Are you indulging in the latest health trend of drinking apple cider vinegar? Lately, the internet is flooded with images of both homemade and pre-crafted apple cider vinegar “shots”. Plus, there’s testimony after testimony by both celebs and regular consumers alike of drinking this potent liquid daily and reaping the rewards.
But is drinking apple cider vinegar straight the best way to partake, or is there a safer alternative? And are there side effects to using this highly-praised product? We’ll address those issues and more in this article, so you can decide if ACV is right for you.
We’ll examine the different types of ACV, the best ways to use it and the potential apple cider vinegar benefits. Should consuming ACV be a daily practice, or is it better left to your salad dressings? Let’s find out!
Apple Cider Vinegar 101
First, let’s talk about what this vinegar is, and how to find the right kind. It has to be the “real thing”, meaning pure and unprocessed…
What types of ACV are there?
Unfiltered – This ACV is found in its most raw state. You’ll know it when you see it on store shelves because it actually looks pretty gross! Instead of being clear, it has a cloudy, murkiness to it. It also has something called the “mother” near the top of the bottle. This glob-like substance has strands of proteins, enzymes and acidic acid bacteria trailing out of it. But it’s this motherlike creature that carries the most benefits, so this is the type of ACV you want!
Beyond the look, unfiltered ACV will also have a stronger, more complex taste than filtered ACV, which is watered down.
Filtered – This type of ACV goes through a pasteurization process to remove the “mother”, leaving a clear, amber-colored vinegar. This product is similar to apple juice combined with water in taste. Though there are varying opinions, many believe this vinegar doesn’t carry the same potential health benefits as unfiltered ACV does.
Now that we know which type of ACV to get, let’s take a look at some of the potential benefits and whether they are fact or fiction…
Top Potential Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits
Benefit #1 – Supports Optimal Gut Health
Great total body health starts with superior gut health. And raw, unprocessed apple cider vinegar with the “mother” nourishes your gut in a variety of ways. (1)
The “mother” literally serves as a source of healthy bacteria, or probiotics, that your gut needs to thrive. ACV also contains a substance called acetic acid, which kills off the “bad”, disease-causing bacteria in your system, and prevents them from multiplying.
Furthermore, ACV has “prebiotics” from the fermented apples, which contain pectin. Prebiotics are basically a source of food for the probiotics in your system, ensuring their growth and survival.
In all of these ways, apple cider vinegar helps maintain an optimal balance of healthy bacteria in your intestinal tract. And having the right balance of bacteria supports proper digestion, bolsters your immune system, promotes a healthy mood and more.
Supporting your gut health and a host of healthy bacteria is the #1 benefit of consuming ACV, since a healthy gut environment equates to many more potential health and even weight loss benefits.
Benefit #2 – Helps Manage Diabetes
It’s very important for diabetics to maintain good blood sugar levels. According to some studies, ACV may help balance blood sugar levels, making it particularly valuable to help manage the disease. (2)
Benefit #3 – Improves Heart Health
Studies show that ACV may help reduce some major heart disease risk factors. In animal studies, ACV lowered cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It also helped reduce blood pressure.
In addition, a human study at Harvard tracked a woman who ate salad dressings that had apple cider vinegar in them. Results showed a reduced risk of heart disease.
Apple Cider Vinegar and Weight Loss
You may be wondering, does apple cider vinegar help with weight loss? Research shows that it actually can in more ways than one…
Increase satiety– When taken alongside a meal, ACV may increase feelings of fullness. It can also help to prevent cravings for unhealthy foods and binge-eating on junk foods. In one study, those drinking ACV in this way consumed 200-275 less calories per day. (3)
Remove bloat– ACV contains enzymes that help rev up your digestive processes, helping to relieve gas and bloating. Also, since it helps increase stomach acid, it can assist with proper food breakdown, relieving uncomfortable symptoms. (4)
Boosts metabolism– Research shows that when you drink apple cider vinegar, it increases your body’s metabolic rate. This is the rate at which you burn calories, therefore drinking ACV can help you burn calories and fat more efficiently. (5)
Restore PH balance– ACV contains properties that help to naturally alkalize your body, preventing you from becoming too acidic. This PH balanced body has been shown to be the best state for weight loss.
