10 Best Vitamin C Supplements Reviewed & Compared
Vitamin C is also commonly known as Ascorbic acid. Maintaining proper levels of Vitamin C in the body will help to prevent the onset of cardiovascular diseases and counteract some forms of bodily degradation that come with aging. In some cases, high dosages of Vitamin C has been linked to reducing the severity of cancer in the body.
Vitamin C supplements are extremely popular, and many different forms of it are available for purchasing. With so many options, it can be difficult finding the best product.
This buyer’s guide covers the ten best supplementary forms of Vitamin C on the market in order to help you come to a final purchasing decision.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 17 hrs of research
Enormous volume per package
- Bulk Supplements
- Nature's Way
- Doctor's Best
- American Health Ester-C
- Nature's Way Alive!
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Our Favorite Vitamin C Supplements
1. Bulk Supplements
Enormous volume per package
Bulk Supplements lives up to its name by offering bulk quantities of various vitamins and minerals for a reasonable price. Their Vitamin C formula is no exception to this practice, offering a highly potent and extremely pure package that is overwhelmingly loved by customers.Read more
The pure ascorbic acid used as the key ingredient in a Vitamin C supplement is at its most potent in this specific product’s powder. A perfect 1:1 ratio of Vitamin C to formula is tough to beat, and the benefit of the powder format makes it easy to measure out specific dosages.
The only ingredient you are going to find in this powder is ascorbic acid. No effort has been made to purify it, which does limit its total potency. However, this lack of additional chemicals such as sodium helps to keep the formula pure.
It’s true that the high concentration of acidic substances in this powder will have a strong sour taste. This taste will disgust the majority of individuals who take it, but it can be mitigated to a degree if you mix it with a strong-tasting liquid such as juice.
Cost and Value
This is the most expensive supplement on this list, which is bound to turn off many individuals who are just looking for a bit of extra Vitamin C to help them get through flu season. However, if you’re looking for enough Vitamin C to last you for the next few years, this is the package to buy.
2. Nature's Way
Vegetarian capsules are easy to take
One user noted a fishy smell
This option comes from a trusted brand and contains 1000 mg of vitamin C per dose in vegetarian capsules. Users found it to be very effective and it has been certified by a third party for purity. It is also affordable and widely available. Overall a solid choice.Read more
With 1000 mg of vitamin c per serving these pack a cold-killing punch. One user noted that the label uses the word "bioflavinoids" when bioflavinoids are the active ingredient in vitamin c that is a natural anti-oxidant and therefore this all vitamin C has bioflavinoids and that it seemed like a bit of a marketing gimmick.
It's certified to be clean and wholesome by an independent third party.
User's noted how well this worked for everything from overcoming colds to maintaining good overall health.
Nature's Way has been in business since 1969, making them 50 years old this year. They are a trusted source of nutritional supplements and are based in Green Bay Wisconsin in the United States. They when the founder was looking for a way to heal his sick wife and turned to traditional native wisdom and the power of plants.
For the quality, high dose, and effectiveness these are a good deal. Users were happy with how much they paid and it's is also readily available from a variety of sources.
Extremely high potency
High volume per package
Mild salt content
As opposed to most low-cost Vitamin C supplements that simply use pure ascorbic acid, Nutribiotic’s supplement goes one step further for the benefit of the customer. The vitamins that are synthesized from this common method are filtered, resulting in a purer and tastier powder supplement.Read more
With one-quarter of a teaspoon containing just over 1,100 mg of sodium ascorbate, this is an extremely potent Vitamin C formula. In fact, such a high potency can be negative, as it is much easier to take a considerably greater dosage than you may originally intend to.
Nutribiotic’s formula is made of Sodium Ascorbate, a substance derived from a combination of salt and ascorbic acid. Using the salt as a filtration method, this formula has extremely pure Vitamin C crystals packed in each serving. However, some residual salt is left in the formula to the detriment of its overall purity.
