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You have heard that vitamin C powder helps against many diseases and protects the immune system? That, unlike many other vitamins, it is not a problem to take too much vitamin C? It’s not entirely true. Especially around the “panacea” vitamin C there are many theories and rumours. Many statements have a scientific basis. However, in the view of many researchers, they are not entirely correct.
In our vitamin C powder test 2023 you will find all the answers to your assumptions. You can check and supplement your knowledge about vitamin C powder. In this vitamin C powder test you can find out exactly what science says about the effect, the correct daily intake, side effects and alternatives to vitamin C powder.
- Vitamin C powder or ascorbic acid is a powder that is suitable for strengthening the immune system. While it can help prevent or mitigate other diseases, nothing has been clearly scientifically proven.
- A vitamin C deficiency can lead to the disease scurvy. Nevertheless, even a small amount of vitamin C intake helps to prevent this. In Europe, this is usually covered by a normal, balanced diet. A vitamin C overdose is not harmful.
- Vitamin C powder is simply stirred into your yoghurt or glass of water and drunk. However, you should drink a lot of water afterwards or rinse your mouth. Ascorbic acid can damage the gums.
The best Vitamin C Powder: Our Picks
Buying and evaluation criteria for vitamin C powder
When buying vitamin C powder, you can pay attention to various aspects, such as:
By making the right choice for you, you can save money and also ensure that you don’t add anything to your body that it doesn’t need. Therefore, always look for high quality and ask to see the manufacturer’s certificates if necessary.
Recommended daily reference amount
Like many other vitamins and minerals, the human body only needs a certain amount of vitamin C. This varies from person to person. This varies from person to person. You can read about your recommended amount in the section on the dosage of vitamin C powder.
There you will also see that so far no side effects have been proven in case of vitamin C overdose. However, you will get more out of it if you take just the right amount of vitamin C powder: The body can only absorb a certain amount of vitamin C at a time. If you take more, you spend more than you actually need.
Not all ascorbic acid is well absorbed by the body. Some are more available to the body. This includes L-ascorbic acid, for example. It is true that the term is used synonymously in food and medicinal products, whereby actually only L-ascorbic acid is meant.
Nevertheless, the others hardly play a role in nature. Nevertheless, to be on the safe side, you should always check the list of ingredients to see what is in your vitamin C powder.
There are different types of vitamin C powder. A more detailed description follows below. When buying, however, it is important to know the differences. For example, there is buffered vitamin C powder.
Some people have gastrointestinal problems and therefore cannot tolerate acid. In these cases, buffered vitamin C powder is more suitable. In case of allergies, you should also make sure that the food supplement only contains substances that are suitable for you.
If the vitamin C powder is extracted naturally, you will not have a problem with an unpleasant aftertaste. Synthetically produced vitamin C powders, on the other hand, often have an unpleasant aftertaste. This is also the case if the powder is buffered.
Therefore, flavourings are often added to make the food supplement a little more palatable. So you should decide for yourself whether you prefer a vitamin C powder with a natural taste and no added flavouring or whether, for example, good stomach tolerance is more important to you.
Especially if the vitamin C powder is buffered or synthetically produced, you will have a lot of additives in your food supplement. These can be harmful to your health.
Especially if you have certain allergies or prefer an animal-free diet, you should pay special attention to additives.
There is extra naturally produced vitamin C powder, so that vitamin C supplementation is still possible.
Guide: Frequently asked questions about vitamin C powder answered in detail
In order to inform you comprehensively about the effectiveness of vitamin C powder and to give you an understanding of the current state of science, we have summarised all the important information in the following sections.
What is vitamin C powder and how does it work?
The antioxidant effect of vitamin C powder in the body led to rumours that vitamin C helps in the prevention, during the course of disease and mortality of many different diseases.
Many scientists have therefore conducted studies on different effects of vitamin C powder. Among other things, they have found the following results:
- Strengthening the immune system: Like any vitamin, vitamin C strengthens the entire immune system. Vitamin C in particular has antioxidants that can fight off foreign substances and toxins in the body. That is why it is particularly anti-inflammatory (2).
- Protects cells from oxidative stress and inflammation: Thanks to the antioxidants in vitamin C, vitamin C pulers can help with stress and inflammation(1).
- May reduce organ dysfunction: Vitamin C has a pleiotropic effect. Thus, vitamin C powder could reduce cell and organ injury (2).
