Best Ways To Supplement Vitamin C On A Low Carb Diet

What do you think of when you hear Vitamin C? Most of you probably think of oranges or other citrus fruits, right?  Most of us relate getting your Vitamin C with a tall glass of orange juice. The problem is, that just one glass has a whopping 33 grams of sugar for just 12 ounces. This ranks up there with the sugar content of a soda. As you know a ketogenic diet should be low carb and low sugar, so this is clearly not a good choice for a ketogenic diet.

does the keto diet = vitamin c deficiency?

A big concern when people start a ketogenic diet is that they will become deficient in Vitamin C.  Vitamin C does not naturally occur in the human body, it must be obtained from food or supplementation. There is no need to worry as there are plenty of sources of vitamin C that have nothing to do with sugary fruits and drinks.

On a keto diet, you can get plenty of vitamin C through low carb veggies like broccoli, kale, spinach, dark leafy greens, and red peppers. These vegetables actually are richer in vitamin C than most fruits associated with vitamin C. Be careful when you cook these veggies though, if grilled or boiled too long they will be depleted of their vital nutrients. Lightly is good; raw is even better!

Amazingly enough, you can get an adequate amount of keto vitamin C from meat alone while on the keto diet. Animal flesh (sounds so primal) contains vitamin C as long as it’s not torched and overcooked. If the meat reaches too high of a temperature, the vitamins get destroyed. We know it’s hard to resist the char off the BBQ, but to get the most nutrition out of your meats, go easy and don’t overcook!

On a keto diet, you actually need less vitamin C than you would on a traditional, higher carb diet.  Glucose (which is sugar and carbs) and vitamin C compete with one another in the same metabolic pathway. There’s no need for the fight when you’re not eating copious amount of glucose. What does this mean? Eating less carbs = Needing less vitamin C.

vitamin c supplements

We all know that sugar and carbs are not part of a ketogenic diet. These may be lurking in your medicine cabinet without you knowing it. It may surprise you that many supplements, medicines, and vitamins in your cabinet could potentially knock you out of ketosis!  Always be checking the ingredients, even on vitamins & medicines.

Vitamin C supplements that we would not suggest (especially on a keto diet), include the fizzy, vitamin C “immunity” drinks, gummy vitamin C, and also chewable vitamin C. These flavored sources of vitamin C typically contain fructose, maltodextrin, and some form of sugar, or artificial sugars.

how do i know if i am not getting enough vitamin c?

Vitamin C is essential to the body and it must be consumed regularly! You are probably wondering; how will you know if you are deficient in vitamin C?  While vitamin C deficiencies are pretty rare, we will cover some of the main symptoms to be on the lookout for!

1. Skin Symptoms – Vitamin C deficiencies can show up in many areas of your skin including dry, damaged skin or rough, bumpy skin. Vitamin C plays a key role in collagen production, which is vital in skin health. Other skin conditions that may come up are bruising easily and slow to heal wounds.

2. Body Aches and Weakness – Not having enough vitamin C has also been related to weakness in bones, joint pain, and chronic inflammation. Studiesshow many cases where vitamin C is associated with joint pain. Some cases were severe enough to cause difficulty walking and limping.

3. Fatigue and Compromised Immunity – One of the most well-known benefits of vitamin C is its immunity boosting properties, so it’s no surprise that vitamin C is a vital nutrient to the immune system. Fatigue can occur before a notable deficiency even occurs. This symptom generally lessens pretty quickly once deficiency is alleviated.

4. Anemia (Iron Deficiency) – Vitamin C and anemia are often mentioned together. They have similar symptoms and occur together. Not getting enough vitamin C may contribute to anemia by reducing the absorption of iron. Excessive bleeding can increase with vitamin C deficiencies, which can also contribute to anemia.

Bleeding Gums, Tooth Loss, and Spoon-Shaped Fingernails – At this point, if you’re experiencing these symptoms you’ve got to know that something isn’t right. These symptoms tend to be more obvious and explained specifically towards a vitamin C or iron deficiency. If any of these things occur, it is definitely time to see a doctor and get these deficiencies checked out and start making some dietary or supplementary changes.

who is at risk of a vitamin c deficiency?

The symptoms listed above typically take several months of neglecting vitamin C to take effect.  The most common cases of too low of vitamin C are attributed to poor diet, anorexia, severe mental illness, and alcoholism.

Keto alone won’t cause a deficiency, but it is very important to keep up with your veggies, and limited fruits (raw form is best!) to make sure you are getting ample amounts of vitamin C.  However, if you feel you do want to supplement extra vitamin C, we do have a few favorites in mind.  We will tell you all about why we believe this vitamin C Supplement is the best not only for those on a keto diet, but for all people!

suggested vitamin c supplements

We are firm believers in getting vitamins and minerals through nutrition, but there are always opportunities to supplement and we’ve set out to find the best.We searched high and low for the best possible keto vitamin C.The recommended dose for vitamin C for women is approximately 75 milligrams and for men is 90 milligrams.If you have a hard time getting your keto vitamin C through food, or just simply want the immunity & antioxidant boost, we encourage you to supplement with a Vitamin C Tablet or Top Notch Hydrate.

