Hey guys, if you are struggling with digestive issues or just want to support your gut health, you may want to add a probiotic to your daily routine.
But if you are spending your hard-earned dollars on probiotic supplements, you want to know which ones are best for men. We did the research to make your life a little easier. Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Once Daily for Men is not only the best bang for your buck, but it is made from quality ingredients, potent, and has 15 probiotic strains that promote digestive health. And it could help you trim down those love handles.
Okay, by now most of us have heard about probiotics either through the news, a health care professional, or friends and family. In fact, you can’t get through a dinner party without at least a casual mention about the gut-brain connection or the best supplements (or pre-workout supplements) that have made your friends healthier and happier. So what’s all the fuss about? And why have probiotics become such a vital aspect of our daily routines?
More and more research shows that what happens in your gut can profoundly affect what happens in your brain. More specifically, particular types of critters (bacteria) in your small and large intestines can influence your mental health and your physical health. Research has also found that there are more bacteria in and on humans than there are human cells. It’s okay, read that again and give that fact a minute to process.
So yes, it makes sense that supplementing with a good probiotic can outcompete other bacteria in your gut and benefit your health. You may think that you can just run down to your local grocery store and pick up a probiotic. Still, know that probiotics differ in the strains of bacteria they use, shelf-life, storage requirements, and other essential factors that influence the quality of the supplement and the results you will achieve.
Also be sure to check out our ultimate guide to pre-workout supplements.
The Probiotics for Men We RAVE About
If you haven’t heard of probiotics, in a nutshell, they are the healthy bacteria that live inside your digestive tract. Probiotics have become a popular supplement to help improve many aspects of health, even beyond digestion. These little microbes are being researched for their impact on the immune system, cardiovascular system, mood, and even weight management.
As you choose a probiotic supplement, there are a few things you should take into consideration. Some of the most important factors are the number of colony-forming units (CFUs), the type of bacterium strain used, and the other ingredients included in the supplement.
Just like there are specialists in medicine, such as cardiologists who are experts in cardiovascular health, there are probiotic bacteria that specialize in certain areas of the body. The field of probiotic research has exploded in the past few years and continues to be an area of intense research. Research into probiotics is likely to continue for many decades to come because let’s face it, there are many thousands of species of named and classified bacteria, but many more that have yet to be studied.
We are going to talk about some of the most-studied strains of bacteria included in probiotics, but remember that there is still a lot of research that is being conducted in this area. A lot of this research is focused on two primary genuses of bacteria: lactobacillus and bifidobacterium. These two names are what is being referred to when you see a probiotic with an L or a B in front of the species name.
- L. rhamnosus GG: A bacteria that has been shown to adhere to the intestinal and urogenital wall, allowing it to outcompete other bacteria and prevent illness such as urinary tract infections.
- L. casei CRL431: This bacteria has also been shown to adhere to the intestinal wall and help prevent pathogenic bacteria from binding. L. casei has also been shown to stimulate the immune system and prevent diarrhea.
- L. acidophilus DDS-1: A classic in the probiotic realm, it may be helpful for people with lactose intolerance. It has the ability to digest lactose, so you don’t have to.
- L. reuteri LLC: The cardiologist of probiotics, this bacterium is shown to be cardioprotective and to help balance cholesterol. Calling Dr. Reuteri!
- L. plantarum: Helps to reduce gas and bloating, support digestion, and boost the immune system.
- L. gasseri: A star in the probiotic world for helping you to manage and maintain a healthy weight.
- B. lactis: Sounds a lot like lactose, the primary sugar found in dairy products, which makes sense because this bacteria is often found in yogurt and milk. It can help to balance digestion and resolve some constipation issues.
- B. bifidum: Digestion is where B. bifidim works its magic.
- B. infantis: If you can guess by the name, B. infantis is found in infants and is necessary to build a healthy immune system and help digest its mothers’ milk.
- B. longum: This one is in for the long haul and helps stabilize the intestinal environment and support digestive processes.
Other Important Aspects of Probiotic Supplements
Other than the strain of bacteria included in the supplement, several other factors can contribute to an effective probiotic supplement:
- Prebiotic content
Curious what a prebiotic is and why it is necessary? Prebiotics are the sugar and fiber that bacteria in the intestines—as well as the ones in probiotics—need for growth. Prebiotics are essentially food for healthy bacteria. Including prebiotics in probiotic supplements is essential so that the beneficial probiotic bacteria survive long enough to make it to your intestine. After all, these bacteria are alive and need food like you and me.
