It's more likely to make you shit your pants than help you get over a cold. Sorry, humanity. 

Vitamin C makes you healthy, right? So taking a shitload of it has to make you really, really healthy, right? 

Colds are a massive pain in the ass, and it makes sense that people are willing to do just about anything to prevent them. And drinking a packet of fizzy orange crap seems like an easy way to keep healthy, so millions of idiots do it everyday (we're looking at you, Emergen-C and Airborne).Tragically, science just proved it all wrong. All you're really doing is making your piss slightly more expensive and upping your odds of living on the toilet. 

They did run trials on how effective vitamin C is when it comes to preventing colds, but they ran the tests on marathon runners, skiers and soldiers in sub-arctic environments. They found these people were able to reduce their incidence of colds by 50 percent by taking anywhere from 250 milligrams to 1,000 milligrams per day of vitamin C, according to a 2007 Cochrane review of 30 placebo trials involving more than 11,000 total participants.

For everyone else, the results were a lot more depressing. You don't run marathons, ski all the time, and you're not a soldier. The review found that preventively taking vitamin C only managed to reduce the length of a cold by eight percent for adults and 13.6 percent for children. That's statistically significant, but probably doesn't matter too much when a person is already in the throes of a cold. And if the participants started taking vitamin C after the cold had already started, the nutrient didn’t have any effect on the symptoms or the length of the illness, concluded the National Institute of Health.

Damn. You're just wasting your money. And overdosing on vitamin C will probably give you diarrhea. 

And thanks to our unregulated dietary supplement industry, companies can claim their product does plenty of things without ever having to prove it. Emergen-C and Airborne didn't have to pass any safety and efficacy research before hitting the market, so they can legally promise better sex and longer lasting erections for all they care. As long as someone doesn't spend millions in double-blind trials to prove them wrong, they're in the clear. 

The most effective way to prevent colds? It's the same boring stuff they taught us in school: eat vegetables, wash your hands, cover your sneezes … how lame. We want a magic cold-preventing drink that tastes delicious, science!