The best probiotic powder
While you may spend time cleansing your hands and high-touch surfaces of potentially harmful bacteria, there are actually plenty of healthy bacteria that you may want to keep around. In particular, the bacteria and yeasts in your digestive system play an essential role in your overall health.
When good gut bacteria are thriving, people experience better digestion, improved mental health symptoms and balanced cholesterol and blood pressure. One simple lifestyle change that can help support your gut microbiome is to add a probiotic supplement to your daily routine. A great powdered probiotic like the Ora probiotic is chock-full of the beneficial bacteria your gut needs. If you’re considering getting a probiotic powder, here’s what you need to know first.
What to know before you buy a probiotic powder
How often do I need to take a probiotic powder?
Most probiotic powders are formulated for daily use. You can take the supplement at any time of day, with or without food. In some cases, if you are taking an antibiotic course for another health reason, your doctor may recommend a different or more aggressive probiotic supplementation strategy. It’s always best to speak with your healthcare provider before adding a supplement to your diet.
Is there a difference between probiotic powders and capsules?
The only difference between probiotic powders and probiotics in other forms, such as capsules or liquids, is how you consume them. Powders are dry and shelf-stable. They must be mixed with a liquid (usually water) to consume. Capsule probiotics can be swallowed like a pill, though most must be stored in the fridge to prolong the life of the microorganisms. If you prefer to take your probiotics in pill form, read about the best probiotic capsules according to BestReviews.
Probiotic powder features
Number of probiotic cultures
Each probiotic powder has a unique formulation of cultures. These are the active bacteria that thrive in your gut to promote proper digestion and overall microbiome health. The best probiotic blends have multiple strains of bacteria. This variety is important to maintain balance in your gut. Colony-forming units are used to measure the number of bacteria per dose of probiotic. For severe symptoms, you may need a higher dose of up to 50 billion CFUs. For daily use, between 10-20 billion CFUs is a good range.
Probiotics are formulated with various bacterial strains. It’s important to find a strain that suits you, your medical conditions and your current gut microbiome. If you are treating a medical condition like dermatitis or IBS with probiotics, it’s important to talk with your doctor to identify the right strain for your needs. Most probiotics offer a combination of several of the most potent bacteria strains, including Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium and Propionibacterium.
Probiotic vs. prebiotic
Prebiotics and probiotics work together to maintain a healthy gut microbiome. If a probiotic powder also works as a prebiotic, that means it contains some form of fiber that our bodies cannot digest, usually from plants. This fiber is beneficial in the gut to feed the probiotic bacteria.
Probiotic powder cost
Probiotic powder supplements cost between $20-$40 per 30-serving canister.
Probiotic powder FAQ
Are probiotic powders shelf-stable?
A. In most cases, the bacteria in probiotic powders have been dehydrated to make a shelf-stable product. However, some products must be refrigerated.
Can kids and adults use the same probiotic powder?
A. It’s always best to consult with a medical provider before starting any supplements yourself or offering them to kids. But in most cases, probiotic powders are safe for kids and include dosing recommendations on the labels.
Which probiotic powder should I get?
Best of the best probiotic powder
Ora Prebiotic and Probiotic Powder Supplement: available at Amazon
Our take: This vegan probiotic powder is great for the entire family and offers a whopping 20 billion probiotics in six different strains to keep your gut thriving.
What we like: Each one-scoop serving of this powdered probiotic from Ora contains billions of probiotics in a ratio designed for optimal gut and immune system health, as well as strong hair and skin. Each jar contains a one-month supply and the powder dissolves easily into any liquid. You can even blend it into a fruit smoothie to combine it with gut-healthy dietary fiber. The product is also vegan and free of added fillers, sugars, artificial flavors and preservatives.
What we dislike: Not everyone is a fan of the lavender lemonade flavor.
Best bang for your buck probiotic powder
Physician’s Choice Probiotics: available at Amazon
Our take: This unflavored probiotic powder contains organic probiotic fiber and is shelf-stable for easy storage and portability.
What we like: Each serving of this probiotic from Physician’s Choice contains 60 billion CFUs along with 150 milligrams of organic prebiotic fiber in the form of Jerusalem artichoke root, acacia senegal and chicory root. Each container includes 30 powder-filled capsules that are easy to swallow with water. The unique jar is designed to protect the living bacterial cultures with moisture- and light-blocking barriers so you can keep your probiotics at room temperature.
What we dislike: Other ingredients in this product include rice flour and sunflower oil.
Honorable mention probiotic powder
Renew Life Probiotic Prebiotic Daily Powder: available at Amazon
Our take: This organic powder contains both prebiotic fiber and 20 billion live probiotic cultures, for a well-rounded daily supplement.
What we like: Made with clean ingredients and free of gluten, dairy and soy, this certified organic probiotic powder is loaded with 20 billion CFUs of bacteria, as well as 3 grams of dietary fiber per serving. The powder is unflavored and each container includes 30 one-scoop servings.
What we dislike: The powder requires refrigeration, which can make shipments more expensive.
Lizzy Briskin is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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