Since the ascorbic acid used to synthesize Vitamin C in this supplement was filtered, no bitter or tart taste is present when consuming this formula. Instead, there is a mild salty taste, which is due to the sodium filtration method used to get pure crystals. According to customers, this taste is considerably better than other supplements on the market.
Cost and Value
It’s true that this pack of supplements is on the more expensive side of the spectrum for Vitamin C prices. However, one year’s worth of servings are contained in just one bottle, thanks to the extremely high potency of this formula. Because of that, this ends up being one of the most inexpensive supplements once you account for volume.
Additional natural ingredients
Vegetable coating for the capsules
Slightly diminished potency
NOW’s Vitamin C supplement advertises the addition of natural ingredients to their potent formula. While it’s true that the meager amount of rose hip extract helps to bolster these pills’ Vitamin C content, the addition is too small to really call this product natural or organic. Regardless, it provides a high potency and purity, all for a very reasonable cost.Read more
In addition to having the standard 1,000 mg of Vitamin C derived from ascorbic acid, this supplement also contains a small amount of rose hips powder. This is another common source of Vitamin C that is natural, but the amount contained is insignificant when compared to the acid-derived portions of the formula.
Other than the vegetable-based coating used for manufacturing the capsules, this supplement only carries ingredients that provide the body with Vitamin C. The purity of NOW’s formula is slightly weakened due to the addition of rosehips since it offers a less pure source of the nutrient.
The addition of rosehips to the formula gives these capsules a sour or tart taste. This difference is subtle, however, and easily overpowered by the bitter-tasting ascorbic acid. For the most part, you should be able to avoid tasting these supplements at all if you swallow them whole with the aid of some liquid.
Cost and Value
Despite containing a few extra ingredients, the affordability of these Vitamin C supplements are easily comparable to many simpler products on the market. In many cases, these are actually more affordable than most tablets or capsule-based formulas, since one bottle can last for several months if taken at the minimum dose.
5. Doctor's Best
Tasteless, making them easy to consume
There isn’t anything in particular that sets this Vitamin C supplement apart from any others available to purchase. However, Doctor’s Best offers a very high-quality formula for a reasonable price, making it ideal for those simply looking for a no-frills supplement.Read more
1000 mg of ascorbic acid is used to supply the Vitamin C in this supplement. Some individuals may be turned off by the synthetic nature of this chemical, but the fact is that this is the purest and easiest method of supplying great deals of this nutrient to your body.
The only other ingredient present in the formula for this supplement is cellulose in order to form the outside of each capsule. This means that you will only be ingesting Vitamin C from an extremely pure, albeit synthetic, source. The only way this supplement could be purer is if it came in a powder.
Fortunately, the cellulose lining used to make the capsules for this supplement do not have any particular taste to them. This means that you can take these pills with water and experience no negative taste whatsoever. There isn’t even an aftertaste, which is something most Vitamin C powders can’t say.
Cost and Value
Thanks to its no-frills approach to supplying the body with Vitamin C, there isn’t a great deal of cost to the production of these capsules. This allows Doctor’s Best to sell them at a very competitive price, providing an extra benefit to the customer. One package costs half as much as many competing brands and offers nearly double the number of servings.
6. American Health Ester-C
No side effects
With a small addition of Calcium to the formula, American Health’s brand of Vitamin C supplements offer some qualities similar to a multivitamin. This is an excellent value for a high volume of easily digested nutritional supplements.Read more
While each capsule only contains 500 mg of Vitamin C, a comparable dose to most other formulas available for purchase can be achieved by simply doubling the dose. In fact, this seeming lack of potency can make it easier to fine-tune your dosing to fit specific dietary needs.
Instead of using the most common and most pure form of Vitamin C, ascorbic acid, American Health Ester-C uses a slight variation on this synthetic formula called Calcium Ascorbate. It’s very similar to ascorbic acid but also contains a small amount of calcium, which provides further nutritional value but does detract from the overall purity of this supplement.
