You’ve probably heard that it’s a good idea to take fiber supplements, but you might be wondering when the best time to take them is. In this article we will cover if fiber supplements are right for you and if so, when you should take them during the day. We also have our best money-saving tips for purchasing supplements, so you don’t have to spend more than you need to. As always, this article is for informational purposes only and can not replace the advice of a doctor or other medical professional.
Who should take fiber supplements?
First of all, you can’t harm yourself by taking a daily fiber supplement if it turns out that you didn’t really need it – but you probably do. Most studies estimate that only 5% of adults in the United States meet their daily fiber intake requirements. Even if your BMs are pretty regular, having a diet high in fiber helps lower your risk of heart disease and diabetes. So, it’s not a bad idea for most people to include a fiber supplement like psyllium or methylcellulose with their other daily supplements. The only people who should avoid them are those who have a history of intestinal blockages.
Initially you may notice some bloating and gas when starting a fiber supplement, however that should subside within a few days and drinking plenty of water will help prevent symptoms. It should also be noted that fiber supplements can reduce the absorption of certain medications like aspirin and carbamazepine so you may need to adjust dosage to compensate, and the decreased blood sugar levels that come with an increased fiber intake can affect how much insulin diabetics need to take.
What is the best time of day to take a fiber supplement?
It is usually recommended to take fiber supplements right before meals two times a day with a glass of water. This is particularly effective if you are taking the fiber supplement to assist with weight management, as the fiber and water will help you feel full more quickly and for longer which will prevent overeating. Functionally, taking the fiber supplement before you eat means that your body will absorb it in the most optimal way, plus it makes it easy for you to remember.
If you are taking the supplement more generally for improved health rather than weight management then it doesn’t really matter when you take it. Just make sure that if you are taking multiple doses a day that you space them out and drink plenty of water with them.
When to take different kinds of fiber supplements
There are two kinds of fiber: soluble and insoluble. The former is absorbed by the body and the latter is not but is still beneficial. Some supplements only contain one or the other, or they may have both – called ‘total fiber’ usually. Which one is right for you? Well that depends.
If you are having trouble with constipation you will want the insoluble fiber supplements, remember to take it with lots of water and get some exercise too if you can to help get things moving again.
If you are using fiber to help improve digestion or lower your blood sugar, then you will want the soluble fiber. It can also help to relieve diarrhea.
Be sure to carefully read the label of any fiber supplement before you buy it to make sure it’s appropriate for you, and when in doubt always consult a healthcare professional.