Digestion shots have become increasingly popular in recent years as a quick and easy way to improve digestion and absorption of nutrients. Typically containing a blend of probiotics, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and other ingredients, these liquid supplements claim to support the digestive system and relieve common issues like bloating, gas, and indigestion.
But when is the best time to take a digestive shot – on an empty stomach, with food, or after eating? Let’s take a closer look at how digestion shots work and the potential benefits and drawbacks of taking them on an empty stomach.
How Do Digestion Shots Work?
Digestion shots are absorbed quickly into the bloodstream because they are already in liquid form. The active ingredients in the shots then work in a few different ways:
- Probiotics – These beneficial gut bacteria help promote a healthy microbiome in the digestive tract. A balanced microbiome is essential for proper digestion and nutrient absorption.
- Digestive Enzymes – Enzymes like amylase, lipase, and protease help break down carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in food. This makes nutrients more accessible to the body.
- Vitamins & Minerals – Digestion shots often contain important vitamins and minerals that play a role in digestive health, such as vitamin A, zinc, and magnesium.
- Herbs & Plant Extracts – Compounds derived from plants like ginger, peppermint, andturmeric have traditionally been used to relieve digestive issues by reducing inflammation and stimulating digestion.
Because of these potent ingredients, digestion shots can provide fast-acting relief for symptoms like bloating, gas, indigestion, and nausea when taken as needed. But are they still effective when consumed on an empty stomach?
Potential Benefits of Taking a Digestion Shot on an Empty Stomach
Here are some of the touted benefits of taking a digestion shot first thing in the morning before eating breakfast:
Boosts absorption: When taken on an empty stomach, the nutrients, enzymes, and probiotics in a digestive shot can be more readily absorbed into your system without food molecules competing for absorption.
Increases efficacy: The active ingredients in digestion shots may work more effectively when not bogged down by food. For example, digestive enzymes can start breaking down your next meal right away instead of having to work through food already in your system.
Provides faster relief: For many people, digestion shots can provide rapid relief from symptoms like bloating and indigestion when taken on an empty stomach up to 30 minutes before eating. The shot has a head start on breaking down food and regulating digestion.
Easier on sensitive stomachs: Those with sensitive stomachs may tolerate digestion shots better when taken before meals. For some, taking these supplements with or after food can cause discomfort or nausea.
Promotes routine: Taking a digestion shot first thing in the morning can promote consistency and make it part of your daily wellness routine. You’re less likely to forget a supplement on an empty stomach as opposed to taking it during or after a meal.
Potential Drawbacks of Taking a Digestion Shot on an Empty Stomach
However, there are also some potential cons to consider when taking a digestion shot before breakfast or eating:
Causes hunger or nausea when taken too long before eating: While some experience relief from taking these supplements on an empty stomach, others may start to feel hungry, lightheaded, or nauseated if too much time goes by before their first meal.
Can initially cause digestive discomfort: Especially for those new to digestion shots, taking them on an empty stomach may initially cause some further digestive upset like cramping, pain, or diarrhea as the digestive system is put into high gear.
Less absorption of fat-soluble vitamins: Certain vitamins like A, D, E, and K rely on some fat intake to be absorbed optimally. Taking digestion shots on an empty stomach may hinder absorption of these fat-soluble vitamins.
Blood sugar fluctuations: In some cases, the herbs and plant extracts in digestion shots can affect blood sugar. Taking shots on an empty stomach could potentially cause blood sugar spikes and drops, especially for diabetics.
Increased risk of side effects: While rare, some possible side effects of digestion shots include heartburn, diarrhea, and irritability. Taking the shots before eating may increase the risk of these effects.
Tips for Taking Digestion Shots on an Empty Stomach
If you want to try taking your digestion shot first thing in the morning or before meals, keep these tips in mind:
- Read product directions – Follow any instructions provided to determine if the shot should be taken with food or on an empty stomach.
- Start slowly – Begin with a low dose and work up gradually to assess your tolerance, especially if new to these supplements.
- Time it right – Take your shot 20-30 minutes before your first meal if possible, but not more than an hour before eating.
- Pair with a liquid – Drink a small glass of water, juice, or plant-based milk to help swallow and prevent nausea.
- Eat something small – If you feel lightheaded or hungry, have a small snack like fruit or toast soon after your shot.
- Monitor effects – Pay attention to your body and adjust your timing as needed if you experience discomfort or side effects.
If taking the digestion shot on an empty stomach continues to cause issues, try switching to either taking it with your heaviest meal or at the end of a meal instead.