The taste for this supplement isn’t as noticeable as most others since it comes in capsules instead of powders. However, people who have taken these capsules as intended say that the taste is decent, especially when compared to other formulas on the market. Grinding it up for whatever reason will result in a bitter taste.
Cost and Value
At roughly 7 cents a capsule, these are some of the most affordable supplements on the market, second only to bulk ascorbic acid powder bags. For the cost of one month’s supply for a competing brand, you can get enough American Health Ester-C to last you roughly 4 months.
Easily mixable powder form
It doesn’t get any simpler than this. Bronson Nutrition’s line of Vitamin C powder is the easiest way to get your daily dose of this essential nutrient. Enough Ascorbic acid is present in each package to last you for years if taken sparingly.Read more
Containing 1,000 mg of Vitamin C in roughly a quarter of a teaspoon, Bronson’s Vitamin C powder supplement is extremely potent. This ensures that each package contains a high volume and offers a good value, but it also increases the risk of developing adverse effects from ingesting too much.
This supplement is made solely of Ascorbic acid, a chemical that is used to synthesize Vitamin C. Adding the fact that it comes in powder form and thus doesn’t require gelatin or rice flour to contain it, this is one of the purest sources of Vitamin C you can buy.
The unfortunate downside of this supplement being incredibly pure is that nothing has been added to make the taste more appealing. Expect a very bitter taste when mixing this solution with water. Because of this, you may want to mix it with a tastier liquid or add some sugar.
Cost and Value
The base price for this powder supplement is pretty high when compared to many others listed here, but this evens out once you account for the volume factor. If you’re looking for a supply of Vitamin C that will last you for months, this is the absolute best value for your money.
Cutting-edge delivery technology
Fast acting and quick result delivery
With an interesting method of delivery, Lypo-Spheric’s Vitamin C powder supplement sets itself apart from other products on the market. However, the compromises made on purity and price may end up turning some customers away.Read more
In addition to containing 1,000 mg of Vitamin C, this powder supplement utilizes liposomal encapsulation and delivery technology to increase its potency. What those big words mean is that the manufacturers of this supplement used liposomes, or tiny spherical containers, to bypass the membrane layer and directly provide your bloodstream with Vitamin C.
Although the majority of this powder formula is made from ascorbic acid, an incredibly pure synthetic source of Vitamin C, there are a few other ingredients added that dilute the purity of this product. One additional element that is prominently featured is soy lecithin, the source of the lipids used to facilitate the liposomal delivery technology.
Some customers have noticed no taste when taking this formula, while others have noticed a strong unappealing taste. In any case, you shouldn’t expect this powder to taste good. One recommendation to dilute this strong taste is to mix this formula in with a tastier liquid such as orange juice.
Cost and Value
This container of Vitamin C comes at a higher cost than many others of its kind, and it doesn’t balance out when looking at the volume per container either. However, the increased price is justified due to the liposomal delivery technology that was implemented in this formula. This ensures that all of the Vitamin C becomes absorbed in your body, as opposed to other highly-concentrated supplements that your body will usually filter out.
9. Nature's Way Alive!
As its name may imply, the major selling point of this Vitamin C powder-based supplement is its all-natural ingredients. While many other supplements use synthetically-derived sources of Vitamin C, the components used in this formula are derived from fruit. While this sounds appealing to some customers, others may be surprised at the lessened potency that comes with this manufacturing decision.Read more
This Vitamin C powder doesn’t have the same potency per serving as some other powders. This is because it derives its key ingredient from natural fruit-based sources instead of Ascorbic acid, which is the most common source. Despite this diminished potency, more Vitamin C can be added easily and safely by doubling the dosage.
Some individuals may see the fact that the Vitamin C in this supplement is derived from multiple sources as a lack of purity. However, the fact that Nature’s Way uses goji and kiwi fruit extract instead of the standard Ascorbic acid, this lack of purity is made up for with the quality of its ingredients.
