This five-calorie water additive not only supposedly boosts your immune system but also restores energy and focus. EBoost can be taken as an orange-flavoured effervescent tablet or powder stick and is available at health and fitness stores like Body Energy Club (746 Davie Street). It is mainly vitamin C (1,000 milligrams per serving) and also includes potassium, selenium, chromium, and copper. While it doesn’t contain any sugar or gluten, the energy boost comes in the form of anhydrous caffeine, so EBoost is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women and children.
Emergen-C is another powdered immune booster that comes in 20 formulas, with different vitamins, minerals, and fruity flavours. The original formula, a cocktail of 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C, seven B vitamins, and electrolytes, is the most popular. While Emergen-C is caffeine-free, it contains five grams of sugar per package and 25 calories per serving. Other kinds include one for kids, which is more of a fizzy, liquid multivitamin; ones that target heart and joint health; and a powder that turns water into an electrolyte-heavy sports drink. Emergen-C is $25 for 30 packages at London Drugs (various locations), according to its website.
Local company Happy Planet makes four drinks that target different needs: Energy+, Detox, Glow, and Immunity. Each 75-millilitre “shot” is all-natural and doesn’t contain sugar, soy, or nuts, but still amounts to 40 calories due to fruit juice. The Immunity shot contains fucoidan, which is found in brown algae, as well as two species of echinacea, zinc, and vitamin C. If the thought of throwing back a concoction of algae and herbs has you worried, relax—Happy Planet somehow makes it all taste like berries. Each Happy Planet shot is $2.99 at Whole Foods Market (various locations) and Capers Community Market (various locations).
For those who want an immune boost without having to drink anything, GNC ViraBLOC is a lozenge made from elderberry extract. Adults and children alike can take up to two blueberry-flavoured Berry Bites a day. They contain sugar in the form of dextrose and fructose, so consuming too many of these candy-like lozenges could result in a bit of a sugar high. A package of 14 is $12.47 at GNC stores (various locations).