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Softgels Vs. Capsules Vs. Tablets: Which is Right For You?

When you buy supplements, you are often are faced with a decision to make – which form should you take? Supplements might come in softgels, capsules or tablets. What exactly are the differences among them, and which is right for you?

What Are Capsules?

Capsules are formed plant or animal material that hold dry or oil supplement ingredients inside of them. The capsules fit together and are usually bonded in so they don’t break apart in the bottle. Most capsules are in the shape of a cylinder, but the size of the cylinder can vary, depending on how much dry or oil ingredient is inside each capsule. In the past, capsules were made out of bovine or porcine skin and/or bones. Now, it’s more common for capsules to be made out of fish, chicken or vegetable matter. A benefit of capsules from a packaging standpoint is that the ingredients are safely contained inside the capsule so that an exact dosage can be created.

What Are the Benefits and Drawbacks of Capsules?

From a consumer standpoint, there are pros and cons to capsules. A benefit is that capsules are easy to swallow. The capsule material doesn’t break down in the mouth, so if the supplement has a bitter taste, for example, the consumer won’t taste it on the tongue before it’s swallowed. A con to capsules can be their size. If a large dosage is required, capsules can be overwhelmingly big, akin to a “horse pill.”

What Are Softgels?

Softgels are similar to capsules, but the material is made of gelatin, and the ingredients are always liquid – never dry. Softgel material is anti-oxidant, which means that the contents has a long shelf life and is well protected against UV rays and oxidation. Many Softgels are opaque to enhance UV-resistance.

What Are the Benefits and Drawbacks of Capsules?

Softgels are also very easy to swallow; even easier than capsules. This is because they are flexible instead of hard like a capsule. As with capsules, the consumer will not taste the ingredient, but there may be some mild taste associated with the Softgels casing. Softgels can also be quite large and challenging to swallow.

What Are Tablets?

Tablets are powdered ingredients that have been mixed with a substance so that a particular shape is held. Tablets can come coated and uncoated. One of the benefits of tablets is that the ingredients can be concentrated. Among Softgels, capsules and tablets, tablets allow the most nutrient-dense product.

What Are The Drawbacks and Benefits of Tablets?

From a consumer’s standpoint, tablets are excellent because they can easily be split in two, or crushed and dissolved in water or mixed with solid foods. For consumers who struggle with swallowing pills, tablets can be a benefit. However, tablets offer little protection against bitter tastes of the supplement, so there may be some unpleasant aftertaste with tablet usage. When you compare softgels, capsules and tablets, pay special attention to the dosages. There will usually be differences among them as far as how many you have to take with a single dose. If you’d like more information about nutritional supplements, please feel free to contact us!

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