Every woman’s digestive tract contains trillions of bacteria that help to break down food and absorb nutrients. To keep your microbiome functioning properly, you can supplement with probiotics, which are a combination of strains of this good bacteria typically measured in colony forming units (CFU) — the viable bacteria in a probiotic supplement. Evidence suggests that a healthy population of this bacteria may help manage inflammation, improve immunity, regulate digestion, and decrease stress. Some research has found probiotics might help with skin health and vaginal health — two reasons that have led many women to dig into the research themselves. (1)
Probiotic supplements can come in capsules, gummies, and even powders. You may find them as standalone probiotic supplements, or combined into a gut health supplement or multivitamin. With such a wide variety of probiotics on the market and an array of potential benefits, it can be difficult to pick out the perfect one to match your goals. We’ve done a lot of digging and testing, and landed on these products when deciding the best probiotic supplements for women.
Best Probiotic Supplements for Women
- Best Probiotic for Women Overall: Transparent Labs Gut Health Probiotic
- Best Probiotic for Women for the Money: Kaged Muscle Pro-Biotic
- Best Probiotic and Prebiotic for Women: Routine
- Best All-Natural Probiotic for Women: Kylea Total Living Drink Greens
- Best Probiotic for Women Over 50: Onnit Gut Health with Probiotics
- Best Vegan Probiotic for Women: Naked Gut
- Best Probiotic for Pregnant Women: Seed
- Best Probiotic for Women for Vaginal Health: Transparent Labs Gut Health Probiotic
- Best Probiotic Greens for Women: Athletic Greens
- Best Probiotic Gummies for Women: Future Kind Vegan Probiotic Gummies
Editor’s note: The content on BarBend is meant to be informative in nature, but it shouldn’t take the place of advice and/or supervision from a medical professional. The opinions here are not intended for use as diagnosis, prevention, and/or treatment of health problems. Speak with your physician if you have any concerns or before beginning any new supplement regimen.
Best Probiotic for Women Overall
If you want a straightforward probiotic with a high dose of the good bacteria and no extra fluff, this pick has you covered.
Transparent Labs Gut Health Probiotic
When it comes to probiotics, some women like to sip their probiotics in a greens powder blend, while others like to take theirs in a multivitamin. But these probiotics are for those who already have their greens and multivitamin regimen in place, and just want an easy and effective probiotic they can add to the mix. Transparent Labs Gut Health probiotic contains a high 1,000mg dose of probiotics — that’s 100 billion CFU. Many probiotic supplements offer CFU in the low billions, but with 100 billion here, you’re getting the ultimate boost in gut health. Plus, this supplement is also vegan, as the capsules are made from plant-based hypromellose.
Transparent Labs Gut Health probiotic contains 1,000mg of probiotics (100 billion CFU) — one of the highest doses on the market. This supplement is also vegan since the capsules are made from plant-based hypromellose.
Who Should Buy Transparent Labs Gut Health Probiotic
- If you’re looking for a particularly high dose of probiotics, this pick has 100 billion CFU.
- Those who want to take their probiotics in capsule form for convenience will like that these probiotics come in easy-to-take capsules.
- Vegans who are looking for a plant-based product — Transparent Labs uses vegan-friendly hypromellose capsules.
Who Shouldn’t Buy Transparent Labs Gut Health Probiotic
- Anyone who wants to take their probiotics within a greens powder will want to look elsewhere.
- Beginners who want to start out with a lower dose of probiotics can find supplements that contain much less than 100 billion CFU.
With just a solid dose of probiotics (100 billion CFU to be exact), this probiotic supplement can stand on its own, or you can easily implement it into your current supplement regimen.
Best Probiotic for Women for the Money
Probiotics generally aren’t an inexpensive supplement. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t find less expensive options out there that can still be effective — this pick is less expensive than most and still provides 10 billion CFU per capsule.
