Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth yoga, fitness, & nutrition courses, when you sign up for Outside+.
“We’ve found that gummies often have too little or too much of certain nutrients, because the process of manufacturing gummies makes it harder to control the levels,” says Tod Cooperman, MD, founder and president of ConsumerLab, an organization that coordinates independent testing of vitamins and supplements. Another problem: gummies look and taste like candy, so it can be tempting to pop more than the recommended dose and exceed tolerable intake limits, he adds.
Liquids, sublingual tablets (ones you put under your tongue), and sprays may have some advantages over traditional pills. “For example, liquid fish oils are absorbed faster than softgels,” says holistic pharmacist Sherry Torkos, “but keep in mind you don’t necessarily need your fish oil to have an instantaneous effect, whereas with some other supplements, time is of the essence.” The sleep aid melatonin, for instance, is available in liquids and sublingual tablets, and faster absorption means you’ll be feeling melatonin’s sleep-inducing effects sooner.