Liquid Supplements vs. Pills: Which Is Better?

APR 5, 2020

There are a lot of options for supplements on the market. The two forms we see on shelves are pills/tablets and liquids. How do they differ and what’s their effect on the body?

The top benefit for pills is that they’re most commonly accepted. If you’re looking for a specific supplement, most likely your store will have it at least in capsule or tablet form. The top benefit for liquid supplements is their ridiculously fast absorption rate. Our bodies are on average 50-70% water, so it only makes sense that we would retain 98% of liquid supplements while only retaining 3-20% of pill or tablet supplements.

Structure

Tablets or pill supplements (which contain a hard outer shell) must disintegrate within 30 minutes for maximum results. Very few supplement pills meet this requirement. A way to test this is putting one in a glass of water to roughly let you know if your body will absorb it or if it will pass through your system. Liquid supplements have no hard outer shell to disintegrate for absorption which means within a minute a liquid supplement touches your tongue it starts working its way into the bloodstream.


Shelf-Life

Shelf-Life varies from product to procuts. Liquids usually have a longer shelf life when compared to pills. If stored in a cool dark place, they can last 2 to 5 years. Some pills can last longer but make sure to check for fillers and stabilizers.

Cost

Pills and tablets are usually cheaper as they have a lower manufacturing cost and sometimes include fillers. Liquids can be more expensive compared with their pill counterpart due to higher manufacturing costs and less ease with portability. It is, however, easy to adjust the dosage of liquids since they’re not bound in a capsule. This means, for example, instead of buying a pill-form vitamin at different strengths for you and your children, you can simply adjust a liquid vitamin to meet the needs of any family member.

Taste

Most pills are odorless and tasteless since they’re inside a capsule. The liquid form has been associated with a stronger aftertaste. It is, however, a lot easier to take liquids as you can mix them with any cold beverage such as water, juice, tea or smoothies.


Absorption and Digestion

Liquid supplements show an absorption rate of 98% while pills range from only 3 to 20%. Not only are they absorbed more, but liquid forms are also absorbed faster than pills. Since liquid supplements have no outer “barriers”, the body doesn’t have to go through physical breakdown making them quite bioavailable. Liquids are also often easier to digest. Some can have difficulty breaking down capsules and tablets which make liquids a better option.
 

In Summary

Overall, pills have been commonly accepted so most supplements come in a capsule or tablet form. They are also often cheaper as they have a lower manufacturing cost. Pills are quite portable, so you can take them with you anywhere.
Liquid supplements are exploding in popularity due to their many benefits, such as high absorption rates. Whether a full 16 ounce bottle or a 2 ounce herbal tincture, we’re seeing more and more liquids on health food shelves. You can customize them to your needs by mixing various supplements into one drink. Instead of taking a handful of pills everyday, you can get your daily supplements done and out-of-the-way in a single beverage.
 

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Written by Annie Pavone


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