Liquid Vitamins vs Pill Vitamins
You are probably aware that our bodies are not getting all the micronutrients that we need. Part of the reason is that the way we produce whole foods has made our food more nutrient deficient. But the bigger reason is our food choices. We choose more processed foods which are severely nutrient deficient, which necessitates vitamin and mineral supplements.
The question is, which is better pills or liquid? The real answer is it depends on you and your lifestyle. I will highlight the pros and cons of both and make some recommendations.
Let's look at pills first.
Pros of pills
Pills have the advantage of convenience, you can easily take a pill with you everywhere you go you can even in your pocket without the container if you wish. It also has a relatively long shelf life, which means the nutrient molecules will not deteriorate rapidly when the pill is exposed to oxygen or light. Pills also do not have a bad taste, most pills have no taste at all. And then it only single seconds to take a pill out and drink it, and it is very discrete especially if you take them throughout the day. They tend to be cheaper than liquid supplements.
Cons of pills
The biggest drawback of pills is absorption. Your stomach first has to breakdown the capsule or chalky bits before it can get to the actual vitamins or minerals. This can cause digestive discomfort in some people, but more notably the amount of nutrients that get absorbed is much less than what is in the pill to start with.
Depending on the quality of the pill, it may not allow your body to absorb any of the nutrients. Most pills tested in the US and Canada were found to pass straight through the digestive tract as it takes too long to break down the casing. This is just money flushing down the toilet.
The ingredients used to give pills the long shelf life and convenience is a big drawback. Most commonly used chemicals are Hydrogenated Oils, which raises cholesterol levels and increase inflammation. Boric Acid, yes the chemical used in pesticides that causes DNA damage, infertility and birth defects. Then there is also Sodium Benzoate, which helps preserve processed foods causes DNA damage, liver cell damage, hyperactivity and some cancers.
The ingredients alone should make you think about the supplement pills you take. Having said that, not all vitamins and mineral supplements have these cons in the same amount.
Here are some recommendations of supplements that is better, on both the absorption and ingredient side.
Probably the biggest advantage of liquid supplements is the absorption. They are easy fast and fully absorbed since your body does not first have to break down the capsule. You basically get the most bang for your buck. The vitamins and minerals are also more concentrated in liquid form, absorbed faster and the effect is much better than in pill form.
It does have some cons though, one of them is that they have a much shorter shelf life and the minute you break the seal it starts losing its potency. It also lacks the kind of convenience that pills offer, lugging a bottle with you through the day can be a drag.
The taste is a deal-breaker for many, manufacturers try to improve this by adding flavourings, but many of them contain sugar to mask the taste which introduces some other drawbacks. Accurate dosing is also an issue, with pills the dosages are exact. With liquid, the measuring is not left to computers and precision scales, but the consumer who may be in a hurry or under stress. Most of the time it is not a massive problem but a little too much over a long time can have some harmful effects.
Having said that there are ways that manufacturers try to combat these things, by providing better measuring tools, and spray liquid vitamins that prevents oxidation and also make dosages easier and the whole thing more convenient.
Below are some recommendations of liquid vitamins that addresses some of these cons.