There’s no denying that gummy vitamins are delicious. Even though those chewables are meant for children, it wouldn’t hurt to pop them once in a while or whenever you please? right?
Well not exactly. They are vitamins essentially. According to Angela Lemond, R.D., spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, “Any kind of chewable vitamin should never be seen as candy.”
“Vitamins are made in chewable form to be easier for a person to take,” she says.
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.” The same also goes for sugar—you’ll get 1 to 2 grams per gummy.
Sure, it doesn’t sound like a lot, but let’s say you eat eight or 10 in one go—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.
“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.
“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.”
So, the bottom line here is, stick to the recommended serving size because yes, you can absolutely overdose on gummy vitamins!