Acid-resistance seems trivial until you think about how the probiotic bacteria reach your small and large intestines. When you take supplements, they have to pass through your acidic stomach. The human stomach’s acid content is so strong that most of things you ingest alive will not remain alive when it leaves the stomach. Ensuring that the probiotic bacteria are acid-resistant is essential so that they are alive when they reach where they should colonize.
Like any other supplement, some probiotic supplements contain common allergens like dairy, gluten, or soy. Even if you don’t have a severe immune reaction to these substances, it is possible to have a mild reaction. You may just not feel good when you ingest these substances. It is best to just avoid supplements that include these common allergens when possible.
It can be difficult to tell what separates the bad probiotic supplements from the good ones from the great ones. There are vital components that are common to the best probiotics for men. We based our methodology on the following criteria and questions:
- Probiotic strains: How many different probiotic strains are there and which strains are included?
- Potency: How many CFUs are in each serving?
- Prebiotics: Does the supplement include prebiotic fibers?
- Acid-resistant: Can the probiotics survive stomach acid and make it to the colon?
- Allergen-free: Is the supplement free from common allergens like dairy, gluten, and soy?
- Price: Is the price reasonable for the quality, potency, and quantity of servings?
The Best Probiotics for Men
Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Once Daily
There are so many things to love about Garden of Life’s Dr. Formulated Men’s Probiotic. And judging by its 4.5-star average, people love this probiotic, too. For starters, it’s doctor-formulated. Neurologist Dr. Perlmutter is a microbiome expert, not to mention a brain expert and a New York Times bestselling author. Impressive! It is safe to say that this product has been formulated by a real expert in the field. Priced at $33.59 for a 30-day supply, it is reasonable, but not the cheapest probiotic available.
This winner contains 15 probiotic strains with a total of 50 billion CFUs per capsule and totally shelf-stable—yes, you can leave it on your counter worry-free. The megadose of probiotic bacteria is what we like to see. The probiotics are acid-resistant, meaning they won’t get destroyed in your highly acidic stomach. Also, there are added prebiotics to help your gut flora multiply and thrive in your large intestine.
This probiotic includes L. casei and L. plantarum as well as several other strains that help regulate the digestive process, reduce gas and bloating, and ward off harmful bacteria. We also love the addition of L. gasseri, which can help promote a healthy weight. Garden of Life has done an excellent job formulating a probiotic that is potent, diverse, and meets the needs of men wishing to support their digestion, immune system, and a healthy weight. Did we mention this product is allergen-free, gluten-free, and certified vegan? There is so much to celebrate with Garden of Life’s Dr. Formulated Once Daily Men’s Probiotic.
- Doctor formulated
- 50 billion CFUs
- High potency
- $33.59 for a 30-day supply
- No L. reuteri for heart health
Garden of Life RAW Probiotics for Men
Garden of Life RAW Probiotics for Men offer so much more than just probiotics. It is packed full of vitamins, minerals, and over 30 strains of probiotics. What RAW does is unique: It emulates a food-derived probiotic, the most natural form of probiotics. RAW includes several strains to support digestion, such as B. bifidum and B. lactis, as well as L. fermentum, which has been shown to produce our body’s master antioxidant, glutathione. The addition of this strain may be of interest to men who engage in a lot of physical activity and want to support their body’s antioxidant systems.
Although there are no binders, fillers, or artificial ingredients, if you are sensitive to dairy, pass on RAW as it contains milk products. Priced at $38.49 for a 30-day supply, this probiotic isn’t cheap, but it isn’t the most expensive one either. With all that is included, it makes sense that RAW is priced on the higher end.
But wait, there’s more: Besides the 85 billion CFUs per serving, there are also digestive enzymes to help you break down and assimilate food better for optimal absorption. Yes, you will have to take three capsules to get in all this goodness, but it’s worth it if you ask us. RAW has done a fantastic job putting together a probiotic supplement that does so much more than just supply probiotics.
- High potency (85 billion CFU)
- Added vitamins and minerals
- Includes digestive enzymes
- Three capsules per serving
- Contains dairy
Klaire Labs Ther-Biotic Complete Powder
Don’t like taking capsules? We got you. Klaire Labs Ther-Biotic Complete Powder gives you a hefty dose of probiotics in powdered form. How hefty, you ask? A quarter of a teaspoon provides 100 billion CFUs of 12 different probiotic strains. So to answer your question, very hefty. This probiotic powder includes B. longum and B. lactis to promote balanced digestion, as well as L. rhamnosus and L. casei to fight against bacterial infections in the gut. For the most part, these bacteria are geared toward healthy digestion.
