Sipping an apple cider vinegar detox drink first thing every morning on an empty stomach can provide a slew of health benefits.
Research shows apple cider vinegar (ACV) may improve the immune system and induce protective effects against red blood cell, kidney, and liver oxidative damage and counteract high blood lipid levels due to a high-fat diet.
Researchers propose apple cider vinegar includes properties that scavenge free radicals, inhibit lipid peroxidation, and increase antioxidant enzyme and vitamin levels (6).
In laymen’s words, this translates into: ACV contributes to positive cellular health, which may promote weight loss.
This touted vinegar drink arises from crushed, distilled, and then fermented apples and includes the compound acetic acid, an ingredient frequently associated with losing additional weight (9) when combined with caloric restriction.
Read next: 5 Best Fat Burning Drinks to Lose Belly Fat
How Do You Drink Apple Cider Vinegar for Weight Loss?
Many find the flavor and smell of ACV unappealing.
If this rings true for yourself, you can take a tablet or create a nutritious salad dressing by adding it to olive oil combined with spices of your choice.
However, making apple cider vinegar drinks or tonics is the most well-known way to obtain the health benefits of this vinegar beverage.
And, this medicinal daily routine can be added to a cup of plain water- hot or cold.
To make one glass of apple cider vinegar drink, add 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a 6-8 oz glass of warm water.
This shot of vinegar can be mixed with many additional ingredients to uplevel its protective powers.
Mix in fresh lemon juice, stevia, up to 1 teaspoon of honey, 1 tsp of cinnamon or a dash of cayenne, and enjoy first thing in the morning or with meals.
Bonus points if you gulp this mixture with a high carb meal- a simple blood sugar management tool- and use raw honey for its immune-boosting abilities.
What’s in ACV?
As referenced above, apple cider vinegar is created from a fermentation process.
Conventional or organic apples are crushed and combined with yeast to convert sugar into alcohol.
Then, added healthy bacteria ferment the alcohol into hydrogen and acetic acid, the star component of ACV (9).
Acetic acid, also known as ethanoic acid, is a short-chain fatty acid that dissolves into acetate and hydrogen in the body, resulting in a supportive gut environment.
Ironically, the end product of this fermentation process- short-chain fatty acids- actually exert the pronounced health benefits.
These favorable acids positively influence gut microbiota similarly to a probiotic, enhancing immunity and overall metabolic function by helping to break down indigestible food components, degrading toxic chemicals, and synthesizing certain vitamins and amino acids (1).
Other than acetic acid and few other resulting acids, distilled water is usually and should be the only additional ingredient in this vinegar.
However, the most popular and most nutritious brands boast another component referred to as “the mother” on their labels.
This is sediment at the very bottom of the containers which consists of pungent acid and valuable good bacteria.
What Kind of Apple Cider Vinegar Can You Drink?
When choosing an ACV, you can pick an unfiltered or filtered version.
The former contains a visible “mother” and will most likely be organic, unpasteurized, and void of preservatives, while the latter is pasteurized and will have no trace of the “mother” sediment.
Unfiltered apple cider vinegar versions are usually more expensive- because they possess the compounds that activate the efficacious metabolic benefits.
Conversely, filtered forms will cost less but also exert less powerful potential.
Purchase this favorite beverage at health markets like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods among many others.
Available at a regular grocery store as well, the purest of these apple juice vinegars reside at Farmer’s markets.
Braggs is currently one of the most popular and affordable organic, unpasteurized brands on the market!
How Much Apple Cider Vinegar Should You Drink a Day?
Although inconclusive, most health professionals suggest 1-2 tablespoons mixed into 6 to 8 ounces of water achieves the job.
More vinegar intake than that, though, and your risk of tooth enamel erosion and acid reflux greatly increases (8).
Most importantly, losing weight is moot without a nutrient-dense diet and a sufficient dose of exercise. Heart, lung, and metabolic health, including weight loss, still rely on these primitive basics.
In order to reduce body weight, cholesterol levels, or serum triglyceride levels, increase insulin sensitivity, or improve any other measure of health, you must lead a generally healthy lifestyle.
Whether your healthy lifestyle includes a supplement of ACV is up to you! Allow the following benefits of apple cider vinegar to persuade you one way or another.
And if you still require more proof, check out healthline.com for their promising perspectives on apple cider vinegar.
What Are the Benefits of Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar can’t and won’t erase the negative consequences of a poor diet or lack of movement, but research studies and, frankly, anecdotal suggestion link it to the following benefits:
- Decreasing Blood Sugar and Insulin Levels
- Lowering Cholesterol, Triglyceride, and Blood Pressure Levels
- Reducing body fat storage
- Suppressing appetite/Reducing Calorie Intake
It’s important to note that all research studying the potential effects of apple cider vinegar weight loss drinks have been performed on animals, namely rats.
