Here Are 49 Ways In Which Alcohol Is Actually Good For Your Health

This weekend, you can round up your friends and have a drink without feeling guilty about it, because alcohol – in the right amount – can actually be good for your health. Yes, really!

Check out the health benefits of your favourite spirits.

Health Benefits of Alcohol

1. Regulates cholesterol

Beer raises your HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) levels, thereby preventing your arteries from getting clogged and improving your heart health.

2. Boosts brain power

Research shows that people who drink beer in moderate amounts are less likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s disease than non-beer drinkers.

3. Soothes a cold

Beer is made of barley, which when warmed up can improve blood circulation and reduce congestion. So, the next time you have a cold, drink a warm beer!

4. Contains fibre and B vitamins

Certain dark varieties of beer contain fibre, which can slow down the absorption of alcohol and regulate your digestion. Beer is also rich in B vitamins like folate, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin and vitamins B6 and B12. These vitamins make your skin soft and smooth, and can reverse pigmentation to some extent.

5. Prevents kidney stones

Beer has kidney-protective properties, so much so that it can lower your chances of getting kidney stones by a whopping 40 percent!

6. Strengthens bones

A study found that drinking two beers a day can improve bone density, but be careful because the same study found that drinking more than two beers increases your chances of getting a fracture.

Health Benefits of Alcohol

1. Aids weight loss

Vodka is carbohydrate-free and has only 64 calories per ounce! The problem arises when people mix it with sugary juices and soft drinks. The trick is to mix it with water or soda, and add lemon, mint leaves or fruits for flavour.

2. Regulates blood pressure

Vodka improves your blood circulation and regulates your blood pressure, thereby reducing your chances of having a heart attack.

3. Relieves stress

Alcohol is a depressant, which means that it slows down the activity of the brain and the central nervous system, making you more relaxed. Among all the various types of alcohol, vodka is particularly effective when it comes to stress-relief.

4. Lowers fever

If a person has high fever, applying vodka on their forehead, arms, legs and chest can help bring down their temperature.

5. Improves digestion

Adding small amounts of vodka to your food can do wonders for your digestion. Penne vodka, anyone?

6. Soothes toothaches

Applying a little vodka to your tooth can cure a toothache, since it disinfects the tooth and numbs the pain a little.

Health Benefits of Alcohol

1. Boosts brain power

Whiskey is loaded with ellagic acid, a chemical that improves cognitive function and prevents diseases like Alzheimer’s. You have to consume it in moderation however, because drinking too much of it does just the opposite.

2. Protects your heart

Over a hundred different studies have shown that alcohol has heart-protective benefits, and whiskey is one of the foremost in this department. In fact, research shows that drinking moderate amounts of whiskey on a regular basis can reduce your chances of having a heart attack or a stroke by 50 percent!

3. Prevents cancer

Ellagic acid is a powerful antioxidant that also prevents cancer. It battles the harmful free radicals that your body produces, keeping diseases at bay.

4. Boosts immunity

The jury is still out on this one, but some studies show that whiskey has the power to boost your immunity, helping your system fight off colds, illnesses and infections.

5. Prevents diabetes

Whiskey can reduce your chances of getting diabetes by 30 to 40 percent, because it improves your body’s ability to manage glucose.

6. Helps weight loss

Whiskey too has zero carbs and is low in calories. Drinking a small amount of whiskey after a meal can improve digestion and suppress your appetite, preventing you from overeating.

Health Benefits of Alcohol

1. Contains medicinal properties

There’s a reason why we always associate rum with sailors. The British navy would give each of its sailors a ration of rum, because rum can help prevent scurvy, a condition marked by a deficiency of Vitamin C.

2. Increases longevity

Drinking moderate amounts of rum can add anywhere between 2 to 5 years to your life!

3. Prevents muscle and bone problems

Rum can help reduce muscle pain and prevent osteoporosis, since it increases bone mineral density.

4. Treats the common cold

Rum has antimicrobial properties that can help you do away with those sniffles.

Health Benefits of Alcohol

1. Lowers your blood sugar levels

Tequila is made from the agave plant, which contains a natural sugar called agave. Agave triggers insulin production and thereby causes your blood sugar levels to fall.

2. Regulates cholesterol

Research shows that agavins act like fibre and lower your triglyceride and cholesterol levels. Tequila also regulates the absorption of fat from your intestines, making you feel less bloated when you drink.

3. Contains prebiotics and probiotics

Probiotics are the healthy bacteria in our intestines that control everything from digestion to immunity. Prebiotics make space for the probiotics, by creating a hospitable environment for them.

