Katie Cannon / Heavy Table

A Natural Plea for Vitamin C

Katie Cannon / Heavy Table
Katie Cannon / Heavy Table

“I think I’m getting a cold,” my friend says, turning toward me. I reach into my lunchsack and pull out a clementine. “Here,” I say, “eat this.”

He points to a packet of Emergen-C on the counter, shakes his head and says, “No thank you, I’m covered.”

For the next several minutes I tried to convince him to forgo the powdered supplement in favor of the real deal. In the end, I was unsuccessful, but for the next few days I couldn’t help but chuckle every time I packed a clementine as my afternoon snack.

I also couldn’t help but wonder what the Emergen-C tasted like. Sure, I could take Emergen-C to ward off any impending colds, but my preference was au natural.┬áDespite this, I figured it couldn’t hurt to give the Emergen-C a go — it’s better to be informed and argumentative than uninformed and stubborn.


Katie Cannon / Heavy Table
Katie Cannon / Heavy Table

Information according to the packet:
1,000 mg of Vitamin C (1,667% of recommended daily value in 1 packet)
Includes 24 nutrients with antioxidants, electrolytes and 7 B Vitamins
Described as a “Flavored Fizzy Drink Mix”
Directions: As a dietary supplement, take one packet 2 to 4 times a day.

Single Servings $.99 Immune Plus System Booster — citrus (Eastside Food Co-op)
Single Serving $.69 regular Emergen-C — cranberry pomegranate (Eastside Food Co-op)
30 packs are available at Target for $8

I preferred the citrus flavor, which tastes like a lemon-orange combination. The fizz was not altogether off-putting, but rather gave it a pleasant mouthfeel, as if you were drinking a flavored soda. The cranberry pomegranate, however, tasted like cough syrup. In addition to fizz, it was foamy with a metallic aftertaste and a distinct powdery smell.

Although you won’t be finding Emergen-C in my daily diet anytime soon, I have to admit that it didn’t taste as bad as I thought it would. Although it will take many fruits to make up a daily allotment of vitamins, I’ll stick to more natural approaches to getting my Vitamin C, relishing the sweet, natural flavor with each juicy bite.

Katie Cannon / Heavy Table
Katie Cannon / Heavy Table


  1. Rashmi

    Yesterday I was at the Wedge and bought their fresly squeezed Juice and it was Superb! I don’t know if they add sugar as I could not find on their Label that stated SUGAR but the juice was quite sweet to the point of making me wonder if they added any sugar. Any idea? Coz if it was the SUGAR that made the juice that sweet then I won’t buy it.

  2. Katie

    Rashmi – Out of curiosity I called The Wedge. They don’t add sugar – it’s all juice. Sounds delicious, I’ll have to give it a try!

  3. Rashmi

    Wow really Katie? Now I will be hooked to their OJ. I saw an employee filling out bottles from their huge squeezer in the back room and I grabbed a small bottle just to try and simply loved it! Thanks for finding it out. I think it’ll be good even for my husband who has stopped drinking orange juice due to acidity problem…and I don’t drink it often either but I think from now on I’ll drink it everyday! it is really sweet and delicious!

  4. artsy

    Yes, that’s what fresh squeezed organic orange juice is like, total ambrosia! By the time you get the usual stuff in the carton it is very old and processed and has gone through changes to the acids that make them hard to deal with for your body. Organic citrus is one of the best deals, prices are quite reasonable in general, especially for juice oranges. And the organic growers leave the fruit on the trees so it’s actually ripe when picked, unlike the commercial stuff which is often picked green and dyed orange!

  5. jane

    Hilarious–a review of Emergen-C, including very lovely photos. I love it. I agree the tangerine flavor is better than the cranberry, but the cranberry is tasty enough. Especially when you are slamming the stuff trying to convince yourself it will ward off that oncoming cold.

    Fresh squeezed juice is totally different and vastly superior to carton or frozen juice.

  6. Minnesotian

    My buddy and I took this backpacking last summer. We also packed powdered Gatorade. Emergen-C is a great alternative to the Gatorade. Also, we combined hot water with the Emergen-c on chilly nights. In that configuration, it was a very uplifting and refreshing drink.

  7. Courtney

    Emergen-C was the best thing to get me off a soda drinking habit. It has the fizz of soda and just enough sweetness. My favorite is the lemon-lime and pink lemonade. The vitamins are a nice bonus

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