Types of Vitamins
After bariatric surgery, you will probably need to take vitamin supplements for life. Surgeons recommend a multivitamin and mineral supplement, and there may be additional supplements that you need to stay nourished.
On top of that, you may have your own specific needs that spur you to take supplements. For example, you might be particularly interested in athletic performance or muscle building, energy or metabolism, or heart, bone, or joint health.
The bottom line is that it is common to be looking for one or several vitamins to take. There are a lot of choices when it comes to the form or type of supplement, and choosing the best ones for yourself can help you reach your goals. Here’s a guide to types of vitamins at the BariatricPal Store.
Capsules are classic. They are the pill-like vitamins that are probably most familiar. They are hard, and you swallow them whole. Since they are so common, most vitamins, minerals, and other supplements are available in capsule form.
If you want to take capsules, be sure to check the ingredients to make sure you have no allergies. You might also want to look for capsules that are coated or easy to swallow. When you take capsules, they are easiest to swallow if you take a sip of water with each one to help it go down your throat.
Capsules can be difficult to swallow after bariatric surgery if your throat is sore or if you have a good amount of restriction. Some people also just have trouble swallowing capsules. One option is to use a pill crusher.
Chewable vitamins and other supplements can be a lot of fun to take. You do not have to swallow large capsules or pills. Instead, you get to chew the vitamins just like you chew your food, and you can swallow them when you are ready.
An advantage of chewable vitamins is that they can taste very good. Flavors can include chocolate, vanilla, caramel, strawberry, and pretty much anything else you can imagine. For some people, taking chewables is like eating candy, and it can become a highlight of the day.
It is important to check the list of ingredients and the sugar content if you are concerned about calories and carbs. Some brands of chewables have a lot of sugar. It is also important not to have too many. Even if they taste like candy, they contain active ingredients that can be harmful if you have way too much.
Gummies are another type of vitamin that can feel like eating candy. They come in small pieces that might be about half the size of typical gummy bears. They can come in fruity flavors, and can taste quite good.
As with soft chews, it’s best to check the ingredients and nutritional information. You do not want to accidentally get a lot of sugar from your vitamins which are supposed to be making you healthier! It is also good to check the types and amounts of nutrients in gummies. Sometimes, gummies are lower in quantity or variety of active ingredients compared to capsules or some other forms of vitamins.
Tablets can be chewed or sucked. The package may tell you the best way to take a particular type of tablet. You might chew it thoroughly before swallowing it. Or, you may suck on it until it fully dissolves in your mouth.
As with soft chews and gummies, you do not swallow tablets whole. That can be welcome news if you are a bariatric surgery patient who has a sore throat or has a lot of restriction in the esophageal area. It can also be good news for anyone who dreads capsules.
Tablets come in a variety of flavors. They may be mild and pleasant. Some people, though, may find certain brands to have a chalky texture or consistency, which makes it harder to take them.
Liquid vitamins can be ideal after bariatric surgery. They are the easiest possible type of vitamin to swallow. They can also be very high in certain nutrients, which can be beneficial if you have a deficiency or if your needs are especially high, such as after weight loss surgery.
Often, you can choose whether to take the liquid straight or to mix it into some water, milk, or another beverage. Liquid vitamins can be flavored. Just check to make sure the sugar content isn’t too high for your meal plan.
With lozenges, you suck on the vitamin as the active ingredients slowly dissolve and slide down your throat. They are easy to take, and you don’t need to chew or swallow. They often have a mild pleasant flavor.
Vitamin powders can be dissolved into a few ounces of a beverage and then you drink the mixture. They keep you from needing to chew or swallow solid foods or components. That may be necessary after bariatric surgery when you are on the liquid diet post-op phase.
Powders can have the advantage of coming with additional nutrients. For example, they might come with protein, branched-chain amino acids, or other compounds. Powders can also be unflavored, allowing you to enjoy your beverage, or flavored, which can often be quite pleasant.
A drawback of powdered vitamins is that they require preparation to take. You cannot just “take one out” and use it. Instead, you need to have some liquid in which to dissolve the powder, and a cup or other receptacle for mixing and drinking. You’ll also want to check the nutritional information to make sure you are not accidentally getting more sugar, calories, or carbs than you had bargained for from your vitamin powder.
Quick melt vitamins are like tablets, but they are a little bit faster to dissolve. This can help prevent you from accidentally chewing them if you are not supposed to, or from forgetting that you are sucking on one. They often come with a mild fruit flavor.
Quick melts can have sugar, so be sure to check before you take them. Also, check the variety and quantities of nutrients, since they may be a little lower than in some other types of vitamins.
Softgels are like capsules, but they are a little softer. You swallow them whole, usually using a sip or two of water to help wash them down into your throat. Softgels often come in containers that are opaque to block light and help increase the shelf life.
Softgels can be easier to swallow than capsules. They are typically coated so that they are very smooth and can slide more easily down your throat. Sometimes, depending on the type, a softgel can have a bit of an aftertaste.
Sublingual vitamins are vitamins that you take under your tongue. You place it under your tongue and allow it to dissolve. Vitamin B12 is the most common type of sublingual vitamin. Your doctor will likely let you know if you should take sublingual vitamins. You can also ask.
Vitamin patches are different from the other types of vitamins because they do not go into your mouth. Instead, you apply a stick patch to your skin. The patch contains the vitamins or other active ingredients. Upon making contact with your skin, the active ingredients are mobilized and cross your skin into your bloodstream so they can circulate.
Vitamin patches come in brands that are latex-free and hypoallergenic. They are available in a wide range, so you can find patches with vitamin or active ingredient combinations for pretty much any health or nutritional goal that you may have. You do not have to worry about taking them with food or on an empty stomach, and there is no chance of them causing an upset stomach during digestion. It’s okay to use multiple patches at once without worrying about them interfering with each other.
Vitamin patches can have drawbacks if you do not like putting things on your skin. They stay on for 8 hours. If you are worried about people seeing them, you can choose an area of skin that is under your clothing and not exposed.
As you look into the best vitamins for yourself, it’s also important to consider the type. The form you get can affect how easy it is to take your vitamins, which can affect whether you follow your vitamin regimen properly. From capsules, chewables, and other oral supplements to patches, The BariatricPal Store has all types of vitamins to make it easier for you to stay on track.
*The Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated these statements. BariatricPal Store products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Anyone with a medical condition should seek the advice of a licensed medical practitioner. Individual results may vary.