Contrary to popular belief, citric acid and vitamin C are not the same, although they are both essential nutrients for humans and play an important role in digestion. Citric acid and ascorbic acid (vitamin C) both occur naturally in citrus fruits, but there is no vitamin C in citric acid. Aside from its natural presence in citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, berries, lemons and limes, citric acid is used extensively as a food additive due to its cheap manufacturing price and distinct, sour and tart taste that can work to minimize the bitterness against other ingredients (via Fooducate)
Taking citric acid as a supplement can help your body absorb certain minerals and help bring the stomach to the ideal acidity for proper digestion. People who have stomachs with low acidity cannot breakdown foods properly, which can result in digestive issues includes gas, bloating, heartburn, diarrhea and constipation. When your stomach has an optimal level of acidity, it helps to discourage the growth of harmful bacteria that can cause intestinal discomfort. (via Dr. Clark Store)
Because citric acid is a protective organic acid, the more present it is in your urine, the more protected you are against forming kidney stones. Citrate, which is closely related to citric acid, is commonly used in calcium citrate supplements, which has stone prevention benefits since they alkalize your urine, or in other words, they level out the pH balance in your urine (via UWHealth)
Because citric acid is mainly found in foods that we eat on a regular basis, its popularity as an additional supplement is rare. Talk to your doctor before taking citric acid supplements — in the meantime, here are a couple of easy ways to increase your citric acid intake:
- Eat lots of fruits and vegetables — especially limes and lemons since they contain the highest amount of citric acid.
- Make lemon juice ice cubes and throw them in your water.
- Drink freshly squeezed lemonade as much as possible.
- Make other lemon-based beverages, such as our Clean Green Citrus Tea.