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How Often Should You Be Consuming Probiotics?

Posted by Meghan Wilson on
A laptop with "Kraut" stickers, a cup of coffee, and sauerkraut

Timing and balance are instrumental when constructing a healthy diet for your lifestyle.

You know you need reliable, beneficial sources of crucial vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients, but if you consume them in unhealthy amounts or at the wrong time, you negate their positive effects.

The same applies to your level of probiotics, a vital if underrated factor in your immune function, digestive health, and mental health.

To help you find the perfect sweet spot in your probiotic consumption, we’ll explain the purpose and benefits of probiotics and help you discover how best to consume them in our Cleveland Kitchen Guide to Probiotic Consumption:

Probiotic Basics

You might know probiotics are important, but do you know what makes them such a pivotal part of a balanced diet?

Before we break down the ideal probiotic schedule, let’s discuss their biological makeup and primary functions in our bodies:

What Are Probiotics?

Probiotics are an essential kind of healthful bacteria that protect our immune system and keep our bodily functions in tip-top shape. 

Unlike harmful forms of bacteria, which weaken our body and contribute to illness and disease, probiotics play a critical role in strengthening our natural defenses and bolstering our immune system.

They achieve this by protecting our microbiome -- the collection of all living organisms inside our body (bacteria, fungi, viruses, protozoa) -- from unwanted intrusion by harmful microorganisms.

How Can Probiotics Benefit our Immune System?

When you ask most people what protects their body from getting sick, the first response will likely be their immune system.

This is the correct answer, but have you ever wondered what protects your immune system?

Research suggests it may be probiotics.,

By stimulating the production of healthy bacteria and protecting your existing microbiome, probiotic supplements and foods make substantial, positive contributions to the efforts of your immune system.

These contributions can encourage:

  • Healthier Antibody Responses
      • More Comprehensive Ranges of Protection Against Illness
  • Proper Levels of White Blood Cells to Fight Viruses
  • How Can Probiotics Benefit the Rest of The Body?

    While most famous for their immune-boosting properties, probiotics can also positively impact many other aspects of your health.

    One way they achieve this is by boosting the efficacy of your gut and aiding the primary functions of your gastrointestinal system.

    When you incorporate natural probiotics into a healthy, well-rounded diet, you can open up your body to:

  • Smoother Digestion
  • Enhanced Retention of Key Nutrients
  • Improved Bowel Movements

  • Moving up to your brain, we find another significant, positive effect of proper probiotic consumption: improved function of the gut-brain axis.

    The gut-brain axis is the system that connects our mind and microbiome through a complex series of communications, and its health can play a role in our cognitive and emotional success.

    By supporting our gut with proper probiotic sources, we, in turn, help our brain, which can result in:

  • Reduced Anxiety
  • Healthier Responses to Stressors
  • Enhanced Focus
  • When and How to Consume Probiotics

    So you know why you need probiotics, but how much should you actually consume? And how often?

    To help you find these answers, let’s analyze the best way to schedule probiotics in your daily diet:

    How Many Probiotics Should You Take?

    The first thing to know about probiotics is that they come in far larger doses than most other supplements or nutrients.

    While dosage can vary, American Family Physician recommends children take 5 to 10 billion colony-forming units (CFU) of probiotics per day, and suggests adults consume 10 to 20 billion.

    Additionally, some research shows there’s potential value in consuming multiple strands of probiotics daily rather than just one.

    These findings suggest that probiotic-rich foods, like Cleveland Kitchen sauerkraut, pack multiple strands of beneficial bacteria that can be more valuable than probiotic supplements with far fewer strands.

    So, instead of opting for a single supplement with one billion CFU, try a few tablespoons of sauerkraut, or other fermented veggies, for up to 100 million CFU in a more diverse and flavorful package.

    How Often Should You Consume Probiotics?

    To find your optimal probiotic schedule, we need to break things down into times per day and time of day for healthy bacteria consumption:

    According to resources like Harvard Medical School, it is best to take one dose of probiotics per day in the form of a supplement or a probiotic-rich snack or meal

    If you’re using healthy foods as your probiotic source, you can reach this daily dose by packing your probiotics into a single meal or snack or by spacing them out throughout the day.

    As probiotic consumption becomes a part of your daily schedule, you’ll likely find a period when you most enjoy these foods, or perhaps when you feel they most benefit your digestion. 

    This same approach applies to what will be your best time to take probiotics.

    As scientists are pretty split on whether probiotics work best on an empty or full stomach, the general advice is to find the time of day that works best for you and your body.

    There are myriad probiotic-rich foods to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or any snack in-between, so you won’t have difficulty establishing routines that work for you.

    However, it is essential to try and stick to your routine, as research shows that consistency is likely more important to probiotic efficacy than consumption at any specific time of day.

    For example, if you like a delicious serving of sauerkraut, kimchi or fermented dressing with your lunch, you’re most likely to receive the full benefits of its probiotics if you eat it at the same time every day.

    some bags of sauerkraut

    Cleveland Kitchen’s Probiotic-Rich Foods

    Now that you know the many benefits of probiotics and the best way to incorporate them into your life, it’s time to try Cleveland Kitchen’s superb selection of probiotic-rich, fermented foods:

    From our six spectacular flavors of sauerkraut and spicy Classic Kimchi to our five tangy, fermented veggie dressings, we have the essential crunch and flavor you need to make boosting your microbiome a blast.

    Plus, we offer a wide range of delicious recipes inspired by our fermented veggies, meaning it’s easier than ever to diversify your new, probiotic-rich meal plan!

    To learn more about Cleveland Kitchen’s mission to bring fermented foods like sauerkraut to the American diet, keep up with our weekly blog and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to keep up with our world of kraut!

    Medical Disclaimer: All information, content, and material of this website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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