Hello again, internet friends! I am back in the JC/NYC area after yet another whirlwind mini trip around the US last week. Phew. While I was gone I actually wrote a whole post on Eating Disorders in honor of National Eating Disorders Awareness week and scheduled it to post, but it failed, and now I feel like it’s beyond #NEDA week and I feel weird publishing it. Would you be interested anyway? Let me know down below.
Anywho, while I was at the Charlotte airport, I was watching some ladies slam Emergen-C packets one after another and posted a selfie to my Instagram story with the caption “People know Emergen-C doesn’t work, right?”
And the response I got was overwhelming. A lot of people seemed to not only surprised to hear this information, but wanted to know exactly how or why I don’t recommend mega-dose supplements such as Emergen-C or Arbornne to cure the common cold.
I thought I’d go a little further into the topic here, #ontheblog, and I hope to film a little “Nutrition FAQs” video about it too next week, once I’m back in Wisconsin and have the time and space to film.
Anyways, let’s get to chatting about Emergen-C and the common cold. Starting with the basics…
How Much Vitamin C Do You Actually Need?
Well, according to the USDA dietary guidelines for Americans, the average healthy adult women needs 75mg, and the average healthy adult male needs 90mg. Smokers need an additional 35 mg per day, as some of vitamin is used to quench free-radicals and combat oxidative stress from toxins exhaled from cigarette smoke.
Pregnant and lactating women need more, requiring roughly 85mg/day and 120 mg/day respectively.
Vitamin C is naturally found in high levels in many foods, including strawberries (~90mg/cup), bell peppers (~120 mg/cup), guavas (~126 mg/fruit), kale (~80mg/cup) oranges (~70mg/fruit), and kiwis (~80mg/fruit). Most people in developed countries do not suffer from vitamin C deficiency. Select groups, including smokers and low-income populations, may be at an increased risk of deficiency.
Each packet of Emergen-C contains 1,000 mg of vitamin C. As you can see, this is much, much more than an adult or child needs; in fact, you could say it’s over 1000% of the RDA.
So, Does Emergen-C Work?
First, let’s get one thing clear: there are exactly zero scientific studies that have specifically tested the product Emergen-C and its potential impact on incidence (number of people who get a cold) or duration (length) of a cold.