How long after taking probiotics can you drink coffee

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How long after taking probiotics can you drink coffee

Probiotics have become extremely popular in the health industry recently. Perhaps you include probiotics in your daily diet to maintain a healthy gut while also needing coffee to start your day. However, have you considered that your morning cup of coffee might be compromising the effectiveness of your probiotic?

In this article, we will delve into all the essential information you need to know and provide a recommendation on how long after taking probiotics can you drink coffee.

Can I take a probiotic with coffee?

No, It is not recommended to consume your probiotics with coffee. Drinking hot coffee at the same time could potentially impact the viability of the probiotic bacteria during their passage through the digestive system and their capacity to colonize in the gut.

Why shouldn’t you have coffee immediately after probiotics?

  • Acidity

According to a 2021 research paper, most probiotics can not survive in large quantities in an acidic environment. For this reason, probiotics are commonly recommended to be taken in the morning on an empty stomach when stomach acidity is at its lowest. However, it is important to note that it can be strain-dependent since soil-based organisms and some strains of lactic acid bacteria like Lactobacillus acidophilus can survive acidity.

Coffee can increase the production of hormones, like gastrin and cholecystokinin, which in turn increase stomach acid secretion. Consequently, drinking coffee may temporarily elevate stomach acidity levels. That being said, drinking coffee immediately after taking probiotics might potentially diminish their efficacy, particularly for those that are sensitive to acidic environments.

  • Temperature 

Most probiotic bacteria are heat sensitive and they lose viability at high temperatures. Although there is no current research data to prove that hot coffee can kill probiotics, you do not want to make a bet on it.

It is best to avoid hot coffee with probiotic supplements so that you can ensure that the heat does not negatively impact the viability of probiotics you are taking. 

How long after taking probiotics can you have coffee?

The best practice is to take your probiotic on an empty stomach and then wait about 30 minutes before drinking your morning cup of coffee. This will give the probiotic some time to survive and multiply in your digestive system. 

So, is coffee bad for gut health?

Not really.

Although drinking coffee immediately after probiotics can potentially reduce your probiotic’s survival, the good news is that coffee has beneficial effects on gut health.

Prebiotic effect

Coffee contains dietary fiber and polyphenols, which can act as prebiotics that promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut.

A 2019 study published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology found that coffee drinking was associated with increased diversity and richness of gut microbiota, as well as higher levels of beneficial bacteria. Experts estimate that the reason for this is the chlorogenic acid found in coffee.

Antioxidant effect

Coffee is a rich source of antioxidants, which can help protect cells in the body from damage caused by free radicals and reduce inflammation in the gut.


For some people, especially those with pre-existing gastrointestinal issues like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), coffee consumption may cause exacerbation of symptoms.

Final recap: Separating facts from fiction 

✔️ You don’t need to eliminate your morning coffee simply because you’re taking probiotics. The key is how you go about consuming them.

✔️ After taking probiotics, it’s acceptable to have coffee, but it’s recommended that you wait at least 30 minutes. This allows the bacteria to safely reach their destination.

✔️ It is not advisable to take any supplements, including probiotics, with hot beverages such as coffee.

☕️  So, if you are a coffee lover, a fascinating fact is that your mug of joy can actually have positive effects on the health of your digestive system, as long as you don’t go overboard. And by allowing a 30-minute gap between consuming probiotics and drinking coffee, you can kickstart your day with a healthy gut. ☕️ 

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Dr Tun Min is s GP working in NHS UK and writing articles about supplements and vitamins based on personal clinical experience and clinical research.

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