When you get a prescription for antibiotics to fight an infection, it’s about more than just popping a pill a few times a day.

What you eat during this time can have a significant impact on how effective the medication is and how well your body copes with the treatment.

Below is a comprehensive guide to the foods to avoid and enjoy during and after antibiotic treatment.

Foods to avoid while taking antibiotics

Antibiotics are a powerful weapon against bacterial infections, but they can be quite specific in what they need to work effectively.

There are several main reasons why your diet is important:

Recording of Medicines: Some foods can interfere with the absorption of antibiotics, making them less effective.

Side effects: Certain foods may increase the chance of side effects such as stomach upset occurring.

Intestinal microbiota: Antibiotics can disrupt your gut bacteria, eliminating both harmful and beneficial bacteria.

Choosing the right diet and supplements can mitigate these effects and reduce the risk of side effects such as diarrhea.

Six foods to avoid while taking antibiotics

Antibiotics which foods to avoid which to take
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1. Dairy products

The calcium in dairy products, including cheese, milk and yogurt, can bind with antibiotics and prevent them from being absorbed effectively.

This applies in particular to antibiotics from the group of tetracyclines and fluoroquinolones.

To avoid this interaction, you should eat foods containing calcium at least two hours before or six hours after taking your antibiotic.

2. Caffeinated beverages

Caffeine and antibiotics can collide in your body.

For example, ciprofloxacin can increase the caffeine content, which leads to an increased stimulating effect.

Reducing caffeine consumption, especially caffeinated products such as energy drinks, can help prevent these problems.

Talk to your healthcare provider if you are concerned about interactions with caffeine.

3. alcohol

Combining alcohol and antibiotics is generally a bad idea.

Alcohol can:

To ensure effective treatment and reduce risks, it is best to avoid alcohol altogether while taking antibiotics.

4. High-fiber foods

Although fiber is good for intestinal health, it can interfere with the absorption of antibiotics if consumed at the same time.

Foods such as lentils, beans and whole grains should be consumed in limited quantities during antibiotic treatment.

After treatment, these foods are useful again because they help restore the balance of intestinal bacteria.

5. Acidic foods

Highly acidic foods can impair the absorption of antibiotics.

It may be helpful to limit or avoid sodas, tomato sauces and citrus products.

These foods are also associated with stomach upset and indigestion, which can be made worse by antibiotics.

6. Processed and sugary foods

Processed foods and those high in added sugar can impair your immune function and worsen side effects.

These foods are less nutrient dense and can make it harder for your body to fight infections.

Choose whole, nutrient-rich alternatives to support your immune response.

What to eat when taking antibiotics

Probiotic foods for intestinal health

Because antibiotics can disrupt your gut bacteria, consuming probiotics can help restore balance.

Foods such as yogurt and kefir with live cultures are beneficial.

Additionally, fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut and kombucha deliver live beneficial bacteria directly to your gut.

Broth-based soups

Broth-based soups, without dairy or tomato products, help with hydration and provide nutrients.

They are also gentle on your stomach, which is important if you suffer from side effects such as nausea.


Drinking plenty of water is important.

If you are experiencing side effects such as diarrhea, consider drinking sugar-free sports drinks to replace lost electrolytes.

Proper hydration supports your overall health and contributes to the effectiveness of your treatment.

Foods to eat after antibiotic treatment to restore gut health

Antibiotics which foods to avoid which to take
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Taking probiotics during and after antibiotic treatment can significantly contribute to the maintenance and restoration of intestinal bacteria.

Probiotic supplements are particularly effective in preventing and treating antibiotic-associated diarrhea.

Talk to your doctor to determine the best probiotic strategy for you.

High-fiber foods

After you finish your antibiotic treatment, reintroduce high-fiber foods such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables to support the growth of gut bacteria.

Fiber serves as a food source for healthy bacteria and supports their recovery and proliferation.

Prebiotic foods

Prebiotics are foods that feed the good bacteria in your gut.

Foods like garlic, onions and bananas are excellent choices.

Prebiotics help feed beneficial bacteria, helping to restore a healthy gut microbiota.

Treatment of antibiotic side effects

Antibiotics which foods to avoid which to take

Upset stomach and diarrhea

Many antibiotics can cause stomach upset and diarrhea.

To reduce these side effects:

  • It is recommended to take antibiotics with a snack or meal.
  • Include probiotic foods like yogurt in your diet.
  • If diarrhea persists, consider taking probiotic supplements, as they have been shown to be effective in clinical studies.

Compliance with prescription requirements

It is important that you follow the directions on your medication label:

  • Stop taking all antibiotics, even if you feel better.
  • Some antibiotics should not be crushed or chewed; if you have trouble swallowing tablets, ask your doctor about alternatives.
  • If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember, unless it is almost time for your next dose.

Never take a double dose.

  • If the label recommends taking with food, follow this recommendation to improve absorption and reduce side effects.
  • If the label recommends taking it on an empty stomach, you should plan your meals accordingly to ensure the medication is effective.

The last word

Your diet plays a crucial role in your health, especially if you are recovering from an illness with the help of antibiotics.

By avoiding certain foods that may interfere with medication absorption and eating foods that promote gut health, you can improve the effectiveness of your treatment and reduce side effects.


How to restore intestinal health after antibiotic treatment?

Make sure you consume probiotics and prebiotics.

Probiotics provide beneficial bacteria, while prebiotics, found in fiber-rich foods, feed these bacteria.

Should you eat yogurt while taking antibiotics?

Yes, yogurt with active cultures can help prevent and treat antibiotic-associated diarrhea.

Make sure it is taken at an appropriate interval from the antibiotics.

Do antibiotics kill probiotics?

Antibiotics can affect probiotics, but taking them a few hours apart may help.

Some strains are more sensitive, so discuss specific recommendations with your doctor.

Do you need to take antibiotics with food?

This depends on the antibiotic in question.

Follow the directions on the label and ask your doctor if you have any questions about your medication.

Knowing and managing the interactions between antibiotics and your diet can help ensure a smoother recovery process and support your overall health.

This guide is intended as a general recommendation only, please consult your doctor if necessary 🙏