- May help with cardiovascular disease: Regarding cancer, there are some studies that have taken another look at the effect of antioxidants. In several studies on the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, vitamin C was included. Nevertheless, it is not certain whether vitamin C alone is responsible for this positive change (3, 4). That is why scientists have not yet made any explicit recommendation through supplementation with vitamin C powder (1, 5).
Vitamin C has triggered a number of positive effects in various studies. Nevertheless, there is no scientific proof that vitamin C alone is responsible for the beneficial effects (1).
What is the difference between vitamin C powder and ascorbic acid?
The typical seafarer’s disease scurvy can be prevented with certain foods containing an acid or vitamins. Examples are sauerkraut, oranges and lemons.
However, not every ascorbic acid can be easily administered by the body.
The body can convert L-(+)-ascorbic acid well into vitamin C, but not D-ascorbic acid, for example (6, 7). Nevertheless, in common usage nowadays only “ascorbic acid powder” is used and not “L-(+)-ascorbic acid powder”. Especially when it comes to the synthetically produced vitamin C powder.
When and for whom is it useful to take vitamin C powder?
- Blood poisoning
- Trauma experience
- Poor dietary habits
- Infections or chronic diseases
- In combination with other minerals and vitamins, for example iron (8).
While most animals can synthesise more vitamin C under increased stress, humans have lost this ability due to a mutation (2).
How do I take vitamin C powder?
You should pay attention to the manufacturer’s instructions when it comes to the quantities! Every supplement has an instruction leaflet in the package or on the bottle. Often, the vitamin C powder also comes with a dosage spoon so that you can easily measure out the amount.
After drinking, you should always rinse your mouth well or drink plenty of water, because the acid can attack the tooth enamel.
The well-known “hot lemon” uses hot water, which is not what you should do with vitamin C powder. The acid of the lemon stabilises the vitamin C, which makes it heat-resistant. Vitamin C powder does not have the desired effect here.
How much does vitamin C powder cost?
|Vitamin C powder type||cost per 100 grams|
|Synthetic ascorbic acid powder||2 – 6 €|
|Natural vitamin C powder||4 – 8 €|
|Buffered vitamin C powder||5 – 14 €|
Buffered vitamin C powders tend to be more expensive, chemically produced (synthetic) vitamin C powders are the cheapest. The exact differences are described in more detail below.
What types of vitamin C powder are there?
The application remains the same, only the production and ingredients differ. Which form is right for you depends on your priorities. To help you decide, we have described the three types in more detail.
Natural vitamin C powder
Natural vitamin C powder is extracted from fruits and vegetables and is easily usable by humans. The acerola cherry, guava or camu camu fruit are particularly popular. Nevertheless, it is not well tolerated by everyone, as some contain acids. If they are isolated, complex formations are missing for the full effect.
Buffered vitamin C powder
In fruits and vegetables, vitamin C is bound to minerals and bioflavonoids, secondary plant compounds with antioxidant effects. This facilitates the absorption of the natural ascorbic acid.
In this way, the body can better tolerate the vitamin. When vitamin C is extracted from natural foods, this binding is missing. Therefore, the vitamin C can be buffered.
The natural form of the acid in combination with calcium, sodium or magnesium is created and the body can better tolerate the vitamin C powder. Unfortunately, the additional minerals are often reflected in the more expensive price.
Synthetic vitamin C powder
This variant is produced artificially in the laboratory and can be present as pure ascorbic acid. This is not bound to minerals and is therefore harder for the body to absorb. However, if you only take vitamin C as a preventive measure, the amount absorbed may be sufficient.
In extreme cases or in people with an increased risk of side effects, however, the isolated and concentrated vitamin C can cause an excess more quickly. In these cases, side effects such as diarrhoea could occur. Overall, this form is rather more favourable and good for people with histamine intolerance.
While natural vitamin C powder has a natural flavour and often no additives are mixed in, you should also pay attention to the additives and the possibly unpleasant aftertaste with the other two forms. However, synthetically produced vitamin C powder is cheaper. This means that it can also be used in larger quantities to prevent the brown colour in the pool.
How should vitamin C powder be dosed?
Men were assumed to be non-smokers, to have metabolic losses and to have urinary excretion of vitamin C. The reference value was calculated from this. The reference value was calculated from this.
