Probiotic Soda Drinks: Are They Good for Your Intestinal Health?
More and more people are recognizing that gut health can have a significant impact on their overall well-being. As a result, they’re looking for ways to improve it. One of the most popular ways, at present, is through the consumption of prebiotic and probiotic soda drinks.
Despite the growing interest in these beverages, the benefits of taking prebiotic and probiotic soda drinks are still the subject of scientific debate. In addition, there are some possible side effects of overconsumption.
Let’s take a closer look at how much scientific evidence is behind it.
What are prebiotic and probiotic soda drinks?
Prebiotics are non-digestible fibers that feed the beneficial bacteria in the gut or microbiota. This substrate helps them in their metabolism, which promotes intestinal health, in addition to strengthening the immune system, calcium absorption, and the movements of the digestive tract. This is stated in the Journal of Functional Foods.
Probiotics are live microorganisms that strengthen the bacterial flora already existing in the intestine. These bacteria are added to those already present to strengthen the immune system and help in the absorption of nutrients, among other functions.
Sodas and soft drinks are a type of carbonated beverage. The food industry has incorporated in some brands certain ingredients that correspond to prebiotic fibers and probiotics. To complement its “healthy” profile, manufacturers often use sweeteners such as stevia and erythritol.
They’re promoted as a “healthier” option among conventional beverages.
Get to know more: Natto, the Viscous Japanese Food that Provides Probiotics
Can probiotic soda drinks improve your digestive system?
Marilia Chamon, a registered nutritional therapist and founder of Gutfulness Nutrition Gut Health, explained in a recent interview that many people can benefit from consuming probiotics, but there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. She suggests that, when choosing this type of industrial product, the overall quality of the soda should be taken into account and that the description of the strains it contains should be clear.
In other words, we have to opt for a type of probiotic that really has scientific evidence in its favor. In this regard, scientific studies often try to clarify which strains are useful and which are not.
In recent years, there has been a noticeable increase in the consumption of prebiotic and probiotic soda drinks. Generally speaking, this is good news. Probiotics have benefits for intestinal health, backed by science, and soft drinks with probiotics will always be preferable to regular sodas.
However, it’s important to consume these beverages in moderation. It’s also worth clarifying that some sweeteners and additives may not be of the best quality. This is a relevant point of discussion about their production, which is echoed in a publication by Gut Microbes.
In addition, excessive consumption of probiotics can lead to overdoses, resulting in diarrhea and flatulence. This is according to a study carried out by Augusta University, in the United States.
Follow these tips for: Intestinal Health: 7 Foods That Are Bad For Your Gut
When is it necessary to take prebiotics and probiotics?
Prebiotics are found naturally in foods rich in fiber. We can mention oats, onions, garlic, artichokes and bananas. Probiotics are found in fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh, cheese, and buttermilk.
Eating a diet high in prebiotics can have many benefits for intestinal health. Similarly, regular consumption of probiotic foods will support our immune system, as stated in the journal Molecules.
And while the ideal is to obtain these components from natural and varied sources, there are situations in which supplementation is favorable. It may even constitute a medical indication for treatment.
The intake of prebiotics and probiotics may be recommended in the following circumstances:
- Irritable bowel syndrome. Probiotics may also be beneficial.
- Intestinal malabsorption syndrome, as probiotics increase absorption capacity.
- Gastrointestinal infections, such as acute diarrhea. Probiotics help restore the intestinal flora and reduce the duration of the clinical course.
Prebiotic and probiotic soda drinks are a practical and easy way to comply with their consumption. However, it’s necessary to remember that each person is unique. It’s best to consult with a health professional before taking any supplements.
In general, these beverages don’t pose a health hazard, as long as they’re consumed in moderate amounts. Of course, your prebiotic and probiotic diet shouldn’t rely solely on sodas and soft drinks.
In the context of a particular disease, such as irritable bowel disease, we need to be certain about the amount of strains we take. That is, it should be defined by a doctor and possibly through a pharmaceutical supplement, which is not subject to the dosage variations of commercial food.
Are there other ways to improve gut health?
Gut health is crucial to maintaining overall good health.
The digestive system is responsible for the absorption of nutrients and the elimination of waste, which means that any problems in the gut can affect the rest of the organs. Fortunately, there are ways to improve gut health in simple ways:
- Eat fiber-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Include fermented foods in your diet. They have high natural concentrations of probiotics that prevent intestinal dysbiosis.
- Avoid excess simple sugars and ultra-processed foods, as they promote systemic inflammation.
- Drink enough water to promote digestive tract movements.
If you have bothersome symptoms related to your digestive system, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor or nutritionist. Supplements may help, but an evaluation by a specialist is always necessary. At the same time, you’ll be able to consult whether or not they recommend this type of drink.It might interest you...
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Abid, M. B., & Koh, C. J. (2019). Probiotics in health and disease: fooling Mother Nature?. Infection, 47(6), 911-917. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s15010-019-01351-0
- Al-Sheraji, S. H., Ismail, A., Manap, M. Y., Mustafa, S., Yusof, R. M., & Hassan, F. A. (2013). Prebiotics as functional foods: A review. Journal of functional foods, 5(4), 1542-1553. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S175646461300193X
- Britton, R. A., & Versalovic, J. (2008). Probiotics and gastrointestinal infections. Interdisciplinary perspectives on infectious diseases, 2008. Disponible en: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2648624/
- Carlson, J. L., Erickson, J. M., Lloyd, B. B., & Slavin, J. L. (2018). Health effects and sources of prebiotic dietary fiber. Current developments in nutrition, 2(3), nzy005. Disponible en: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6041804/
- Fijan, S. (2014). Microorganisms with claimed probiotic properties: an overview of recent literature. International journal of environmental research and public health, 11(5), 4745-4767. Disponible en: https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/11/5/4745
- Macnab, L. (2023, Febrero 19). What are the most common symptoms of IBS? . JERMS. Disponible en: https://wearejerms.com/blogs/journal/breaking-down-ibs-a-conversation-with-marilia-chamon-nutritional-therapist-and-gut-health-specialist
- Merenstein, D., Pot, B., Leyer, G., Ouwehand, A. C., Preidis, G. A., Elkins, C. A., … & Sanders, M. E. (2023). Emerging issues in probiotic safety: 2023 perspectives. Gut microbes, 15(1), 2185034. Disponible en: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19490976.2023.2185034
- Rao, S. S., Rehman, A., Yu, S., & De Andino, N. M. (2018). Brain fogginess, gas and bloating: a link between SIBO, probiotics and metabolic acidosis. Clinical and translational gastroenterology, 9(6). Disponible en: https://journals.lww.com/ctg/Fulltext/2018/06000/Brain_fogginess,_gas_and_bloating__a_link_between.6.aspx
- Wang, X., Zhang, P., & Zhang, X. (2021). Probiotics regulate gut microbiota: An effective method to improve immunity. Molecules, 26(19), 6076. Disponible en: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8512487/