Tyler Sellers
Published by Tyler Sellers
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED

Many athletes are focusing more on their healthy gut bacteria as a way to better manage their diet and fitness goals.

While this often involves using probiotics, you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of prebiotics when it comes to the growth of beneficial gut microbiome

The problem is that there are so many prebiotic supplement choices, but not many of them have the right quality to make any difference.

Basically, you could be wasting a ton of money.

That’s why we teamed up with a nutritionist to find out what the best prebiotics are that we would recommend to clients and readers.

Our Top Prebiotics

1 - Performance Lab Prebiotic Supplement (Editor's Choice)

Performance Lab Prebiotic Supplement

Of all the prebiotic supplements that we tested, this one stood out the most for us.

It seems to provide the right combination of benefits for your gut bacteria, immune function, and energy levels.

What a lot of people also like is that it may increase your fiber intake enough to make you feel full for longer, That could help with better nutrient absorption and to bridge longer fasting periods.

  • Type: Orafti Synergy1
Pros
  • Seems to work well to settle common stomach issues
  • May suppress appetite to help with dieting
  • Gluten, soy, and GMO-free for added peace of mind
  • Tested for banned substances making it more suitable for athletes
Cons
  • It’s not the cheapest option

Now, I will say that this isn’t the cheapest option, but if you go for one of the bulk order offers, then you could be making it more affordable.

2 - 1MD PrebioMD Prebiotic Supplement

1MD PrebioMD Prebiotic Supplement

1MD has created one of our favorite probiotic supplements, and this prebiotic could be the right complement to that.

We saw quite a few reports that it may help rebalance your good and bad bacteria within just a few weeks.

There are also positive comments about the overall health benefits with practically no side effects.

If you’re already taking the 1MD probiotics, then you could end up saving a lot through the bulk offers that are regularly available.

  • Type: PreforPro
Pros
  • Seems to work within weeks to rebalance the bacteria in your gut
  • Positive comments about it not causing bloating
  • Great bulk discounts available
Cons
  • The exact formula and amounts are proprietary information

The only thing we found a bit annoying is that the label shows a proprietary blend, so you don’t get the exact amounts of each ingredient.

3 - vH essentials Probiotics with Prebiotics

vH essentials Probiotics with Prebiotics

We liked this prebiotic supplement because it also contains a small volume of probiotics as well.

The formula has been designed with both prebiotics and probiotics specifically for women, and many of our female athletes seem to have successfully used this one for their weight loss goals.

You may also notice a positive boost to your immune system function from some added vitamin C. And women who may suffer from urinary tract infections may get some benefits from the added cranberry extract.

  • Type: Inulin FOS
Pros
  • Specifically formulated for female requirements
  • Contains some added vitamin C for immune system support
  • Added cranberry extract may help with urinary tract issues
Cons
  • Might not be strong enough for severe digestive health issues

Just keep in mind that the dosage might not be strong enough if you’re trying to deal with more severe gut health problems.

4 - Zenwise Health Digestive Enzymes

Zenwise Health Digestive Enzymes Plus Prebiotics & Probiotics Supplement

Zenwise has created one of the more unique products by combining a prebiotic fiber and digestive enzyme blend.

The goal of this combination is to help with feeding your gut bacteria and breaking down macronutrients more easily [1].

This might also help with some weight loss goals through more efficient digestion of your food.

We found quite a few comments from elderly people who claimed it helped them rebalance the beneficial bacteria and boost their immune system.

  • Type: Inulin FOS
Pros
  • Claims to combine digestive enzymes and prebiotics for an efficient digestive tract
  • Seems to work well for your immune system
  • Positive comments from elderly people with digestive system issues
Cons
  • Some reports of minor bloating when you start taking it

You may want to start with a smaller dose as some people said it might cause some bloating.

5 - Dr. Tobias Prebiotic Supplement

Dr. Tobias Prebiotic Supplement

The blend of prebiotics in this supplement claims to have been medically developed to work in two ways.

Not only might it help to feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut, but it may also starve the bad bacteria to get to better and more balanced gut health.

This may explain why quite a few online comments mention that it may have helped people to deal with stomach issues like diarrhea.

We also found that the capsule size was small enough to make it much easier to swallow them.

  • Type: PreforPro
Pros
  • Has positive reviews about helping with diarrhea
  • Claims to only feed the good bacteria in your gut
  • Capsules seem to be small and easy to swallow
Cons
  • It doesn’t seem strong enough for more severe digestive health issues

The only thing our dietitian pointed out was that it might not be strong enough if you're dealing with more severe health conditions like inflammatory bowel disease or irritable bowel syndrome.

6 - BeLive Probiotic Sugar-Free Gummies

BeLive Probiotic Sugar-Free Gummies

This BeLive prebiotic supplement is a good option for kids and any adults who don’t like swallowing capsules. The sugar-free gummies are quite tasty, and you shouldn’t have much trouble getting your kids to take them.

It seems to have a decent fiber content as quite a few people have told us that it seems to help them feel full for longer in between meals.

