Those three-minute rounds in CORE DE FORCE already feel long enough, but when you’re distracted by your digestive system, every second can feel like an eternity.
You already know that fiber is an important part of a healthy diet — it’s what helps keep things moving smoothly, among other things — but that doesn’t mean we’re getting enough of it.
More than half of Americans get less than half the recommended amount of dietary fiber. Fiber supplements can help you reach your quota, but most provide only one kind of fiber — and the most popular varieties often contain sugar or artificial flavors and sweeteners.
Here’s what you need to know before choosing a fiber supplement.
6 Tips for Choosing Fiber Supplements
As with any supplement or food, be sure to read the label when choosing fiber supplements. Here are some of tips to keep in mind when choosing fiber supplements:
1. Be sure it has both soluble and insoluble fiber
If a product calls itself a “soluble fiber supplement,” skip it — you’re only getting half of what you want. You definitely want both kinds, says Denis Faye, M.S., and Beachbody’s executive director of nutrition.
The best supplements will be those that contain both soluble and insoluble fiber — with no artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners or preservatives — he adds.
Soluble fiber creates a barrier in the gut, which helps you absorb nutrients and helps support healthy cholesterol.
Insoluble fiber adds bulk to your stool and helps food pass more quickly through the stomach and intestines, “sweeping everything out — it’s helping you poop, plain and simple,” Faye says.
2. Fiber supplements shouldn’t be your only source of fiber
“Of course, you shouldn’t look to supplements for all your fiber needs,” says Faye. “They should just be part of the bigger picture.” He recommends eating a healthy diet with plenty of fiber-rich foods like vegetables, fruit, and whole grains (fiber is only found in plants).
3. You don’t need sugar in a fiber supplement — or sweeteners, natural, or artificial
If you pick up a jar of fiber powder at the pharmacy, it’ll likely have two ingredients: psyllium husk and sugar.
“Psyllium husk is great, and sugar is not so great,” says Faye. “Why not just eliminate the sugar — eliminate the bad thing — and then all you have is the awesome thing?”
Sugar, as well as artificial sweeteners and flavors, is added to improve flavor, but those ingredients are doing nothing to boost your health.
4. Drink plenty of water
When taken properly, fiber keeps your digestion moving, says Faye, but ironically it can have the opposite effect if you don’t drink enough water.
If you have too much fiber in your system and you’re dehydrated, it can actually block you up,” says Faye. “It becomes a big clog in your system.”
So, whether you’re taking a fiber powder or fiber pills, you need to pair them with water — drink a glass or two after taking your fiber supplement, even if it’s in a shake.
5. There can be too much of a good thing
In addition to blocking you up if you have too much fiber (women need 25 grams a day between ages 19 and 50, while men should aim for 38), you may also experience some gas and bloating at first, says Faye.
Staying hydrated can help, and if you still have issues, he recommends that you “start small and work your way up. Your body will adapt.”
6. Fiber can also support your heart health
While fiber is often touted for its ability to keep you fuller longer and aid in regularity, it can also support heart health by promoting healthy cholesterol levels within normal ranges, says Faye.
Plus, since fiber is naturally found in nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables, you get the added benefit of their antioxidant and phytonutrient support, he says.
Digestive Health is an excellent source of dietary fiber that’s designed to help keep you regular while supporting your digestive health.*
Bonus: You can get 40 percent of your daily recommended amount of fiber when you add this boost to your daily Shakeology.
On its own, Digestive Health contains a unique blend of seven grams of soluble and insoluble fiber in every scoop. This powerful boost helps maintain regularity, support digestive health, and provides omega 3 fatty acids to help support cardiovascular health — and it doesn’t contain any artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives.*
Digestive Health Ingredients
The Digestive Health ingredients help maintain regularity and digestive health.* Here’s why they were selected for this Shakeology Boost — and how you can add them into your healthy diet on their own.
Yes, this is the same plant as Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia Pets! These tiny seeds are a great source of insoluble fiber. Ancient South American cultures used chia for energy, and now they are a popular ingredients in chia puddings, smoothies, and jams.
You might know the periwinkle blue flowers of chicory, or perhaps you’ve had the ground roasted root in New Orleans-style coffee. The leaves are sometimes consumed as a bitter green, too. The root supplies the prebiotic fiber inulin, which may support gut health.*
Delivers insoluble fiber and protein, flax is also one of the best sources of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids (ALA).* ALA, which is also found in chia seeds, helps support cardiovascular health.*
Pro tip: When you’re eating flaxseed, you need to grind the seeds to unlock their nutrition; otherwise, they’ll through our bodies intact, without absorbing their nutrients.
Supplies insoluble fiber, this wholesome source of fiber helps maintain digestive system health and regularity.*
Soluble fiber from psyllium, as part of a healthy diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.
This plant is high in mucilage, meaning that when it is mixed into water it gets quite thick and sticky — which is why psyllium husk is so common in fiber supplements. You really need to drink a lot of water when taking psyllium, and never try to take the powder dry!
Fiber supplements, when paired with a healthy diet, can help keep your digestive system moving smoothly.
An easy way to get more fiber every day is by adding Digestive Health to your Shakeology routine or another beverage. It doesn’t have a flavor, but it can make your shake nice and thick, thanks to all that fiber! Just remember to stay hydrated.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.