Don’t let another great date get ruined by a queasy tummy.
It’s gas, it’s bloating, it’s super…annoying! Yeah, we know—stomach issues make you feel like Superman when he encounters kryptonite.
Nothing ruins Sunday brunch, an early-morning meeting or, worse, a hot date than your stomach going haywire.
The pain is enough to make you never want to eat again, but that’s just silly, because donuts.
So what gives?
For a long time, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) was considered an “in your head” disease, but for those suffering from stomach issues, the pain is very real.
To back up: What causes stomach issues in the first place? Stomach pain can stem from a range of issues, from gas, distention, bloating or a more serious cause, Brooke Alpert, RD and founder of B Nutritious!, told Dose. To soothe gas pain, Alpert suggests drinking peppermint tea to ease that belly-grabbing feeling, but advises that you can prevent gas from starting by taking a daily probiotic to help keep your gut bacteria in balance.
Welcome to the “I can finally eat again!” movement. Probiotics are a type of good bacteria that are important to your health and that live primarily in your digestive system. More than 70% of your immune system is located in your gut and we are only just learning about the powerful influence of a healthy gut on the total body, says Alpert.
Ok. So maybe you’re contemplating taking a probiotic pill every morning. But what is that really going to do? Let’s break down some probiotic myths.
A lot of medical sites suggest upping your diet with probiotic-filled foods like yogurt—aka single-handedly funding Chobani’s empire.
While it’s important to eat a variety of foods and add fermented foods to your diet, most store-bought yogurts are filled with sugar and don’t provide you with nearly as much probiotic power as taking a regular supplement, says Alpert.
Probiotics are only good for digestive health.
Probiotics go beyond resolving stomach issues and can even play a role in your beauty regimen. Celebrity aesthetician Sonya Dakar tells Dose that you can’t have good skin without probiotics. She has celebs from Madonna to Kourtney Kardashian downing Bio-K+ by the bottle. One single-serve bottle of Bio-K+ delivers 50 billion bacteria and it can be served straight up or in a smoothie.
Taking in bacteria doesn’t seem super vegetarian-friendly.
Many brands, such as Culturelle, have updated their inventory to include vegetarian-friendly daily probiotics. As with any other food or supplement, just make sure it says 100% vegetarian on the packaging!
All probiotics do the same thing.
The number of bacteria in probiotics, and the diversity of live strains within those probiotics, differ from brand to brand. Alpert advises her clients to use Culturelle because their formula uses Lactobacillus GG, which is the strain scientists have studied most.
Pills have side effects that can often be worse than dealing with the pain of stomach problems.
Alpert says side effects from probiotics are rare, but sometimes it takes a few days for your stomach to get used to taking a new supplement. After all, going from a couple million to 50 billion bacteria could be a bit of a shock. She suggests starting with one pill every other day and slowly working up to a daily supplement.
So about that hot date…