Comparing Types of Supplement Delivery

Supplements come in a variety of forms. Check out the pros and cons of the different delivery methods.

Tablets & Capsules 

  • Cons: Frequently have fillers and binders that the body doesn’t need

Soft Gels 

  • Can be effective for poorly soluble nutrients since they can contain liquid ingredients that help increase solubility or permeability of the ingredient across membranes in the body
  • Very easy to swallow regardless of size due to their smoother contour & shape
  • Offer superior shelf-life to capsules, liquids, and powders since they are completely sealed and air-tight
  • Cons: More expensive

Powders 

  • More rapidly absorbed by the body
  • Many are soluble in water which is preferable & easier for many people

Liquids 

  • Many consumers don’t like to swallow pills so this is a good alternative
  • They enter the bloodstream faster than powder because the body begins absorbing the vitamins through the mucus membranes in the mouth & throat
  • Often taste better
  • Cons: Many include preservatives that can interfere with the active ingredients

Isotonic Vitamins 

  • These have the same chemical resemblance as the body’s blood, plasma, and tears so the body has less work to do to obtain maximum absorption of the nutrients
  • Nutrients pass directly into the small intestine & absorb rapidly into the bloodstream
  • Little nutritive value is lost

Gummies & Chewables 

  • Appealing because of color and taste
  • Cons: Most are very high in sugars and have fewer active ingredients making them less effective in delivering desired benefits

References:

  • Becker, Mark. “Mass Appeal Fuels Sports Nutrition.” Nutraceuticals World. July/August 2014. 38.
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