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17 June 2021

Probiotics 101: A Simple Guide

We know why you’re here—probiotics are on the rise, and you wanna know what all the hype is about! For starters, research has proven that these friendly bacteria are good for you in all sorts of ways. From bowel disorders to depression, probiotics are quickly becoming a miracle healer for almost every ailment out there. To top it all off, getting your daily dose of probiotics is easy when you indulge in a variety of probiotic drinks.

With so much info on the internet, it’s hard to find a place to start. You’ve come to the right place! This simple guide will fill you in on all you need to know before embarking on your probiotic journey.

What Probiotics Are and How They Work

Before delving into the world of probiotics, let’s talk a little bit about the gut microbiome. This is a colony of microorganisms that line your small intestine. Microbiomes contain trillions of bacteria, both good and bad. Your gut has to constantly maintain a delicate balance between those good and bad bacteria so your body can function at the top of its game.

Bad bacteria is nothing to freak out about. Everyone has them in their guts, and there’s no way to entirely get rid of them. Your focus shouldn’t be to kill off bad bacteria but rather to introduce healthy strains that keep them in check, so your gut can achieve equilibrium…and it all comes down to what you eat.

This is where probiotics come in handy! Probiotics are strains of healthy bacteria that bolster gut health. Your body contains some probiotics already, but if you need more, billions of bacteria have been packed into supplements, fermented foods and your favorite low sugar probiotic drink. They balance out the ratio of good and bad bacteria in the gut microbiome and protect you from a host of problems that gut imbalances can cause.

yogurt with probiotics

The Healing Powers of Probiotics

Probiotics’ benefits aren’t just limited to a healthy gut. While bacteria thrive in the gut microbiome, your digestive system can affect your weight, nervous system, brain chemistry, blood pressure, skin health and so much more. These helpful germs are a must-have for overall brain and body health. Probiotics offer so many health benefits, it’s impossible to list them all here (but we’ll try, anyway)!

Probiotics are the number-one cure for chronic digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and antibiotic-induced diarrhea. Both disorders are a sign that way too many bad bacteria are floating around in your gut. Antibiotics kill infectious pathogens, but they kill good bacteria, too. A daily probiotic can restore the balance of microbiomes after antibiotic use and reduce bloating, gas and stomach cramps in IBS patients.

Though more research is needed, early studies indicate that probiotics can also help adults lose weight and prevent the onset of obesity. One experiment reduced stomach fat by 8.5 percent after taking a daily probiotic for 12 weeks. Once participants returned to their normal diets, they quickly regained the lost weight. Researchers need more time to figure out which bacterial strains are best for weight management.

You might be surprised to learn that a healthy gut also equals a happy mind! Scientists have recently discovered a link between the microbiome and your mood, called the gut-brain axis. This means individuals with a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria are less likely to suffer from mood disorders. In fact, one study proved that probiotics can alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety after just eight weeks. (Grabbing a can of the best probiotic drink is a pretty effective mood booster, too!)

Finally, if you’re sick of getting sick, probiotics will kick your immune system up a notch! Most of your immune cells live in your gut, and they need balance to stay strong. Taking a daily probiotic is like sending billions of troops into your gut to defeat all those icky pathogens. You’ll be less likely to get bogged down by the common cold, and a balanced gut will help you fight off more serious infections, as well.

Choosing the Right Strains

More than 500 species of good bacteria live in your gut. Researchers need more time to figure out what their unique roles are in maintaining the body’s overall health. However, the bacteria found in probiotics are typically categorized by the Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium families.

While research is still in the works, scientists suspect that certain strains of good bacteria excel at treating some health conditions more than others. For instance, Lactobacillus helveticus and Bifidobacterium longum are successful at alleviating symptoms of depression and anxiety. The use of Lactobacillus gasseri looks promising for adults who struggle to keep their weight under control.

What’s more important than choosing a specific strain is making sure you ingest bacteria at the right point in its lifecycle. Should you sip germs that are dead or alive? Trick question—it’s neither! Dead bacteria are obviously useless, and live bacteria can fizzle out before you get a chance to crack open that vegan probiotic. You want spore bacteria, which lie dormant and become activated in the gut microbiome.

A Word of Caution

Probiotics are generally considered safe. That’s because the good bacteria in supplements and fermented foods are naturally found in the gut flora. But don’t get too crazy with the probiotics—they can deteriorate the health of people with compromised immune systems and certain chronic diseases. While most people get to enjoy probiotic drink benefits all they want, it’s best to consult your doctor first.

Even healthy individuals should speak to a doctor about probiotics. Probiotic supplements are unregulated, meaning companies can say anything they want about their product without backing those claims with hard facts. Ingredient labels might say the capsules contain a specific type of bacteria when they really don’t. It’s important to do your research, buy from reputable companies and get the all-clear from a doc before going crazy with the bacteria.

Answers to All Your Probiotic Questions

We get it—life is short, and you need answers fast. Lucky for you, we’ve compiled the most frequently asked questions about probiotics and provided bite-sized answers for them all.

Probiotics are healthy bacteria that restore balance to the microbiome in your small intestine. The gut microbiome has both good and bad bacteria, and you can get more of the good stuff by incorporating supplements and fermented foods into your diet. Kombucha is a non-dairy probiotic that’s popular among people with sensitive stomachs!

A better question would be, what DON’T they do? Probiotics reduce bloating, constipation, gas and diarrhea associated with digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome. These helpful bacteria can also reduce your risk of obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and all sorts of infections. Studies show that probiotics can even make you a happier person!

You bet they do! Studies have proven that probiotics are essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system. Gut microbiomes naturally contain trillions of bacteria, and taking a daily probiotic is the best way to give your gut even more of those healthy germs.

It depends. Some people who start taking a probiotic supplement will experience mild side effects for the first few days as the gut adjusts. If this happens, give the probiotic some time to work its magic! Everyone takes probiotics for different reasons, and it could be anywhere from four to 12 weeks before you see improvements in your overall health.

The quickest way to get your daily dose of germs is by taking a probiotic supplement. Helpful bacteria also naturally occur in fermented foods like kombucha, yogurt, kimchi and sauerkraut. If you want something a bit more fun, a can of Boozy Boocha contains probiotics and a fun buzz!

Everyone needs healthy germs. Supplements and fermented beverages add billions of good bacteria to the gut flora, so you’re better equipped to fight off infections and prevent the development of chronic diseases. Your key to a long, healthy life starts with the gut!

Fortify Your Gut with Boozy Boocha

Swallowing a daily pill is so blah. Ditch those boring supplements for a can of Boozy Boocha! Our signature alcoholic kombucha is just the thing you need to fortify that gut flora and get your buzz on at the same time. Each can is packed with non-dairy probiotics, so you can enjoy a guilt-free happy hour. Bacteria have never tasted so good!

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