So you recently took a pregnancy test and found the good news. Congratulations, and probably now you’re filled with ecstatic thoughts about your pregnancy!
Sadly, there are a few hardships that your body will go through during you pregnancy, one of which is a lowered immune system. Unfortunately, this also means that you are more vulnerable to infection. With this you might be thinking, can you take Emergen-C while pregnant?
Emergen-C features vitamin C in easy-to-mix drinks, chewable tablets and gummies, making the brand pretty attractive for people wanting an immune-system boost in an instant. However, since most supplements, such as Emergen-C, are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, pregnant women must take extra precautions before adding them into their diet.
Moreover, some varieties of Emergen-C have additional ingredients that you may want to know first if you’re pregnant
Let’s look more deeply into Emergen-C and pregnancy, along with some valuable information that you may want to know before actually consuming it.
What is Emergen-C?
Emergen-C was first introduced as a vitamin drink mix delivering “high potency” vitamin C and vitamin B complex in a citrusy, refreshing flavor. Emergen-C’s prime feature is providing up to 1000 milligrams of vitamin C.
As the time of writing, Emergen-C ready-to-mix drinks have several varieties, combining different levels of vitamin C with minerals, herbs, electrolytes, probiotics, caffeine and even melatonin. The gummies and chewable vitamin versions have also emerged for the kids and adults alike.
That said, you need to know more about the ingredients to figure out if a particular type of Emergen c is safe for pregnancy. Let’s take a quick run through of the varieties and featured ingredients of the Emergen-C products below.
Varieties and Ingredients of Emergen-C
Everyday Immune Support
With 1000mg of vitamin C, Emergen C’s original formula claims to provide more vitamin C than 10 oranges along with other antioxidants and B vitamins to naturally boost energy levels.
Enhanced Immune Support
This Emergen C’s enhanced formula still features 1000 mg vitamin C, as well as being fortified with Vitamin D, zinc, beta-glucans and arabinogalactans for additional immune support.
This is basically Emergen-C’s Immune Support formula fused with botanical flavors like turmeric-ginger and elderberry.
This variety delivers 250 mg of vitamin C along with probiotics L. Rhamnosus GG and BB-12, which promote a healthy gut.
This product line aims to help you focus and top up your daily energy levels. The ingredients include 250 mg of vitamin C, B vitamins, electrolytes and around 50 mg caffeine from green tea- which you may want to keep in mind if you’re planning to drink this type of Emergen-C during pregnancy.
Emergen-C Hydration+ features the electrolytes found in sports drinks, with less sugar and added benefits of 250 mg vitamin C. One of their Hydration+ varieties also features glucosamine.
Glucosamine is a naturally-occurring component in the cartilage, the soft tissue that protects the joints of the body. Glucosamine supplements are being studied for their role in treating osteoarthritis.
Their nighttime sleep aid supplement features 500 mg vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, electrolytes along with its key ingredient, melatonin.
Melatonin is naturally produced in the body and its primary function is to regulate the sleep-wake pattern. However, pregnant and breastfeeding women are generally advised to avoid taking melatonin supplements due to lack of studies about its safety.
Chewables and Gummies
Emergen-C Immune Support also comes in chewable and gummy forms. The chewables are formulated to offer up to 1000 mg vitamin C per 2 tablets, while the gummy version can deliver up to 750 mg vitamin C per 3 gummies, along with vitamins B, D and other essential micronutrients.
Can pregnant women take Emergen-C instead of prenatal vitamins?
Just like anybody else, pregnant women need vitamin C in their body. In fact, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) suggests that pregnant women should have around 80 to 85 milligrams of vitamin C in their diet to promote healthy gums, teeth and bones. Of course, this was along with other key nutrients that are needed to support a healthy pregnancy such as calcium, choline, iron, iodine, as well as vitamins B and D.
This makes multivitamin supplements, such as Emergen-C, quite interesting once you figured out you’re pregnant. As we’ve listed above, Emergen C contains other vitamins, minerals and electrolytes that can support a healthy immune system. The fruity flavors and tasty chewables or gummies can also be tempting!
However, do take note of the difference between multivitamins and prenatal vitamins, which are specifically formulated for a pregnant woman’s unique needs. For instance, pregnant women need higher amounts of vitamin B6 or folic acid and iron due to the increasing demands of their growing baby. These levels are best met by taking prenatal vitamins.
Emergen-C has plenty of vitamins and other nutrients to offer, but they aren’t specifically formulated for pregnant women. Even if it has promising levels of vitamin C, additional supplementation of vitamin c is not proven to deliver additional benefits for the pregnant mom and her baby.
Is Emergen-C safe during pregnancy?
Another vital consideration in taking supplements like Emergen-C while pregnant is its safety. Here are some safety considerations in taking Emergen-C during pregnancy:
Dietary supplements, like Emergen-C, are not regulated by the FDA
This means that in some cases, the amount of actual ingredients may differ from what is stated on their packaging. Any degree of uncertainty in the supplements you take may be a potential health risk to you or your baby.
Some ingredients may be risky for pregnant women
Some varieties of Emergen-C have added ingredients like probiotics, electrolytes, glucosamine, melatonin and caffeine, which you might be wary of while pregnant. Remember, whatever you consume will find its way to the baby inside your womb, so be extra careful.
Many of the nutrients in Emergen-C are also found in prenatals
Think twice before you decide to team up Emergen-C with your regular prenatal vitamins. Too much of a particular vitamin may also do more harm than good.
Let’s take too much vitamin C as an example. Aside from its antioxidant and immune boosting properties, vitamin C also promotes the absorption of iron. Too much iron absorption may then lead to some unpleasant side effects like constipation, nausea and stomach pain.
On top of all these considerations, Emergen-C also includes a warning for pregnant and breastfeeding women to seek consultation before taking any of their supplements. This is clearly printed in their product labels and discussed on the FAQ’s section of their website.
So overall, it is best for pregnant women to seek medical advice before taking Emergen-C or any dietary supplements. Emergen-C has plenty of vitamins, minerals, and benefits to offer for everyone, but if your OB-GYN didn’t give you a go signal, then it would be much safer to skip on drinking it for a while.