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Vitamin C, aka ascorbic acid, is a master multitasker. It plays a clutch role in supporting brain and heart health, boosting collagen production, and guarding against UV-induced oxidative damage (for healthy, glowy skin!). Vitamin C also supports your immune system by protecting and boosting the activity of certain immune cells.
It’s an essential nutrient, meaning our bodies can’t produce it, so we need to get it from food and/or supplements. And yes, you can get the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin C from fruits and veggies.
Oranges, bell peppers, broccoli, spinach, kiwi, and berries are all kick-ass sources of vitamin C, but taking a supplement can help if your diet’s looking a little beige or if you need more due to a health condition.
The supplement industry is no stranger to contamination, so our main goal was to seek out ultra-reputable companies whose products are tested for purity and potency and whose facilities meet, at minimum, the FDA’s Good Manufacturing Practices.
We also preferred brands that prioritize sustainable sourcing and non-GMO and organic ingredients.
Customer ratings factored in too — health-conscious folks are often passionate about their supplements! So if a vitamin C product had hundreds (or, in some cases, thousands) of four- or five-star reviews, we considered it for this list.
Vitamin C supplements run the gamut in terms of price. So we broke them down into the price-per-serving ranges below ($ to $$$). Keep in mind, milligrams per serving can vary among products — and a higher-potency product will often have a higher price.
Liquid liposomal vitamin C products are often more expensive, too, due in part to their superior bioavailability (meaning they’re easier for your body to absorb).
- $ = under $0.20 per serving
- $$ = $0.20–$0.40 per serving
- $$$ = over $0.40 per serving
Because everyone’s preferences are a little different, we included a variety of forms of vitamin C: pills, liquid, powder, gummies, and even a spray!
Capsules and tablets
Capsules and tablets are one of the more convenient ways to take vitamin C, and many contain extra ingredients to boost absorption.
1. Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Vitamin C
Garden of Life products are known for their sustainably sourced, non-GMO (and often organic), plant-based ingredients, and this supplement is no exception.
Each two-capsule serving provides 500 milligrams of vitamin C, 23 organic fruits and veggies for additional antioxidants, and probiotics and enzymes to support digestion. Plus, it’s free of funky binders and fillers!
Reviewers have noticed improvements to their digestive health and fewer colds than usual. We call that a win-win!
2. Thorne Vitamin C with Flavonoids
Thorne offers some of the highest-quality supplements around — doctors love them, and they’re tested for potency, purity, and quality multiple times during manufacturing.
Each capsule provides 500 milligrams of vitamin C plus 75 milligrams of citrus bioflavonoids to mimic the way vitamin C is found in nature, which may help optimize the positive effects of vitamin C and improve absorption.
3. New Chapter Fermented Activated C Complex
This is a great supplement for all-around immune support. Each capsule contains 250 milligrams of fermented vitamin C, which may be a bit easier to absorb than traditional forms.
Since New Chapter is all about that quality, plant-based nutrition, this supplement also contains elderberry, ginger, turmeric, astragalus, maca root, and chamomile. All those plants support immunity and help curb the negative effects of stress — which is great, since stress itself can mess with immune function!
4. Country Life Buffered Vitamin C
This higher-dose option has 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C per capsule. Unlike most other supplements here, this one is “buffered” — that is, combined with calcium carbonate and magnesium oxide to help neutralize the acidity of vitamin C and allow for higher doses without upsetting your stomach.
One reviewer points out that even while taking 2,000 milligrams per day, she’s not experiencing GI symptoms like she did with other vitamin C supplements.
One potential con: Some reviewers say these tablets are a bit large. So if you have trouble swallowing pills, pass on this one.
Liposomal and liquid
While they’re a bit pricier, liposomal and other liquid vitamin Cs are great options if you hate swallowing pills or need a highly absorbable form.
5. Pure Encapsulations Liposomal Vitamin C Liquid
Liposomal vitamin C is vitamin C that’s been trapped in tiny phospholipid (fat) bubbles, the same lipid structure that makes up your cell membranes.
These phospholipids can thus bond to your cell membranes, allowing the vitamin C to be more easily absorbed into your bloodstream than other forms of the vitamin. This means less of the vitamin remains in the GI tract, so high doses are typically very well tolerated.
Pure Encapsulations Liposomal Vitamin C uses sunflower seed oil phospholipids to deliver 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C per 1-teaspoon serving. Add it to your water for a pleasant orange flavor from citrus essential oils.
Bonus: Many docs recommend this brand for its purity and potency.
6. Trilogia Daily Immunity Terpenes+™ Liposomal Vitamin C
Relatively new to the supplement game, Trilogia combines the power of 1,000 milligrams of liposomal vitamin C with immune-boosting ginger and the anti-inflammatory terpenes linalool and beta-caryophyllene. (Terpenes are aromatic plant compounds with beneficial effects)
There’s also a bit of stevia for a hint of sweetness — reviewers say they enjoy the taste when they mix the product with water. One reviewer even said her face looks noticeably brighter.
7. Baseline Immunity Boost Liposomal Vitamin C & D
Enhancing immune function isn’t as simple as popping a vitamin C supplement. Vitamin D also plays a vital role in immunity, and many of us fall short on it. So we love that Baseline Immunity Boost combines 1,000 milligrams of liposomal vitamin C and 500 IU of vitamin D3 in every 1-teaspoon serving.
Like Trilogia, this one contains a bit of stevia for sweetness.
8. MyKind Organics Vitamin C Spray
This organic spray from Garden of Life’s MyKind Organics line isn’t liposomal, but it is special in its own way: Its vitamin C is completely derived from a blend of fruits and veggies!
