I hate being sick, and I’m guessing so do all of you. Living on a college campus, I am aware that sickness is common, and so the second I start sniffling, I take vitamin C, and lots of it.
I’m sure most of you have heard it from someone or another: “You can never take too much vitamin C.” Is that really true? Or, is it all a myth? Well, let me tell you all about it.
Can We Overdose on Vitamin C?
Yes, you can. Many people assume that since vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, you can never take too much of it. Their reasoning is that you’ll essentially just pee out any excess. Although this is true, if you take more than the amount your body is able to excrete, it will not go over well. Side effects include nausea and diarrhea – two things any sane person should avoid.
How Much is Too Much?
This doesn’t mean you need to stop drinking orange juice for breakfast every morning; in fact, please continue. Doctors recommend taking no more than 2,000 mg of vitamin C a day. Any more than that can end in some discomforting side effects, including nausea and diarrhea.
It is unlikely that you will ever naturally intake more than 2,000 mg in a day. To give you an idea, a glass of orange juice contains about 80 mg of vitamin C. The only time you really need to watch out is if you’re taking supplements, which contain between 500 and 1,000 mg of vitamin C.
What is The Best Way to Get Vitamin C?
Vitamin C is found in many of the foods we eat. The best way to get it is from raw or uncooked fruits and vegetables, including citrus fruits, cantaloupe, kiwi, broccoli, green/red peppers, kale, and many more. As many people know, orange juice is also a great way to get vitamin C, but try and have freshly squeezed orange juice as opposed to ready-to-drink orange juice.
One cup of freshly squeezed orange juice has about 96 mg of vitamin C, whereas one cup of store-bought orange juice has about 65 mg. Cooking vitamin C-rich foods or storing them for a long time can reduce their vitamin C content.
How Much Should I Have Every Day?
Doctors recommend taking 65 to 90 milligrams of vitamin C a day. Notice how this is much less than one supplement would give you, so there’s really no need for 500 to 1,000 mg supplements. You really don’t need to worry about your intake much at all. As long as you have a healthy and balanced diet and eat your fruits and veggies, you will probably intake the suggested amount or more every day without even realizing it.