The 8 Best Zinc Supplements of 2020

Get your daily dose of zinc with these nutritionist-approved products

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

First Look

Best Overall: Thorne Research Zinc Picolinate at Amazon

"These zinc picolinate capsules boast 15 mg of zinc picolinate, a much more absorbable form of the mineral than zinc citrate or zinc gluconate."

Best Budget: Nature’s Bounty Zinc 50 mg Caplets at Amazon

"The best-selling zinc supplement on Amazon -- in addition to being one of the highest rated, and budget friendly options."

Best Liquid: NutraChamps Liquid Ionic Zinc at Amazon

"These liquid drops, which include Vitamin C for better results, absorb more quickly and effectively than other forms of the mineral, and can be easily integrated into your daily routine."

Best Vegan: Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Zinc at Amazon

"While other companies seal their supplements in gelatin capsules, there are absolutely no animal products involved in the making of Vitamin Code Raw Zinc."

Best Gluten-Free: MegaFood Zinc at Amazon

"Whether you are on a gluten-free diet for personal reasons or you suffer from celiac disease, you can be assured that Megafood Zinc tablets are Certified Gluten-Free."

Best Gummy: Dakota Elderberry Gummies at Amazon

"Each delicious berry-shaped gummy offers 10 mg of Zinc and 100 mg of Vitamin C."

Best Lozenge: Life Extension Enhanced Zinc Lozenges at Amazon

"Packed with 18.75 mg of zinc acetate, which releases as ionic zinc — delivering positively charged zinc ions to your immune system via a naturally peppermint flavored lozenge."

Best Organic: Nutrigold Zinc Gold at vitaminshoppe.com

"These capsules derive their zinc from all-organic whole foods, a ‘gentler and more nourishing’ alternative to synthetic zinc supplements."

While zinc is the most famous remedy for warding off the common cold, the essential mineral is also crucial in the development for cell growth and development. “Zinc is important in the body to help keep your immune system strong, heal wounds, and make DNA,” explains Keri Gans, MS, RDN, CDN. 

According to the NIH, the average adult requires approximately 8 milligrams (mg) to 11 mg of zinc per day, most of which is absorbed from food sources such as beans, meat, cheese, seeds, and oysters. However, some people have trouble getting enough zinc in their diet, most commonly people who have had gastrointestinal surgery and those with digestive disorders, vegetarians, older infants who are breastfed, alcoholics, and people with sickle cell disease

While Gans always encourages getting your vitamins and minerals from whole foods first, she points out that if you are zinc deficient, or feel like you need an immunity booster—especially if you feel a cold coming on—supplementation is the next line of defense.

In fact, studies have found that a combination of zinc and vitamin c -- found in a few of our product picks—can help reduce the symptoms of the common cold. 

While there are many zinc supplements on the market, Gans suggests investing in a quality product. “Check to make sure the supplement has been given a seal of approval by a 3rd party that does tests to see if the ingredients on the label are in the container and meets certain standards,” she urges. 

Also, before taking any vitamin or supplement, always make sure to speak with your medical care provider. “Check with your doctor to make sure the supplement you choose will not interfere with any of your prescription medications,” she says. 

Here are our tops picks for zinc supplements. 

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Thorne Research Zinc Picolinate

Thorne Research is one of the most respected vitamin and supplement companies in the country, boasting their own scientists, labs, and research facilities to ensure the most safe and effective products—all of which are free of gluten, GMOs, artificial preservatives, and all of the major allergens. Every one of their products meet NSF International and the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) standards and are NSF Certified for Sport, meaning that they are absent of over 200 substances banned by many major athletic organizations. They also test each of their products four times for quality, safety, and efficacy. 

These zinc picolinate capsules boast 15 mg of zinc picolinate, a much more absorbable form of the mineral than zinc citrate or zinc gluconate. Each bottle, which retails for $11, contains 60 capsules with a recommended dosage of one capsule one or two times per day. 

Best Budget: Nature’s Bounty Zinc 50 mg Caplets

Nature's Bounty Zinc
Courtesy of Amazon.

Nature’s Bounty is a supplement company that has passed the tried and true test of time, producing high-quality and affordable supplements for nearly 50 years. Their Zinc is no exception to their standards, and is even the best-selling zinc supplement on Amazon—in addition to being one of the highest rated, and budget friendly options. Like all of their offerings, these caplets are GMO-free and also absent of any artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners. It is also perfect for anyone with allergies, as the ingredient list doesn’t include milk, soy, gluten, wheat, yeast, or fish, and even vegetarians, or people with dietary restrictions, as it is free of sugar, starch, and sodium. The bottle is filled with 100 caplets of 50 mg of zinc gluconate, a more budget-friendly but absorbable type of zinc.

Best Liquid: NutraChamps Liquid Ionic Zinc

For those who prefer zinc in liquid form we recommend NutraChamps Liquid Ionic Zinc. These liquid drops, which include Vitamin C for better results, absorb more quickly and effectively than other forms of the mineral, and can be easily integrated into your daily routine. All you need to do is add a few sugar free, sweet-tasting drops into water or juice, and you will have all the zinc you need for the day. They are also a great option for children, as they are more easily ingested than a caplet or losange. They are also organic, vegan, and non-GMO.