4. Prevents diseases

The agavins in tequila have several properties that help your body stave off a number of diseases, including osteoporosis, dementia and diabetes.

Health Benefits of Alcohol

1. Contains a number of medicinal ingredients

The main ingredients in gin are juniper berries, which are a natural remedy for coughs, congestion, renal insufficiency and menstruation problems. Apart from these berries, gin is typically made with other medicinal herbs like coriander, cassia, nutmeg, sage, angelica root, and rosemary.

2. Prevents malaria

The combination of Gin and Tonic was actually invented by the British as a way to prevent malaria!

3. Reduces the inflammation associated with arthritis

Juniper berries are loaded with compounds that battle chronic inflammation, so drinking small amounts of gin on a regular basis can combat arthritis.

4. Fights infections

Gin fights both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, thereby helping your body stave off bacterial infections.

5. Keeps your skin healthy

Juniper berries are loaded with antioxidants that keep your skin young, healthy and wrinkle-free.

6. Improves digestion

The herbs in gin trigger the release of digestive enzymes and stomach acid, making it easier for your system to break down food.

7. Promotes weight loss

Like vodka and whiskey, gin too has a minimal amount of calories. In fact, it helps you out a little more by improving digestion and reducing bloating.

Health Benefits of Alcohol

1. Keeps you young

Red wine contains resveratrol, a compound found in the skin of grapes that has anti-ageing properties.

2. Prevents cancer

Several studies have shown that wine can reduce your risk of getting cancer, colon and breast cancer in particular.

3. Reduces the risk of depression

Research shows that drinking two to seven glasses of wine per week can reduce your chances of depression considerably.

4. Keeps your heart healthy

Wine prevents blood clots and regulates your cholesterol levels, thereby keeping your arteries clear and preventing heart attacks and strokes as a result.

5. Protects your memory

Studies show that drinking one glass of wine every day can improve your memory and reduce your risk of developing dementia.

6. Helps you live longer

A Finnish study found that wine drinkers have a 34 percent lower mortality rate than people who drink beer or other spirits!

Health Benefits of Alcohol

1. Improves heart health

Brandy is made by distilling wine further, to increase its alcoholic content. It therefore has all the properties of wine, in a more concentrated proportion. The antioxidants in brandy balance cholesterol, reduce plaque build-up, lower blood pressure and prevent heart attacks.

2. Slows down ageing

The antioxidant compounds in brandy, some of which are attributed to the presence of copper in some of the ageing barrels, have a strong effect on the body. They fight the free radicals that cause ageing, keeping your skin and even your brain young.

3. Reduces the risk of cancer

Brandy contains ellagic acid, which prevents the growth and spread of cancer cells.

4. Soothes colds and coughs

For years, brandy has been used as a remedy for respiratory problems like colds, coughs and sore throats. It eliminates harmful bacteria, loosens up mucus and soothes away the irritation.

5. Boosts immunity

The antioxidants in brandy boost your immune system, while the alcoholic content helps kill off harmful pathogens.

Health Benefits of Alcohol

1. Enables weight loss

Champagne is a type of sparkling wine that originates from a certain region in France, however it happens to contain fewer calories than both red and white wine! It is also served in slimmer flutes, making it easier for you to limit your intake. Studies also show that the bubbles make you sip on it more slowly, so you will probably drink lesser of it overall.

2. Improves memory

Studies show that a person’s spatial and short-term memory can improve after they drink a little champagne. Spatial memory is the ability to recognize one’s surroundings, as well as perform complex tasks and calculations. Short-term memory is the information that your brain retains for a short period of time.

3. Boosts heart health

While most people associate red wine with heart health, few know that champagne is as good for the heart as a glass of red wine.

Health Benefits of Alcohol

1. Contains plenty of antioxidants

Research shows that a glass of cider delivers the same amount of antioxidants as a glass of red wine.

2. Makes for a good gluten-free option

Since cider is made of apples, it contains no gluten (unlike beer), making it a good option for people who have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.

A word of caution, before you get carried away.

Experts recommend that women limit their alcohol intake to one drink per day, and that men limit their intake to two drinks per day. And no, you can’t save up these drinks and drink them all on the weekend, because binge drinking is extremely harmful to your health.

 

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HOMEMADE PROTEIN POWDER

protein powder smoothie

I have a love/hate relationship with protein powder. I love that it helps make my daily smoothie more filling and meal-like. I love that it’s a quick and easy way to get a nice dose of the recovery-helping macronutrient after a hard workout.

