It's that time of year. Your professor cancels class, your roommate is coughing nonstop, and the kid next to you in the library has a mound of used tissues piling up uncomfortably close to your laptop. You wash your hands and disinfect the doorknobs, but sometimes getting sick is just inevitable.   

If you're anything like me, that hint of a sore throat can turn you into a desperate health nut. Ginger shots? Sure. Apple cider vinegar concoction? Bring it on. $30 immune booster tablets from Whole Foods? Let's do it.

This is why when I felt that familiar feeling of the beginning of sickness, I decided that a healthy dose of vitamin C might help. Thus, my vitamin C bender day began. I started with an Emergen-C packet, followed by a glass of OJ at brunch, a green juice for a late afternoon treat, an immune booster tablet with dinner, and a smoothie for dessert. By my calculations, I had about 2,000% of my daily value of vitamin C.

smoothie, milk, sweet, cream, yogurt, ice, strawberry
Chloe Scheuch

By the end of the day I didn't feel any different, but at least my sore throat didn't hurt anymore than before. I went to bed at a decent hour with the hopes that the extra sleep would kick the cold for good.

However, after lying in bed for over two hours, I realized that I hadn't yet fallen asleep. I tried deep breathing and lavender oil (more uses for essential oils here), but after another restless hour, I knew sleep just wasn't in the cards. Coming from someone who can fall into REM sleep in an airport, I knew this bout of insomnia wasn't normal.

lime, lemonade, citrus, lemon, juice
Chloe Scheuch

In a 4:30 am haze, I googled "is too much vitamin C bad?" I browsed web page after web page detailing the various symptoms of consuming too much vitamin C. Sure enough, insomnia was listed as one of the many side effects.

Although having too much vitamin C is not exactly harmful, there are a variety of unpleasant side effects including vomiting, heartburn, diarrhea, nausea, bloating, and cramps.

So the moral of the story is that vitamin C, like most things, should be taken in moderation. It's also purely a preventative measure, not a treatment. So stay healthy and go easy on the OJ!