Kaged Muscle Pro-Biotic
Kaged Muscle Pro-Biotic offers 10 billion CFU in each one-capsule serving, or 30 billion CFU in a three-capsule serving. It comes in a 90-capsule bottle for less than $35, which makes it one of the least expensive picks on this list. Kaged provides a patented strain of L. plantarum called TWK10®, which comes from Taiwanese Kimchi. This particular strain can target the gut-muscle axis, which in turn, can help enhance endurance and reduce fatigue. Plus, they have a targeted release capsule, which can help this supplement bypass the acidity of the stomach and release in your gut. These capsules are also made of hypromellose, making them vegetarian friendly.
This supplement contains 10 billion CFU of probiotics in each one-capsule serving, or 30 billion CFU in a three-capsule serving. It's also one of the least expensive options on the market as you can get a 90-capsule bottle for under $35.
Who Should Buy Kaged Muscle Pro-Biotic
- If you’re on a tighter budget, this product costs less than a lot of other probiotic supplements on the market.
- Female runners who are looking for a probiotic that may also help with endurance will like that this strain in particular can help with this.
- Vegetarians will appreciate that the capsule here is made from plant-based hypromellose.
Who Shouldn’t Buy Kaged Muscle Pro-Biotic
- If you prefer to take your probiotics within a multivitamin or a greens powder, you’ll want to look elsewhere.
- Folks who want a higher dose of probiotics per capsule can find brands that offer 100 billion CFU per serving.
If you’re shopping on a budget, this probiotic supplement comes in 90-capsule bottles and costs under $35, making it one of the least expensive options on this list (and across the market).
Best Probiotic and Prebiotic for Women
Probiotics and prebiotics should go hand-in-hand. Prebiotics are food for probiotics — without a good amount of non-digestible prebiotic fiber in your gut from supplements or foods (like legumes, oats, and asparagus), the probiotics may not be able to live. This supplement — considered a “synbiotic” — is designed just for women and contains both.
Routine combines 50mg of chicory root extract (a prebiotic) and 60mg of probiotics (24 billion CFU) in one single-capsule dose, so you’re getting the good bacteria and the food it needs to survive all in one. Many people take probiotics without considering the need for prebiotics, which can cause the probiotics to be less effective. While it’s still best to get your prebiotics from foods like legumes and oats, Routine ensures you at least have a small dose of prebiotics in your supp to help your probiotics get their job done. Plus, this product also contains ashwagandha, which can help reduce stress. And if you subscribe to this supplement, you can get 10 dollars off each month, which makes it fairly inexpensive.
Routine combines 50mg of chicory root extract and 60mg of probiotics (24 billion CFU) in one single-capsule dose, so you’re getting both prebiotics and probiotics in one supplement. Plus, this supp also contains a dose of ashwagandha, which may help reduce stress.
Who Should Buy Routine
- Folks who want a “synbiotic” — a prebiotic combined with a probiotic supplement.
- If you’re looking for a probiotic supplement that you don’t have to think about restocking, you can subscribe and save with this product.
- Anyone looking for a probiotic supplement that’s designed specifically for women, will like Routine.
Who Shouldn’t Buy Routine
- If you just want a straight probiotic supplement, you can find less robust ingredient lists out there.
- For those looking for a higher dose of probiotics, there are better options for you on this list.
Prebiotics and probiotics should go hand in hand. While you can get prebiotics from foods like legumes, Routine takes the guesswork out of prebiotic supplementation and adds them in with your probiotics to create an all-in-one synbiotic supplement.
Best All-Natural Probiotic for Women
If organic ingredients are a priority for you, this greens blend is made from organic whole foods and provides 295mg of probiotics.
Kylea Total Living Drink Greens
Kylea is ideal for those who like to drink their probiotics. This greens blend is packed with all-natural whole food ingredients like fruits and vegetables, vitamins A, C and D, B vitamins, antioxidants, and more. It also includes a probiotics formula that contains 295mg of probiotics — however, unlike most probiotics supplements, this one does not specify the number of CFU. It’s worth noting that this is a pretty pricey pick, as well. While you can find most other products on this list for under $50, this one costs almost $100. But it has one of the most robust ingredient lists, and it provides a wide range of vitamins and minerals that you won’t find in standalone probiotic supps.
These greens contain 12 grams of protein and the nutritional equivalent of 7 to 10 servings of fruit and vegetables, along with 2,000mg of spirulina, probiotics, and a B-complex.