Are you looking for prebiotics? Look no further than this powder. The base of the probiotic powder is prebiotics. You best believe that these bacteria are being well-fed by the 100% prebiotic insulin base. Also, the bacteria are acid-resistant, so your large intestine can receive them alive on arrival.
One thing that isn’t as exciting is the price. For a 60-day supply, you are looking at $79. Compared to other probiotics, this one definitely has a higher price tag. However, given that this formula is high quality, has high potency, and is non-GMO and hypoallergenic, it may be worth spending a bit more to show your digestion some love.
Integrative Therapeutics Enterogenic Intensive
Integrative Therapeutics’ inclusion of the word “Intensive” was the right choice for the name of this probiotic. This is a professional brand, with professional-grade supplements, and their probiotic is no exception. Thirty capsules will cost you $50, which by our standards isn’t cheap. But to be fair, the potency of this probiotic is very high at 100 billion CFUs per capsule, and the quality speaks for itself. Our take? It’s worth it.
Integrative Therapeutics has included the exact strains that were used in research. With this product, you are getting those same probiotics that were shown to have health benefits in research studies (that is what all the numbers and letters after each strain indicate). They chose some of the most studied strains, such as L. rhamnosus and L. casei, as well as B. infantis, all of which are geared toward digestive health. Happy, healthy tummies for all! We would have liked to see L. reuteri for heart health support, but we are just picky.
We also enjoy that this probiotic includes prebiotics to help nourish the probiotics’ growth and development in your digestive tract. Also, the capsules are enteric-coated, meaning they can bypass stomach acid and make their way down to the colon where they can thrive. Although this probiotic is a bit on the pricey side, it packs a powerful punch with a professional-grade formula.
- Very high potency
- Clinically studied strains
- Includes prebiotics
- $50 for 30 capsules
- Fewer probiotic strains
Pure Encapsulations Pure Biome Intensive
Pure Encapsulations is focused on purity and quality. It is considered a professional line, however, you can still find their products on Amazon (shh! Don’t tell). You won’t find any added fillers, binders, or artificial ingredients in their Pure Biome probiotic. This probiotic is also free from allergens and is non-GMO. Priced at $44.30 for a two-month supply, it is very reasonable.
What you will see is that each of the four strains has a series of numbers after it. What’s this? It represents the actual strain of the bacteria used in research studies. This means that their probiotic strains are clinically studied. As we said, purity and quality are the focus of Pure Encapsulations. There are also added prebiotic fibers to support bacterial growth in your large intestine. One downside is that there are only 12.5 billion CFUs in each capsule, which is lower than some of the others we reviewed.
What makes this probiotic unique is the addition of glutamine, an amino acid that is the primary fuel source for intestinal cells. It helps to improve the integrity of the intestinal lining, which is an essential part of gut health. Glutamine works nicely in a probiotic supplement, which is also formulated to improve digestive health and function. In short, this probiotic is a top-notch formula for men who are looking for a pure, high-quality probiotic and want to show some TLC to their digestive function.
- $44.30 for a two-month supply
- Clinically studied strains
- Includes glutamine
- Only four strains
- Lower potency
Douglas Lab Multi Probiotic 40 Billion
Who said probiotics have to be in capsules? Not Douglas Laboratories. They offer their multi probiotic in powdered form (as well as capsules, in case you are a capsule person). Half a teaspoon contains 40 billion CFUs of 16 different probiotic strains, which is in the middle of the road in terms of potency. However, the 16 different strains are a bonus. One point to note is that the other powders we reviewed only required a quarter of a teaspoon and contain over double the CFUs.
Douglas Laboratories includes some very specific clinically studied strains—such as B. lactis HN019, shown to help support immune function—diving deep into the research to make this formula. We wouldn’t expect much less from a professional-grade company. They were also smart in choosing L. gasseri, which may help you manage a healthy weight. We also get giddy when we see a healthy dose of prebiotics. In this case, the powder has a prebiotic base. These little bacteria are in bacteria heaven!
The price is average, at $36 for a 30-day supply. It won’t break the bank, but it isn’t cheap either. This is understandable, seeing as this product contains high-quality probiotics in a prebiotic base that is free from allergens. The other benefits are that the probiotics are acid-resistant and shelf-stable. Unlike many other probiotics, you won’t have to worry about keeping your bottle in the fridge, making it very convenient for men who travel.