The vitamin C requirements of women, children and adolescents were derived from the reference value of men and adjusted to body weight. Pregnant and breastfeeding women have a higher requirement, so the recommended value was increased accordingly. We have summarised the recommended values for you in the following list.
|Group of people||Recommended daily vitamin C intake|
|Men (non-smokers)||110 milligrams per day|
|Women (non-smokers)||95 milligrams per day|
|Men (smokers)||155 milligrams per day|
|Women (smokers)||135 milligrams per day|
|Pregnant women from 4 months of age. Months||105 milligrams per day|
|Breastfeeding women||125 milligrams per day|
|Boys and girls between 1 and 15 years||between 20 and 85 milligrams per day. The older you are, the more need you have for vitamin C.|
|Male adolescents 15 to 19 years||105 milligrams per day|
|Female adolescents 15 to 19 years||90 milligrams per day|
If you want to prevent scurvy, a daily intake of 7 milligrams per day is sufficient (1). More information can be found on the website of the German Nutrition Society (9).
What are the alternatives to vitamin C powder?
However, vitamin C is often also fortified in juice from the supermarket or sold in combination with iron supplements, as this makes it easier to absorb the iron. The latest technology is vitamin C liposomes. We have compiled a table with a few advantages and disadvantages of the alternatives.
|Alternative to vitamin C powder||Advantages||Disadvantages|
|Vitamin C tablets||Thanks to their size, you can easily take them with you when travelling. They are also easy to swallow||They often contain additives to squeeze and combine. If there is no film on top, they are not protected from light. People with swallowing problems should not take them.|
|Vitamin C capsules||They contain vitamin C powder and are well protected and swallowable due to the soft shell||Often the capsule is made of animal gelatine, so they are not suitable for certain groups of people.|
|Vitamin C juices||Juices can be very rich in vitamins. A direct juice contains only fruit sugar and no unwanted additives||A fruit drink often contains industrial sugar for additional sweetening. This high sugar intake is not very beneficial to health in the long run.|
|Vitamin C Liposomes||The bioavailability is among the highest with this form. The beads are protected by a special technology and are not immediately digested. This allows the body to absorb higher amounts of vitamin C.||The shelf life with liposomes is lower than with tablets or capsules. If the liposomes are unstable in a solution, they clump together too much and become too large to be absorbed by the cell.|
In all forms, vitamin C is sold separately or combined with other minerals and nutrients.
What is the shelf life of vitamin C powder and how should it be stored?
Therefore, you should never bring the powder into contact with boiling or hot water before taking it. Vitamin C also reacts with oxygen. To ensure that the effect is not lost, you should also store the powder in an airtight container. Moisture can also have a negative effect. Therefore, you should store your vitamin C powder as follows:
- Protected from light
A small tip: A good place to store vitamin C powder would be in a bedside drawer.
Contrary to what is often thought, kitchens or bathrooms are often very humid. Also, the temperature can vary when you cook or shower with hot water.
Image source: 87942945 / 123rf
German Nutrition Society (DGE). New Reference Values for Vitamin C Intake. Ann Nutr Metab. 2015;67(1):13-20. doi: 10.1159/000434757. Epub 2015 Jul 22. PMID: 26227083.
Spoelstra-de Man, Angélique M.E.; Elbers, Paul W.G.; Oudemans-Van Straaten, Heleen M. Vitamin C: should we supplement?, Current Opinion in Critical Care: August 2018 - Volume 24 - Issue 4 - p 248-255
Institute of Medicine (US) Panel on Dietary Antioxidants and Related Compounds. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, and Carotenoids. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2000. PMID: 25077263.
EFSA NDA Panel (EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies), 2013. Scientific Opinion
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Boeing, H., Bechthold, A., Bub, A. et al. Critical review: vegetables and fruit in the prevention of chronic diseases. Eur J Nutr 51, 637–663 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00394-012-0380-y
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Pohanka M, Pejchal J, Snopkova S, Havlickova K, Karasova JZ, Bostik P, Pikula J. Ascorbic acid: an old player with a broad impact on body physiology including oxidative stress suppression and immunomodulation: a review. Mini Rev Med Chem. 2012 Jan;12(1):35-43. doi: 10.2174/138955712798868986. PMID: 22070691.
Lynch SR, Cook JD. Interaction of vitamin C and iron. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1980;355:32-44. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.1980.tb21325.x. PMID: 6940487.
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährung e. V. (2020). Vitamin C: Empfohlene Zufuhr. Internetquelle. Abgerufen am: 14.12.2020.
Sanchez JO, Ismail Y, Christina B, Mauer LJ. Degradation of L-Ascorbic Acid in the Amorphous Solid State. J Food Sci. 2018 Mar;83(3):670-681. doi: 10.1111/1750-3841.13998. Epub 2018 Feb 5. PMID: 29405290.