Who Should Buy Kylea Total Living Drink Greens
- If you want a probiotics supplement that contains natural, organic ingredients, this product is for you.
- Those who prefer to drink their probiotics in a greens powder will like this supplement.
- If you want a robust ingredient list that contains a variety of vitamins and minerals along with your probiotics, Kylea is a great option.
Who Shouldn’t Buy Kylea Total Living Drink Greens
- Buyers on a budget. The natural formula and robust ingredients list here definitely jack the price up higher than other picks on this list.
- Those who just want a convenient capsule they can take will want to look for a different probiotic supplement.
- Women who want to know the exact CFU count in their probiotic supplement will not like this product.
If you’re looking for a nutrient dense, all-natural probiotic supplement, this greens powder is packed with whole food ingredients and 295mg of probiotics.
Best Probiotic for Women Over 50
For those who are over the age of 50 and may need a little extra help with gut health, this pick is packed with ingredients that can keep things moving — if you know what we mean.
Onnit Gut Health with Probiotics
If you’re interested in gut health at all, you probably know the big players: digestive enzymes, prebiotics, and of course, probiotics. This supplement packs all of these into one “gut health” packet that you take daily. While there are seven capsules in this packet, it can help you hit all your healthy gut markers, which becomes even more important as we age. Onnit Gut Health with Probiotics includes DigesTech®, which is Onnit’s digestive enzyme supplement, five strains of probiotics (450mg and 10 billion CFU), two types of prebiotics, and a dose of betaine HCI, which can help break down food. Unsurprisingly, this supplement is fairly expensive — a one month supply costs just over $75, but if you subscribe, you can save about $10 per month.
Onnit Gut Health with Probiotics includes a digestive enzyme supplement, five strains of probiotics, two types of prebiotics, and a dose of betaine HCI. If you subscribe, you can save $10 per month on this supplement.
Who Should Buy Onnit Gut Health with Probiotics
- Women over 50 who want a little extra help with gut health will like that this supplement contains not only probiotics, but a full spectrum of ingredients that can help you build a healthy gut.
- If you’re interested in prebiotics and digestive enzymes as well as probiotics, Onnit combines all of these into easy-to-take packets for you.
- Women who want extra help breaking down food will appreciate the betaine HCI here.
Who Shouldn’t Buy Onnit Gut Health with Probiotics
- Anyone on a budget will want to look for a more straightforward probiotic supplement.
- Pill-averse women should look for a supplement that requires fewer capsules, or comes in a powder blend.
- If you’re just looking for probiotics and nothing else, you can find a standalone probiotic supplement out there.
This product is the full gut health package. If you’re after prebiotics, probiotics, and digestive enzymes, this supplement has you covered — just be ready to dish out a little extra cash.
Best Vegan Probiotic for Women
For those on a vegan diet, you have the added task of tracking down a probiotic supplement that doesn’t contain any trace of animal products. But don’t worry, we’ve done the work here for you.
Naked Gut packs 50mg of probiotics (five billion CFU), which — though lower than some probiotic supplements — is still within the normal daily dose range. And one of the perks of this powder is that it’s not just a probiotic supplement — it contains a full spectrum of ingredients that can be helpful for gut health. This includes 1,000mg of glutamine (which can help balance the gut microbiome), as well as prebiotics (like inulin). This powder isn’t flavored, so you can mix it with any flavored or unflavored beverage without altering the taste. Plus, this is a very reasonably priced supplement for anyone who is shopping on a budget.
Naked Gut packs 50mg of probiotics, as well as 1,000mg of glutamine and prebiotics. The powder is unflavored, and it's fairly inexpensive considering how many helpful ingredients are in this gut health supplement.
Who Should Buy Naked Gut
- Vegans who want an entirely plant-based probiotic supplement.
- Women who are looking for an inexpensive probiotic supplement will like the price tag here.
- Anyone who wants other helpful gut health ingredients, like glutamine and prebiotics, will like that these probiotics come with those mixed in, as well.
Who Shouldn’t Buy Naked Gut
- If you’re looking for a straight probiotic supplement, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
- Anyone who prefers a capsule supplement will want to steer clear as this is a powder.