Despite the composition of this supplement being derived mostly from sweet fruits, the taste of this Vitamin C powder more closely resembles chili powder, according to one online reviewer. It’s not the most unpleasant-tasting powder on the market, but the taste can take you by surprise if you aren’t careful.
Cost and Value
The cost for one package of this powder is low, but this initial affordability doesn’t stack up when accounting for volume. One package contains enough servings for roughly a month, but when you consider the diminished potency, this really translates to two weeks of double servings. However, if you’re interested in a more natural supplement and don’t need 1000 mg with each serving, this is a fine price.
Excellent skin care properties
No nutritional value
A far cry from the other supplements on this list, the Serumologie Vitamin C Serum utilizes this nutrient for completely different health concerns. It’s true that this supplement doesn’t supply the same nutritional value as a capsule or powder, but the positive effects it can have on your skin make it worth considering for the treatment of these symptoms.Read more
It’s difficult to determine exactly how potent this Vitamin C product is, since it is administered in a very different way than all other products on this list. As a topical serum, five to seven drops are rubbed into the skin, purportedly helping to promote healthier and clearer skin. It won’t fulfill the nutritional requirements that other Vitamin C supplements will, but it does provide some nutritional value.
Being designed primarily to aid in repairing damaged skin, this serum is mixed with several other chemicals intended for this purpose. Because of this, the purity of this product is low, but it still manages to accomplish the task it sets out to with the aid of these additions. In addition, this serum is vegan, despite these extra chemicals.
Since this product isn’t taken orally, taste shouldn’t be an issue. In order to achieve the highest effectiveness, you should avoid putting any of this substance in your mouth and instead put in on your skin. However, some customers have noticed a strange metallic taste in their mouths as a side effect, so be wary of this possibility.
Cost and Value
When compared to other skin care products and topical creams, this Vitamin C supplement is quite affordable. However, when compared to the multitudes of oral Vitamin C supplements that aren’t intended for skin care, these cost a great deal more than most. However, the specific features offered by this package make them worth this higher price.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
When picking out any supplement, the first thing to look out for is how much of the key ingredient is present in each supplement. The majority of these products have around 1,000 milligrams of Vitamin C in each serving, but serving sizes can vary. This determining factor evaluates how potent one serving is in order to find the supplements that require the least volume in order to consume the required nutrients for proper bodily health. Please keep in mind that the general accepted medical guideline is that the maximum recommended daily dosage of vitamin c is 2000 mg and that the body can only process around 150 mg at a time, leaving the rest to be disposed of in the urine. So why do nutritional supplement companies makes their vitamin c products in such high doses? Studies have shown that large doses of vitamin C can help to kill free-radicals in the body, which are one of the main causes of cell oxidation and cancer. Some promising studies have even shown that it is possible to cure certain cancers with high doses of vitamin C administered in a clinical setting on certain schedules. So even if it seems like much of the vitamin C is wasted through excretion when you take a dose, it can still have dramatic effects on your long-term health outlook.
Vitamin C can be found in many natural, whole foods such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, leafy greens, watermelon, green peppers, mango, and kiwi just to name a few. Eating vitamin C in it's natural form through food is still the best way to get your daily dose of vitamin C, but sometimes it can be difficult. First of all, because of modern industrial agriculture practices the fruits and vegetables of today have been found to be up to 30% lower in vitamin C than those our great-grandparents grew up eating so many of the foods that we know as being high in vitamin C aren't quite as loaded as we may think. Also, many vitamins can reduce dramatically in their effectiveness when exposed to oxygen and heat, which happens when they are cooked. We recommend eating as many fruits and vegetables in their raw form whenever possible in order to get your vitamin c in its purest form. When this isn't possible because of schedule or a lack of whole food availability a vitamin C supplement is a great choice for helping to maintain your health. Look for products that have been verified to be of pure sources by an independent third party
Whether it’s taken in a powder or a pill, supplements can have a particular taste and effectiveness to them. They are often intended to be taken with water, which can serve to either enhance or dull the overall taste. In any case, the taste of a supplement can often be disgusting to an individual if it is too strong. This category determines the taste of each product based on the form it is administered as well as the general consensus of customers who have tried it.
