In our last post, we discussed how athletes and highly-active people need multivitamins. We can surely benefit from the extra dose of micronutrients to make up for the shortfalls in our diets. But then the question comes- which form of a multivitamin is better?
Should you buy a liquid multivitamin, or go for tablets, power, and capsule?
If you look for information, you will see people pushing for liquid multivitamins. Even supplement manufacturers claim our bodies absorb liquid forms better than capsules or tablets. While this fact may be true, it doesn’t make liquid vitamins better than pills or capsules all the time.
The bioavailability or the amount of micronutrients absorbed from a multivitamin depends on many factors. Also, being able to digest faster may not make supplements more effective.
Today, we will explore if the liquid form of multivitamins is any better than capsules, tablets, and powder. We will back our findings with evidence so that you can cut through the gimmick and see the truth!
The Case for Liquid Multivitamin: What Makes It Better
The liquid form of some supplements like vitamins may have some advantages. Let’s check them out!
Pills and capsules can suffer manufacturing defects that prevent them from disintegrating properly in our stomach. As a result, the tablets or capsules may not release the entirety of their ingredients. Naturally, this will make fewer vitamins available to you.
ConsumerLab, a third-party testing agency, found in its 2017 review that some tablets and pills don’t disintegrate fully even after 30-minutes.
Liquid or powder multivitamins always work, and the whole dose of vitamins enters our gastrointestinal tract.
People with sensitive stomachs may be able to digest liquid forms of supplements better than capsules or pills. Patients with a history of gastric surgery may be able to digest liquid forms better. Some evidence suggests that our bodies absorb liquid and powder forms quicker and better than pills.
Here, we need to mention a con of liquid and powder supplements. Manufacturers often add preservatives to a liquid multivitamin to prevent the development of mould and bacteria.
“A significant minority of people react to these preservatives negatively.”
So always check the label of your multivitamin and if it has any preservatives. Common preservatives include methyl and propylparaben.
Some supplements contain hygroscopic ingredients that attract moisture. So, having them in pills or tablets can lead to wet and moistened pills and capsules.
Convenience of Dosage
You can easily modify the doses of a liquid or powder supplement by increasing or decreasing the amount of liquid you take. This convenience is not applicable for pills or capsules.
Those are the benefits of liquid supplements. Now, let’s discuss the cons!
The Disadvantages of Liquid Multivitamin
Loss of Ingredients
Some micronutrients don’t stay stable in liquid forms. As a result, their effectiveness can decrease over time. Vitamin C and folic acid are examples of such micronutrients.
Not Suitable for Delayed Absorption
Some supplements like melatonin need a slower absorption for the best results. Liquid supplements may not be the best choice for such supplements.
Some liquid supplements may need refrigeration. So you can’t carry them around.
Summary: Our bodies may do a better job of absorbing powder and liquid forms compared to tablets and pills. But does that make them more effective?
Is Liquid Multivitamin More Effective than Pills or Capsules?
You will see people making all sorts of claims. Some say our bodies can absorb 90% nutrients when the supplement is in liquid form. Others claim we can absorb only 20% to 30% nutrients from a capsule or tablet.
What is the truth?
If we look at the research, all these claims may be a marketing stance! The truth is, we can’t say certainly whether liquid or powder forms of supplements are better than tablets or pills. Why?
Simply because there is not enough research on the subject! According to Livestrong, there’s a shortage of quality research and scientific evidence on how our bodies absorb different forms of supplements. That means even the scientific world is not sure! So it would be foolish to make conclusions based on personal opinions or anecdotal evidence.
Does Faster Absorption Really Matter?
For once, let’s imagine our bodies do a good job of absorbing liquid supplements. Does that make liquid supplements better?
You might be surprised, but the answer is in the negative! Faster absorption doesn’t necessarily make liquid multivitamins more effective.
On the contrary, it may have no effect, according to the Dr. Rath Research Institute. Why?
Because our bodies can absorb only a certain amount of nutrients at a time. Also, we excrete the additional amount of nutrients without utilizing them.
Summary: There is not enough scientific evidence to conclude liquid multivitamins are better than pills or capsules.
The Final Verdict on Liquid Multivitamin
So far, we have seen liquid forms of supplements are not any better than powder, capsules, or tablets. At least, we can’t conclude that based on the research available.
If you take our word, all forms of multivitamins are fine. Otherwise, manufacturers simply wouldn’t sell them. People are no fools and would stop buying a product if it didn’t work. Also, there are no reports to suggest liquid vitamins sell more than powder or capsules.
So, you can take any form of multivitamin you wish and expect similar results.
Liquid forms may be better only if you-
- Have digestive issues
- Feel uncomfortable swallowing pills or capsules
Note: Some supplement companies now use plant-based capsules that are easy to digest. People with a sensitive stomach may also take them without any problems.
Why Companies Sell Different Forms of Supplements
If all forms of supplements are okay, why do companies sell different varieties?
Well, the answer can lie in the nature of ingredients. The types and characteristics of ingredients decide whether a liquid or capsule is better for delivery. For instance, ingredients that have odour may be better off in capsules.
Sometimes the size of servings also has a role. Capsules hold can hold lesser amounts compared to tablets. In the case of liquids, the serving size doesn’t even matter!
So, there are a lot of considerations that decide the best mode of delivery. Also, customer preference plays a part. If you see all variants of a supplement in the market, you can be sure all of them are equally effective.
The same applies for multivitamins that are available as liquid, powder, capsules, and tablets.
A liquid multivitamin is not any better than capsules, powder, or tablets. You can have any form you wish without any apprehension.
Capsules, tablets, and powder are also more affordable and ideal for regular use. Whenever you buy a multivitamin, make sure of the reliability of the product and the company. Remember to check the label to ensure nothing unsafe is in the formula. If you are considering a multivitamin, check out the best products in India right here.