Let’s take a look at each of these:

1. NOW C-1000 Sustained Release (Antioxidant Protection) from NOW Foods

– It’s not gummy or chewable: Most gummy or chewable options of vitamin C (or any vitamin for that matter) have sugar, corn syrups, dextrose, maltodextrin, artificial colors, artificial ingredients, artificial sweeteners, silicon dioxide, or any other combination of questionable ingredients. These options are typically most popular because it’s almost like a piece of candy. You’re better off just taking the supplement to get the benefits of Vitamin C, rather than eating the gummy or chewable. Especially on a Keto Diet, even the smallest amount of sugar can trigger your brain to set off cravings. We try to steer clear from sugar in any form.

– No artificial ingredients: When adding supplements into your diet (especially a keto diet) it is extremely important to be always checking ingredients. You’d be amazed that even things like cough syrup are completely loaded up with non-negotiable ingredients. These types of supplements may help with one symptom but cause several others. We love this NOW Foods Vitamin C-1000 because it has no artificial ingredients and you can pronounce all the ingredients. That tells you a lot about a product. If you can’t pronounce it, it’s likely artificial or another sneaky name for sugar.

– They are in veggie capsulesWith supplements in pill forms, it is always good to be paying attention to what kind of capsule the supplement comes in. This product is made in a veggie capsule. If not in a vegetable capsule, it is possible you may be ingesting artificial ingredients, artificial colors, chemicals, or even plastics.

– It contains rose hips: Rose hips contain high levels of vitamin C and help the absorption of vitamin C in the body. The combination of vitamin C and rosehips together make the vitamins more bioavailable in the body, so it can be properly absorbed.

2. Top Notch Hydrate

Top Notch Nutrition set out to amplify the benefits of an electrolyte supplement. You might be wondering what an electrolyte supplement has to do with vitamin C. Top Notch Nutrition wanted to be different and make an all-inclusive electrolyte supplement that would be beneficial to your whole body, so vitamin C has been included. It is naturally flavored and naturally sweetened with 0 grams of sugar and 0 grams of carbohydrates. There are no issues with ingredients or macronutrient content in adding this to your diet. This product should top the list when looking for a vitamin C supplement.

Forms of Vitamin C in Top Notch Hydrate:

1. Coconut water powder – coconut water is a good source of many nutrients including: fiber, protein, vitamin C, magnesium, manganese, potassium, sodium and calcium. Studies show that it may also contain antioxidant properties, have benefits against diabetes, prevent kidney stones, improve heart health, and reduce blood pressure.

2. Vitamin C – this vitamin cannot be produced in the body and therefore needs to be consumed in your diet whether it is through your food or a dietary supplement. It is an incredibly strong antioxidant and lowers the risk of heart disease. It also helps your body absorb iron which is an essential mineral responsible for making red blood cells and moving oxygen around the body. It is most commonly known for the immune system boost that occurs when it improves white blood cell function.

Other ingredients in Top Notch Hydrate:

1. Himalayan pink salt – it is suggested to use this salt as often as possible when it comes to salt. It is mined in Pakistan and is naturally pink in color. In the Khewra Salt Mine, the salt is harvested by hand and therefore it can contain trace elements and minerals not found in regular table salt.

2. L-Glutamine – glutamine is an amino acid that has many imperative functions in the body. Overall, there are 20 amino acids in your body. The thousands of various proteins are built from these building blocks within the body. In supplements and foods, you will see this listed at L-glutamine in the ingredients. L-glutamine can be made by your body and it is thought of as one of the most plentiful amino acids in your blood and other bodily fluids. It plays a big role in your immune health. If there is an insufficient amount of glutamine available, your immune system can be jeopardized. It is also important to your digestive system. Glutamine aids in facilitating a barrier between your body and the inside of your intestines. It is also responsible for assisting in maintenance and normal growth of the cells within your intestine.

3. BCAA’s – BCAA stands for branched-chain amino acids and there are three of these: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. How are they different than amino acids? The “branched-chain” title comes from the chemical structure of these amino acids. They are known to increase muscle growth, reduce fatigue from exercise, decrease muscle soreness, prevent muscle wasting and aid those that have liver disease.

4. Electrolytes – including magnesium, potassium, calcium, and sodium. Your body requires electrolytes to absorb nutrients.

You can see that Top Notch Nutrition carefully planned this product to include essential ingredients for the best Vitamin C supplement. Not only that, but they created a supplement that fits into a ketogenic lifestyle by keeping it no sugar and no carb.


Vitamin C boasts many benefits, but of the most popular are the immunity and antioxidant boosts. When supplementing vitamin C on your keto diet, neither the vitamin C tablets suggested here, nor Top Notch Hydrate will let you down! A big takeaway is that vitamin C deficiency is not hiding around the corner while on keto. When eating less carbs, your body doesn’t need as much vitamin C, and luckily there is plenty of keto vitamin C to be had in the foods you eat.

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