November 1, 2010

Fizzy Vitamins like Airborne, Emergen-C: Are They Good for You?

Airborne are fizzy tablets in several tasty fruit flavors that come packaged in a cool cylinder similar in size to a roll of quarters.  The tablets provide about the same fizziness of Alka Seltzer, and they've been promoted in the past as a way to fight off colds and flu.  Competitor Emergen-C comes as a powder, in small individual envelopes: pour the powder into water and fun fizzyness occurs. 

Airborne and Emergen-C are similar in their high dose delivery of Vitamin C, and they're comparable in price (Airborne is a bit more pricey) but they have different vitamin combinations: these aren't identical products. But, aside from their ingredient lists, are these fizzy vitamins good for you?

The Fizzy Vitamin Reviews

Most online reviews of Airborne or Emergen-C discuss their ingredients.  How much Vitamin C is too much?  If you take five Airborne tablets a day, then are you overdosing on something?  Should we trust Airborne when it's a creation of an elementary school teacher, not a research scientist?  Which version of Emergen-C is best for you, if any, and does it have enough (or too much) of the B vitamins? 

Read through these reviews, and you'll learn nothing more than what you'll find from other vitamin reviews: some like them, some don't.  Vitamin C has its own group of proponents and detractors, and lots of what you read about the fizzy vitamins delve into the controversy of whether or not mega-doses of Vitamin C actually prevent or reduce colds and flu, cancer, etc.

Back in 2008, Airborne gained some notoriety for its $7 million settlement with 32 states and the District of Columbia, where these states had asserted that Airborne had made false claims about its benefits -- Airborne agreed to stop promoting its product as being helpful in preventing or treating illnesses.  This, after Airborne had already agreed to pay the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) around $30 million in settlement of allegations regarding false advertising claims. 

Whether or not you buy that these settlements were anything more than Airborne ultimately fighting against Big Pharma and those who are against lifestyle medicine, well, that's another issue.  Proper nutrition - including regularly taking vitamins and minerals - as a means to fight against illness is a huge topic, more than what we're pondering today.  Today, it's all about the fizz factor.
 
Fizzy Vitamins and Your Teeth

I found little if any discussion about the administration of vitamins through fizzy water.  Is this better or worse than vitamin tablets?  How do they compare against liquid vitamins?  I still don't know, and I'm assuming that this widespread absence of warning may well mean that taking vitamins through fizzy powder or fizzy tablets doesn't lessen their potency or worth. 

I did, however, find an interesting British news report about fizzy vitamins and your teeth.  Apparently, according to the Daily Mail, there are some that warn daily intake of these fizzy vitamins will harm teeth enamel.   Easy answer: use a straw.

After three weeks, I'm still happy with fizzy vitamins. And eating less - who knew?

Personally, I've been drinking a fizzy vitamin drink first thing in the morning for about three weeks now.  First two weeks, Airborne and now I'm trying out Emergen-C.  I'm still taking my regular vitamins, and I'm drinking my green tea with ginger, eating organic, etc. and I'm not trying to stave off a cold or flu.  Maybe some allergy symptoms (fall in San Antonio is notoriously bad for allergies) have been helped - watery eyes, headache, fatigue. 

However, one thing I've definitely noticed: I'm not as hungry.  I'm eating less, without consciously dieting.  Just not interested, and nope - I'm not sick or getting sick.  Wondering if getting enough vitamins and minerals into your system means you eat less. Or, looking at it another way, was I eating more because my body was craving vitamins it lacked?  Are fizzy vitamins a diet aid?  Yikes.  Imagine the horrific reaction of the FDA to that premise.   

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Interesting about the appetite supression! I've been drinking 1-3 packs of 'fizzy vitamins' a day for about a week as I've been trying to avoid all the illnesses floating around during the winter. I alternate between Emergen-C and Airborne. I've noticed for the past few days that I am far less hungry than normal. Strange...

Anonymous said...

I too prefer fizzy vitamins over those large vitamin tablets. As for the reduced appetite aspect - I wonder if it has to do with the increased intake of water when taking these fizzy vitamins. Supposedly if you get enough water everyday - you will be less hungry.