August 22, 2010 and I had just finished running 21 miles and 2,600 feet of elevation gain on trails through the Rocky Mountains. You may remember that Dean Karnazes was my partner for the first leg of the Trans Rockies Run that day.
(Yes, I am name dropping and I am doing this because I have so few names to drop from the past 46 years that I have to repeat-name-drop on occasion ((okay – well – I did go to high school with Greg Kinnear. But, he wouldn’t know me from a turd in the toilet, so that probably doesn’t count)).
Anyway, as I finished this run, my first on trails ever, it was a scorching 90 degrees. One of the support people handed me a packet of Emergen-C and told me to take it for recovery. I had never heard of it. She said it would boost my immune system since I was pretty depleted and that it had lots of good electrolytes. I do what anyone tells me (yes, mom I did jump off a cliff because Lisa did it), so I dumped it in some beer (I mean water) and chugged away.
Since that time, I haven’t taken Emergen-C. I haven’t even really thought about it, although I do hear people talk about it all the time – “I swear I was getting the Ebola virus and I took a packet of Emergen-C and am a new person!”
The other day someone in the grocery store gave me a sample and I had it stashed in my purse. When my throat started hurting yesterday, I remembered that secret packet in my purse and decided to give it a shot. The entire world around me has been sick lately and laid up for days. I’ve been training hard and probably could use a bit of a boost. Plus, I don’t want my training to get derailed by illness. I mean could it really hurt? Don’t you just pee out extra stuff your body doesn’t need? So, I drank it down. And, my throat stopped hurting. Coincidence? Perhaps.
When my kids got sick all the time when they were little and it was impossible to avoid germs (yeah getting puked on makes that tough) I used to take Echinacea a lot for immunity. I never really was sure if it helped. I am one who hardly ever gets sick, so I don’t do a lot of herbal or medicinal prevention stuff.
This got me to wondering if this would be a good thing to take every once in awhile during training – both for electrolyte replacement and an immunity boost. So, I did some research from unbiased sources and here’s what I’ve found:
- The Mayo clinic suggests not exceeding 2,000 mg of vitamin C per day. One packet of Emergen-C has 1,000 mgs
- Pregnant women should not take high doses of vitamin C because it can cause scurvy in infants
- Too much vitamin C can cause stomach upset. YES! I love crapping myself unexpectedly.
- There’s a lot of sugar Emergen-C (percentage wise per serving)
- It might be good mixed in vodka (this is my own assessment)
- No one knows if it really works or does anything.
See? I don’t always wear running clothes.
Do you take any stuff if you think you’re getting sick? Does it work?
Would you take it during training for a boost?
Got any names to drop? Give me one.