Don't Sleep on the Vitamin C

Vitamin C should be a major part of your health regimen when you travel to a foreign land: via plane; across multiple time zones; or to a developing nation.

Based on scientific and anecdotal evidence, it is an effective way to keep from getting sick during your travels -- when your body is coping with environments, stressors and and local bacteria it isn't used to.

The health benefits of Vitamin C are multi-fold.

It strengthens your immune system. Produces collagen, which helps wounds heal faster. Is an antioxidant that prevents certain types of cell damage. And it helps your body absorb iron, a natural metabolism booster.

Starting 2 or 3 days before your trip, drink a 1000mg packet of supplemental Vitamin C (like Emergen-C) once a day.

Then continue this ritual every day during your trip.

We also recommend drinking orange juice or grapefruit juice during your flight (in lieu of wine or soda); and having a cup of OJ, GJ or a freshly-peeled orange each morning during breakfast or brunch.

A 3/4 cup of OJ provides 93 mg of Vitamin C; 1 medium orange, 70 mg; and a 3/4 cup of grapefruit juice, 70 mg.

IQ Tips

  • 1000mg of Vitamin C is 10x the average daily dose recommended by U.S. National Institute of Health (which is 90 mg for adult men; 75 mg for adult women). It is safe to take a heightened dose of Vitamin C for short periods of time, like during a trip.

  • A heightened daily dose should not exceed 2,000mg. Since several foods are infused with Vitamin C, you should only consume 1 packet of 1000mg Vitamin C supplement a day.

  • If you take prescription medications, check the label or with your doctor to make sure it is okay to take them with a heightened dosage of Vitamin C during your vacation.