Healthspan February 06, 2018

For some, swallowing pills is easier said than done with 1 in 3 of us gagging or vomiting whilst trying. Fortunately, though – and thanks to Harvard Medical School – we have 5 pill swallowing methods that could save your day. 

The pop-bottle method

These first two methods have been developed by researchers at the University of Heidelberg in Germany to specifically help people with pill swallowing difficulties.

How to follow the pop-bottle method according to Harvard Medical School:

  1. Fill a plastic bottle with water.
  2. Put the tablet or pill on your tongue and close your lips around the bottle opening.
  3. Take a big sip whilst keeping the contact between your lips and the bottle – making sure to not let any air into the bottle. Use a sucking motion to swallow the water and pill.

The lean-forward method

Again, this particular method was developed by researchers at the University of Heidelberg. In fact, this pill swallowing method proved more successful than the pop-bottle method.

How to follow the lean-forward method according to Harvard Medical School:

  1. Put a capsule or tablet on your tongue.
  2. Take a sip of water put hold it in your mouth – don’t swallow.
  3. Tilt your chin towards your chest.
  4. Swallow the capsule and water whilst your head is bent.

Try a different delivery method

Nowadays when it comes to taking supplements tablets or capsules are not the only option. Topping up on vitamins and minerals doesn’t have to be boring and can in fact be very tasty! To jazz up your supplement routine try Healthspan YoGo – a vitamin yoghurt drink that comes in different health varieties each with 2 different flavours, or even Healthspan men’s or women’s vitamin gummies. Now-a-days vitamin sprays are on the cards, too. Try Healthspan’s vitamin D spray.

Try taking them with food

Not only might you find taking supplements easier with food, you might not realise that a lot of supplements actually benefit from being taken with food. Vitamins fall into one of two categories based on their solubility. Water soluble vitamins dissolve in water and are readily lost from the body via the kidneys. A regular, daily intake is therefore important to avoid deficiencies. In contrast, fat soluble vitamins are more readily stored in liver and fat cells, so it takes longer for low dietary intakes to lead to a deficiency. If we look at turmeric – too – this spice is widely known to be better absorbed when eaten either with fats or black pepper, hence Healthspan’s Opti-turmeric. The term ‘opti’ refers to maximum absorption meaning the supplement’s ingredients provide your body with the most chance possible of thoroughly absorbing it.

But taking supplements with food can make them easier to swallow – avoid anything that requires a lot of chewing though as bursting supplements might affect their effectiveness. Swallowing a pill with a banana is ideal as this fruit has the prefect mushy, smooth consistency.

Practise with soft jelly sweets

As the saying goes, practise does make perfect. Try practising swallowing capsules or tablets with soft jelly sweets that aren’t going to cause you problems. That way, you’ll be fully prepared when it comes to swallowing your actual supplements.

Nothing beats a healthy, balanced diet to provide all the nutrients we need. But when this isn’t possible supplements can help. This article isn’t intended to replace medical advice. Please consult your healthcare professional before trying supplements or herbal medicines.

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