According to the Harris study some years ago around 40% of the US population have difficulty in taking pills and tablets.
I am assuming this also takes into account capsules, the powder-containing pill-like form in which many people take nutritional supplements. For those people, alternatives to taking anything from medication to supplements need to be found.
For many that might mean taking products in a liquid or powder form. In the area of whole-foods supplements and functional nutrition, I’m interested in discovering more about a form of super greens which is more portable than the usual powder-and-scoop form, and that is super green capsules.
If we are to assume that anyone who is already interested in taking super greens is aware of the much-talked-about health benefits then there must be a reason people choose to take them in the capsule form, and I’m going to take a deeper look into this market so that you can decide for yourself which form suits you and your lifestyle.
Options for Taking Super Greens
Just taking a quick browse around the options online I can already see some of the selling points used by manufacturers to persuade customers that the capsule form is the right choice: “Avoid nasty-tasting greens powders”, “quick and easy to take”.
But there is an underlying and worrying issue, and that’s to do with the amount of each ingredient inside the capsule. It may well be a quick and easy option, but how easy is it to take the minimum effective dose?
I’m going to look closer at the labels of some super greens capsules and super greens pills to see whether there’s any truth in the easy-to-take claims, as it is my suspicion that you would actually need to be taking a whole handful for any meaningful amounts to be consumed.
How Many Capsules?!!
Research recommends that a daily dose of Spirulina should be anywhere between 1g and 8g (source), this is to experience the benefits of the supercharged blue-green algae to its fullest. The standard size of vegi-capsule is around 600mg.
Inside you are likely to find a combination of any of the following ingredients, which carry with them health claims such as detoxification, mental clarity, aid metabolism etc: Chlorella, Spirulina, Barley Grass, Wheat Grass, Aloe vera, Alfalfa, Broccoli, Spinach, Kale, berries. You will also find ingredients such as binders, flours, and silica.
The normal stated dose is either one or two capsules a day.
So here we have anywhere up to ten ingredients, in a 600mg capsule, that’s around 60mg of each ingredient.
So I’m already disappointed in the amounts of each ingredient I would consume, before I start to think about any potential health benefits. Another capsule I have found boasts 32 ingredients.
Now that really boggles the mind!
How little of those powerful and potent plants are you actually ingesting when you take only one capsule per day?
Simple Maths: Minimum Effective Dosage
For me, it’s a simple case of Math: amounts count, and if you want to be taking an optimal dose to achieve optimal benefits then it seems counterproductive to be taking such small daily amounts (or such large numbers of capsules in order to achieve that dose).
It all comes down to the amount of ingredients on the label if you want to know how much you are really benefiting from each powerful ingredient.
Don’t get fooled by the marketing talk on websites into assuming that you are really going to experience the full nutritional benefits of powerful plant compounds.
To circle back one last time to my first statement where I quoted that many people can’t or have difficulty in taking capsules, that leaves me to endorse the powdered form of a super greens product even further.
I simply can’t get my head around why someone would want to take handfuls of super greens pills or capsules on a daily basis, whether they found them easy to take or not.
Any Reason for Not Choosing Powders?
Granted, many people may not be getting the recommended amount of vegetables, greens in particular, that would benefit their health on a daily basis, but to contrive this into a measly portion seems like a strange approach.
The only benefit I can see is that if you are not at all able to take super greens powders for taste reasons you may want to do anything to avoid mixing and drinking up a powdered form.
As for ‘travel-friendly’ I can only surmise that such manufacturers haven’t thought of marketing their daily dose as a sachet or an individual serving. And they are missing a trick. This has, after all, been used by manufacturers of super greens products to effectively make the daily full-sized dose of super greens powders more travel-friendly.