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What supplement form is best for me?

Sometimes it can be hard to determine which form of supplement is best suited to you, particularly if you don't have the guidance of your qualified personal practitioner. And although I will always recommend speaking to your practitioner about your supplements, trying new ones, or changing them - I understand this isn't always possible. Whether you can't currently afford to work 1:1 with someone, you need to take a specific supplement asap or you just want to experiment.




The most important thing to consider before committing to a form is:

  1. Which of these forms are you most likely to take consistently?

  2. Could any form be a barrier for you to take consistently? (This is a common issue with powder forms) If yes, try not to get these forms.

Here's a quick breakdown of the most common forms of supplements and additional things to consider:

(NOTE: this is a generalization on supplement forms, there are many other factors to consider such as the purpose of the supplement and the ingredients).

Powders:

- Usually easier to absorb, particularly in those with complex gut disorders

- Can be added to water, other liquids, smoothies, and sometimes foods

- Can be a barrier to taking consistently as it requires more effort than swallowing a tablet

- Lowest in excipients*

- Easier to take a higher dose usually if needed

- May be flavoured or unflavoured (this would alter ingredients and use of sweeteners)

- Can exert local, topical effect (i.e. slippery elm powder 'coating' Esophageal mucosa on the way down)

Tablets:

- Large range in size and shape

- Usually easier/quicker to take

- Generally highest in excipients*

- Sometimes you need to take multiple to achieve a therapeutic dose compared to powders/liquids

- May be harder to digest in those with complex gut disorders

Capsules:

- Range in size and shape

- Usually easier/quicker to take

- Generally, lower in excipients*

- Sometimes you need to take multiple to achieve a therapeutic dose compared to powders/liquids

- Can be gelatin or vegetable capsules

- May be harder to digest in those with complex gut disorders

Liquids:

- May have sugar alcohol, water, and/or ethanol base. - Usually easier to absorb, particularly in those with complex gut disorders - Easier to take a higher dose usually if needed - Can be added to water, other liquids, smoothies and sometimes foods - Can be a barrier to taking consistently as it requires more effort than swallowing a tablet - Can exert local, topical effect (i.e. Sage herbal liquid reducing pharyngeal irritation) - Lowest in excipients* - Will have a specific taste depending on the base used and ingredients

As I mentioned before, the most important factor is determining which form you will take most consistently first. And, it is also super important to mention the difference between supermarket brands of supplements vs practitioner-only brands. The main differences here lie in therapeutic doses, forms of nutrients, types, and amounts of excipients, synergistic formulations, and so on.

Did you find this helpful? Make sure to save this blog for future use!

And if you would like 1:1 support with personalised supplements, click/tap here.


* Excipients are substances added to drug and supplement manufacturing with no medicinal properties. They are generally used to aid the manufacturing process, to protect, support or enhance stability, or for bioavailability of ingredients. Some of these substances have also been shown to potentially cause adverse reactions in some individuals.

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