Each five-spray serving contains 60 milligrams of vitamin C from plant foods, including amla berry, strawberry, tart cherry, and broccoli. (But you can easily add another spritz to increase your dose.) Because it’s combined with a blend of foods containing additional nutrients, this vitamin C may be easier for your body to absorb than isolated forms.
Reviewers love the orange-tangerine flavor, which features natural citrus extracts plus a bit of apple juice for sweetness.
Powdered vitamin C can be easily mixed with water or juice. It’s great if you hate swallowing pills or if you want to spread out your vitamin C intake throughout the day. Plus, it’s generally super affordable!
9. Pure Synergy Pure Radiance C Powder
This organic powder from Pure Synergy delivers 180 milligrams of vitamin C in just 1/4 teaspoon, which comes completely from vitamin C-rich organic berries, including camu camu, acerola cherry, and amla berry. These fruits also provide a range of flavonoid antioxidant compounds, which help with vitamin C absorption.
Reviewers love its pleasant tart, slightly fruity taste and that it easily dissolves in water.
10. Doctor’s Best Vitamin C Powder with Quali-C
This ultra-affordable vitamin C powder features Quali-C‚ a branded form of ascorbic acid manufactured in Scotland that prides itself on consistent quality, reliability, and traceability. One scoop has 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C, but you can easily adjust your serving size to provide more or less.
Reviewers say it dissolves easily and has a tart but pleasant taste. Not into the flavor? Add it to your smoothie and it’s virtually undetectable.
11. NOW Buffered C-Complex Powder
Instead of the typical ascorbic acid, this powder features calcium ascorbate, which is a buffered form of vitamin C, meaning it’s less acidic and less likely to cause an upset stomach.
This supplement is also enhanced with naturally vitamin C-rich plant foods, including rose hips and acerola cherry, plus citrus bioflavonoids to boost absorption. Each 1/4 teaspoon contains 500 milligrams of vitamin C.
NOW Foods is known in the supplement industry for its rigorous testing protocols.
If you really need some added incentive to take those supplements, why not go for a gummy?! Some really great, high quality options are out there. Just remember: Even though they’re tasty, they’re not candy. Stick to the recommended dose.
12. Mary Ruth’s Vitamin C Gummies
Each one of these vegan, gelatin-free gummies contains 125 milligrams of vitamin C and just 1 gram of sugar. One bottle contains three tasty natural flavors (orange, grape, and cherry), which are colored with real fruits and veggies — no funky artificial dyes.
Bonus: They’re non-GMO, gluten-free, and free of the eight most common food allergens. Reviewers rave about the taste, saying even their picky kids love these!
13. MegaFood C Defense Gummies
MegaFood prides itself on using real food ingredients and zero artificial colors or flavors. It’s also the first supplement to have its entire line certified Glyphosate Residue Free (glyphosate is the most commonly used herbicide in the United States).
These vegan, gelatin-free gummies are flavored with organic oranges and contain 180 milligrams of vitamin C and 2 grams of sugar per serving. They also contain organic cranberry, blueberry, and ginger root for extra antioxidant support and some natural color.
Reviewers love their tangy, subtly sweet taste. Just keep them in a cool place — otherwise they tend to stick together in a big glob.
All 13 of these vitamin C supplements have been vetted, but if you choose a different product, be sure to evaluate its ingredient sourcing and manufacturing standards. Reputable brands are often up-front about this.
Some things to look for: supplements made in a GMP or cGMP facility, in-house lab testing, and preferably third-party lab testing (by an org like USP, Consumer Labs, or NSF International). Some supplement manufacturers even make their certificates of analysis for various lab tests, including heavy metal testing, available to view.
Also, be mindful of the serving size. The RDA of vitamin C is 90 milligrams for men, 75 milligrams for women, and up to 120 milligrams for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding. But some medical conditions and lifestyle factors might require you to take more.
“I sometimes have people take 2,500 milligrams per day during cold and flu season or if they get sick a lot,” says physician and integrative immunologist Heather Moday, MD.
If you choose to take a higher dose of vitamin C, break up your intake into several smaller doses throughout the day. According to Moday, “you’re not going to absorb more than about 500 milligrams at once, and the rest will move through the GI tract.” Meaning: diarrhea.
The one exception to this rule is with liposomal vitamin C: Due to its molecular structure, it’s absorbed directly through cell membranes, which increases bioavailability.
Generally, vitamin C is pretty darn safe. It’s a water-soluble vitamin, so even if you take too much, it doesn’t build up in your tissues and get stored in your body like fat-soluble vitamins.
But if you really overdo it on a regular basis, you could still have some unpleasant side effects like diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal cramps. Taking very high doses of vitamin C over time has also been linked to an increased risk of kidney stones, particularly in people with a history of kidney problems.
The tolerable upper limit for vitamin C — the maximum daily intake unlikely to cause negative health effects — is 2,000 milligrams.
Exceeding 2,000 milligrams per day may occasionally be acceptable for some people under the guidance of a doctor, as Moday mentioned, but it’s not necessary for the average, relatively healthy person. And remember, if you do take a higher dose, you’ll want to split that up into several smaller doses (500 milligrams max) throughout the day.
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient known for its antioxidant and immune-supporting properties. You may want to consider supplementing if you’re not getting enough from your diet or if you want to give your immune system, or even your skin, a little extra love.
The good news: There are plenty of high quality vitamin C supplements available in a variety of doses and forms (from capsule to liquid to powder). Consider one of the high quality options above, or talk to your doc if you have any questions.