- If you want a higher dose of probiotics, you can find supplements on this list with up to 100 billion CFU.
Naked Gut is not only vegan, but it contains a wide range of ingredients that can help you maintain a healthy gut microbiome. Plus, it comes at a much more reasonable price than many other digestive supplements.
Best Probiotic for Pregnant Women
When pregnant, gut health can become disrupted, so it’s even more important to make sure everything is running properly. Probiotics can also help prevent certain conditions that may occur during pregnancy (like gestational diabetes). This pick contains two strains that may be particularly ideal for people during pregnancy. (2)
Since the gut can house both good and bad bacteria, it’s important to maintain a healthy balance during pregnancy to keep both you and your baby happy. This pick’s co-founders Ara and Raja met when Ara was pregnant. Ara’s pregnancy journey and experience breastfeeding led them to collaborate and build Seed. Not only can probiotics help keep a healthy gut microbiome during pregnancy, but they can also help prevent certain gestational diseases. For example, the strains lactobacillus rhamnosus and Bifidobacterium lactis can help decrease the risk for gestational diabetes — and Seed contains both of these strains.
Seed measures their probiotics in active fluorescent units (AFU), which have been touted to be a more accurate measurement than CFU. Seed contains 53.6 billion AFU, and they go into the benefits of each strain on their site, offering more transparency than most brands. However, Seed is a bit pricier than other probiotic supplements due to their thoroughly researched and backed blend of probiotics. It’s worth noting that Seed also contains prebiotics, which can be key for feeding good probiotic bacteria.
A digestive health supplement that may be more effective than its competitors at delivering healthy bacteria and fiber to the right spots in your digestive tract. It's ideal for those who want a research-backed supplement with thorough descriptions of ingredients available to customers.
Who Should Buy Seed
- If you’re pregnant and want a probiotic that was inspired by a personal pregnancy journey, this product was created after the co-owner’s experience during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
- For those who want a probiotic that contains research-backed ingredients that are all explained in depth on the product’s website, this pick is for you.
- Anyone who is worried about gestational diabetes will like that this supplement contains two strains that may decrease your risk for the disease during pregnancy.
Who Shouldn’t Buy Seed
- If you’re on a budget, this probiotic supplement may be a bit too expensive for you.
- Those who are looking for a more straightforward probiotic supplement do not need to pay for this robust synbiotic.
A healthy gut microbiome is more important than ever during pregnancy. Seed can be a great addition to your supplement regimen to potentially help keep gestational diabetes at bay and boost your overall gut health.
Best Probiotic for Women for Vaginal Health
Lactobacillus acidophilus can be especially helpful when it comes to vaginal health and keeping the vaginal microbiome healthy. This pick has a high dose of this particular probiotic strain. (3)
Transparent Labs Gut Health Probiotic
Not only does Transparent Labs Gut Health Probiotic offer the highest dose of probiotics on this list, but it also has one of the highest doses of lactobacillus acidophilus we’ve seen. It contains a high dose of Lactobacillus acidophilus, and 1,000mg of probiotics and 100 billion CFU overall. The capsule is made of hypromellose, so this product is also vegan-friendly. It’s fairly straightforward, so if you’re looking for a standalone probiotic supplement you can add to your supplement regimen, this is a great option. It’s also fairly reasonably priced for the high-quality and transparent product you’re receiving.
Transparent Labs Gut Health probiotic contains 1,000mg of probiotics (100 billion CFU) — one of the highest doses on the market. This supplement is also vegan since the capsules are made from plant-based hypromellose.
Who Should Buy Transparent Labs Gut Health Probiotic
- If you’re looking for a high dose of Lactobacillus acidophilus to potentially boost vaginal health, this supplement can help.
- Those who want a straightforward probiotic supplement will appreciate that this product doesn’t contain any added vitamins and minerals that may jack up the cost.
- For anyone who’s looking for a high dose of probiotics, you’ve found it. This pick has 1,000mg of probiotics (100 billion CFU).
Who Shouldn’t Buy Transparent Labs Gut Health Probiotic
- If you want added vitamins and minerals with your probiotics, you’re better off taking a more robust greens powder.
- Anyone who’s looking for a synbiotic should look elsewhere. You won’t find any prebiotics in this supplement.