That could make it suitable for getting to weight loss goals faster.

And if you suffer from common food allergies like gluten or soy, then this might also be a suitable option.

  • Type: Inulin
Pros
  • Suitable for kids and adults with convenient gummies
  • Positive comments that it may help with hunger cravings
  • Free from the most common allergens
Cons
  • The gummies tend to stick together

I would just recommend storing the gummies in a cool and dark place, as they tend to get stuck together if they get too warm.

7 - BioSchwartz Prebiotics for Advanced Gut Health

BioSchwartz Prebiotics for Advanced Gut Health

This BioSchwartz prebiotic supplement seems to be recommended by a lot of doctors, with many reviewers saying that it seems to have helped them with common stomach issues within hours.

This would mainly be things like diarrhea and constipation, which are often down to gut bacteria imbalances.

The formula is also not too strong to make it less suitable for women who may be a bit sensitive to sudden changes in their levels of healthy bacteria.

We also noted that quite a few people mentioned that they noticed an overall health boost from better immune responses.

  • Type: PreforPro
Pros
  • Claims to provide relief for digestive health issues within hours
  • The balanced formula should work well for men and women
  • Positive comments about immune system boosts
Cons
  • Might not be strong enough for severe disruptions of the digestive system

We would just caution you to expect too much from it if you suffer from more severe medical conditions of the digestive system.

8 - Hyperbiotics Organic Prebiotic Supplement

Hyperbiotics Organic Prebiotic Supplement

If you prefer supplements that are based on organic ingredients, then this one with a blend of Jerusalem artichoke and green banana flour could be a good choice.

The result should be a good amount of fiber that may do well to feed your gut bacteria.

But fiber may also be helpful for anyone who might regularly have problems with constipation that could become quite uncomfortable

  • Type:acacia fiber, Jerusalem artichoke
Pros
  • Seems to contain a good dosage of soluble fibers
  • Positive reviews about it helping bowel movements if you’re constipated
  • Comes in a powder form that may be mixed with food and smoothies
Cons
  • Some initial gas seems to be common

One thing we did notice is that some people reported some initial gas after taking this supplement. But that would generally be a positive symptom that it’s working.

9 - Prebiotin Prebiotic Supplement

Prebiotin Prebiotic Supplement

Some people tend to react sensitively to prebiotic supplements, which might mean that they need to be able to take smaller doses.

That’s one of the advantages with Prebiotin, which may allow you to easily adjust the dose up and down due to small tablets.

We also think that by choosing chicory root as the main source of fiber, the product should make it a great fiber supplement to keep you more regular.

  • Type: Inulin
Pros
  • People like that it’s easy to gradually increase the dosage
  • Based on chicory root fiber which should promote healthy bacteria growth
  • Free from the most common allergens to avoid reactions
Cons
  • Full dosage would require four tablets per day

Just keep in mind that to get the full dosage, you would need to take four tablets throughout the day, but it shouldn’t take too long to get used to such a supplement routine.

10 - Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Organic Prebiotic Superfood

Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Organic Prebiotic Superfood

Our final prebiotic supplement recommendation comes from Garden of Life, which is another one that claims to have been formulated by doctors who work as digestive system specialists.

It does seem to provide quite a strong dose of fiber from acacia fruit, which tends to be one of the more commonly recommended foods for improved digestion.

  • Type: acacia fiber
Pros
  • Contains a good dose of soluble fiber
  • Seems to work well to rebalance the gut microbiome
  • It’s a vegan certified option
Cons
  • The flavors don’t seem to be that great

The only thing I would say is that we weren’t overly impressed with the flavors, but you might be OK with that to get a certified vegan source of dietary fiber.

Buyer’s Guide

1 - Types Of Prebiotics

Unlike probiotic supplements, there are not hundreds of different types of prebiotics. You probably will notice that different products list specific marketing names for their fiber blends.

“In people with diabetes, fiber — particularly soluble fiber — can slow the absorption of sugar and help improve blood sugar levels.”

 

- MayoClinic.com

But in most cases, they use just a handful of different types of fiber sources.

The reason is that different bacteria species aren't actually all that picky when it comes to fiber, so a few types might actually be more than enough to rebalance your gut flora and possibly stabilize your blood sugar [2].

2 - Dosage Amount

dosage

The next thing to look out for is the amount of fiber that is included.

We came across many prebiotic supplements that use great sources like dandelion greens, but just don’t provide enough of them.

Now, you could just take more of it, but that would end up costing you a lot more.

It’s an unfortunate reality that some companies take advantage of using proven ingredients in too small amounts.

When it comes to fiber, you’d want to see at least 2 grams in each capsule, otherwise, it probably won’t make too much of a difference.

3 - Quality

You’ll see a value of colony forming units on probiotics, but prebiotics don’t have such a measure. Instead, they will focus more on the strains of bacteria they feed.

The higher the quality, the more effective it should be at feeding your gut microbiota and protecting your gut lining as well.

One ingredient that is commonly used where quality apparently plays a critical role is burdock root.

