Matt Forney
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Does the Type of Melatonin You Take Matter?

For years now, I’ve used melatonin as a sleep aid. It’s a chemical naturally secreted by your brain that regulates your Circadian rhythm, and by supplementing with it, you can restore your sleep cycle if it’s been warped by staying up too late. It isn’t a sleeping pill in the traditional sense: if you take it during the day, it can actually make you more alert as opposed to drowsy.

But does the type you take matter?

For the longest time, I used generic, store-brand melatonin from Wegmans or other supermarkets. It typically comes in tablet form, akin to Tylenol or ibuprofen. A couple months ago, I switched to Powder City’s brand, which is raw powder in a tub. The verdict is in: the capsule form is considerably superior to the tablet form.

Melatonin: It’s What’s Inside

The big difference I’ve noticed with the powder is that it takes effect more quickly. With generic melatonin, I start to feel drowsy within a half-hour: powder seems to take effect within 10-20 minutes because it’s absorbed into the body faster.

Additionally, powder melatonin seems to “play nice” with the other major supplement I take for sleep: 5-HTP. Ordinarily, combining the two leads to really strange dreams, but with capsules, I have fewer nightmares of the wake-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night variety.

The biggest downside to raw melatonin powder is that it burns your mouth and throat if it comes into contact with them. Melatonin is not water-soluble, so it usually floats on top of a glass of water, and when you chase it down, you can feel it burning unless the water is exceptionally cold. Because of this, melatonin powder may not be appropriate for everyone.

Overall, if you’re using generic, store-brand melatonin (or any kind of store-brand supplement), you’re better off getting the quality stuff. If you buy cheap products, you’ll get lousy results: if you want to maximize your health gains, you need to be willing to plunk down some cash.

Click here to buy NOW Foods Extra Strength Melatonin.

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