Put down the Flintstones bottle.
By Mallory Creveling
Gummy vitamins are delicious AF—and they’re technically for kids, so you can basically just pop ’em as you please, right?
Not exactly. I mean, they’re still vitamins after all. “Any kind of chewable vitamin should never be seen as candy,” says Angela Lemond, R.D., spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and founder of Lemond Nutrition.
“Vitamins are made in chewable form to be easier for a person to take,” she says.
So are they good for you? Yeah, sure, as good as vitamins can be. But should you eat them like they candy they taste like? Hell no. Because if anything is proof that you can get too much of a good thing—its vitamins. Here are a few things to keep in mind before you down a handful of gummy vitamins.
1. You could actually consume a bunch of calories and sugar.
“Most commercial gummy vitamins contain about 7 to 8 calories per gummy,” says Lemond. “That’s about the same as regular gummy bears.” Ditto for sugar—you’ll get 1 to 2 grams per gummy.
Sure, it doesn’t sound like a ton, but let’s say you stuff eight or 10 in your mouth—that’s an extra 80 calories and 20 grams of sugar right there…in gummy vitamins.
2. You might have to run for the bathroom.
One ingredient your tummy might not like: sugar alcohols, says Lemond.
Lots of people get diarrhea from having these ingredients, likely under the name of sorbitol, mannitol, or xylitol. That especially true if you have too many gummies in one sitting.
3. You could actually get too many vitamins—and face serious side effects.
It is possible to overdose on certain vitamins, particularly fat-soluble ones like A, D, E, and K, as well as minerals like iron and zinc, says Lemond. (You can find the tolerable upper intake level—or the very most you should be eating without it causing side effects—on the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements site.)
“Keep in mind how much you should have includes your total intake—food, drink, and supplements—and not just those contained in the gummy vitamins,” Lemond says. Check labels so you know how much you’re getting.
While different nutrients could have different (and kind of terrible) effects on the body, some common ones include diarrhea or vomiting. “The big overarching problem is liver failure,” Lemond says. (Really, it can get that serious!)
“A sudden, high dose of some vitamins and/or minerals could be classified as a poisoning,” she adds. “Therefore, it is recommended to seek immediate medical attention.”