Are Liquid Vitamins Better Than Tablets?

Vitamin Tablets

The answer to the question "Are liquid vitamins better than tablets?" depends on who you ask.

Are Liquid Vitamins Better than Tablets or Not?

People who prefer liquid vitamins say the human body can more readily absorb their nutrients than those in tablets, pills or capsules. Those favoring solid formats for nutritional supplements argue they are more cost effective than liquids. However, the American Dietetic Association maintains that neither liquid nor solid supplements can meet or beat the absorption of vitamins and minerals from food.

Some Exceptions

Of course, there are numerous exceptions that merit including multivitamins in one's daily regimen, and sometimes people feel more comfortable with solids than fluids, or vice versa. If a person is diagnosed with a nutritional deficiency and a physician recommends nutritional supplements, the preferred format might factor in whether a patient has difficulty swallowing, gastrointestinal difficulties or allergies. That could dictate a very specific recommendation of a nutritional supplement that doesn't conflict with the individual's condition.

New Versus Old

Liquid vitamins are a newer type of nutritional supplement than solid capsules, tablets and pills, so drinkable formulas simply don't have the same amount of reach as older forms consumers are more familiar with. There are only about 20 different fluid multivitamins on the market available in ready-to-drink format, while solid types of nutritional supplements number in the thousands. That makes it easier for people to obtain, pills, tablets and capsules than anything in liquid form. The liquids tend to sell for higher prices than solids and can perpetuate the difference in availability and popularity of the two.

Absorption Rates

Newer creations tend to have improvements or innovations over older products, and that may be true with respect to liquid versus solid nutritional supplements. Fans of drinkable nutrition products say they are more quickly and effectively absorbed by the body. Solid vitamins may require a longer period of time for the body to digest and absorb the nutrients contained therein. Some argue solids take up to six hours for the body to process and assimilate, while liquids may potentially enter the bloodstream in a matter of minutes.

Ingredients and Density

A great deal of the nutrients in solid vitamins may not be absorbed and are simply excreted, while proponents of liquid nutritional supplements believe the body is able to use nearly all of the vitamin and mineral content these newer products contain. A lot of the liquid nutritional supplements have flavorings added, while pills, tablets and capsules don't in most cases. The sweet taste of the fluids often comes from added sugar, so it's possible carbohydrates may stimulate the digestive system and enhance nutrient absorption. Conversely, pills, tablets and capsules are more dense and lack the extra carbohydrates and fluid used in digestion and metabolism.

More Evidence Needed

It's possible the truth lies somewhere in the middle. There's a need for more scientific evidence to determine whether one format is more effective than the other. There's also a placebo effect on both sides of this debate: when someone believes a product is making them healthier, they psychologically feel better. So if you think liquid is better than solid, you'll feel better accordingly, and vice versa. The taste of liquid nutritional supplements could also strengthen a person's belief the product is more effective. In the case of solid nutritional supplements, the fact that they have been around longer and seem to be more tried and true could bolster the belief they are more effective.

Ask a Doctor

If you're still asking "Are liquid vitamins better than tablets," perhaps you should ask your physician. Your doctor knows your medical history and is best qualified to help you decide whether to take a nutritional supplement and what specific kind is best for your needs.

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Are Liquid Vitamins Better Than Tablets?