In many of the cheaper supplements, you might find that they just don’t cause the same benefits, which is often down to low-quality sources.

4 - Different Prebiotic Benefits

prebiotic sources

The different sources that are commonly used may also bring about quite different results.

One of the main functions is to provide a source of nutrients to feed some of the important bacteria in your gut.

But fiber also has some other benefits that shouldn’t be ignored.

When it hits your stomach, it tends to swell up into a gel-like substance that may lubricate your bowels.

And this has two impacts.

Firstly, it might make you feel fuller, which could help avoid snacking [3].

But it also may help to improve nutrient absorption, which is a key factor in weight management.

Natural Sources Of Food With Prebiotics

During our conversation with a dietitian, we also got onto some interesting topics about getting natural prebiotic food products into your diet.

Yes, there are some foods that would do the same as supplements. But as you’ll find out, a lot of them are not the easiest to buy in stores or add to your meal recipes.

So, what are prebiotic foods?

Here are some ideas.

1 - Green Bananas

Many athletes turn to bananas as a source of slow-release energy and potassium to help with hydration.

Usually, that means nice yellow ripe bananas. Not the green ones that are tough to peel.

But if you eat some unripe green bananas, then you could also be getting some fructooligosaccharides, which is a good prebiotic fiber [4].

2 - Spinach

spinach

Now, if you’re die-hard into superfoods, then spinach might make it into your daily smoothie.

But not everyone has that kind of Popeye approach to dieting.

The interesting micronutrient in spinach is a long-chain sugar molecule called sulfoquinovose [5].

Research has shown that it may feed bacteria in your lower intestine.

3 - Jerusalem Artichoke

These are neither from Israel nor are they even related to the traditional artichoke.

But this inulin-rich food could be one of the best natural ways to get fiber into your system.

We’ve just found it quite difficult to buy in most stores, so you may need to shop around a bit.

4 - Garlic

garlic

Yeah, it’s tasty, but it won’t help you so much on the dating scene.

But garlic is also rich in inulin, which is a great fiber provider.

The only problem is that garlic has a strong flavor, and you’d need quite a bit of it added to your food.

So much that you might not be the most popular person at the office.

5 - Dandelion

Yup, it’s those weeds you probably try to get rid of in the garden. But the leaves on these weeds may be full of fiber, antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins [6].

“Some researchers have proposed that dandelion could help people achieve their weight loss goals. This is based on the plant’s ability to improve carbohydrate metabolism and reduce fat absorption.”

 

- Jenna Fletcher, health and wellness writer.

While you’ll find them in no short supply, I don’t think they are the tastiest way to spice up a salad.

6 - Konjac Root

This root tuber seems to contain about 40% glucomannan fiber, which you’ll often find in fat loss supplements.

It should work well to keep you feeling full for a lot longer, and it may also feed some important bacteria and help you with blood sugar control.

FAQs

probiotic food

Should You Take a Prebiotic?

Yes, you should take a prebiotic on a regular basis, especially if you’re also taking a probiotic. When you introduce new bacteria to your body, then it’s vital that you feed those bacteria in order for them to replicate and form large enough colonies.

Is Apple Cider Vinegar a Prebiotic?

No, apple cider vinegar isn’t a prebiotic. The mistaken belief comes from the fact that apples contain a prebiotic called pectin. But the fermentation process practically removes all of the pectins. That doesn’t mean apple cider vinegar isn’t beneficial, just not as a prebiotic.

Do Prebiotics Make You Poop?

Yes, prebiotics may make you poop more as they restore the balance of your gut bacteria. The result of this is more efficient and effective digestion that moves the waste product along faster. You’ll poop more and feel a lot lighter for it.

Do Prebiotics Help You Lose Weight?

Yes, prebiotics may help you lose weight. Your gut is the one part of your body that is most tied to how you process and metabolize nutrients. As some prebiotics come in the form of fiber, they may also help to make you feel full for longer in between meals.

Do Prebiotics Make You Fart?

Yes, some prebiotics may make you fart more. But this shouldn’t be seen as a negative. As the bacteria in your gut rebalance, they should produce more gases as well. These gases are a natural byproduct of a healthy gut.

Is Gas a Sign of a Healthy Gut?

Yes, gas is a sign of a healthy gut because it means that you have plenty of active bacteria. Unlike what most people believe, more gas is not down to bad bacteria taking over, but the good ones becoming more active.

The Best Prebiotic We Recommend

Of all the best prebiotics we’ve tested, we keep going back to is Performance Lab. It has a clear label and seems to work well to keep you feeling full for longer.

We also noted that common stomach issues seem to be resolved quickly.

Order yours today and see how quickly you can improve your health.

Performance Lab Prebiotic Supplement

Performance Lab Prebiotic Supplement

Our #1 Recommendation

  • Seems to work well to settle common stomach issues
  • May suppress appetite to help with dieting
  • Gluten, soy, and GMO-free for added peace of mind
  • Tested for banned substances making it more suitable for athletes
  • Get the BEST PRICE until the end of September
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