But I hate the price. And I, more often than not, hate the ingredient list. There are definitely more natural protein powders out there, but the price is just so restrictively high! And the rare times I found a natural protein powder that wasn’t exorbitantly expensive, it was exorbitantly gritty, earthy, and generally not delicious.

We recently ran out of our giant tub of protein powder, and I’ve been meaning to buy another one. But every time I’ve gone grocery shopping, I’ve landed in the protein powder aisle, taken one look at the prices and turned my shopping cart right around. I have a seriously hard time justifying $20+ for some powder.

protein powder

But then it hit me, hey, I have stuff that has protein in it in my pantry. And I have a coffee grinder that does a dang good job of turning things into powder. So, uh, why not? So I did.

protein powder

It took a little bit of experimentation to get something that didn’t overwhelm other flavors in smoothies. At first, I tried just straight ground dried lentils. Tons of protein, yes, but also tons of lentil-y flavor. Not recommended, unless you are one of those people who thinks a peanut butter-banana-lentil smoothie sounds delicious. So then I started to think about ways to cut the lentil flavor, but still add protein—enter steel cut oats and brown rice.

protein powder lentils, grains

Both the steel cut oats and the brown rice have protein, but more importantly in this little concoction they are pretty flavorless, which helps cut back on the earthy flavor of the lentils. I worked a little bit on the ratio, and soon enough, I had a nice protein-packed powder that just was pretty much flavorless in a smoothie. Win!

WANT TO MAKE YOUR OWN? HERE’S THE BREAK DOWN:

  • 1/3 cup steel cut oats
  • 1/3 cup brown rice
  • 1 cup dried green lentils

I mixed all of that up in a bowl, and then ground it in my coffee grinder about 1/3 cup at a time (just because my grinder is small) until it was a very fine powder. I ended up with just shy of two cups total of protein powder.

protein powder

The nutritional info isn’t quite as high in protein as your standard off-the-shelf protein powder, but it’s still pretty amazing, especially considering the low price tag and the low number of ingredients. Because of the carb-y nature of the oats and rice, it’s higher in carbs that store-bought powder, too, but I’m a big fan of whole grain, natural carbs, so I’m good with it! And, of course, you can play with the ratios to up the protein even more (more lentils) and reduce the carbs (less steel cut oats and rice).  You could also try other protein-tastic add-ins, like dried soybeans or dired black beans. I just always have lentils kicking around, so it was a good fit for our lifestyle.

Here’s the comparision between my homemade protein powder and my typical off-the-shelf protein powder.

HOMEMADE PROTEIN POWDER (PER 1/4 CUP OF POWDER)

  • 130 calories
  • 8g protein
  • 1g fat
  • 24g carbs

Ingredients: Lentils, Brown Rice, Steel Cut Oats

STORE-BOUGHT PROTEIN POWDER  (PER 1/4 CUP OF POWDER)

  • 80 calories
  • 14g protein
  • 0g fat
  • 5g carbs

Ingredients: Proprietary non-GMO protein blend (rice protein, pea protein and soy [isolated soy protein and fermented soy]), di-calcium phosphate, FOS (fructooligosaccharides), curcumin (natural color), banana flavor, potassium citrate, guar gum, magnesium oxide, psyllium, natural vanilla flavor, oat bran, microcrystalline cellulose, spirulina, vitamin C, vitamin E (d-alpha tocopheryl acetate), choline bitartrate, inositol, apple pectin, bee pollen, niacinamide, vitamin A palmitate, zinc oxide, manganese sulfate, ferrous fumarate, calcium pantothenate, lecithin, lemon bioflavonoids, papaya, bromelain, chlorophyll, pyridoxine HCl, riboflavin, thiamine HCl, vitamin B-12, vitamin D, folic acid, biotin, potassium iodide, chromium chloride, sodium selenite, sodium molybdate

smoothie protein powder

I know what some of you are saying—but I don’t have a coffee grinder! Well, I think it’s worth the cash to go out and buy one. My coffee grinder was a whopping $10 at Target a few years ago. A $10 coffee grinder, $1 bag of lentils, $1 bag of brown rice and $2 worth of steel cut oats will make you much more than $14 worth of all-natural, plant-based, vegan protein powder.

protein powder

I’m a unflavored, unsweetened protein powder kind of girl, but I know that sometimes it can be really fun to mix it up with fun flavors, so I spent a little time creating four different flavor variations on the powder.

