Supplements are, for a lot of us, a staple in our daily routines. And, just when we think we have our perfect regimen figured out, we hear about another must-have supplement that we absolutely have to have (whether for our skin, our gut, our memory, our immune system…) But, as the expense of supplements starts to add up (and fast when you’re buying quality brands), we start to wonder: Are these supplements really worth it?
Can our bodies actually effectively absorb the nutrients we are trying to give it when they’re in supplement form?
The good news is that the answer is yes — at least most of the time.
Taking supplements really does help your body absorb the nutrients you need to look, feel, and function your best. In fact, when compared to food sources, many supplements are actually absorbed better when they’re in capsule form, including vitamin C, calcium, and vitamin B12. And according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, people who take quality supplements and multivitamins have almost all of the micronutrients they need. Alternatively, those who skip on their supplements fall far behind the recommended amounts of nutrients.
Physically, your body absorbs nutrients through its small intestines, which then get transferred to the blood. Once these nutrients are in the blood, researchers and scientists are able to test whether or not they’re getting properly absorbed and at what levels. The other way to indirectly test absorption is to simply compare the overall well-being of people who take supplements versus those who don’t. And looking at both methods, those individuals who do spend money on supplements have a greater payout, both according to the nutrients in their blood and their general health overall.
Even if you miss some days of taking supplements (who doesn’t?) most research agrees that as long as you take them more than three weeks out of four (so more than 21 days) you’ll still reap the benefits. Of course, the more consistent you can be with your supplement regimen the better.
In addition to taking your supplements in capsule form, you can also try:
- Sprays. People who enjoy taking supplements in spray form often prefer this method because it’s easy (no struggling to swallow large capsules), which makes taking them regularly easy (and more enjoyable). Even sprays that are absorbed trans-dermally (through the skin) are absorbed, making them another option for certain supplements that might not taste the best. One of the reasons why some experts say sprays are even more effective than capsules is because they immediately enter your bloodstream, rather than having to be digested and metabolized first. For those with leaky gut syndrome, sprays are actually recommended more than capsule supplements.
- Gels. Gel supplements, often referred to as liposomal vitamins, are also an effective way to get your body the nutrients it needs. According to some experts, these liposomal gels are actually the best way to ensure nutrients get absorbed, especially Vitamin C, which can be difficult for your body to receive in a capsulated form.