Balance blood sugar levels– As mentioned, ACV can help maintain proper blood sugar levels, which can assist with weight management. When your blood sugar is balanced, you don’t experience uncomfortable crashes that can leave you reaching for sugary, carb-filled foods.
Additional Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
In addition to the top apple cider vinegar benefits, there are many more that stem from this first layer of rewards. These include:
- Better digestion
- Less heartburn and acid reflux
- Fresher breath
- Less dandruff
- Clear skin with less acne
In addition, ACV can even help relieve itches from bug bites when applied topically!
Most Popular Ways to Use ACV
Just as varied as the benefits that ACV can provide are the ways that people consume it. In our opinions, there’s definitely a right way and a wrong way and we’re going to tell you what we prefer. But first, let’s go through the options…
Apple Cider Vinegar Uses
Drink it straight – Many brave souls consume ACV right by the tablespoon. Along with the benefits of drinking apple cider vinegar, there are definitely some downsides to this method. We’ll share these shortly.
Combine it with water – To make it a bit more palatable and less harmful, others mix 1-2 tablespoons of ACV with 8oz. of water in a glass and sip or chug it. You can also dilute it with other healthy beverages in various ACV detox recipes.
Apple cider vinegar shots – This method of drinking ACV is varied, but all involve a shot glass. While some just shoot straight ACV, others mix theirs with complementing ingredients. Apple cider vinegar shot recipes are popular on social media. In addition, some companies sell pre-made ACV shots.
Apple cider vinegar recipes – Don’t want to drink ACV at all? No problem, because it’s easy to add this ingredient into meal recipes. You can make homemade salad dressings, sauces or marinades using the vinegar.
Side Effects of Apple Cider Vinegar
As mentioned, ACV is quite acidic, and everyone has different sensitivity levels. For this reason, you may wish to stick with a safer form of ACV, which we’ll discuss right after we reveal some side effects…
Bad taste– Although some may argue that it’s an acquired taste, apple cider vinegar is very potent. It has a strong, apple-vinegar flavor that’s extremely acidic (especially the unfiltered kind). For this reason, many people mask the taste with other ingredients, or water.
Digestive problems– Speaking of acid, this stuff is not great for your stomach or digestive system if left in its natural state. Ironically, though it’s good for digestion, it can hinder digestive processes and cause uncomfortable symptoms if taken undiluted.
Damaged teeth– ACV can also be bad for your dental health. When you expose your teeth to the acid in apple cider vinegar on a regular basis, it can start to wear away at it, leading to tooth decay. To prevent this, use a straw to drink your apple cider vinegar, whether it’s diluted or not.
Throat burn– The acetic acid in ACV can also burn your esophagus when you take the liquid straight. Though most cases have been in children, it’s definitely not something you want to experience!
Low potassium levels / Bone loss– If you consume an excess of ACV, it may negatively affect your potassium levels and bone mass. How much is too much? One woman drinking 8 oz. per day for 6 years developed low potassium levels. Then, she ended up being diagnosed with osteoporosis at only 28 years old!
Recommended Method: Apple Cider Vinegar Pills
Numerous apple cider vinegar reviews show that most people feel pretty awful after taking ACV straight. So, what do we recommend? A high-quality ACV supplement. Yes, that’s right… You can SKIP all the potential side effects, and take apple cider vinegar in a pill form instead!
Benefits of an Apple Cider Vinegar Supplement
Convenient for busy lifestyles– You can easily pack apple cider vinegar pills in your bag and take them with you to work or out and about. Being able to easily pack ACV helps you get the recommended daily dose without skipping a day. It’s also quicker and easier to take a pill then prepare continuous ACV drinks or shots.
Eliminates bad taste and side effects– Another amazing feature of these ACV pills is you get rid of the bad taste factor. When you drink down this supplement with water, there’s no taste what-so-ever! Plus, you save your digestive tract, throat and teeth from any acid-causing side effects while still getting the apple cider vinegar benefits.
No matter how you decide to consume apple cider vinegar, it’s definitely a health supplement worth paying attention to, that can reap great rewards for many different areas of your body. Why not try it today? Let us know how you like your ACV best!