If you've never heard of a vitamin c flush before, you're in for a treat. Here's the scoop.
Simply put - you take a high dose of buffered l-ascorbate (this is important) vitamin c in intervals throughout the day up to bowel tolerance. Now, bowel tolerance is a nice way of saying something not so nice. Put it this way - this process is sometimes also called a vitamin c cleanse but I prefer flush because it's what you'll be doing a lot of. Catch my drift? Keep reading.
So now that I've grossed you out, you might ask, why would I ever do something like this? Well, there are a ton of health benefits to a vitamin c flush, plus it's a great way to learn just how much vitamin c your body actually needs. Some of the many benefits include:
1. A flush boosts the body's vitamin stores.
2. After your flush, you should feel an upsurge of energy for the rest of the day, even into the next!
3. Vitamin C helps ward off infection, particularly viruses. And what large virus is rapidly sweeping the world right now? ...that's right. I won't say it but I'm sure you're picking up what I'm putting down. Vitamin C has protective properties and works as the most natural anti-viral.
4. The flush itself eliminated toxins from the body.
5. Vitamin C in general boosts immunity (something I have struggled with my entire life, having been diagnosed with several autoimmune diseases).
I began my flush in the morning by taking the designated half teaspoon every 15 minutes diluted in 1-2 oz of water. (Or at least I attempted to, my exact times are shown below). My brand of choice comes from a local upstate New York company, Alkaline For Life. The company also sells collagen and quercetin, but today I'll be talking about their Alkalini-C Alkalizing Buffered Ascorbate Vitamin C.
I definitely do recommend tracking yourself in some way as you tackle your cleanse - I found myself forgetting my last dose as I moved about the activities of my day. I also personally preferred taking my dosage with less water - I felt it was easier going down and after drinking so much water, you do begin to feel a little heavy. Think of it as a shot vs a mixed drink - we all have our preferred pleasure.
Also, whatever day you decide, don't make any big plans. LOL. Everyone's vitamin tolerance will be different, and although mine (with my spotty timing) took about 3 hours, yours could be longer or shorter, so plan to be somewhere you can use a bathroom when needed. And, keep well hydrated throughout the day, especially when you hit your "flush". I felt a bit weak until I refilled my water bottle and ate a small snack.
If you've ever had a colonoscopy before (lucky me, I've had 2 in my 24 years of living), you'll know when you've hit your tolerance. After my 7th half teaspoon, I hit mine. This means that I should be taking 75% of this amount of vitamin C each day, which equates to about 4-5 half tsps. As you begin taking the appropriate amount of vitamin C daily, the ascorbate is used more efficiently in your body, therefore making you all around healthier. The healthier you get, the less you'll need to achieve the desired effect.
If it takes you awhile to achieve your flush, you may end up discovering you require a larger daily dose. If you're thinking "I have no idea how I'll ever keep up with that" - no worries! The Center For Better Bones suggests mixing your designated daily amount into a dark water bottle to carry along with you, whether that's to work or to the store. This will prevent oxidation of the vitamin c and allow you to consume it as you wish throughout the day.
I will note that I felt both positive and negative effects from completing the flush. Positive first, I definitely felt I had more energy. I live on coffee. I mean literally, my last blog was a review of my favorite coffee shops. If that wasn't an indicator of my caffeine dependency I don't know what is. But I did not once reach for even a cup of coffee (and yes, I have cold brew stored in the fridge at all times for those "you never know" moments). On the opposite side, I felt fairly bloaty and crampy for most of the afternoon after. I don't think everyone feels this way, but I do have many underlying gut problems that probably contributed to this. I was just very glad I didn't have any pressing dinner plans.
Why buffered ascorbate?
This is nature's most potent version of vitamin c. Ascorbate has been shown to increase cellular resistance to viral infections and boost immune function. It is also the safer version, as name brands like Airborne + Emergen-C cannot be taken in high doses. Learn more here.
Why can't I just take my packet of Emergen-C? Isn't all vitamin c the same?
Short answer, no! The human body uses the l-ascorbate form of vitamin c. The chemical compound that makes up name brand supplements like Emergen-C and Airborne is ascorbic acid. Ascorbic acid is inexpensive and readily available; however, not only does it have a reduced antioxidant potential due to processing, it is as it says, acidic, and if taken in too large of quantities, can do damage to the stomach. A fully buffered, fully reduced ascorbate form is alkalizing, and therefore able to energize our cells. It also enhances absorption, is more readily available and, as mentioned previously, is the form of vitamin c actually used within the body. Read more on this here.
Why do we need to take vitamin c as a supplement?
Due to the nature of our current food supply (food processing, GMO, etc.), many of us only consume small amounts of vitamin c in the foods we eat. Vitamin C is necessary for essential bodily functions like absorption of iron, formation of collagen and supporting the immune system. Without the proper amount, we can more easily fall victim to certain illnesses.
How many teaspoons will it take for me?
Most people take somewhere between 3-8 teaspoons to flush. But, this number does differ based on your overall health status and how quickly your body uses up the ascorbate. Everyone will be different, and that's completely okay!
For more information on the vitamin c cleanse, and wellness in general, visit the Alkaline for Life website. Dr. Susan Brown is a medical anthropologist, a NYS Certified Nutritionist, and the author of Better Bones, Better Body — the first comprehensive look at natural bone health. With more than 40 years of experience in clinical nutrition, her and her team have consulted on a vast number of socioeconomic, cultural, educational, and health issues.
Decide to take the leap and complete the flush? Let me know how it goes! Send me a message or leave a comment below