Should I Be Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar?
Over the last few years ACV, Apple Cider Vinegar, has exploded in popularity as a “Holy-Grail” product for several health issues and remedies. In fact, ACV has been used for thousands of years as a treatment for things varying from toothaches to dandruff. Now I know that taking a big drink of vinegar every day doesn’t sound appetizing, but a small amount, about a shot’s worth, can go a long way for both your long and short-term health.
Despite its long history as a health product, there is not a lot of information on the long-term benefits of ACV, and as uses differ greatly, one person’s experience may be totally different from your own. However, one study conducted in Japan found that drinking vinegar could potentially reduce obesity. Another study also claims that regular vinegar drinking can help to regulate blood sugar and insulin levels in Type 2 diabetics (consult your doctor before taking ACV if you are diabetic!).
While those are fantastic reasons to start to consider adding ACV into your health routine, they aren’t the main reason behind the popularity. Claims of reduced appetite, slimmer waists, better digestion, clearer skin and even reduced risk of cancer have all been attributed to the use of Apple Cider Vinegar.
There’s really no other way to see what all the talk is about than to try it for yourself. Here are some questions to consider before you open the bottle.
How Much Should I Drink?
Most sources claim that around one to two tablespoons of ACV a day is plenty to start noticing benefits in a matter of a few days (especially with the digestive tract). Because of the acidity, start small with one tablespoon and mix it in with about eight ounces of water. That will help reduce the acidity and burn your throat less. As you get used to the taste, work up to two tablespoons with water and chug away. For an even tastier mix, try adding some honey and pop your cup in the microwave before sipping.
When Should I Take It?
This one is really personal preference. Some suggest that before meals is best, as the vinegar will help break down the starches in your food, while others say before bedtime is key so the elixir can work its magic overnight. Personally, I went with the before-bed method. For those looking for an extra boost with weight loss, consider trying before lunch or dinner, as you’ll feel fuller faster and longer. For digestive health, try before bed.
What Can I Expect?
We’ve talked a lot about the good that can come from ACV, but it’s important to recognize that some bad side effects can also pop up. For starters, Apple Cider Vinegar is made by the fermentation of apples and yeast. In concentrated doses (why you should dilute!), ACV can cause some erosion of tooth enamel, throat burns and occasionally nausea. At its core, ACV is a diuretic, and the most common side effect is needing to use the bathroom soon after you’ve taken your daily dose. Whether that last one is good or bad, I’ll leave that up to you.
Ok, I know - it still tastes bad. If the vinegar-y taste just isn’t for you, there are other ways you may be able to still stick with an ACV routine. Enter Apple Cider Vinegar Pills. You’re still consuming ACV, but in dehydrated form, and often with extra additives like cayenne pepper as an extra metabolism booster. Too few studies have been done on the pill versus liquid form to address if you’re still getting the same bang for your buck, but the pills would definitely be worth some research if you’re in the no-liquid camp.
But maybe drinking ACV won’t help you get the result you’re looking for -- over the years ACV has been used in many ways besides a digestive aid. Some popular alternative uses include using ACV to pickle vegetables, as a salad dressing, skin toner, bad-breath fighter and yep, even a natural weed and flea repellent.
In fact, Apple Cider Vinegar shampoo has become increasingly popular as the chemical-free formula helps to stimulate blood flow by increasing circulation as well as restoring pH balances to the head and scalp for healthy cuticles. Switching to an AVC shampoo could just lead you to stronger, fuller hair.
One thing that does seem to remain constant about the use of Apple Cider Vinegar in its various forms, is that results take some time, and just because you don’t see any changes by the next morning, doesn’t mean the product isn’t still doing its job. You wouldn’t expect to train for a race only the week before, right?
Whether you’re new to the ACV game or just looking for a new way to use this alleged miracle product, why don’t you give one of the following above uses a try and let us know how it goes!