Gummy Supplements vs Capsules: Which Is Better For You?

Gummy vitamins have gained popularity for their appealing taste and candy-like texture. These chewy alternatives to traditional vitamin pills promise to make taking your daily vitamins a more enjoyable experience. But are gummy vitamins really as effective as their capsule counterparts?

The short answer to this question is no. In 99% of cases capsules are going to be the better option, and quite simply this is due to the fact that gummies can hold only a fraction of the ingredients dosages that gummies can.

The original idea behind gummies was that they were a way to get children to take a basic multivitamin when you couldn’t otherwise get them to take a capsule. In other words, they were better than nothing. There is of course also the benefit for older adults or those with certain medical conditions that affect their ability to swallow.

And there are some particular supplements where you don’t need a particularly large dose. Melatonin, or vitamin D for example, meaning that a gummy form is just fine in these cases.

However, supplements where you require a larger dose just don’t work in gummy form. This is quite frustrating when it comes to a lot of gummy manufacturers adding in less than 5% of the effective ranges in some cases and still claiming the benefits of much larger studied doses.

Aside From Swallowing Are Gummies Better In Any Way?

There is some argument about bioavailability, but even if you allow for this, it doesn’t matter if you absorb something twice as well if you have 20 times less of it.

Other Issues With Gummies Vs Capsules

Excess Sugar In Gummies

One of the other main concerns is the amount of added sugar present in gummy supplements. Most gummies contain between 2 and 8 grams of sugar per serving, which may seem insignificant. However, the American Heart Association recommends limiting daily sugar intake to 25 grams for women and 36 grams for men. Excessive sugar consumption can contribute to adverse health effects such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

Gummies Don’t Store As Well

Gummy vitamins also have a shorter shelf life compared to capsules and may lose their potency over time.

When Are Gummies OK?

Assuming that you can’t swallow a capsule or really want a gummy instead, there are a few cases in which they are a suitable alternative.

We mentioned melatonin and vitamin D as examples earlier. The reason is that 10mg is the larger recommended dose of melatonin and this is very small. Vitamin D is even less at 15mcg. Now, a 00 (or standard) capsule normally contains 1000mg. A gummy tends to max out at around 300mg.

So, if the dosage of what you’re looking for is less than 300mg you can be OK.

Creatine gummies are also a notable exception as the creatine itself can be used to create the gum, meaning it can hold a much larger amount.

Some good examples of where gummies work well due to the low doses of supplements required are:

  • B Vitamin Complexes
  • Vitamin D
  • Melatonin
  • Creatine
  • Fiber
  • Probiotic
  • Biotin
  • Iron
  • Vitamin C

Some examples where they don’t work at all because you need large amounts of the supplement:

  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • Ginger
  • Turmeric
  • Almost anything herbal as most require 400mg and up

Turmeric for example you need 500mg of the Curcumin extract specifically, and Ginger is similar. And they have a strong taste, so you simply can’t do this with a gummy.

Calcium and Magnesium usually only make up 20% (ish, type depending) of the compound used in supplements for them to still be bioavailable. That’s because these minerals have to be bound to another one for you to be able to ingest them. This means that typically you need 500mg or more to have a dose that’s going to do anything at all, and more than 1000mg when it comes to calcium.

Conclusion Which Is Better Gummies Or Capsules

In most cases a capsule is best. A children’s multivitamin is going to be fine, but really you need to make sure to look at the percentage of the RDI (recommended daily intake) you’re actually getting. And remember that a gummy can be a great Vitamin D or melatonin option for people who struggle to swallow. But, they’re meant to be for that purpose, not to replace traditional supplements.


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