You’ve probably heard the hype about those who are downing apple cider vinegar on a daily basis… since even Hollywood stars are gushing about how it’s doing wonders for their health, skin, hair and more. But what’s the best way to use it? Should you drink it straight up or try it in supplement form?
It’s been shown that this potent elixir may be able to boost your health in more ways than one, but there can also be some side effects if it’s used incorrectly. So, it’s important to know all the facts before you begin.
Which Type of Apple Cider Vinegar is Best?
Let’s jump right in and talk about the different types of apple cider vinegar (ACV for short). First things first… You can’t just pick up any ole’ bottle of Apple Cider Vinegar! You have to know which type to get. There’s filtered and unfiltered ACV and what you want is the latter. (1)
Filtered ACV goes through a process where the “mother” is removed (more on that in a second), which leaves a clear, amber-colored vinegar as the final result. Basically, this type is very close to simply apple juice and water.
Unfiltered ACV on the other hand, has the “mother” intact – a glob-like substance with strands of proteins, enzymes and acetic acid bacteria near the top of the container, giving the entire thing a sort of murky, cloudy look. I’m not going to lie folks, it looks pretty gross! But it’s this natural, creepy, glob-like vinegar that you want!
Why? Because many people (though not all) believe that this raw, unfiltered ACV may provide a host of apple cider vinegar benefits when consumed on a daily basis. And these claims are supported by studies in some cases, though not in others. However, lots of testimonials confirm that this stuff actually can and does work. (2)
Let’s look first at some of the potential benefits of drinking apple cider vinegar daily (3)…
Potential Health Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar
May help lower cholesterol & improve heart health – Animal studies show that consuming ACV may lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, along with other heart disease risk factors. They also show that ACV may help reduce blood pressure, another major risk factor. However, there is only one human study so far to back this up. In the study from Harvard, a woman who ate salad dressings with apple cider vinegar showed a reduced risk of heart disease.
May help lower blood sugar and manage diabetes– Apple cider vinegar has been shown in different studies to offer numerous benefits for balancing blood sugar and insulin levels. In one study, it was shown to improve insulin sensitivity during a high-carb meal by 19-34%, and significantly lower blood sugar. For this reason, it may be particularly helpful for diabetics, to help them keep their blood sugar levels stable.
Kills harmful bacteria– The main substance in ACV, acetic acid, supports optimal gut health by helping to kill off bad bacteria and prevent it from multiplying. It also bolsters the good bacteria (probiotics) in your intestinal tract, supporting optimal immune and total body health.
In addition, you may also experience some of these benefits: (4)
- Better digestion
- Balanced PH levels in your body
- Less heartburn and acid reflux
- Fresher breathe
- Less dandruff
- Improved acne and clearer skin
- Itch relief after bug bites
Does Apple Cider Vinegar Help With Weight Loss?
Due to the balancing of blood sugar levels, and also because apple cider vinegar has been shown to promote satiety after consuming it, it may help with weight loss. In studies, ACV has been shown to increase feelings of fullness when taken alongside a meal. One study showed those drinking it ended up eating 200-275 fewer calories that day.
There are also plenty of detoxifying apple cider vinegar recipes that you can try to help flush your body of toxins, rev up your digestion and metabolism and promote a healthy weight. You could even try apple cider recipes using healthy meal replacement shakes.
Potential Side Effects of Apple Cider Vinegar
Now for the bad part. Apple Cider Vinegar may actually cause some negative side effects if you take too much or take it too often. Or, if you take it the wrong way. (5)
Here are the side effects you should try to avoid…
Damaged teeth – The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar is extremely potent, and if you drink ACV straight, it may weaken your dental enamel over time and lead to tooth decay.
Throat/ esophagus burn– The acetic acid in ACV can also cause burns to the throat when taken undiluted (most current cases have been in children). Definitely something you don’t want to happen to you!
Digestive problems – We already discussed how ACV may decrease appetite and increase satiety, and one study suggests that in some cases, this may be due to indigestion. ACV may cause nausea in some people (it can have a strong taste), and also may irritate the stomach lining if taken undiluted.
Low potassium levels / Bone loss– If you take too much ACV, it could negatively affect your potassium levels and bone mass. One woman who was drinking 8 oz. per day (far too much!) for 6 years developed low potassium levels and was diagnosed with osteoporosis at age 28. This proves that too much of a good thing can be detrimental, so only consume the recommended dosage.
The Best Way To Take Apple Cider Vinegar
This leads us to the best way to take ACV so you get benefits, not unpleasant side effects…
Dilute it– To minimize the highly acidic nature of apple cider vinegar, you should first dilute it in water before drinking. Start by adding 1 tablespoon of ACV to a glass of water. If you want, you can build your way up to 2 tablespoons in water a day.
Supplement Form– You can also find apple cider vinegar pills, so you can totally avoid the strong acidic taste and potential side effects all together. These supplements are also great and convenient for on-the-go and travel and ensure you don’t miss a dose if you’re on a daily ACV routine.
- Take shots of ACV straight
- Take too much ACV than the recommended amount
- Sip straight ACV throughout the day
Also, keep in mind that although allergies to ACV are rare, you should stop taking it immediately if you notice an allergic reaction.
Plus, some drugs may interact with apple cider vinegar. If you take any of the following, consult your doctor before consuming ACV daily:
- Diabetes medications
- Digoxin (lanoxin)
- Certain diuretic drugs
When used correctly, raw apple cider vinegar might just provide a powerful boost to your health… and drinking it daily may become a beloved routine that you truly look forward to! Give it a try and let us know what you think in the comments below…