Gummies vs. Capsules: Which Are Better?

Posted by Ethan Boldt on

When shopping for supplements these days, you certainly have a lot of options, including different ways to take the same types of nutrients. 

Whether you prefer taking supplements in capsule, tablet, gummy, powder, liquid extract or syrup form, there’s a lot to benefit from when you make high-quality supplements a regular part of your routine.

Two popular types of supplements include gummies — usually made with gelatin plus flavors — and capsules, which contain small amounts of concentrated, powdered nutrients.

Do gummies or capsules work better? When it comes to gummies vs. capsules, each has its own advantages. In this article, we’ll look at the differences between these supplement types, plus how to take each to help experience maximized results.

Traditional Format Supplements: Capsules & Tablets 

“Traditional supplements” are those that are taken by mouth in capsule or tablet form. 

Capsules are available that contain numerous different types of vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids, probiotics and herbs. For example, popular types of traditional supplements include vitamin C, multivitamins and SBO probiotic capsules.

Depending on the specific type of nutrient, you might have to take 1–3 capsules per day to cover your daily needs. Sometimes it’s recommended that you space out capsule supplements and take them with meals to help support absorption.

Of course, you should always read and follow label directions for use and consult your healthcare professional prior to beginning any new dietary or lifestyle regimen, including supplementation. 

What Is the Main Difference Between Gummies and Capsules? 

Capsules typically contain nutrients in either liquid extract or dried powder forms. They are encapsulated to help protect the nutrients inside and to facilitate absorption once you swallow the capsules.

For tablets, there are a variety of types of coatings that can be used to encase tablet supplements; the exact type of coating can affect how long the nutrients inside remain fresh and how well the body uses them, since some coatings are designed to help nutrients make their way into the right parts of the GI tract better than others. 

Gummies are different from capsules and tablets because most (but not all) contain not only nutrients but also gelatin, starch, sugar and added flavors.

Benefits of Traditional Format Supplements

Tablets and capsules are convenient to take, considering you simply swallow them with water or another beverage. 

On the other hand, for some people, swallowing tablets (especially larger ones) isn’t ideal. For the general public, however, capsules and tablets can be taken within seconds and can help to fill in gaps in one’s diet. 

The greatest advantage of traditional supplements is that they allow you to obtain certain nutrients that may be missing from the diet, since that’s what dietary supplements are (they supplement the diet). Some opt for supplements when they may not be getting enough specific nutrient-filled foods (some of which don’t taste so great). In other words, because they are concentrated, they can boost your intake of valuable nutrients to supplement your overall diet. 

The key to gaining the most benefits from traditional supplements is to choose those that are made from real food sources and no added flavors, colors or fillers. 

When you purchase high-quality supplements, ideally those that use organically-produced ingredients whenever possible, you’re likely to be consuming products that are tested for purity and potency.

Related: 12 Best Supplements for Healthy Aging

Newer Type of Supplement Format: Gummies

Gummies are unique types of supplement formats because they’re chewy, plus they taste great.

There’s lots of different types of gummy supplements now available, including those that come in a variety of flavors and sizes. You’ll find both vegan gummies, made without gelatin, and gummies that do contain gelatin, which contributes to their chewy texture.

While the gummy supplement industry has been growing in recent years, gummies are nothing new; they’ve been enjoyed since the early 1900’s, although mostly as candy rather than for their nutritional perks.

The most common ingredients used in gummy supplements include: 

  • Gelatin, derived from collagen
  • Corn starch or pectin fiber, which help to bind ingredients
  • Sugar
  • Coconut oil or other oils to improve texture
  • Tapioca syrup which improves texture and flavor
  • Flavors to improve the taste (such as berry, lemon, cherry or orange)
  • Added coloring

As you can see, the downside to some gummies is that they contain added sugar, while capsules or tablets generally don’t. However, some gummies are still pretty low in sugar overall.

Benefits of Gummies

Compared to traditional capsules, gummies are a bit more “fun” to take, usually pretty delicious, and in some cases, easier to make a part of your routine. 

They’re a great option for people who don’t like swallowing pills (often due to a fear of gagging), including children, considering they can be chewed. You’ll always want to read and follow label directions for use, though, since not all gummies are for children or are for children of a certain age and up. 

Gummies can provide many of the same benefits as other types of supplement formats, mainly because they can be infused with vitamins, minerals, herbs and probiotics. The differentiator is their ability to be chewed instead of swallowed whole, and their appealing taste. 

In fact, you might be more inclined to take gummy supplements regularly and consistently if you enjoy chewing them! And so the pleasant taste of gummies over capsules shouldn’t be overlooked if you’re the type of person who struggles to get into a consistent supplement routine.

