of ‘good’ bacteria, and reduce inflammation. 

Once the probiotics can begin to manage ‘bad’ bacteria levels and increase the amount of ‘good’ bacteria in the gut, any symptoms will ease. This process can take anywhere from just a few days to 2-3 weeks before the probiotic supplements relieve any abdominal, digestive or other gut-related health issues. However, this could be the first sign that your probiotic supplements are beginning to work…

How can you tell a probiotic is working? 

If you have recently begun taking a high-quality probiotic supplement, you may begin to feel or notice improved changes in your health very early on. It depends on how much support your gut needs to help relieve your current symptoms and the hard the probiotics need to work at balancing your internal bacteria. You can begin to tell that a probiotic is working if you notice a significant improvement in the following: 

  • Improved Digestion
  • Less fatigue and more energy 
  • Frequent bowel movements
  • Reduced stomach bloating, inflammation or bloating
  • An overall improved mood 

These positive improvements to your overall physical and mental health can be noticeable within just a few days since you started taking your probiotics. Although, do not feel discouraged if you don't notice or feel any improvement in your health for up to 2-3 weeks as this may just mean your body needs a little more support.

What if it's been a while since taking probiotics and there are still no changes?

Now, if a few weeks have passed and you feel no different then you might want to ensure that you are taking the right probiotics for your intended use as well as making sure you are storing them correctly. Typically it's advised to take just one probiotic supplement a day with at least 1 billion CFU but ideally between 8-12 billion CFU for even more benefits. 

We also recommend you check out the following blog post if you are unsure how to store your probiotics to ensure that the bacteria are still alive and potent. Believe it or not but storing your probiotic supplements incorrectly can cause the bacteria to die and therefore they would serve no function at all to your health. The post is titled: What’s the difference between refrigerated and non-refrigerated probiotics we highly recommend you give it a read. The reason you may not be noticing any changes to your overall gut or digestive healthy might be due to your probiotics being filled with dead bacteria! This could be why they might not be working and therefore serve no benefits. 

Does the type of probiotics affect how quickly it can work?

The efficiency behind how quickly probiotics can work is dependent on several factors. Studies have supported the notion that the type of probiotic strain, the supplement formulation, the quality, and the dosage are all largely important regarding effectiveness! The type of bacteria strain is a very prominent variable that should always be considered when it comes to your reasons for taking a probiotic. Some probiotic strains are more suitable for particular health issues. For instance, a Lactobacilli bacteria probiotic can have the most diverse benefits therefore a popular option to support your overall health that includes gut, digestive, mouth and even intimate health! Therefore the type of probiotics may affect how quickly it works if taken for a particular reason. 

What can cause probiotics to take longer to work?

If you are taking probiotics that have been stored incorrectly, therefore, the bacteria is not alive or potent anymore you won't have a delay in benefits as you will just not experience any! Probiotic bacteria need to be alive to be able to neutralise and rebalance the bacteria inside your gut. That being said, if you are taking a high-quality probiotic as recommended by the manufacturer then you should not be causing any delays or issues with the effectiveness of your supplement. However, that does not mean that you could not be faced with a delay when it comes to the probiotic working! Some reasons can cause probiotics to take longer to work: 

  1. Chronic stress can affect your ‘results’ as higher levels of cortisol can affect your health, pH balance and the balance of bacteria thus increasing the workload for probiotics. 
  2. A very unhealthy gut can make it harder for probiotics to work seamlessly, increasing the time needed to help rebalance bacteria inside the gut. 
  3. Your unique gene makeup, which includes health, age and the bacteria already inside your body can affect how (quickly) probiotics work. 
  4. Diet is a big contributor as too much sugar and fats can affect bacteria. Also, the times of day you eat that the body has to process the food can affect probiotics.

Does eating too soon before or after taking a probiotic matter? 

It is advised that you wait 2-3 hours before or even after eating to take a probiotic supplement as food can slow down the journey of the probiotic. If your digestive system is focusing on processing food and absorbing the nutrients, then this can prevent the probiotic bacteria from travelling as easily to the gut to help rebalance as well as repopulate ‘good’ bacteria. 

We can appreciate that there is a lot of new information in today's post so feel free to bookmark this post and revisit it when needed as often as you like. You can also find all of our probiotic-related posts on our Health Insiders Blog catalogue which you could also favourite to make it easier to find.