Is liquid nutritional supplements better that pills or capsules?
Let’s face it. Searching for a nutritional supplement in today’s competitive market can be a real challenge. It is easy to become overwhelmed by the shear number of available products. Which supplement is better? Does price matter? Which company has the best products? And the list goes on and on. The goal of this article is to help people make an informed decision.
Nutrients enter the blood stream in several ways including ingestion, injection, absorption, inhalation and sometimes through suppositories. The most common method is through ingestion via a liquid, pill or capsule. Thus the common question; which is better?
There are pros and cons to each form that need consideration before deciding on a particular supplement. These include ease of swallowing, absorption rate, bio availability, taste, purity, shelf life, quality and price.
Liquid holds a big advantage when considering the difficulty of swallowing large horse pills. People chew their food a bit before swallowing, but chewing large pills and capsules could be very distasteful not to mention a jaw breaker. Many liquid products have been formulated with complementary natural ingredients that are beneficial and tasty.
Age plays a factor when deciding which type of supplement to purchase. Many times the young and the elderly have difficulty swallowing pills. Therefore liquid all natural nutritional supplements maybe a simple and easy alternative for all ages.
Absorption rate has become the real focal point in this Liquid vs. Pill debate after someone found a statement in the Physicians desk reference stating liquid has a 98% absorption rate compared to 18% from pills. Marketers used this statement to compare the monies lost through pills sighting in sewage treatment plants. If you spend $100 on pills or capsules, you would most likely be flushing 82% of the $100 you paid for the product down the toilet. That is equal to losing $82.00 for every $100 you spend.
While this whole absorption rate controversy may have been true for dietary supplements a few decades ago, today’s technology is very different. You can find time-released medications which are now being used in the delivery of dietary supplements. Liquid has also made remarkable advancements, like higher potency and more compatible ingredients in the same amount of liquid.
Quality is another factor which plays a major role in absorption. You can still buy low quality pills and capsules that do not absorb completely. Buying quality products when purchasing pill and tablet vitamins is vital to getting the biggest benefit from your dollar. On the other hand, liquids can most often provide more nutritional ingredients than pills which can prove to be more cost beneficial than tablets alone. Spending a little more on a quality liquid nutritional supplements can provide more than just saving money. It can still give greater health benefits than the pill counterpart.
Bio availability generally designates the quantity or fraction of the ingested dose that is absorbed. As it relates to liquid and pills, the amount of product absorbed is dependent upon two primary factors including:
- the ability to digest a given component
- the form in which the body can use the component after digestion
If the body cannot break down a given component during digestion, it will simply pass through the body. However, the body may be able to absorb a nutritional component, yet it may not be able to use the component to benefit the body. In either case, the body will generally rid itself of what it cannot use.
Pills are generally difficult for the body to completely absorb while liquid will absorb quite readily. The challenge is to identify which quality nutritional supplement product will contain the ingredients the body will absorb efficiently, thus making it available to use effectively.
Have you ever tried to chew a non-chewable vitamin B tablet before? If you have, you quickly find out just how bad it tastes. Supplement companies have done a fairly good job of masking the flavor of liquid supplements. Juice extracts can help add some health benefits like antioxidants and amino acids to help improve the flavor of liquid supplements.
Both pill and liquid forms of supplements are regulated to ensure purity from harmful components. Fillers and binders are commonly found in pills and some capsules to keep the product from falling apart during handling. While there is usually nothing harmful with fillers and binders, there is little or no health benefit to them either.
Some may not think water or juice as a filler, but some very cheep liquid supplements add copious amounts of water or juice to dilute their product so it is cheaper.
Shelf life used to be a big concern for all dietary supplements and it did not matter whether the product was liquid or pill. Technology of the 21st century has advanced to the point where most supplements have a solid 1 to 2 year shelf life. However, it is recommended to keep supplements in a cool, dark and dry place to help preserve freshness.
No matter how you look at it, people want the best of both quality and price. Whether it be in liquid or pill form, there are varying levels of quality and subsequently price will generally follow. Pills are over all less expensive than liquid and you get more nutrients for your dollar. However, if the pill only absorbs 18%, then your dollar is being flushed. Liquid is a bit more expensive but the cost savings will provide longer lasting benefits.
The Right Choice
The right choice is often difficult to determine. One thing is sure, quality is a must in order to ensure you are getting the most out of every dollar you spend for health. I have put my trust in high quality liquid, capsule and powdered forms of multivitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids, enzymes and much more. They seems to be the best method of delivery for my family.
There are many companies on the market who have quality products. The key to finding a good company to put your trust into, is to research whether the company has had any complaints relating to quality and customer service. Does the company get the products into your hands quickly? Will they stand behind their product? Name brand products may not always provide top quality products. However, they do offer a level of trust and confidence from a consumer stand point.
In today’s marketing madness, weeding out the fluff to find out the quality of a company is not easy but it is essential to getting great supplements.