Supplements have seen many changes in recent years due to what is known as “pill fatigue.” This phenomenon occurs when those taking multiple medications and supplements get overwhelmed by the burden of swallowing pills too often. Companies recognized this and started rolling out non-pill forms of supplements. From gummies and powders to lozenges and shots, supplements have exploded in the market, especially with the millennial generation1.
Let’s look at the top five alternative supplement delivery formats that have consumers returning to a healthier lifestyle.
“Studies have shown that up to 40% of Americans have trouble swallowing pills.”
Combine trouble swallowing pills along with pill fatigue, and it’s no wonder why we have seen a progression toward alternative supplement formats2.
Initially intended for children, gummy vitamins were created to get kids to take their vitamins without the hassle of swallowing a pill. Now gummies are popular with every age group, with supplements such as apple cider vinegar, zinc, and Power C available in a gummy format. People tend to take their vitamins more consistently in the gummy form. Rather than swallowing a pill with a glass of water, the sweet taste and ease of chewing have gummies flying off the shelves3.
If you want to know how popular powder supplements are, all you have to do is follow the money. In 2021 the global protein powder market was valued at $4.4 Billion and is projected to grow to $19.3 billion by 20304. In the past, these powders were only found in specialized vitamin shops whereas now protein powder is available at supermarkets, popular food chains, and online4.
Evolving lifestyles and increased demand for nutritious food alternatives have driven many to choose fortified smoothies and protein drinks over other fast-food options. Also, the ability to consume more nutrients quicker and in an easier delivery system is pushing many toward powder over pills.
Diets that push protein and fat and the reduction of carbohydrates (such as the “Atkins” or “Keto” diets) also have many people adding protein powder to their daily regimen.
Another alternative supplement format is the lozenge. When we think of lozenges, our mind might think of cough drops instead of the many other supplements that now come in this form.
For example, zinc, an essential trace mineral and potent antioxidant comes in lozenge form with a minty fresh flavor. Zinc supports our immune system function and in some studies has been shown to prevent and treat colds and the flu. Lozenges are another alternative supplement format to ward off pill fatigue.
Ready-To-Drink (RTD) Functional Beverages
You may have noticed little shots of beverages cropping up in the produce section of your grocery store. The functional beverage industry is the fasting growing market in the food sector. For many taking a little shot of a beverage is more palatable than taking multiple pills or capsules daily. Other contributing factors to the high demand for ready-to-drink functional beverages are their size, shape, and appearance.
Incorporated into these functional shots are desirable nutrients such as bioactive compounds, dietary fibers, vitamins, minerals, proteins, and peptides. This alternative supplement format is very popular with the millennial generation. Their “always-on,” 24/7 lifestyle and the need to be racing forward in a competitive work environment have led many to care for their health with these rapidly growing number of RTD drinks. There are various functional beverages from probiotics, sports, and dairy-based beverages to meal replacers and caffeinated drinks. Millennials feel they can care for their health without having to be tied to a daily regimen of pills5.
Convenience being the priority, many are finding that with our busy lifestyles and endless “to-do” lists, taking supplements is not making the daily cut. Some vitamins come in the form of a spray that you spritz directly into your mouth or pour an eyedropper-full into any beverage you are drinking. By adding vitamins to something you will be drinking anyway, there is no room to let your daily supplement fall by the wayside.
Some supplements and vitamins can cause an upset stomach or digestive distress. In addition, the coating used in capsules is designed to slow down the dissolving process, which can cause discomfort for some. Switching to a liquid vitamin might be a better alternative.
For example, adding a cap full of chlorophyll to your water or smoothie can help boost your immunity, improve red blood cell quality, support healthy skin, and aid in detoxification6.
With the vast array of alternative supplement formats on the market, the excuses for not taking daily supplements have run dry. So whether you favor a beverage, lozenge, or a gummy, obtaining the ideal nutrients we need to remain healthy can remain a priority while still managing all of life’s other priorities.
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**These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
- Millennials Drive Growth In Non-Pill Supplement Forms, https://www.naturalproductsinsider.com/supplements/millennials-drive-growth-non-pill-supplement-forms.
- 1 in 3 Would Rather Die Early Than Take A Daily Pill, https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/1-3-would-rather-die-early-take-daily-pill-180954141/.
- Vitamins Gone Gummy, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/28/well/eat/vitamins-gone-gummy.html.
- Global Protein Powder Market Size To Grow USD 19.3 Billion By 2030, https://www.globenewswire.com/en/news-release/2022/09/27/2523212/0/en/Global-Protein-Powder-Market-Size-to-grow-USD-19-3-Billion-by-2030-CAGR-of-4-52-Spherical-Insights.html.
- Functional Beverage, https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/functional-beverage.
- 7 Evidence-Based Ways Liquid Chlorophyll Can Benefit Health, https://www.iherb.com/blog/chlorophyll/1397.