protein powder

VARIATIONS

  • Cappuccino: For each 1/3 cup of lentil/rice/oats mixture you blend in the coffee grinder, throw in 1 tablespoon of whole coffee beans and blend until a fine powder. To sweeten, add desired amount of stevia or sugar.
  • Chocolate: For each 1/3 cup of lentil/rice/oats mixture you blend in the coffee grinder, throw in 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder and blend until a fine powder. To sweeten, add desired amount of stevia or sugar.
  • Vanilla: For each 1/3 cup of lentil/rice/oats mixture you blend in the coffee grinder, add in the insides of 1/2 of a vanilla bean or slice a whole vanilla bean in half lengthwise and stash in a jar with the whole batch of protein powder to flavor continuously. To sweeten, add desired amount of stevia or sugar.
  • Pumpkin Spice: For each 1/3 cup of lentil/rice/oats mixture you blend in the coffee grinder, add in 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger and ground cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon of ground nutmeg and ground cloves. To sweeten, add desired amount of stevia or sugar.

coffee grinder

Let me know if you guys try it out with any other ratios, flavors or ingredients! I’d love to hear what you guys come up with. Happy protein powder making!

 

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Heart Health: How To Improve Your Heart Without Vigorous Exercise

Heart HealthDon’t have time in your schedule for a vigorous jog? Take heart: A new study finds mid-lifers can enhance their heart health by regularly engaging in leisure and household activities such as gardening, brisk walking and housework. And it’s never too late to get active.

The research, which appears in the American Heart Association’s journalCirculation, studied people who had participated in these activities regularly for more than a decade.

“It’s not just vigorous exercise and sports that are important” to heart health, said Mark Hamer, Ph.D., study lead author and associate professor of epidemiology and public health at University College in London, U.K., in a press release. “These leisure-time activities represent moderate intensity exercise that is important to health. It is especially important for older people to be physically active because it contributes to successful aging.”

The study followed 4,200 people who recorded the duration and frequency of activities outside of work, ranging from sports to chores. They included cycling, sports, brisk walking, home maintenance, “vigorous” gardening and housework.

Between 1991 and 1993, researchers conducted a baseline assessment that analyzed two important inflammatory markers, C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6). Participants who engaged in regular activity had lower levels of CRP and IL-6 than those who did not. When participants were reexamined during a 10-year follow-up, the levels remained stable versus those who were minimally active.

“Inflammatory markers are important because we have shown they are a key mechanism explaining the link between physical activity and the lower risk of heart disease,” Hamer noted in a press release. “The people who benefited the most from this study were the ones that remained physically active.” But if you’re a couch potato, the study should encourage you to get moving: People who shifted from an inactive to active lifestyle had lower inflammatory markers at their follow-up.

One interesting tangential finding from the study: People become more active in retirement. About half of participants engaged in moderate to vigorous activity for the recommended 2.5 hours per week for heart health — but the rate soared to 83 percent in later phases of the study.

“The percentage of exercising participants jumped quite a bit because they were entering their retirement during the last phase of the study,” Hamer said in a press release. “We have shown that retirement seems to have a beneficial effect on physical activity levels.”

The study participants were part of the ongoing Whitehall II research, which has followed more than 10,000 British civil service workers since 1985 to examine social and occupational influences on cardiovascular health.

 

SOURCE

Simple Advice for Better Weight Training

Not everyone has a ton of time or interest for weight training. However, The New York Times suggests that the one exercise everyone should work into their daily routine is squats.

If You Only Do One Type of Weight Training, Do Squats

Speaking with Stuart Phillips at McMaster University in Ontario, he explains why the squat is the one weight training exercise everyone should do:

“For many of us, weight training is a mysterious and intimidating activity. People often ask me if they really need to lift weights. And if so, do they need to lift heavy weights? What is a heavy weight? People also ask if weight lifting will make them bulky — and often wonder whether, if they already regularly run, walk, swim or cycle, they need to lift weights at all?”

To learn more about the latest science and practice of weight training watch the Video by the physiology department at McMaster University in Ontario, where scientists are closely studying the effects of weight lifting on the human body and trying to determine how each of us can optimize our time in the gym.

Sorting Out Supplements

Sorting Out Supplements: Tablets vs. Capsules vs. Liquids vs. Powders vs. Chewables

Supplements come in several formats, each with its advantages and drawbacks.