The Lactobacillus acidophilus is ideal if you want to focus on vaginal health. Plus, it’s fairly straightforward, so it will be easy to sneak it into your current supplement regimen.
Best Probiotic Greens for Women
Greens powders can sound scary for their tendency to taste like dirt, but trust us when we say you do not have to be afraid of Athletic Greens. In fact, Athletic Greens is actually pretty delicious — and it contains 38mg of probiotics.
If you want to drink (and savor) your probiotics, this greens powder has a sweet vanilla flavor that masks any bad tastes you may expect with greens powders. This blend offers 38mg (7.2 billion CFU) of probiotics, which is a solid dose for a product that has such a robust ingredients list. In addition to these probiotics, you’ll also find 75 vitamins and minerals, like B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin A, folate, zinc, a superfood complex, antioxidants, and digestive enzymes. With so many ingredients, the price here is definitely going to be higher than a lot of the other supplements on this list, but you’ll get a great bang for your buck.
This nutritious greens powder is NSF certified for sport and includes 75 absorbable ingredients and is free of gluten, sugar, dairy, eggs, and nuts. It is compatible with vegan, keto, and paleo diets.
Who Should Buy Athletic Greens
- If you’re looking for probiotics wrapped in a tasty greens powder package, this pick is for you.
- Women who want 75 vitamins and minerals in addition to their probiotics will like this blend.
- For anyone who’s looking for digestive enzymes as well, this pick offers a digestive enzyme blend.
Who Shouldn’t Buy Athletic Greens
- Customers who aren’t looking to drop a ton of money on a probiotic supplement can find more basic options that don’t cost as much money.
- If you prefer a capsule supplement, you’ll want to steer clear of this product as it is a powder.
This greens powder can help fill gaps in your diet and provide a solid dose of probiotics in the process. It’s a little on the pricey side, but the robust ingredients list here may be worth the extra cash.
Best Probiotic Gummies for Women
Sometimes having a supplement that tastes like candy can be just what it takes to get you to stick to a regimen. These gummies are both delicious and effective.
Future Kind Vegan Probiotic Gummies
It’s not surprising that many people opt for gummy supplements — they’re tasty and convenient to take on the go. The Future Kind Vegan Probiotic Gummies contain 16.7mg of probiotics (five billion CFU) in each two-gummy serving. Their natural strawberry flavor may even help you look forward to taking this supp every morning. This product is gluten-free, soy-free, and vegan, but it does contain 20 calories per serving to account for the ingredients and flavors used to make the gummies. But when it comes to price, this is one of the least expensive options on our list.
The Future Kind Vegan Probiotic Gummies contain 16.7mg of probiotics (five billion CFU) in each two-gummy serving. They have a natural, strawberry flavor, and are gluten-free, soy-free, and vegan.
Who Should Buy Future Kind Vegan Probiotic Gummies
- Women who want a tasty supplement that may help them stick to a probiotic regimen.
- Vegans on the hunt for a probiotic supplement will like that there are no animal products here.
- Anyone on the go who wants a probiotic gummy they can easily take with them and eat at any time.
Who Shouldn’t Buy Future Kind Vegan Probiotic Gummies
- If you’re looking for a high dose of probiotics, you can find higher doses on this list.
- Anyone who may prefer to drink their probiotics can find a supplement that comes in powder form.
- Those looking for added vitamins and minerals with their probiotics will want to look elsewhere.
Gummies can be a delicious way to take your probiotics. Future Kind is vegan and only requires two naturally-flavored strawberry gummies per serving. Plus, the lower price tag is pretty enticing.
Benefits of Probiotics
Probiotics offer a wide range of potential benefits — from balancing gut health to improving vaginal health, this good bacteria can help our microbiome thrive. We dig a little deeper into these benefits below to help you better understand how probiotics may affect you.
