Apple cider vinegar (ACV) can help you shed stubborn fat, support your digestion, improve your blood sugar control and make a great addition to a healthy lifestyle.
Yet, if you drink apple cider vinegar the wrong way, it can do more harm than good. Undiluted ACV may burn your throat, destroy your teeth and hurt your stomach.
And even with diluted apple cider vinegar, no amount of honey or lemon juice will help you mask that specific vinegar smell and taste.
ACV may feel good as a salad dressing, but if you decide to drink it, it is a whole different story. For example, most people who drink apple cider vinegar complain of nausea and even vomiting.
If you wonder how to avoid all these drawbacks without skipping the perks of drinking apple cider vinegar, then this article is the answer you are looking for!
Here you will discover all the evidence-based benefits of ACV, and how to experience them all while avoiding the risks of its liquid form. Ready to dig in the science?
What are the potential health benefits of liquid ACV?
Weight loss & weight managment
Apple cider vinegar is one of the most popular weight loss supplements. If you are still not convinced that ACV can help you lose weight, let's take a look at the evidence.
Apart from a ton of experiments (1, 2, 3), there are also two high-quality randomized studies showcasing the fat-burning effects of ACV.
The first one included 39 men and women with a BMI of up to 40 kg/m2 who were on a low-calorie diet(4). Yet, those who were also drinking apple cider vinegar burned twice as much fat as the placebo group.
The second one included 155 people with an average weight of 74 kg (5). The participants were overweight but not obese (BMI between 25 and 30 kg/m2), so they had just a few pounds to lose. But we know these pounds are often the hardest!
Nevertheless, the group taking 30 ml of ACV (equivalent to 2 tablespoons) of per day lost 2 kilograms without any voluntary caloric restriction. In comparison, the placebo group stayed on the same body weight.
Furthermore, the participants lost visceral fat and lowered their triglyceride levels. This can be a huge benefit for your metabolic health, since extra fat can have serious consequences for your health.
In particular, scientific evidence shows increased visceral fat and triglyceride levels are proven to elevate the risk for health conditions like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease (6).
Visceral fat is the adiposity that accumulates around your internal organs. It is much more metabolically active than your subcutaneous fat, and releases higher amounts of free fatty acids and inflammatory molecules.
That's why visceral obesity increases the risk of several chronic and debilitating conditions. In such cases, reducing your body weight and inflammation levels is key for preventing serious disease.
Blood sugar control
One of the main metabolic health problems which stems from excess visceral fat is reduced insulin sensitivity. The condition makes it harder for your body to regulate your blood sugar level.
The main factor contributing to overall insulin resistance (IR) is the decreased sensitivity of muscle cells. If left unchecked, IR can lead to serious conditions such as type 2 diabetes and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
An apple cider vinegar shot can help you restore control over your blood sugar level, by aiding your weight loss efforts and lowering your blood sugar spikes after a meal. This may potentially reduce your risks of PCOS and type 2 diabetes.
For example, one study in patients with type 2 diabetes reported that there was a significant decrease in fasting blood sugar and an increase in insulin sensitivity after taking 20 ml of apple cider vinegar per day for 8 weeks (7).
Drinking ACV is most effective in attenuating the glucose spike when it's taken right before a meal.
In another trial, women with PCOS experienced significant improvement in insulin sensitivity after 12-15 weeks of ACV consumption (8). What is more, the apple cider vinegar restored ovulatory function in the majority of the participants.
Digestive system support
Despite numerous anecdotes that drinking apple cider vinegar helps with symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux, there is only one study that has investigated its effectiveness.
The trial was published as a part of a thesis and reveals that ACV may indeed have an encouraging effect on gastroesophageal reflux (9). Hopefully, there will be more studies soon focusing on apple cider vinegar and the digestive system.
The researchers used raw, unfiltered ACV with "the mother," which has potent beneficial effects on your gut microflora and digestion.
The prebiotics and probiotics contained in organic apple cider vinegar may relieve symptoms of bloating and constipation, which likely reduces the reflux of stomach acid.
What components in ACV are responsible for these benefits?
Apple cider vinegar owes its smell and taste to its content of acetic acid (acetate) which forms through fermenting apple juice. Yet, acetate is also a contributor to the majority of ACV health benefits.
For example, a systematic review of several studies reveals that acetic acid is also the main factor responsible for lowering blood sugar and insulin levels (10).
Furthermore, experiments reveal that acetic acid effectively reduces fat accumulation in adipose and liver cells in the body. This suggests that the acid is the main contributor to the weight loss benefits of ACV (11).
The mechanism via which acetate blocks the buildup of fat in the body is likely due to the activation of an enzyme called AMPK.
The enzyme is the main catabolic switch in almost every cell in the human body. It signals that your organism needs to tap into its energy storage and burn more fat.
Besides, it reduces the build-up of fats in the liver, which helps improve its function and clears your body of toxins more effectively.
ACV is the vinegar with the highest content of antioxidants. The most powerful antioxidants in plants are also known as polyphenols.
The main polyphenols in apple cider vinegar include gallic acid, chlorogenic acid, catechin, epicatechin, and phlorizin (12). They significantly contribute to the health benefits of ACV.
