Unlike most items in this section you don't commonly find this product in a gear store. I have most often seen Emergen-C in health food stores. Based on the claims on the box, it seems that a health food store is an appropriate place for it. Emergen-C claims to give you a health boost, an energy boost and an Electrolyte Boost. As an active person, these are all boost that I would like to have! Emergen-C comes in powder form contained in a 8g tea bag sized packet. It is billed as a dietary supplement that you mix with water. It contains 1000mg of Vitamin C, 24 Nutrients, antioxidants, electrolytes and 7 B vitamins - quite a lot for a little packet. The 1000mg of Vitamin C works out to be 1667% of your daily value - which seems like a little bit of overkill, but beyond that it does seem to contain a lot of the same things as a multivitamin.
I tried a variety of Emergen-C flavours - super orange, lemon lime, cranberry pomegranate, berry blue, pink lemonade, and tropical. To be honest I had a tough time distinguishing between most of these flavours. To me they all tasted kinda citrusy with a hint of chalk, however after exercise I found it quite refreshing and not over powering.
It is really hard for me to tell if having an Emergen-C a day helped "Power up my immune system and promoted overall body health" but I didn't get sick during the test period - coincidence? Probably.
This was the claim on the box that I was most dubious about, and as a result most surprised when a couple times I noticed it being true. I wouldn't call it an energy boost, but when I had an Emergen-C in the morning I did notice a feeling of increased alertness, similar to after a morning tea. Emergen-C does this without caffeine - pretty cool.
Again hard to measure, but as mentioned above, I did enjoy a glass of this after a work out. Given the choice between an Emergen-C and a Gatorade halfway up a skin track in spring I would likely take the Gatorade based on flavour alone, but for those of you who don't enjoy the super sweetness of sports drinks and the glucose-fructose that creates it Emergen-C might be a nice alternative.
I like it. In spite of its less than awesome taste, I am going to keep a couple of packets of Emergen-C in my ski touring pack. It is packaged in such a way that it doesn't take any room, and it is a nice alternative to water and super sugary sports drinks.
Over the course of the 2011/2012 winter I decided to put the Emergen-C flavoured drink mix packets to the test. I consumed 1 packet every day or second day for four months (December - April) to see if this extra vitamin C dose would keep me healthy over the winter. To my surprise I did not get one cold all winter and missed no ski days. I still maintained a healthy diet, gots lots of sleep and excercise and washed my hands regularly, but this has always been my mode of operation. So, given that I changed nothing in my daily routine except consure an Emergen-C flavoured drink mix packet regualary and the fact that I did not get my seasonal cold or two - I would have to say that the product worked and I will now do this every winter season.
I know that this is by no means scientific but if it worked for me you may want to give it a try - I was pelasantly surprised.
Price: 59¢ US a packet, $15.99 US for a box of 30
Weight: 8g / .28oz per packet
Flavours: 11 in total
Easy way to get your B Vitamins and Vitamin C, no stirring needed and you get an alertness boost without caffine.
Less than inspiring taste.
Quality / Price 1.5/2
This is only our opinion. Do you disagree? Did we miss something? Are we totally out to lunch? Join the discussion in the forums here, and let us know what you think. People like/dislike gear for different reasons so chime in and we'll get a well-rounded evaluation. Check back mid-season to see how our review stands up to our in-the-field testing.
UPDATE APRIL 2013:
I have been using the Emergen-C Flavoured Drink Mix for over a year and a half now and I have noticed a difference of when I do and don't take it regularly. During the winter months I will have one a day and typically do not get the common cold anymore. In summer months I use them on each and everyone of my hiking, climbing and mountaineering trips to give my water a bit of flavour and also to replenish my bodies electrolytes. I have noticed on these trips that my throat no longer gets that dry itch that I used to get from drinking mountain water for multiple days (even if I filter the water). The handy single serve packets are ideal for daily use but it would be nice to see them offer up a low sugar option.