Gummy Vitamins: Are They Just Candy in Disguise?
It almost sounds too good to be true: Instead of popping a pill to get your daily vitamin, you can chew on a gummy version that tastes just like your favorite candy. But just because gummy vitamins are becoming more and more popular (sales have gone up 25 percent since 2015), that doesn’t mean they are necessarily the healthiest choice. Here are the facts to help you decide if gummy vitamins are right for you and your kids:
- You’ll be more consistent: To get the benefits of a daily vitamin, you need to take one regularly. And some people are a lot likelier to do that if the vitamin tastes sweet and delicious.
- They are easier to take: Some people hate swallowing pills, which is one reason why gummy vitamins are so popular. This is especially true if you take other prescriptions and are eager for a change of pace (something known as “pill fatigue”).
- You can take them whenever you want: Many vitamin labels recommend that you take pill vitamins with food—it helps your body absorb the nutrients and reduces your risk of feeling nauseous. But since a gummy vitamin is food-like, there are less issues with an upset stomach.
- They are more expensive: Gummy vitamins often have a higher price tag than traditional vitamins. You can buy a normal multivitamin for less than five cents per pill, while one serving of a gummy multivitamin will cost you around 15 cents.
- Sugar content: The average gummy vitamin has two to three grams of sugar per serving thanks to sweeteners like glucose, corn syrup and sucrose. Gummies can also get easily stuck in your teeth, so their sugar content can make them damaging to your dental health too if you don’t brush afterwards. And watch out for gummies that use sugar alcohols to taste sweet. It’s a way to avoid using sugar, but it can cause diarrhea in some people.
- Not as complete: Calcium and iron are either missing from gummy vitamins or will be found in smaller doses. Iron has a strong taste that is noticeable in a gummy and calcium increases the bulk of it.
- Vitamin overdose: Depending on the type of gummy, the serving size is usually two daily. The problem is that they taste so good that some people have trouble stopping. Having a few extra every now and then won’t do much damage, but indulging in too many routinely can result in fatigue, nausea and muscle weakness.
Bottom line: While gummy vitamins taste good and can provide you with daily nutrients, you should still try first to get your vitamins in pill form.