For example, chlorogenic acid can improve weight loss and blood glucose levels by reducing the absorption of carbohydrates in your gastrointestinal tract (13).
Furthermore, studies show that it has favorable effects on blood pressure (14). Thus, chlorogenic acid contributes to the cardioprotective effects of ACV.
Other antioxidants such as epicatechin also support cardiovascular health by improving endothelial function (15). Therefore, the combination of different polyphenols in ACV may have the potential to slow down the progression of atherosclerosis.
"The mother" - prebiotics and probiotics
Unfiltered raw apple cider vinegar contains prebiotics and probiotics which can aid your digestion. The probiotics in organic ACV include bacteria and fungi which are part of the natural fermentation process in the production of vinegar.
Therefore, they are termed as "the mother". They include strains of Lactobacillus and Saccharomyces (16). These strains have well-proven probiotic effects and are common ingredients in most over-the-counter probiotic supplements.
Raw ACV also contains soluble fiber which acts as a prebiotic, aka food for the healthy bacteria in your gut. The main type of fiber in ACV is pectin.
Pectin is a soluble type of fiber that forms a gel-like substance when dissolved in your stomach acids, improving your satiety.
Studies report that as a prebiotic, pectin has the potential to rebalance the gut microflora and exerts anti-inflammatory properties (17).
Besides, the microbiota uses prebiotics to produce healthy substances such as short-chain fatty acids, vitamin K, and more.
What are the drawbacks of liquid ACV?
Unpleasant taste and nausea
As I already pointed out, the acidity of ACV is often a problem. This is why the most common side effect of drinking apple cider vinegar is nausea (18). The symptom is directly related to the unpleasant taste and smell of the liquid.
In an attempt to dilute and mask the taste, some people try mixing 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with honey in warm water.
According to the most popular recipe, the water must be warm in order to dissolve the honey and create a homogenous bitter-sweet liquid. In addition, you can try enriching the taste with a bit of lemon juice.
Keep in mind that even if ACV is diluted in warm water and the taste is more bearable, it may still cause nausea and throat irritation.
Tooth enamel erosion
As an acidic liquid, ACV can lead to erosion of your dental tooth enamel. Experiments have shown that exposure to different kinds of vinegar for several hours may cause up to 20% loss of dental minerals (19).
Besides, there are case reports of dental erosion that have occurred after daily consumption of a glass of apple cider vinegar (20).
That's why it is generally advisable to dilute the apple cider vinegar in a glass of water, preferably warm water. Diluting the ACV in warm water may help reduce the risk to some degree, but still, the method is unreliable for the prevention of enamel erosion.
How can you overcome the taste and side effects but still get the benefits of apple cider vinegar?
Due to the liquid form of apple cider vinegar, it easily gets in contact with your dental enamel, even if it is diluted.
Therefore, the best way to avoid all side effects of ACV while still receiving the benefits of apple cider vinegar is to switch to a supplement that is not a liquid.
By switching to a supplement, there is no risk for nausea either, since you won't even notice the acidic smell or taste of the ACV.
The options you may choose from include capsules, tablets, and gummies. With these forms, you can take an optimal dose of ACV without worrying about any side effects.
For example, you can safely ingest up to 1500 mg of ACV that would be equal to 3 shots of liquid vinegar.
Remember that using ACV supplements still requires you to take them right before a meal, in order to get the maximum benefits for weight loss and blood sugar control.
Make sure to consult with your doctor first before taking ACV as a liquid or supplement for any medical reason or condition.
If you still decide to drink apple cider vinegar instead of supplementation, the most common recipe involves diluting no more than 2 tablespoons of the liquid in at least 250 ml of warm water.
ACV is contraindicated in individuals with gastroparesis, osteoporosis, low potassium levels, gastritis, and esophagitis.
How do you choose the best ACV supplement?
First of all, you have to make sure that the supplement is made in the US and has a sufficient acetic acid content.
Furthermore, always pick products that have undergone quality testing by a third party, since supplements are not subject to control by the FDA. This will ensure the purity and safety of the products
In addition, consider taking an ACV supplement that contains "the mother". It is enriched with prebiotics, probiotics, and antioxidants which add benefits to your gut health and cardiovascular function.
That's why we recommend switching from liquid to ACV gummies by Nutririse. Our supplements are produced in a GMP-Certified facility in the United States and go through 4 stages of testing.
That includes testing at 3 different stages of the production cycle, while the 4th is a third-party test by an unbiased, independent organization.
Furthermore, the apple cider vinegar gummies by Nutririse contain "the mother" and several vitamins and antioxidant-dense extracts.
The pomegranate, beetroot, and purple carrot extracts enrich the antioxidant profile of the ACV by adding more polyphenols, anthocyanins, and carotenoids.
Vitamins B6, B9, and B12 support your blood cell production, nerve cell integrity, and cardiovascular health.
But our favorite part about Nutririse ACV gummies is the taste: sweet, fruity, and not a hint of vinegar!
Note: This article is for informational purposes only, and not intended for use as medical advice. Always consult your healthcare provider before starting any dietary supplement.