Ancient Nutrition Gummy Supplements

If you prefer taking gummies over capsules or tablets, you’ll be happy to know that we’ve added several new types of gummies to our supplement offerings. 

Collagen Peptides Gummies

Our Collagen Peptides Gummies (mixed berry flavor) pack the same head-to-toe benefits of Collagen Peptides powder into bite size, easy-to-take gummies that the whole family (at least the adults and children 4 and up) will love.

These gummies feature a proprietary fermented eggshell membrane collagen ingredient, which has been tested in six human clinical trials and proven to offer benefits including support for healthy hair, skin and joints. 

Herbal Cider Vinegar Gummies

These gummies are a first-of-its-kind formula combining apple cider vinegar with 10+ organic, regenerative superfood ingredients, including turmeric, elderberry, goji, sumac, moringa and guava.

Benefits of our herbal cider gummies include support for: overall health and well-being, healthy microbial balance, healthy antioxidant levels, healthy weight management (along with a healthy diet and lifestyle, including regular exercise), and cognitive health and functioning. 

SBO Probiotics Gummies Berry

Our delicious, berry-flavored probiotic gummies provide 10 billion shelf-stable CFUs* of SBO probiotics per serving (no refrigeration needed). 

These resilient soil-based organism probiotics support healthy gut function, healthy immune responses, and healthy bowel transit time, while also helping to reduce occasional constipation, gas and bloating. Adults (and children over 4) can take two gummies daily. 

SBO Probiotics Kids Gummies Berry

Your kids will love taking these yummy berry gummies that provide 5 billion shelf-stable CFU* per serving (no refrigeration needed). 

Like our SBO probiotic gummies made for adults, these gummies intended for kids support healthy gut function and microbial balance, healthy elimination and a healthy immune response, and relieve symptoms of flatulence, abdominal distension and discomfort.

A serving of our kids’ gummies is intentionally only one delicious gummy, to make it easier for kids to consume.  

Gummies vs. Capsules and Pills

1. How to Use and Serving Size

As mentioned above, you take capsules or tablets whole by swallowing them with liquid, while you chew gummies.

Tablets/capsules tend to be more concentrated with nutrients, packing a lot into a tiny package. A standard suggested use of capsule or tablet supplements is usually between 1–3 capsules per day. (Be sure to consult label directions for suggested use.)

Gummies on the other hand usually contain less per volume.

Each nutrient is different in terms of serving size, so always read a supplement’s label for  suggested use and directions. 

Also consider whether you should take certain supplements with a meal versus on an empty stomach. Generally, it’s best to take fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins D, E, A and K) with food, amino acids and probiotics on an empty stomach, and most other nutrients whenever is most convenient. 

2. Flavors

Capsules and tablets tend to be tasteless when you swallow them, although sometimes they can cause a slight taste in your mouth once your stomach begins digesting them.

Gummies come in many yummy flavors depending on the type, making them more enjoyable to take. Our SBO Probiotics and Collagen Gummies, for example, come in great berry flavors, while our Herbal Apple Cider Vinegar gummies taste like a combination of apple, herbs and berries. 

3. Precautions

When taking capsules or tablets, make sure to drink enough water, per the label directions. Divide up your pills so you’re not taking too many at once.  

If giving gummies to young children, consider cutting them in half if they’re too large.

4. How Fast They Work

Do capsules or gummies work faster? Capsules or tablets are more likely to be absorbed quickly compared to gummies, considering gummies may need to be broken down a bit more inside the digestive system. 

Overall, there isn’t a big difference in terms of absorption rate; it’s more important to buy good-quality supplements that are potent and pure, such as fermented and hydrolyzed supplements.

5. Extra Ingredients

No matter which type of supplement format you enjoy most, choose those that are made with pure ingredients and no fillers, preservatives, are non-GMO, are made without common allergens (such as gluten and soy) or other chemicals.

At Ancient Nutrition, we go to great lengths to ensure that our products are produced with only the best quality, pure ingredients, are non-GMO, have no artificial sweeteners or unwanted fillers. You can read more about the processes we use to grow and produce our supplements on our website’s product pages. 

What Supplement Format Is Right for You? 

What’s the bottom line on the gummy vs. capsule or tablet debate? It all comes down to preference, plus which types of nutrients you’re most interested in taking. 

Capsules and tablets often offer a wider range of available herbs and other nutrients, but they can be harder for some people to swallow and take regularly. Gummies taste great, so they’re best for children (check the label for details) and people who are sensitive to swallowing capsules. 

*at best by date

Jill Levy has been with the Dr. Axe and Ancient Nutrition team for five years. She completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Fairfield University, followed by a certification as a Holistic Health Coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Jill takes a “non-diet” approach to health and really enjoys teaching others about mindful eating, intuitive eating and the benefits of eating real foods.