Tablets, capsules, softgels, liquids, chewables and powders; supplements come in all forms and that’s a good thing since it gives consumers a wide range of choices. But confusion persists about which forms are best with respect to absorption, materials, results and other factors.  Here’s the AllStarHealth guide to the benefits and drawbacks of each format.

Once upon a time, vitamins came in tablets or capsules and that was it. Then came improved tablets and capsules, then chewables, caplets, softgels, powders, and lozenges. With the consistent growth and expansion of the supplement industry, products are now available in almost too-wide a variety of physical forms.  Each of these has legitimate pros and cons, but it’s also clear to us that there’s a lot of confusion about what those pros and cons are among our customers.  Sometimes the physical format makes a difference in terms of results, more often it does not.

To help sort out the differences and help you find the products that suit you and your budget the best, we’ll describe the strengths and weaknesses of the different formats.

But first, we need to talk about absorption since that’s a key concern of supplement buyers with respect to the different formats. Many customers are concerned that products don’t break down or absorb quickly enough or completely enough.  We’ve heard 1000’s of variations of the same urban legends regarding tablets that pass out of the body unabsorbed (i.e. discovered by nursing home caretakers) or “vitamins that simply make expensive urine”.

While it may be true that tablets can pass through a person’s digestive system without breaking down, when this occurs it almost always reflects problem with something other that the pill itself.

It can happen, for example, when those with an already-weak or poorly-functioning digestive system (such the elderly or convalescents) take cheap drugstore or supermarket vitamins with an insufficient amount of solid food. High-quality name brand supplement makers actually invest considerable R&D resources to ensure their products are shelf-stable but break down completely and quickly, which is not an easy task from a formulation point-of-view.  Money must be spent and tablet space devoted to non-nutritive ingredients that only assist in tablet disintegration and absorption. For example, high quality multivitamins tablets usually contain tiny cellulose beadlets that expand when they absorb water, helping to break down the tablet within the stomach.  This is an absorption-enhancing feature name brand multis have but cheap supermarket multis lack.

Another way this can happen is when a person suffers a digestive illness or bout with food contamination. Both can greatly decrease transit time through the digestive tract, resulting in diarrhea or loose stools and sometimes, undissolved pills and tablets.

But outside of these scenarios, there’s really no basis to assert that a quality name-brand supplement tablet can not or will not break down and be completely absorbed when taken as directed.The technology of capsule and tablet manufacture has grown and evolved with the product-side of industry; considerably more goes into making a good multivitamin capsule or tablet than simply compressing ingredients in a machine. For example, name-brand and all reputable contract manufacturers test and re-test their products for acceptable dissolution times and thoroughness under stomach-like conditions.

Then there’s the old wives’ tale about the worthlessness of vitamins because “they just make expensive urine” or “you just pee them out” or other variations on the theme.

It’s not hard to see where this one came from. Anytime you take a multivitamin or a B complex, you’re going to get some vitamin B2 (riboflavin). B2 markedly changes the color or urine, usually making it much yellower.   Thus when someone visit the bathroom an hour or so after taking their supplement, it’s easy to see why they might conclude that their vitamins have been wasted and have not been absorbed.

But neither is the case.  Vitamins from supplements are absorbed the same way as vitamins from food; they have the same fate. No vitamin, whether from food or supplements, can go directly from the stomach to the bladder. The only way vitamins can change the appearance of urine is if they have been filtered from the bloodstream by the kidneys, and the only way that can occur is if the supplement has been absorbed from the digestive tract, and the only way that can occur is if the supplement breaks down easily or is otherwise manufactured to be bioavailable.

So, contrary to the myth,  when you see color changes in your urine associated with your supplement, it’s not evidence of it being wasted, it’s confirmation that it’s been broken down, absorbed and made available to body tissues.

One final point about absorption; faster isn’t necessarily better.  Many people spend the extra money for liquid supplements based on a belief that they will absorb faster than capsules or tablets. They might, but the time difference between complete absorption of liquids versus other forms, 20-30 minutes, does not amount to a noticeable advantage or a nutritional advantage with most supplements.  In fact, where higher potencies are concerned, slower absorption may be preferable to fast, sudden absorption. This is because there are limits to how fast and how much of a given nutrient can be absorbed per unit of time. When you overwhelm these absorption pathways, you do waste nutrients.  Slower is better when it comes to essential nutrients.  Many supplements are available in time-released format for this reason. For other types of supplements such as preworkout formulas or energy products the faster absorption makes a significant difference, and has led to market dominance of these formats.