The Bottom Line
Here is a quick summary of the key points regarding whether or not to take digestion shots on an empty stomach:
- Potential benefits include increased absorption, efficacy, and faster relief when taken before meals.
- However, possible drawbacks include hunger/nausea, initial digestive upset, reduced vitamin absorption, blood sugar effects, and increased risk of side effects.
- To minimize issues, follow product directions, start with a low dose, time it 20-30 minutes before eating, pair with liquids, and monitor your body’s response.
- If taking the shot on an empty stomach continues to cause discomfort, try switching to either taking it with food or after a meal instead.
Overall, taking digestion shots before breakfast or eating may offer advantages for some, while others may need to take them with or after meals. Pay attention to your individual response and adjust the timing as needed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I take a digestion shot before or after eating?
Most experts recommend taking digestion shots on an empty stomach about 20-30 minutes before eating your first meal. This allows the digestive enzymes and probiotics to start working right away on your food. However, if you experience any discomfort or nausea when taking shots this way, try taking them immediately after eating instead.
What happens if I take a digestion shot on a completely empty stomach?
When taken first thing in the morning or on a completely empty stomach, digestion shots may cause lightheadedness, hunger pangs, nausea, or stomach pain for some people. Be sure to take the shot no more than an hour before eating a meal. Drinking some water or eating a small snack soon after can help minimize adverse effects.
Can I take a digestion shot before exercising?
It’s usually fine to take a digestion shot before lighter exercise like walking, jogging or stretching. But you’ll want to avoid taking it right before intense workouts on an empty stomach, which can lead to nausea or cramping. Instead, have a small snack first or take the shot soon after exercising.
Should I take a digestion shot before drinking coffee?
It’s best to avoid taking digestion shots before drinking coffee or other caffeinated beverages, especially on an empty stomach. Caffeine can stimulate acid production and cause GI upset when combined with shots containing acids, so have coffee after or with food instead.
Can I take a digestion shot before bed?
Most digestive shots contain energizing ingredients like ginger, cinnamon, green tea extract and B vitamins that may disrupt sleep if taken close to bedtime. It’s better to take digestion shots earlier in the day along with meals for optimal effect and minimal side effects.
Digestion Shot Ingredients and Their Benefits
Digestion shots contain a wide variety of natural ingredients that work together to promote optimal digestion and nutrient absorption. Here is a breakdown of some of the key ingredients and their digestive benefits:
|Lactobacillus||Relieves bloating, gas and diarrhea|
|Bifidobacterium||Eases IBS symptoms and improves gut barrier function|
|Saccharomyces boulardii||Fights diarrhea caused by antibiotics and infection|
|Protease||Breaks down protein for better absorption|
|Lipase||Facilitates fat digestion|
|Amylase||Helps digest carbs and starches|
Herbs, Spices and Plant Extracts
|Ginger||Reduces nausea, gas, bloating and indigestion|
|Peppermint||Soothes IBS and digestive muscle spasms|
|Turmeric||Anti-inflammatory benefits for digestive conditions|
As you can see, these diverse ingredients each provide unique mechanisms of action to optimize digestion in multiple ways. Combining several of these herbs, enzymes, and probiotics provides comprehensive digestive support.
Sample Digestion Shot Recipes
If you want to get digestive benefits without the added sugars and artificial flavors in many commercial shots, try making your own digestion shots at home. Here are a couple easy recipes to try:
The Gut Bomb
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp ginger, grated
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 capsule probiotic, emptied
- 2 oz water
Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a small glass. Drink first thing in the morning or 30 minutes before a heavy meal.
Green Digestion Booster
- 1 cup kale or spinach
- 1/2 cucumber, peeled
- 1/2 apple, cored
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1 tsp wheatgrass powder
- 1 capsule probiotic, emptied
- 3/4 cup water
Blend all ingredients until smooth. Consume on an empty stomach and wait 15-30 minutes before eating.
These simple combinations deliver a megadose of digestion-enhancing compounds. Feel free to tailor the recipes to your own tastes and add other gut-friendly ingredients like ginger, oregano oil, aloe vera, or dandelion root.
Digestion shots contain a powerhouse blend of enzymes, probiotics and anti-inflammatory compounds to optimize gut health. While taking them on an empty stomach may provide some advantages like increased absorption and efficiency, they may also initially cause hunger, nausea or stomach upset in some individuals.
Pay attention to your body’s signals and adjust the timing as needed – either taking the shot right before eating, with your meal, or after eating. Finding the ideal time to take a digestion shot for your body can help maximize the benefits while avoiding side effects.