What if someone told you that one simple liquid could help you lower your blood sugar, lose weight, whiten your teeth, and even clean your house?
You’d think that it was some sort of neon blue potion gifted to you by a genie or else it was a Saturday morning infomercial special that could be all yours for just three simple payments of $49.99.
Here’s why you should drink apple cider vinegar, and how to get your daily dose.
Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
Of all the claims made by apple cider vinegar proponents, this one has the most meat to it: One study by researchers at Arizona State University found that the glucose levels of participants were 34 percent lower than the controls when they drank 20 grams of apple cider vinegar mixed with 40 grams of water and one teaspoon of sugar during a meal (1).
A separate study found that patients with diabetes who consumed two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bed woke with improved fasting glucose levels (2).
It’s not a direct link, but for some of the same reasons apple cider vinegar helps with your blood sugar levels, it can also help with your waistline. Glucose levels were lower after participants in the Arizona State study drank vinegar because it contains acetic acid, which increases insulin sensitivity and can slow the absorption of calories from a meal.
Additionally, lower glucose levels have been linked to feeling more full and, presumably, eating less. To date, however, there isn’t much data linking apple cider vinegar directly to weight loss.
What’s the Best Way to Drink Apple Cider Vinegar?
The most basic way you can get your daily fix of apple cider vinegar is by taking it straight up as a shot. But not everyone enjoys that burning sensation in the back of their throats, especially first thing in the morning!
If a shot of ACV is too strong or sour for your taste, you can try diluting it with water, seltzer or tea and sweeten it up with a bit of honey to make it more palatable.
If you’re feeling even more creative, you can incorporate apple cider vinegar into everything from smoothies and detox drinks to cocktails and mocktails.
Here are two ACV drinks you can enjoy equally for their taste and their health benefits:
Spiced Cranberry & Rosemary Mocktail
(Recipe and photo courtesy of Miss Allie’s Kitchen)
2 cups water
1 cup fresh cranberries
¼ cup raw honey
2 tablespoons Fire Cider Original
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
4 cups lime seltzer
Cranberries, lime and rosemary for garnish (optional)
Add the water, cranberries, raw honey, Fire Cider Original and rosemary to a medium saucepan. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes. Strain the mixture out, and place it in the freezer to chill for 20 minutes. Fill a glass with ice and to each, add ½ cup of the spiced cranberry and rosemary syrup and 1 cup of lime seltzer. Mix, garnish with desired toppings and enjoy.
Turmeric Hot Toddy
(Recipe courtesy of Catherine Franklin)
1 cup hot water
1.5 oz. Whiskey
1 oz. lemon juice
1 oz. honey
In a mug, add whiskey, lemon juice and turmeric sipping vinegar. Top with hot water and mix well. Add one star anise and serve.
Other Ways to Consume Apple Cider Vinegar
If you’re still not keen on drinking apple cider vinegar, there are other ways to consume it. For example, you can work it into a marinade or sauce for a little extra zip.
Of course, salads are a great vehicle for apple cider vinegar, and a tasty vinaigrette or dressing might make you more likely to eat nutritious leafy greens and veggies. Combining vinegar with oil also helps balance the pH level and prevent tooth enamel erosion from the acetic acid.
If you can’t stand the taste no matter how you prepare it, apple cider vinegar capsules might be your best bet. Keep in mind that the amount of acetic and citric acids in commercially available apple cider vinegar tablets reportedly varies dramatically between samples (3). This means dosage information on apple cider vinegar capsule packages may not be accurate, and taking too much can cause digestion issues.