different types of vitamins

Forms of Vitamin Supplements: Capsules, Tablets, Powders, and Liquids

Vitamin supplements can help you become healthier by addressing any nutritional gaps in your diet. Vitamins commonly come in four forms: tablets, capsules, powders and liquids. This article will teach you the benefits and drawbacks of each kind and how to choose the proper form of vitamin supplement.


Tablets are the most common form of vitamin supplements you can find in a store. Generally, tablets will be the cheapest form of vitamin supplements you can buy because they are less expensive than other forms for a company to manufacture and can be stored safely for a long period of time. Because tablets are the most common, you can find them in a wide variety of different shapes, sizes, and dosages. However, the biggest drawback to tablets is that they may be hard for some to swallow comfortably.


Capsules are another widely used form of vitamin supplements. Because capsules are made with a gelatin shell, they are easier than tablets to swallow. Some companies also make vegetarian capsules for those who don't wish to consume meat-based gelatin. In addition to being easier to swallow than tablets, capsules are also able to be taken apart so that the nutrients can be mixed into other foods, such as fruit smoothies and protein shakes. The drawbacks to capsules are that they are much more expensive than tablets and that they do not have as long of a shelf life.


Powdered vitamin supplements are probably the most cost-effective form if you are concerned about how much of the nutrient you are getting per dollar. Powders allow you to consume larger dosages of vitamins and other nutrients more easily. With powders, you also have more flexibility in dosage, as you can easily measure out the amounts you need. However, because most powders are not palatable on their own, you will need other foods to mix the powder into; some people may consider this inconvenient.


Because liquid vitamin supplements are the easiest to swallow, they are ideal for children, the elderly, and people recovering from an illness. Liquid supplements are, however, the most expensive form of vitamin supplements. Liquid vitamins also often require refrigeration and have a much lower shelf life than any of the other forms.

Choosing a Form

When choosing among the vitamin forms, you need to consider how quickly the supplement can be absorbed, how safe the supplement can be and how efficient the supplement can be for you. Generally, liquid supplements absorb faster than pills or powders. However, some vitamin supplements are the most effective in pill or capsule form. Some individuals may require liquid forms because of difficulty swallowing pills or capsules, even if it is less efficient. In addition, some supplements can also become ineffective or dangerous when exposed to stomach acid in pill form. For you to best determine which form of vitamin supplements you need, it is best to consult your doctor.

Last Updated: November 12, 2015