Fiber Supplements – When Should You Take Them?

Many people don’t eat enough fiber-rich complex carbohydrates. They turn to fast food or packaged snacks instead of whole fruits and vegetables. This change in diet has led to an obesity problem in America and countless issues with gut microbiome imbalances. The trillions of microbes found in the human gut need to be fed a healthy diet. If the gut gets out of balance, metabolic problems may occur. 

The Role of Fiber in a Healthy Diet

Fiber moves through the stomach and small intestine. As it does so, it scrapes the colon walls to collect waste. This waste is expelled from the body through bowel movements. When a person doesn’t have enough fiber in their diet, they may struggle with constipation or diarrhea. In addition, fiber helps a person feel full, so they eat less. It boosts gut health while reducing the risk of many common diseases. To get the most from a supplement, men and women need to know the best time to take a fiber supplement.   

Using Fiber Supplements

Humans need 28 grams of fiber each day, according to the American Heart Association. A fiber supplement can make up any difference. However, a person shouldn’t head to the store, pick up a supplement, and start taking it right away. Start slow when introducing a fiber supplement to the diet. 

Too much, too soon can lead to gas and bloating. The gut bacteria must work hard to adapt to the increased fiber. Begin by taking half a dose for the first week. Slowly add to this amount each week until the recommended dose is met. Many people feel some minor bloating and gassiness, but that is expected. It will disappear as the body adjusts to the higher amount. 

Drink more water to help flush the bulk created by the fiber out of the body. The colon needs water to form solid bowel movements. Without this water, constipation becomes a concern. Start with 64 ounces of water each day, and drink more if possible. 

Supplements Alone Aren’t the Answer

Never rely solely on a fiber supplement. The majority of fiber should come from the diet. Furthermore, fiber-rich foods lead to a reduction in the consumption of processed foods, which will also benefit the body.

When Should Fiber Supplements Be Taken?

Fiber supplements can be consumed at any time. Many people, however, see the best results when they take the supplement around lunchtime. Doing so will allow the person to feel full as they have lunch and dinner. Consider taking the fiber supplement apart from other medications. If other medications are taken in the morning, take the supplement at night or vice versa.

Nevertheless, people with certain medical conditions should not take fiber supplements. Diverticulitis is a good example of this. Treating this disease requires a low-fiber diet. 

A person cannot begin taking fiber supplements and expect all of their colorectal issues to go away. Excess pounds won’t disappear overnight either. They should be used in conjunction with a healthy diet. When the body doesn’t get enough fiber, gastrointestinal and colorectal problems could increase.

Talk with your doctor to learn if fiber supplements will benefit you or do more harm than good. If they will, the doctor can provide a recommended amount. When fiber supplements won’t be of help, the doctor may have other suggestions. For this reason, always speak with your doctor before moving forward with any dietary supplementation. 

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