When taking your vitamins feels a lot like popping candy, suddenly getting your daily fill of key nutrients seems a whole lot easier (and, dare we say, enjoyable). Not only do gummy supplements taste good, but they also come in handy for people who hate swallowing pills or need some extra incentive to stick to their routine.
Thing is, gummy vitamins aren’t candy. So, you probably want to think twice about popping one after the next.
Whether you’re wondering if you can convert your entire supplement regimen to gummy form—or need a reminder about how many gummies it’s safe to pop—here’s what health and nutrition experts have to say about your fruity, flavorful routine.
No, You Shouldn’t Pop Gummy Vitamins Like Candy
Though many people have a “more is better,” that’s not the case when it comes to supplements.
Gummy or not, you should always follow the suggested serving size for a supplement unless your healthcare professional recommends otherwise, says Rebecca Blakely, R.D.N., dietitian for The Vitamin Shoppe
“Overconsumption of vitamins and minerals can lead to toxicity both in the short- and long-term, so it’s important not to consume more than suggested,” warns Kelly Jones, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN.
“Excess fat-soluble vitamins, for example, could cause a variety of symptoms, including upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, dizziness, headaches, and blurred vision,” explains Blakely. (The fat-soluble vitamins include vitamins A, D, E, and K.)
However, excess consumption of water-soluble vitamins and minerals can spell trouble, too. “Regularly consuming more than the Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) of zinc, for example, may suppress immune function and impair the body’s absorption of iron,” says Jones. Meanwhile, too much vitamin C can both suppress immunity and contribute to digestive issues like nausea and diarrhea.
Though the acceptable intakes of other supplements, like apple cider vinegar, elderberry, and hemp (which are also often turned into gummy supplements), are less cut and dry, you should still closely follow the label instructions.
Better yet, speak with a naturopathic doctor or healthcare professional. Sticking to the right intake for you is crucial for these newer supplements, Jones suggests. (Plus, some might interact with medications, so keep in mind that even totally harmless-looking fruit-shaped supplements still pack a punch.)
Calories And Sugar In Gummy Supplements
It’s also important to keep in mind, not only does eating loads of gummy vitamins up the chance of you over-consuming various nutrients, but it can also lead to you racking up your sugar and calorie intake.
According to Jones, one serving of a gummy supplement typically contains up to five grams of sugar and 20 to 40 calories.
Too much sugar can potentially cause an upset stomach, nausea, or a blood sugar crash later on. Plus, it’s just isn’t great for your overall health, says Blakely.
If your gummies fall on the higher end of the sugar spectrum—or you take multiple gummy supplements—you can hit the recommended daily cap of 25 grams of added sugar pretty quick.
Same goes for calories. Take four different gummy supplements at 40 calories a pop and you add more than 150 calories to your diet every day.
How To Keep Your Gummy Love In Check
Here are Blakely’s five rules for supplementing with gummies smartly:
- Follow the recommended serving size for your gummy vitamins.
- Pay attention to your supplement’s sugar content. (Keep your total added sugar intake—from both supplements and foods—below 25 grams.)
- Note which sweeteners the product uses. Although safe, excess consumption of some (particularly sugar alcohols like xylitol and erythritol) can cause digestive upset and diarrhea.
- Keep calories in mind. Unlike tablets, gummies are not calorie-free—and can contain up to 40 calories per serving.
- Whenever possible, opt for gummy supplements that use natural colorings and flavorings.
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