The idea that faster absorption is better comes from, we think, advertisements about medications, both prescription and OTC. When it comes to medications, especially pain medication, faster definitely is better.  But it’s important to avoid applying drug-type standards to supplements. Both types of products may appearsimilar, but are as different as a farmer’s pesticides are to his fertilizer.

Now onto the different supplement formats.

Tablets are the most cost-effective supplements in general because they are less-expensive to manufacture than other formats.  Tablets allow the manufacturer to pack the most material into a given space.  From the manufacturing standpoint, tablets are the most shelf-stable choice and retain their potency over a longer time than liquids, powders and most capsules. Tablets can be offered in the widest range of sizes and shapes.   And as long as you stick with a name-brand product and take it as directed,  you needn’t worry about absorption issues with tablets. Drawbacks to tablets?  Large tablets can be hard for some people to swallow.  Tablets don’t offer the flexibility of dosing that liquids and powders do.

Caplets are simply tablets that have a smaller size and smoother-coating, making them as easy to swallow as capsules without giving up the other advantages of tablets. There are far fewer products offered in caplet form than tablets, however. In every other respect, caplets are similar to tablets.

Capsules refer to the familiar two-piece gelatin capsules that are widely used in supplements and some medications.  Their main advantages are their easy-to-swallow characteristics and their ability to break down quickly in the stomach, although, again, not to the point that there’s any nutritional advantage.  Vegetarian capsules, of which VegiCaps are the best-known brand, are a gelatin-free alternative rapidly gaining popularity as customers become more hesitant to consume meat by-products like gelatin.  Some people like the fact that they can open up capsules and, using all or part of its powdered contents, mix the nutrients into applesauce or a protein shake, for example.  That can be a great aid to children or others who have difficulty swallowing pills. The drawbacks of capsules? They cost considerably more than tablets. They have significant space and potency limitations since their powdered contents cannot be compressed to a significant degree.  Since capsules are not air-tight, their shelf-life is shorter than tablets. They are not suited to liquid or oil-based nutrients either unless special, expensive encapsulation techniques and products are used.

Softgels are one-piece gelatin capsules almost exclusively used for liquid or oil-based formulas. Although vegetarian softgels have been introduced to the market, adoption has been slow and as of this writing, gelatin softgels are still virtually the only type you’re likely to come across when supplement shopping.  Because of their smooth contour and shape, softgels are very easy-to-swallow regardless of size. They also offer superior shelf-life profiles to capsules, liquids and powders since they are completely sealed and air-tight. But like tablets, you don’t have any flexibility with the dose of softgels since they can’t be neatly broken or opened up. You can use more softgels or fewer softgels, but that’s it.  Softgel manufacture is specialized and considerably more expensive than tablets or capsules, and softgel product pricing tends to reflect that.

Chewables need no explanation. But they always cost more on a dollars-per-milligram basis and tend to be lower potency when compared to comparable products in tablet and capsule form. They also usually have some sugar and flavorings added, which many health-conscious people strenuously try to avoid. So chewables are best-reserved for children or those people who really can’t swallow tablets or capsules.

Powders can be very cost-effective on a dollars-per-nutrient basis, but are also the least convenient to use, since they must be mixed into a liquid, shake or a food. Powders do offer great flexibility with dosing – you can make much finer adjustments to the dose than with tablets and capsules.  For supplements taken in gram quantities such as creatineprotein and glutamine, powders are much, much more practical. For example, a typical 5-gram serving of creatine is easy to take; a small scoop of tasteless powder mixed in with water or juice. But to get that same dose with capsules, you’d need 10 x 500 mg capsules or 5 x extra-large 1g capsules.

Liquid supplements. Customers often seek out liquid supplements based on their belief that liquid supplements absorb faster and are therefore better than other forms. They might, but, again, this difference is not great enough to amount to a noticeable or significant nutritional difference, so that’s not really a great reason to go liquid.  And as we’ve said, when it comes to essential nutrients, slower absorption may be better. Liquids do offer a lot of flexibility with dosing and are very easy for most people to take. Drawbacks? They are always more expensive on a dollars-per-nutrient basis and their shelf life is shorter than with other formats. They are heavier to transport. They’re not portable like capsules and tablets. They often require refrigeration.  Depending on the how it’s made, a liquid supplements often have problems with ingredients settling to the bottom between uses. Even when the bottle is shaken before each use,  dispersion of ingredients is imprecise and less consistent than with capsule and tablet products.

So as you can see, there is no one perfect format.  It really depends on the supplement and the person taking it. But by knowing the pros and cons of each, it’s easy to zero in on which is best.

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