The common cold affects millions of people in the United States every year. In fact, the average adult comes down with a cold about two to three times a year. Most people bounce back from a cold fairly quickly, but when you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, you always want to make sure you’re doing everything you can to stay healthy for both you and your baby.
To this end, many mothers take dietary supplements to help them support their immune systems. One of the most popular immunity support products on the market is Emergen-C, which is an over-the-counter supplement that contains 1,000 milligrams of Vitamin C, an essential vitamin long known to be a powerful immune booster. But women who are pregnant also tend to be extra wary of the things they’re putting into their bodies, and many are left wondering: is Emergen-C safe for me to drink?
In this article, we’ll talk more about what Emergen-C is, the forms it comes in, and, of course, talk about how safe it is to consume while you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
Table of Contents
What’s Emergen-C Made Of?
The main ingredient in Emergen-C is, of course, Vitamin C—a vitamin found in many foods that supports many of the body’s natural functions.
Some of these functions include:
- Lowering inflammation
- Building collagen
- Supporting iron absorption
In addition to Vitamin C, Emergen-C also contains a variety of other vitamins and electrolytes, including Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12. Both of these vitamins also help support immune health and brain and nervous system functions.
How Do I Take It?
The original formula of Emergen-C is sold as a powder that is mixed with 4 to 6 oz of water to create an immune-supporting drink. These packets come in several flavors and formulations designed to support your health in specific areas, including Everyday Immune Support, a line enhanced with probiotics, and even options intended to increase your energy levels!
Emergen-C also has gummies, and there are other Vitamin C supplements on the market as well that come in the form of chewable or dissolvable tablets. These supplements can usually be found at most pharmacies, grocery stores, and other major retailers.
Is It Safe While Pregnant or Breastfeeding?
When it comes to any kind of essential vitamin, the National Institute of Health does have Recommended Dietary Allowances (or RDAs) that they say are ideal for most healthy adults.
For Vitamin C, these recommendations are as follows:
- Non-Pregnant Adults Females: 75 mg/day
- Females that are Pregnant and Under 18: 80 mg
- Females that are Pregnant and Over 18: 85 mg
- Adult Males: 90 mg
As we now know, Emergen-C contains 1,000 mg of Vitamin C in a single serving, making it more than 10x the recommended daily amount suggested for most healthy adults.
However, as far as ingesting it is concerned: yes! It’s generally considered safe to consume Emergen-C if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
But, the thing is, most pregnant women in the U.S. don’t need to worry about supplementing their diets with extra Vitamin C. They generally can get all that they need, plus other essential vitamins and minerals, from prenatal vitamins that are sold in the same pharmacies and locations that products like Emergen-C are sold.
There also isn’t much evidence out there to suggest that Vitamin C supplements even help to prevent or treat colds. Still, though, they’re generally safe to take if you’re pregnant! While there haven’t been many studies looking specifically at the safety of taking Vitamin C supplements during pregnancy, the research that is available hasn’t shown much in regards to either benefits or harm.
So, to answer your question: Yes! While they may not actually be the most effective at preventing or treating the symptoms of a cold, Emergen-C and other immunity supporting products like it are considered safe to take if you’re pregnant.
However, you should keep in mind that you may also have smarter options in regards to getting all of the extra support you need, in the form of prenatal vitamins. Most ingredients that are found in Emergen-C and other supplements—including other vitamins like B6, B12, E as well as electrolytes—are often found in prenatal vitamins as well.
At the end of the day, if you still have concerns about the amount of Vitamin C you’re ingesting, the best course of action would be to check with your doctor or pharmacist. It’s always wise to consult your physician before taking any new medications or supplements, as they can talk with you and help you know for sure if your total daily intake of Vitamin C (as well as other vitamins) is within the appropriate safety recommendations.