Emergen-C is an over-the-counter dietary supplement manufactured by Alacer Corp., which was founded in 1972. Alacer Corp. began the Emergen-C product line in 1978, marketing it as a supplement to support a healthy immune system. Although you can take Emergen-C on a daily basis, you may wish to limit the supplement if you are exceeding the recommended allowance of certain nutrients in your diet. Before using any type of supplement for any reason, consult your doctor.
The original Emergen-C supplement’s main ingredient is a very high dose of vitamin C. Each serving contains 1,000 mg of vitamin C. B vitamins are also included in the supplement as a way to support metabolic function. Electrolytes found in each serving of Emergen-C are chromium, sodium, calcium and magnesium.
Manufacturer's Recommended Dosage
The manufacturer recommends you take Emergen-C two to four times daily. Instead of a concentrated formula, a liquid version, advertised as a power shot, is available. The manufacturer recommends you take two to four of these shots each day. Not all products from Emergen-C are recommended for consumption multiple times throughout the day. For instance, the Emergen-C Multi-Vitamin Plus packaging instructs users to take the supplement once a day with 4 oz. to 6 oz. of water. The joint health formula containing 1,000 mg of Methylsulfonylmethane or MSM and 1,000 mg of vitamin C should be taken no more than twice daily. Children ages 2 and 3 use half a pack of the kid’s formula, while children ages 4 and older should take one packet daily.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the recommended upper limit allowance of vitamin C for adults is 2,000 mg each day. Taking four packets of Emergen-C exceeds this amount and may produce side effects such as diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal discomfort, heartburn, headache, kidney stones and difficulty sleeping.
Pregnant women should not take mega-doses of vitamin C or use Emergen-C on a daily basis. According to the Mayo Clinic, in rare cases, scurvy can occur in infants whose mothers take large amounts of vitamin C during pregnancy. Adults who take high doses of vitamin C and then stop are also at risk for scurvy due to tolerance of the dosage. Scurvy is associated with low amounts of vitamin C in the blood and produces symptoms such as weakness, bleeding disorders and anemia. The safety of mega-doses of vitamin C for nursing women is unknown. The only product offered for children through Emergen-C is the Kidz Complete Multi-Vitamin. Speak to your doctor before giving a child the multivitamin since the dosage of vitamin C is higher than the recommended daily allowance and can result in gastrointestinal distress symptoms.