Supplementing with probiotics may help to improve nutrient absorption and reduce digestive issues like gas and bloating. Probiotics can do this by fighting off harmful bacteria (that you may pick up from your environment and the food you consume) and helping to keep the gut microbiome balanced. (1)
Inflammation, the body’s response to stress, can be chronic and lead to a huge variety of disorders that include heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s — the WHO ranks chronic inflammatory diseases as the most significant cause of death in the world. Probiotics have been seen in some trials to reduce clinical symptoms and blood markers of inflammation. (2)(3)
Stress can cause indigestion, and it’s possible that the link goes the other way as well — there’s some evidence that an unhealthy population of gut bacteria increases the risk of experiencing stress and anxiety. As probiotics can help decrease unhealthy gut bacteria, they may also be able to improve mental health across the board. (4)(5)(6)
Unbalanced gut microbiomes can lead to increased fatigue, and therefore, lethargic workouts. A few studies have suggested that probiotics can help fight fatigue, enhance recovery, and lower levels of exercise-induced stress. (7)(8)(9)
Improved Vaginal pH
Of particular interest to some female consumers is the evidence that certain strains, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus rhamnosus, have potential for treating bacterial vaginosis and lowering the risk of urinary tract infections. (10)(11)
Some studies have found that supplementing certain Lactobacilius and Bifidobacterium strains may treat acne better than placebos. (12)(13) Inflammation in the gut can lead to a wide range of health issues, including skin problems. A Russian study even found that 54 percent of people experiencing acne had gut flora disruption. (14)
How Much Do Probiotics Cost?
Probiotics are generally not an inexpensive product. An effective probiotic that provides a solid dose of good bacteria (that can actually make it through your stomach to your gut) is hard to come by. However, even within the group of effective supplements, there is still a range in pricing that varies based on dose and added ingredients. Typically, you’ll find more basic probiotic supplements costing about $1 per serving, while more expensive ones can cost around $3 per serving.
You’ll find that the less expensive products are generally basic capsules that contain probiotics only without any added vitamins and minerals. The more expensive probiotics may come wrapped in greens powders that offer a variety of additional vitamins, minerals, digestive enzymes, and prebiotics.
When Should I Take Probiotics?
While you can take probiotics any time of day, they have a better chance at reaching your stomach if they don’t have to work their way through other foods, too. Not only is your stomach acidic and a challenge for probiotics to overcome in itself, but added food in your digestive tract can tack on another hurdle for probiotics to jump before reaching the gut.
A general rule of thumb is to take your probiotics right in the morning, so they can get straight to work. You can also take them at night before bed, after your dinner has digested, to give them time to work through the night as you sleep.
How We Decided the Best Probiotics for Women
With so many forms of probiotics on the market, we had to consider multiple factors — like dosage and additional ingredients — when making this list. Here’s a deeper look into how we made our picks.
The common daily dosage of probiotics you’ll see across the market is around five to 10 billion CFU. While we find this to be a solid dose and have included products on this list in this range, we’ve also included supplements with much higher doses on our list — some even range up to 100 billion CFU.
Rest assured that no product on this list has a below average or ineffective dose — if you’re looking for a higher dose we have you covered, and if you’re just on the hunt for something more minimal, we also have a pick for you.
While many probiotic supplements can come as standalone supps, they may also come within a larger supplement, like a greens powder or a multivitamin. Some customers may already have their greens or multis covered and may just be on the hunt for a solid solo probiotic. For those folks, we’ve included more basic products that don’t contain any additional nutrients.
But for those who are looking to combine their probiotics with their greens or daily multivitamins, we’ve also included picks on this list that are packed with vitamins, minerals, prebiotics, and digestive enzymes.
Probiotic supplements can get quite pricey — they generally cost anywhere from $1 to $3 per serving. With that being said, we have included a wide range of price points on this list that can hopefully satisfy most shoppers. Those who are hunting down a robust ingredients list can expect to pay closer to $3 per serving, while those who are wanting a more basic supplement can opt for the products that just contain probiotics and are closer to $1 per serving. No matter your desired ingredients or price point, we’ve included an effective probiotic supplement for you here.
What to Consider Before Buying Probiotics
From overall diet to when you’re taking your supplement, there are quite a few factors to consider before settling on a new probiotic supplement. If you want our two cents, we’ve laid it all out for you below.
