In this article, I will provide a scientifically justified answer to how long you should wait before drinking coffee after probiotics.
Probiotics and coffee seem incompatible, but it all depends on how you consume them.
For instance, coffee won’t kill live bacteria unless you consume it boiling hot. Moreover, the good news is that coffee drinkers have healthier gut microbiota. So, if you space them right, both probiotics and coffee will work efficiently to support gut health.
In this article, you will find out how coffee affects the gut microbiome and probiotics.
So, keep reading to find out the details.
Does Coffee Affect Gut Bacteria?
Yes, coffee does modulate the composition of the gut microbiota, mainly through its mineral and phytochemical content.
In this regard, research in 2020 was performed on 147 coffee consumers to check how this beverage is impacting their health and gut bacteria in the long term.
These subjects were categorized into non-coffee-consumers (0–3 mL/day), moderate consumers (3–45 mL/day), and high-coffee consumers (45–500 mL/day), depending on their frequency of consuming coffee.
Interestingly the intestinal microbiota of high-coffee consumers was pre-dominated by the Bacteroides–Prevotella–Porphyromonas group.
Here, this diversity reflects a healthy microbiome that supports a better metabolic status.
Furthermore, diseased individuals present a lower abundance of the Bacteroidetes bacteria or a higher Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes ratio, whereas the high polyphenol and caffeine content in coffee pumps up the Bacteroidetes population instead.
Additionally, subjects who loved coffee more had lower levels of oxidative damage which may be due to the bidirectional interaction of coffee antioxidants and Bacteroide species.
Can You Drink Coffee After Taking Probiotics?
No, coffee has a low pH, so taking it immediately after probiotics may affect the viability of probiotic bacteria during GI transit and their ability to colonize. On top of that, consuming hot coffee will further threaten the survival of the probiotic strains.
Hence, chugging in a caffeinated beverage after probiotics basically nullifies their intake.
So, here are some reasons why you should avoid simultaneous consumption of the two.
Why shouldn’t you have coffee immediately after probiotics?
Due to the Potential of Hydrogen (pH)
Studies reveal that bacteria mainly colonize in the intestine and colon because the alkaline conditions there are more favorable for probiotic growth.
Correspondingly, a 2021 review reported that only 104 CFU/ml of microbes inhabit the stomach and the upper part of the small intestine due to the harsh conditions maintained by gastric acid.
In comparison, the bacterial density may increase up to 1011 to 1012 CFU/ml in the last part of the small intestine and colon, where the milder intestinal fluid neutralizes the environment.
Relative to this, according to a 2018 study, the pH of coffee brews made with beans from different regions is mostly acidic and varies between 4.85 to 5.13.
Whereas the pH in the distal part of the small intestine may be 7.4 to 7.8, and in the colon, it varies between 5 and 8.
Therefore, consuming coffee or any acidic beverage after probiotics may further increase the stomach pH.
Hence, killing the non-resistant probiotic strains even before they reach the intestines.
Due to Temperature
Studies that evaluated the effect of different storage conditions on probiotics found that they lose viability at high temperatures. Hence, hot coffee after probiotics is a big no.
Correspondingly, a study reported that a better CFU of live bacteria was recovered at 20°C, whereas a temperature above 30°C reduced the survival rate. In opposed to this, an experiment performed with 300 consumers revealed that the preferred temperature at which most people like to drink their coffee is around 60oC.
As you can see for yourself that these temperatures are far out of range than those that favor the probiotic’s transit and survival in the gut.
Therefore, you should avoid hot coffee with probiotic supplements.
How long after taking probiotics can you have coffee?
You should wait for approximately 30 minutes to 10 hours before having coffee after probiotics so that the bacteria have already passed safely into the colon. The reason is provided by studies that noted that it takes an average of 30 minutes for gastric emptying, approximately 4 hours for small bowel transit, and an additional time of around 30 minutes for arriving at the colon.
Hence, allowing a minimum time for the bacteria to at least pass into the intestines is important to gain some benefit from your probiotic intake.
Nonetheless, these are just median times and can vary more or less for every person.
Therefore, the best way to go about this is to start your day with your morning coffee and end it with a dose of probiotics before going to sleep.
This way, you not only allow a nice time gap for them both to work, but they also work best at these times and provide optimal benefit.
Does Coffee Kill Probiotics In Yogurt?
No, as long as you don’t consume or mix hot coffee with yogurt, it may not kill the probiotics. In fact, Vietnamese Yogurt Coffee (Sua Chua Cafe) is a popular drink. Other different coffee yogurt recipes have also taken hold of the United States and other countries as well.
Many of these treats more or less involve mixing a cold coffee brew with yogurt and milk.
Additionally, research on coffee-flavored yogurt has been performed to check if the coffee extract affects the viability of the probiotics in the yogurt.
In a recent 2022 study, the microbial analysis of the yogurts in which different concentrations of coffee extract were added showed that it maintains the yogurt’s probiotic potential.
Interestingly, the yogurt had retained a lactic acid bacteria count above one million CFUs per ml.
Moreover, the coffee extract also inhibited the growth of the mold and improved the yogurt’s shelf-life.
Probiotics Coffee For Weight Loss – Is It A Practical Idea?
The practicality of probiotics coffee for weight loss cannot be claimed with surety because it is not supported by enough scientific evidence or user reviews. Nonetheless, combining the fat-burning potential of caffeine and different probiotic cultures that promote weight loss does seem to be effective on paper, so scientists have started work on it.
In the first stage of the research, scientists have developed fermented coffee brews which have a greater shelf life and functional benefit contributed by the probiotics and different antioxidant compounds.
However, until probiotic coffees for weight loss become available in the market, here is an infused coffee pill that helps to support immunity and overall wellness.
VitaCup has introduced the first-ever coffee pods that are infused with vitamins, probiotics, and herbal extracts that target immunity. It has echinacea, a traditional herb that has been proven by research to boost immunity, relieve inflammation and help fight infection.
It also has vitamins C, B6, and D that strengthen the immune defense by regulating both innate and adaptive immune systems.
Moreover, it is based on the more flavorsome Arabica beans that have less acidity and bitterness.
Additionally, the probiotics in it promote digestive health.
A one-time purchase of 16 disposable coffee pods will cost you $28, along with the standard shipping cost, unless you subscribe to their monthly delivery package.
- It improves immune function and digestion.
- It has a 45-day money-back guarantee.
- It is free from gluten and soy allergens.
- It is available on the official website as well as in online and retail stores.
- It comes in Bisphenol A free, recyclable cups.
- It is based on 100% Arabic coffee beans.
- The nutritional information is very lacking.
Can I take a probiotic with coffee?
No, it is better to avoid probiotic supplements with coffee. However, coffee infused with probiotics and cold coffee brews added to probiotic foods is an exception.
How long should you wait to eat after taking a probiotic?
You shouldn’t wait at all as it is best to consume probiotics with food or eat something at least 30 minutes after it.
In a nutshell, drinking coffee and taking probiotics may individually benefit your gut microbiota, but you need to be careful with combining them together. For instance, a more basic pH and a lower temperature better support the colonization of bacteria in the gut, and hot coffee may disturb both of these conditions.
So, if you really want to, you should drink ‘cold’ coffee with probiotics.
Or you may drink coffee during the day and take probiotics at night as these are also the best times for their intake.