- 16 different probiotic strains
- Clinically studied strains
- Lower potency
- Slightly higher price point
- Larger required dose
Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics Professional Formula
Aside from having 30 years of science behind its formulation, Dr. Ohhira’s probiotic is created through a jaw-dropping five-year fermenting process, which creates resilient, potent probiotics. It uses only organic, natural ingredients and 12 strains of probiotics including L. acidophilus, L. plantarum, and B. longum. These strains support digestion and help to create a healthy digestive tract. The downside is, it lacks some of the strains that help with heart health or weight loss.
For men who have digestive issues, this probiotic is a win. However, for men who want to support a healthy weight and their cardiovascular system, they may not be as excited by Dr. Ohhira’s. The other downer is the potency: At 600 million CFUs per capsule, it pales in comparison to the 50-100 billion we see in some of our other top products.
Probiotics provide beneficial breakdown products (metabolites) such as short-chain fatty acids, polyphenols, and trace vitamins and minerals to support the health of your digestive tract and decrease pesky inflammation. Metabolites are formed when probiotics in your gut ferment prebiotics (fiber). Another term used to describe these metabolites are “postbiotics.” Dr. Ohhira’s probiotics include postbiotics in their formula. The addition of postbiotics is unique, and we haven’t seen it in many other products. Yay for Dr. Ohhira’s!
This product is priced at $103.96 for 120 capsules. It is recommended that you take one capsule two times per day, so one box provides a two-month supply. The price may seem expensive, but reviewers love this probiotic. With a 4.5-star average on Amazon, it is clear that people are willing to pay top dollar for this top-quality probiotic.
- Includes pre- and postbiotics
- 4.5-star average on Amazon
- $103.96 for 120 capsules
- Lacks some crucial strains
- Lower potency
Renew Life Ultimate Flora Probiotic Men’s Care
Does Renew Life offer the “ultimate” probiotic (pun intended)? Let’s take a look: With 14 different strains and a whopping 90 billion CFUs per capsule, this probiotic packs a punch. It includes a variety of both Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium bacteria, which are acid-resistant. What does this mean for you? The bacteria will survive the harsh environment of your stomach and reach the colon where they can do their job.
The strains L. rhamnosus, L. casei, and B. lactis are heavy hitters for improving digestion, and the Bifidobacterium helps maintain healthy bacterial colonization of the gut and immune function. We do wish this probiotic included L. gasseri for weight management and L. reuteri for heart health. A bit of a miss on Renew’s part. Another thing you’ll notice is that this probiotic does not include prebiotics (aka bacteria food). Excluding them from a probiotic supplement feels like a missed opportunity. Keep in mind that whole grains like oatmeal and fruits also provide prebiotics.
On the upside, Renew Life’s Ultimate Probiotic for men is gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free. But, priced at $49.99 for a 30-day supply, you may break your bank investing on this probiotic. So does Renew have the ultimate probiotic? Well, we would have to say it is a high-quality supplement, but it’s missing a few crucial pieces. In our book, it’s great, but not necessarily ultimate.
- Very high potency
- 14 different strains
- Acid-resistant bacteria
- $49.99 for a 30-day supply
- Does not include prebiotics
- No L. gasseri or L. reuteri
Metagenics Ultra Flora Spectrum
Metagenics has created a professional grade probiotic using only clinically researched probiotic strains. One unique addition is yeast, S. boulardii. This friendly yeast has been shown to help prevent diarrhea caused by antibiotic use or from traveler’s diarrhea. It also helps fight off C. difficile infections, which are notoriously hard to get rid of. It goes to show that this probiotic is likely helpful for men suffering from serious digestive concerns.
Priced at $54 for 30 capsules, start saving your lunch money to afford this one. Compared to the other probiotics we reviewed, it is definitely on the high end of the price range. However, with all the research that goes into their formulation, it makes sense that the price is higher. Although, we wish that it was higher potency: With 30 billion CFUs per capsule, this probiotic is not as robust as some of our top picks.
Another disappointment is that there are no prebiotics, the food for probiotics. We like to see prebiotics included in our probiotic supplements, so we can be sure our little bacteria friends are getting fed. All in all, Metagenics’ probiotic is highly researched with clinically studied probiotic strains. We appreciate all the science behind this formula. We do wish there were a few more strains included and a higher number of CFUs, but we respect this probiotic as a whole. Well done, Metagenics, well done.