Best Vegan: Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Zinc

Garden of Life prides itself on producing USDA Organic, Non-GMO, Certified Gluten-Free, and Certified Vegan products. While other companies seal their supplements in gelatin capsules, there are absolutely no animal products involved in the making of Vitamin Code Raw Zinc. What you do get in each capsule is a blend of raw fruits and veggies, trace minerals, probiotics, and enzymes, proving 30 mg of zinc from brown rice chelate as well as 60 mg of vitamin C. Another bonus is that you can open the capsules and mix the powder into a smoothie or drink if you don’t like swallowing pills. 

Best Gluten-Free: MegaFood Zinc

Gans is a fan of Megafood, a nearly 50-year-old company that is famous for their high-quality supplements derived from whole food ingredients. Whether you are on a gluten-free diet for personal reasons or you suffer from celiac disease, you can be assured that Megafood Zinc tablets are Certified Gluten-Free in addition to being dairy-free, soy-free, Certified Kosher, Non-GMO Project Verified, and Certified Vegan. Each one-a-day-tablet can be taken any time of the day, and is gentle enough on the stomach that it can be taken with or without food. Just one dose contains 22.5 mg of zinc as a mineral bound to S. Cerevisiae, or zinc-enriched yeast, as well as a blend of various vegetables including spinach, brown rice, parsley, carrot, broccoli, and beetroot. 

Best Gummy: Dakota Elderberry Gummies

For those who need a little motivation to take their vitamins, gummies are a great option. If you are looking for all-around immune support in gummy form, we recommend Dakota Elderberry Gummies. Made with 150mg of antioxidant rich Natural Sambucus Black Elderberry, each delicious berry-shaped gummy offers 10 mg of Zinc and 100 mg of Vitamin C. They are also free of GMOs, preservatives and high-fructose corn syrup, containing only natural fruit flavors. Nearly 85 percent of the over 7,500 Amazon reviewers give it a 5-star rating, with many pointing out that it is a great-tasting option for kids and grown-ups alike.

Best Lozenge: Life Extension Enhanced Zinc Lozenges

A zinc lozenge is a great way to get a huge boost of immunity when you need it the most. Studies have found that high doses of zinc can reduce the duration of the common cold by up to 33%, and a great way to get them into your system is via a lozenge. These affordable Life Extension Enhanced Zinc Lozenges are packed with 18.75 mg of zinc acetate, which releases as ionic zinc —delivering positively charged zinc ions to your immune system via a naturally peppermint flavored lozenge. An important thing to note is that these aren’t meant as a daily supplement. Instead, they should be utilized when you feel like you need an immunity boost—like during the changing of seasons—and may be used several times a day for up to three days.

Best Organic: Nutrigold Zinc Gold

NutriGold Zinc
Courtesy of Vitamin Shoppe.

Nutrigold is a great company to stick with if you are looking for high-quality, Non-GMO, vegan and organic supplements. Certified organic by SCS Global Services, an official partner of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), these capsules derive their zinc from all-organic whole foods, a “gentler and more nourishing” alternative to synthetic zinc supplements. Keep in mind that you are going to pay more for this bottle of 60 capsules of 15 mg zinc than many of the other options available, due to the cost of the ingredients.

Final Verdict

While there are lots of high-quality zinc supplements on the market, we stand behind Thorne Research Zinc Picolinate as the gold standard. Due to the fact that the company is so dedicated to science and research, you can’t go wrong with any of their products. We love this zinc because it is free of all gluten, GMOs, artificial preservatives, and other major allergens. The form of zinc—picolinate—is also more easily absorbable than other types.

What to Look for in a Zinc Supplement

There are a variety of factors you should take into consideration when selecting the zinc supplement that is right for you.

Type: Like most supplements, you can take zinc in a variety of ways. The most common types are capsule, pill, tablet, gummy, and liquid form. Gummies and liquid are definitely a better option for children or people who have trouble swallowing pills. However, keep in mind that gummies don’t offer the higher concentrated dosage as other types, and, similarly to liquid formulas, may contain added sugars or sweeteners. 

Form: In case you didn’t notice, there are several forms of zinc as well. Zinc picolinate, zinc citrate, zinc acetate, and zinc glycinate are more easily absorbable than zinc sulfate—but generally cost more. 

Dosage: Pay attention to how many mg of zinc you need and what each pill, capsule, gummy, tablet or liquid offers. Keep in mind that more isn’t necessarily better, as we all have different needs. Before taking any type of supplement you should always check with your healthcare provider in order to establish what your needs are.

Purpose: Are you looking for a daily zinc supplement or an occasional immune booster? While some zinc offerings are meant to take once or twice a day to ensure you are getting enough zinc, others are meant to take several times a day for a few days.

Why Trust Verywell Health

As an internationally recognized health writer and product guru, Leah Groth understands that nobody wants to waste their time or money on products that fail to rear results. Over the years, she has interviewed the world's top health experts and reviewed hundreds of items, to help readers like you discover the most effective health gadgets, goops, and aids that will help you look and feel your very best.

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