It's a little-known fact that the supplement industry is highly unregulated and that every year a lot of new companies start, offering products of questionable legitimacy, only to disappear quickly. Marketing slogans and huge promises get thrown around all the time and it can be really hard to know what a company is actually putting in their products. Because of this, it can be important to identify well-established brands that can be trusted to consistently produce good products. Companies that have been around a long time and have good reputations and higher market shares are less likely to jeopardize all the hard work they've done and goodwill they've earned in a challenging industry by bringing inferior products to market. Not to say that a venerable company can't have their quality go down due to a variety of circumstances, or that there aren't new companies who aren't producing great products, but buying nutritional supplements from a well known, established company can be a good idea and we gave bonus points to products whose makers have a good reputation in the industry.
When taking into account how affordable each product on this list is, more than just the base price was considered. One product could cost less than another but end up having a less potent formula and fewer total servings. This is why the total volume and number of servings were evaluated while determining this important factor.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Although Vitamin C can be found in many fruits and vegetables, some individuals may not consume enough of these foods to get the necessary amount in their diet. For that reason, several nutrition products manufacturers have designed supplements that provide individuals with the necessary daily amount of Vitamin C.
If you are taking any medications you should always consult your physician before adding any supplements to your diet. Even with something as innocuous as vitamin C it's never a bad idea to talk to your doctor as much as possible. They may have additional recommendations for your health and/or creative ways to get this essential nutrient working for you.
Other Factors to Consider
Depending on the form and ingredients of the supplement, the key ingredient can be released either gradually over time or immediately after dosing. This is why some supplements will recommend you take them with a meal. Although this isn't a major concern with Vitamin C supplements, it's still a possibility that instant-release versions can cause some discomfort to individuals with sensitive stomachs. If you fall into that category, you may want to consider finding a supplement with a slower release.
Individuals who consume a vegetarian or vegan diet will want to avoid any supplements that use gelatin in their manufacturing. Some pills will use this animal-derived product as a coating, so people who object to the consumption of animals will want to find pills that use vegetable-based cellulose instead. There are also some people who prefer organic sources of vitamins and minerals over synthetic ones. These individuals will want to seek out Vitamin C supplements that are derived from natural sources, such as citrus fruits and rose hips, over pure ascorbic acid supplements.
Frequently Asked Questions
You cannot eat nutritional supplements and multivitamins in place of regular food and maintain proper bodily health. The body requires a certain amount of calories to function properly which cannot be provided by simply taking vitamin supplements. In addition, healthy foods offer high concentrations of other important nutrients, such as fiber and protein, that are very difficult to replace with the aid of supplements.
It is physically impossible for a human to take a lethal dose of Vitamin C due to the sheer amount they would have to take in order to reach it. However, negative effects can occur in the body if you take too much of it. Some minor overdose symptoms include nausea and digestive issues such as diarrhea, and more severe symptoms include the development of kidney stones.
The daily recommended dose of Vitamin C as prescribed by nutritionists is around 75 milligrams. However, it is safe to take much higher amounts than this daily, and many individuals have noticed positive health benefits to their skin and immune system when taken in higher dosages. 1,000 milligrams is a common serving size, but you can take up to 2,000 a day before experiencing negative effects.
Since Vitamin C has properties which help to boost the body’s immune system, it can protect you from the onset of sicknesses such as the common cold or the flu. In some cases, individuals have been able to reduce the amount of time a cold has affected them by taking high doses of Vitamin C. However, there is no scientific evidence at this time that taking Vitamin C will cure a common cold.
Vitamin C is not a stimulant and will not keep you awake, even if you take it right before going to sleep. On the other hand, correcting a Vitamin C deficiency by taking it regularly can help you achieve longer periods of restful sleep at night.
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