Because all travel stories include a toilet story sooner or later

Technically I’m not travelling, but living abroad, but in any case, I realize that being in a new place requires adjustments to your digestive system.

I just discovered these tasty vitamin C tablets when I went for lunch with my classmates yesterday:

What’s neat about Sweden is that coffee is almost always included in the price of a meal – even at fast food restaurants! At this one particular restaurant, there’s a table beside the cashier with pitchers of water, coffee carafes, packages of tea, carrots and dip, and these little plastic bottles on it. I’d been to this restaurant before by myself, but I didn’t know that we could freely help ourselves to the items on the table. One of my classmates poured a glass of water, opened this plastic bottle and dropped a tablet in, and it fizzed up. I saw one of my classmates with bottles of these at his desk but thought they were just ordinary vitamins. Anyway, the fizzing effect looked cool (and it’s free?!) so I had to try it! The tablets are vitamin C tablets, and they add some flavouring as well as carbonation to water. They’re really tasty, so I picked some up at the grocery store today.

I keep a water bottle at my school desk, so added 2 tablets to my half litre of water to sip on today. I’m still trying to recover from a 12 hour bus ride to visit Per last weekend, and another 12 hour bus ride back yesterday morning. Sleeping on the bus isn’t exactly that comfortable, and I get really dehydrated because I want to minimize using the bus toilet to avoid motion sickness. I’ve also had more trouble sleeping here in Umeå compared to my working life, maybe due to more stress and uncertainty in my life. 

So that’s the chain of events leading up to a sudden explosive urge to use the toilet this afternoon. I barely made it to the toilet in time (and it’s only about 30 steps away). At first, I wrote it off to general tiredness and stress. Now I just had dinner and I just treated myself to another Vitamin C tablet to try to battle the cold I have. Looked at the bottle again: “1 tablet dagligen”. Wait. That means 1 tablet daily…

I go to their website and google translate:

“Excessive consumption may have a laxative effect.”


In any case, I should bring some home for people to try! They are tasty and cool, but everything in moderation.


4 thoughts on “Because all travel stories include a toilet story sooner or later

  1. Those tablets contain 1000 mg (1g) of C-vitamin. RDI (swe RDI) is 60 mg (if I remember right). So by taking one tablet you consume about 17 times RDI. There are some research around C-vitamin and it’s effects saying everything from “cure cancer”, “make you happier” to “no effect”. But it also helps you free some iron from other food sources and can increase your iron absorption in the stomach/intestine. Coffee kills this process though. Your body cannot absorb 1 g of C-vitamin in one dose like that, which means rest of it (most of it) you pee or pooh out unused. A important C-vitamin source in Swedish food culture is potato, not because it contains lots of it, but you eat lots of it. (source: Swedish education system and some interest)
    Also consider “no effect without a side effect”. Moderation was the word.

  2. Yeah I agree with Per. I don’t even have those C-tablets daily… Actually having too much vitamin C can make you kind of resistant to the vitamin (like antibiotics), so they end up having no effect when you actually do get sick. Just think of the word “lagom”, okay? 🙂

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