Andrea Ivins

Question: If I get sick, will loading up on Vitamin C help me get better sooner?

Answer: This question is coming at a great time, and many people will start to worry about how much vitamin C they are consuming when they feel an illness coming on. For the most part, studies have shown little to no benefit. Consuming extra vitamin C after you’re already showing signs and symptoms of an illness will not help you recover faster.

However, for those that consume the proper amount of vitamin C regularly, this may help reduce the duration of a cold by about a day, and they may have fewer symptoms than a person not meeting their daily requirement.

Unfortunately, relatively high doses of 1-2 grams may be needed to elicit these very mild benefits, so is it really worth it in the end? Keep in mind, the RDA for women is 75 gms per day and 90 gms per day for men. Vitamin C can be found in acidic foods such as oranges, strawberries, kiwis, and also in green, leafy vegetables. It’s also found in citrus juices or those fortified with Vitamin C. Bottom line – only you can decide if you want to dose up on vitamin C. It certainly won’t cause any problems, but the minimal benefits may not justify the added expense. 

About the author: Andrea Ivins is the club manager and Zumba Instructor at Anytime Fitness in Palestine, TX.

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