Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is an age-old ingredient for healthy living. Drinking it can bring a number of health benefits.
For one, there is extensive research about how apple cider vinegar can help you lose weight. In 2009, The Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry journal published a study finding that drinking it for just three months caused significant declines in body weight, abdominal fat, waist circumference, and triglycerides.
It can also improve heart health. The vinegar contains malic acid which clears clogged arteries, lymph nodes, and organ tissues.
When applied to the skin, it can help eliminate acne, warts, and many other skin blemishes and discolorations. A lot of people add a touch of ACV to their bath water in order to improve the health of their skin.
Apple cider vinegar has a number of other health benefits: it treats heartburn, improves sleep quality, is a home remedy for insomnia, improves energy levels, helps with digestion, and strengthens the immune system.
However, despite all the potential benefits of apple cider vinegar, it’s not a quick fix. If you’re looking to lose weight fast, then ACV is not right for you. Think of it as a marathon, rather than a sprint.
Before you add apple cider vinegar to your daily diet for weight loss, you should read the guidelines below. They will will help you lose weight safely and protect you from any unwanted side-effects. So, before we begin our journey of getting healthier and losing weight, I will review some of the most frequently-asked questions about using the cider vinegar to lose weight.
1. Which brand of Apple Cider Vinegar is best?
There is no right or wrong answer to this question. It should be made from cider or apple juice and should have a pale to medium amber color. Pretty much any brand will do: Bragg and Heinz are two of the better known ones, but there’s nothing wrong with a store brand or a generic version.
We do, however, strongly recommend that you buy the organic version.
2. Organic or non-organic Apple Cider Vinegar?
Organic apple cider vinegar (also known as unpasteurized or raw) contains the “mother of vinegar,” a substance filled with living nutrients and bacteria, which are responsible for many of the health benefits. The organic kind will also be unfiltered, unheated, and unpasteurized. You will notice some strand-like sediment at the bottom of the bottle, so you’ll want to make sure you shake it before using. By contrast, the non-organic kind will be clear in colour.
3. Can I drink ACV raw?
While a 5% acid concentration may not seem like much, that’s actually pretty high for something you eat. As such, we would not recommend drinking the vinegar by itself since the taste can be pretty intense!
Here’s how I do it:
Mix 2 tsp vinegar with a minimum of 8 ounces (225 grams or one cup) of water. You can add more water if the taste is still too strong for you. You can also add honey, which really helps improve the flavor.
We would also recommend drinking it with a straw. Highly acidic foods can damage the enamel on your teeth and, even diluted, ACV can cause some serious damage. It’s also not a bad idea to brush your teeth immediately before and after your drink.
Alternatively, rinse your mouth with a mixture of water and baking soda, which will counteract the acidity in your mouth and protect your teeth.
4. Can I drink it with tea, coffee or juice?
Many people don’t like the taste of ACV and would prefer to mix it with something a bit more appetizing. There’s no harm in doing that, as long as you maintain the ratio of water to vinegar. Please refer to the ratio mentioned in the earlier section of this article.
One thing to keep in mind, though, is that caffeine may slow down the absorption process, so use herbal or decaf tea if possible.
Also keep in mind that if coffee, tea, and juice are all acidic. So if you are mixing ACV with a fruit juice, you will be increasing the acidity levels of the drink, which is not very good for your teeth.
A number of people have also asked if they can mix the vinegar with carbonated water, soda, or energy drinks. If it helps you get past the taste, do whatever you need to. However, soft drinks and energy drinks are not good for your health: they contain a lot of sugar and other chemicals which are best to avoid if you’re trying to lose weight. And soda is even more acidic than coffee or juice!
For best results, we recommend plain water (with a bit of honey mixed in) at a ratio of two teaspoons of vinegar to eight ounces of water.
5. When should I drink Apple Cider Vinegar?
Another common question is, “What’s the best time of day to drink the mixture?”
You can drink it any time of day, but it’s recommended drinking it before meals because it improves digestion. Our recommendation is to drink it right after waking up and again right before dinner.
6. How often should I drink apple cider vinegar?
It’s recommended taking it twice a day, though you can drink it three to four times a day.
However, drinking more won’t help you lose weight faster. Cider vinegar helps the digestive system which in turn helps burn fat. Simply upping the frequency or dosage won’t really benefit you. Quick weight loss is not possible with apple cider vinegar. You have to give it time to work.
7. Can I take ACV in pill form?
While many people prefer to take it the old-fashioned way, there’s a growing number of people who opt for pills because of their convenience and and ease.
Either method works equally well since each contains identical ingredients. Taking pills can also address your concern about damaging your teeth.
8. Does ACV interfere with medications?
Apple cider vinegar is derived from apples and as such it is safe to drink apple cider vinegar while on medication. However, some studies report that, when combined with some medications, ACV can lower potassium levels and may interfere with the absorption of some medicines as well. However, if you are prescribed strong medicines, it is advisable to consult your physician before getting on cider vinegar diet.
Similarly, pregnant women and breast-feeding mothers should speak to their physician about apple cider vinegar and its effect on women’s bodies. While there’s no research indicating that there should be any danger, there’s no research guaranteeing its safety either. Many doctors recommend that pregnant women not consume any unpasteurized foods so as to reduce the risk of ingesting any bacteria that could potentially harm your child. That would mean that pregnant women would not be able to drink the organic vinegar, which is the kind that has all the health benefits.
One final word: take a break every now and then to give you body a rest. You don’t want your body to get used to it and have the effects diminish over time.
Also, some research shows that prolonged use of cider vinegar may deplete the body of iodine. So, taking a break from cider vinegar may also help your body recover.