- Clinically studied strains
- Includes S. Boulardii
- Professional-grade supplement
- Pricey ($54 for 30 capsules)
- A fewer number of strains
- Lower potency
Innate Response Flora 20-14 Ultra Strength
Innate Response Flora 20-14 Ultra Strength includes a pretty decent array of strains—14 different strains to be exact. In total, each capsule contains 20 billion CFUs. You will find a blend of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains, with some of our favorite and most studied strains L. rhamnosus, and L. casei. For men who tend to struggle with bloating and gas, L. plantarum in this probiotic may be your saving grace. The L. gasseri may help you shed a few extra pounds, but this product has left out the heart-healthy L. reuteri.
Compared to some other probiotics, the potency of this one is a bit lower than ideal. What we do like is that the probiotics are acid-resistant, which means they can withstand the high acid environment of your stomach. Being acid-resistant is important: If probiotics are not alive when they reach your colon, they cannot do their job. Unlike many other probiotics, this one does not contain prebiotics. Excluding prebiotics could be a good thing or a bad thing: Prebiotics help probiotics thrive. However, if you struggle with gas and bloating, they can make things worse.
The great news is, this product is non-GMO, pesticide and herbicide-free, and suitable for people who follow a gluten-free, dairy-free, or soy-free diet. We appreciate Innate’s dedication to clean, allergen-free products. This probiotic is priced at $43.96 for a two-month supply—pretty decent compared to other probiotics. There are only a handful of reviews for this probiotic, coming in at a four-star average rating on Amazon. All in all, this probiotic is a high-quality product at a price that won’t break your bank account. We think men will enjoy the benefits of taking this well-rounded probiotic.
- Acid-resistant strains
- Well-studied strains
- Non-GMO and pesticide-free
- Lower rating on Amazon
- No L. reuteri for heart health
- No prebiotics
Should I take my probiotic with or without food?
This is a great, potentially confusing question, as some manufacturers advise you to take their probiotics on an empty stomach while others suggest taking it with a meal. So why is there so much confusion surrounding this subject?
It comes down to there not being many scientific studies that try to answer this specific question. After all, how do you study the number of surviving probiotic bacteria in the human body? One way you could do this is by creating an artificial construction of the human digestive tract.
There was a study conducted in 2011 on the survival of four strains of bacteria through an artificial human digestive tract, complete with digestive juices and all. They found that the most bacteria survived when taken with a meal or 30 minutes before a meal.
It makes sense if you think about how food can buffer bacteria from being killed by the acidic stomach environment. While some bacteria strains are acid-resistant, some of the bacteria will still die when exposed to stomach acid. So, take your probiotic supplement with food or 30 minutes before a meal.
Do I need to refrigerate my probiotic?
After your purchase your probiotic, the last thing you want is for the supplement to be ineffective because you didn’t refrigerate it. This aspect of probiotics also tends to be confusing, because some probiotics require refrigeration and others do not. So what’s the deal?
Bacteria, especially the ones used in probiotic formulas, are notorious for being sensitive to heat and excessive moisture. Manufacturers overcome some of these issues by using a freeze-dried form or packaging that prevents moisture from reaching the bacteria. Freeze-drying the bacteria slows down their activity, allowing them to survive longer.
If you purchase probiotics that require refrigeration online, they should be shipped with a cooling pack. If you read the label and find that the probiotic is supposed to be refrigerated but the shipping package was not cooled, you should call the manufacturer and inquire whether or not the bacteria are still alive.
Whether or not the probiotic supplement you purchase needs to be refrigerated depends on the manufacturer’s recommendation. Upon receiving your probiotic, immediately read the label for storage instructions.
What are the best probiotic supplements?
So you’re wondering about the million-dollar question of what are the best probiotics for men? Either you skipped the entire article because the suspense was just too much, or you read the whole article and by this point just need the Cliffs Notes. But no worries. Either way, we are going to answer the question again.
When we are talking about the overall best probiotic for men, we have to immediately look to Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Once Daily Men’s Probiotic. The high potency and 15 different strains of probiotics make this the best. If you missed it in the name, doctors formulated this product, so you can expect the highest quality.
If the thought of swallowing another pill is unbearable, choose our best probiotic powder, the Klaire Labs Ther-Biotic Complete Powder. Loaded with an incredible 100 billion CFUs per serving, you can’t go wrong with this probiotic supplement.
Yeah, yeah, you say, but I want a hard-hitting high potency probiotic. While the 85 billion CFUs in Garden of Life RAW Probiotics for Men is not the highest CFU count we’ve found, this supplement is also loaded with enzymes, vitamins, and antioxidants that take it over the edge in potency compared to its competition.