When to Consume
Particularly with the more potent probiotic supplements, some consumers report indigestion and bloating. However, taking your probiotics with food may make it harder for them to process through to your gut. If you have a particularly sensitive stomach, it may be beneficial for you to take your probiotics within a greens powder, so they aren’t hitting you on a totally empty stomach, but you’re also not hindering them from reaching your gut by putting a meal in their way.
If your stomach isn’t particularly sensitive, you’ll want to opt for a supplement that’s easy for you to take in the morning — if you’re on the go, maybe that’s a gummy or capsule you can bring with you. Just make sure you consider when you will be taking your supplement and what form will be easiest for you (and your body) to consume at that time.
Since many probiotic supplements can contain added vitamins and minerals, you’ll want to consider how many — if any — of these added ingredients you want. While some products like greens powders may supplement probiotics with basic vitamins, like B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin D to build a drinkable multivitamin, other probiotics may supplement with ingredients that can help your probiotics be more effective.
Some evidence suggests that combining probiotic fiber with prebiotic fiber (naturally found in foods like legumes) can enhance the effects of probiotics. Digestive enzymes may also help your food digest better and improve overall gut health, in turn providing a more stable environment for probiotics. Before making your purchase, consider if you want a supplement with or without these added ingredients, so you can narrow down your hunt.
Probiotics may be useful for digestive health, but you’ll also want to incorporate a holistic approach that includes adequate sleep, whole foods, fiber, exercise, and stress management to help keep your digestive tract running smoothly. Probiotics can be a helpful addition, but they are not a cure-all for bad gut health. Consider your exercise and nutrition, and get those on track before implementing a probiotic supplement.
Since probiotics can be expensive, you’re already going to want to be prepared to dish out a little bit of cash for their potential benefits. However, you don’t have to dish out $3 per serving unless you want a comprehensive greens powder that’s packed with additional ingredients and nutritional value. You can expect to pay around $1 per serving for more basic supplements that only contain probiotics. There’s no right or wrong here — decide what you’re willing to pay, and then use this list to guide you to a pick in your price range.
A balanced gut can go a long way to improving your overall health. Probiotics that may help balance the gut can potentially improve nutrient absorption, inflammation, immunity, vaginal health, bloating, and more. Pairing probiotics with prebiotic fiber and possibly digestive enzymes can be even more beneficial, but remember that keeping your gut healthy also includes lifestyle strategies like consuming enough fiber, exercising regularly, minimizing stress, and getting plenty of sleep.
If you have concerns about any of these areas of your health, make sure you speak to a physician first and foremost. But if you’re ready to implement some probiotics into your daily routine, decide which ingredients you’re looking for, pick a price point, check out this list, and follow your gut.
Should I take probiotics on an empty stomach?
Probiotics have the best chance of making it to your gut if you take them in the morning on an empty stomach. If you have a sensitive stomach, you may benefit from taking your probiotics in a greens powder, so they aren’t entering your system entirely solo.
How expensive are probiotics?
Probiotics can be pricey — they typically cost anywhere from $1 to $3 per serving with the more expensive options including added ingredients like digestive enzymes, prebiotics, and vitamins and minerals.
What’s a synbiotic?
A synbiotic is a supplement that contains both prebiotics and probiotics. Prebiotics provide food for probiotics in your gut, so it’s always good to make sure you’re eating enough foods with prebiotics (like oats and legumes), or taking a synbiotic.
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- Kuang L, Jiang Y. Effect of probiotic supplementation in pregnant women: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. Br J Nutr. 2020 Apr 28;123(8):870-880. doi: 10.1017/S0007114519003374. Epub 2019 Dec 20. PMID: 31856928.
- Chee, W., Chew, S. Y., & Than, L. (2020). Vaginal microbiota and the potential of Lactobacillus derivatives in maintaining vaginal health. Microbial cell factories, 19(1), 203. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12934-020-01464-4
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- Messaoudi, M. et al. Assessment of psychotropic-like properties of a probiotic formulation (Lactobacillus helveticus R0052 and Bifidobacterium longum R0175) in rats and human subjects. Br J Nutr. 2011 Mar;105(5):755-64.
- Schmidt, K. et al. Prebiotic intake reduces the waking cortisol response and alters emotional bias in healthy volunteers. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2015 May;232(10):1793-801.
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