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Choosing an effective, high-quality Vitamin C brand is like online dating. There are lots out there, yet the perfect match can be hard to find. You have your list of qualities and traits, some of which the brands offer, but others like to hide the details in the fine print. In today’s blog post, you'll learn what you should be looking for and expecting of your Vitamin C purchase to ensure that you find your perfect match! Ready, set, swipe!

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for many aspects of our health one of which is our immune system. Our bodies use our Vitamin C reserves during times of stress, illness or infection. It is uncommon to experience a stress-free today in our world. Stress is everywhere! It's at work, on the news, in our friend circle, all over social media… it would be easier to list a space that stress doesn’t occupy. Yoga - maybe, if we don’t let our minds wander!

Vitamin C is found naturally in foods and is identified as ascorbic acid. It is bioavailable for some individuals while irritating for stomach linings and guts for others. This is why a plant-based powder solution is crucial for maintaining a healthy level of Vitamin C in our bodies. The body utilizes vitamins for a variety of cellular activities, including detoxification, mood regulation, immunity protection and as an enzyme co-factor for at least eight important biochemical reactions. According to scientists, “Vitamin C plays an important role in a number of metabolic functions including the activation of the B vitamin, folic acid, the conversion of cholesterol to bile acids and the conversion of the amino acid, tryptophan, to the neurotransmitter, serotonin. It is an antioxidant that protects the body from free radical damage.” Vitamin C is necessary for the growth, development and repair of all body tissues. It's involved in many body functions, including the formation of collagen, absorption of iron, the proper functioning of the immune system, wound healing, and the maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth. That’s a lot of jobs for one Vitamin!

So how do we maximize the nutritional benefits of Vitamin C? Eat Vitamin C-rich foods and supplement with them! A handy tip is to dilute your Vitamin C packet by adding it to your water throughout the day. This allows for a time-release Vitamin C making it more bioavailable for our bodies and motivating us to drink more water as it tastes so darn good!

Before we discuss what separates the Vitamin C brands on the market, let’s first highlight some of the signs & symptoms of low Vitamin C: 

A common question we get asked here at Ener-C is, “what kind of Vitamin C is in Ener-C?” Ener-C contains 1,000mg of Vitamin C from mineral ascorbates including Calcium Ascorbate, Zinc Ascorbate, Chromium Ascorbate and Potassium Ascorbate as well as a small amount of ascorbic acid to create effervescence. The follow-up question to this is usually, “what is the difference between calcium ascorbate, magnesium ascorbate and sodium ascorbate?”

Breaking Down the Acids/Ascorbics:

The first three are commonly used acids in Vitamin C packets.

  1. Ascorbic Acid
    This is the most commonly used and least expensive form of Vitamin C available. Some of its components make it hard on the digestive system, however, only 30% of the given dose is absorbed if any.
  2. Calcium Ascorbate
    This formulation contains both calcium and ascorbate and is proven to improve bone density and health, preventing osteopenia, osteoporosis and other bone-related diseases. It is also less irritating to one’s digestive tract.
  3. Magnesium Ascorbate
    This formulation contains both ascorbate and magnesium. This is a perfect option for those needing to increase their intake of magnesium due to other health-related reasons and is beneficial for relieving headaches, migraines, cramps and muscle soreness.
  4. Sodium Ascorbate
    This formula is a combination of sodium and ascorbate. This is a great option for athletes or those who are on their feet for long periods of the day due to work activity or their lifestyle. This allows them to replenish both their Vitamin C stores and sodium levels that drop due to perspiration.
  5. Zinc Ascorbate
    This formula is a multivitamin used to treat or prevent vitamin deficiency due to poor diet, certain illnesses, or during pregnancy.
  6. Chromium Ascorbate
    Chromium is an essential trace mineral that can improve insulin sensitivity and enhance protein, carbohydrate, and lipid metabolism. Chromium helps to move blood sugar from the bloodstream into the cells where it can be used for energy and to turn fats, carbohydrates, and proteins into energy. Chromium may also help some people with type 2 diabetes through its blood sugar management qualities.
  7. Potassium Ascorbate
    Potassium ascorbate has benefits of both potassium and vitamin C. Potassium is one of the most important minerals in the body. It helps to regulate fluid balance, muscle contractions and nerve signals. A high-potassium diet may help reduce blood pressure and water retention, protect against stroke and prevent osteoporosis and kidney stones. These benefits include antioxidant activity, collagen production, healthy circulation and heart health support.

That’s a long list of ascorbates and acids, but here’s what you need to know: When looking for an effective and bioavailable formulation, first look for the type of Vitamin C that they use. If it is purely ascorbic acid, it may be less expensive, but also potentially less bioavailable and harder on your digestive system. Look for Calcium Ascorbate, Zinc Ascorbate, Chromium Ascorbate and Potassium Ascorbate. These are the highest quality Vitamin C sources and are the most bioavailable and ready to uptake. When it comes to dosage, ensure that the brand offers at least 1000 mg of Vitamin C, like the dose found in every sachet of Ener-C Multivitamin and Sugar-Free Multivitamin formulas.

By Lindsay Mustard. Lindsay is a Holistic Nutritionist, foodie and firefighter-in-training with a burning passion for health and fitness. In her nutrition practice, Lindsay works with clients to craft a unique plan that is tailored to their specific health goals using a natural, whole food and supplement approach.