Should you take fiber before or after a meal?
This is a very good question; we are all told that we need to be eating more fiber, but exactly how much or how we should be incorporating it into our diet is not usually explained.
Fiber consumption is something that more people should be thinking about. Supplement manufacturers have got us very concerned about protein intake, even though protein is one of the most ubiquitous nutrients. But the vast majority of people, especially those in the Western world, consume far too little fiber each day.
The health effects of this are potentially disastrous.
Effects of a low fiber diet: Why you should take in more fiber!
A diet low in fiber is linked to several chronic health conditions and diseases, including diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and certain forms of cancer (mainly bowel).
Less seriously – but equally unappealing – are the effects that a lack of fiber has on digestion. People who don’t get enough fiber from their diet struggle with chronic bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, and nutrient deficiencies stemming from a disrupted gut microbiome.
You see, your gut microbiome – the collection of bacteria living in your gut – has a direct effect on lots of different bodily functions, from cognition and immune system function to nutrient digestion and uptake.
Fiber is what these gut bacteria feed on, so a lack of fiber leaves them to starve, which adversely effects your body in numerous different ways.
Clearly then, you want to be eating more fiber.
If you can’t realistically eat more fiber every day – an optimal amount being several grams of water soluble fiber – then a fiber supplement (a prebiotic) is a good idea.
But when should you take your fiber?
Before or after a meal?
When to take fiber supplements (prebiotics)
We’ll start off by saying that your meals should contain some fiber.
All of them; for optimal health and performance, every meal you eat should contain at least some fiber, ideally water soluble fiber which will feed your gut bacteria.
But if you aren’t currently eating a lot of fresh vegetables, then you are probably going to want to take a top prebiotic supplement.
For optimal results, we think it is best to take fiber immediately before a meal. Consuming a prebiotic fiber supplement with food ensures that it passes through your digestive system properly, reaching the gut where it needs to go.
Taking fiber with a meal will also ensure you remember to take your prebiotic everyday, which is necessary if you are to really enjoy all of the benefits of the best prebiotics.