While scientific evidence and suggestion from animals frequently translate into humans as well, more research is still warranted.
Helps Decrease Insulin Levels
For people with diabetes, apple cider vinegar may help with regulating blood sugar levels and thus, insulin levels as well.
In a rat study, acetic acid helped improve the liver and muscles’ ability to uptake sugar from the blood (3).
Ultimately, an apple cider vinegar remedy can help increase insulin sensitivity, which is necessary to initiate belly fat-blasting efforts.
Helps Decrease Cholesterol, Triglyceride, and Blood Pressure
Studies in diabetic and regular rats/mice discovered that apple cider vinegar improved good HDL cholesterol while lowering bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
The researchers proposed these positive consequences resulted from the inhibition of lipogenesis (creation of fat) in the liver and increased fecal bile acid excretion of cholesterol (4).
Additionally, another animal study recognized that the acetic acid in an apple cider vinegar shot may help decrease blood pressure by hindering the enzyme that constricts blood vessels, allowing veins and arteries to remain open to adequate blood flow (5).
Helps With Weight Loss
In one study, acetic acid administered to rats helped increase the activity of AMPK, an enzyme that boosts fat burning and decreases fat and sugar production of the liver (7).
Other animal studies suggest acetic acid suppresses brain centers responsible for appetite control (2). As a result of this suppression, animals ingested fewer calories, reducing overall fat storage.
Finally, experiments that treated diabetic rats with acetic acid and/or acetate increased the expression of genes that reduced belly and liver fat storage, specifically (10).
Note that these rats were already metabolically compromised, so results may differ in someone healthier.
What are the side effects of drinking apple cider vinegar?
Healthline will confirm the following potentially negative side effects of this vinegar drink (8), which include the following.
- Delayed stomach emptying- it can reduce the rate of food leaving your digestive tract, worsening gastroparesis, which is very harmful for people with Type 1 Diabetes.
- Digestive complications- an abundance of people report nausea after guzzling ACV and some report diarrhea.
- Low potassium levels and bone loss- one report exhibited a woman drinking about 8 oz of ACV a day who was admitted to the hospital with low potassium levels and osteoporosis. (Note: this is much higher than the recommended serving of 1-2 tbsp/day)
- Tooth enamel erosion- the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar may weaken the dental enamel of your teeth, leading to loss of minerals and tooth decay if incorrectly dosed, but drinking through a straw will lessen this risk. Avoid taking a straight shot of apple cider vinegar to prevent this effect.
- Throat burns- although rare, reviews have shown the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar may lead to esophagus burns in children and another report discovered throat burns in a woman who had an apple cider vinegar tab lodged in her throat
- Skin burns- reports of skin burns as a result of applying apple cider vinegar directly to the skin to treat moles and infection exist, but far and few.
- Drug interactions- certain diuretics, Lanoxin (a medication that lowers blood potassium levels), and diabetes medication (insulin) may negatively interact with apple cider vinegar, so should be avoided.
As far as brands of vinegar go, Braggs makes a trusted version of organic apple cider vinegar with the same formulation since 1912. Using room temperature water will help the honey dissolve faster into the apple cider drink, but cold water can be used as well.
For an added surge you may also add a dash of cayenne pepper to this morning apple cider vinegar drink!
Note — although this vinegar is made from apples, apple cider vinegar is not the same thing as apple cider juice or cider.
Only the vinegar includes acetic acid, and its associated health benefits, while the apple cider juice is a sugary beverage people enjoy during Fall with a cinnamon stick.
If you want to spice up your apple cider vinegar drink recipe from time to time, you can use hot water and add in sliced ginger to give it a hot kick.
When Should You Consume Your Apple Cider Vinegar Drink?
To obtain the most benefits of apple cider vinegar, drink it in the morning before eating a meal or drinking anything else.
Research shows that starting your diet off this way provides maximum results for weight loss. If you forget, you can also wait 20 minutes after eating for your stomach to empty, and then drink your apple cider vinegar drink. But you may be missing out on its ability to aid in digestion.
Another option is to divide the daily tablespoons into 1 to 2 doses before two separate meals. This can be less convenient, especially when you are not at home.
For people that are fasting, an apple cider vinegar detox drink can still be consumed during the fasting window.
However, omit the honey in your tonic to remain in a true fasted state.
You’ll still reap the detox qualities of the drink, especially if you drink it as your fasting window approaches your eating window.
Can You Drink Apple Cider Vinegar Every Day?
It is safe to drink apple cider vinegar every day as long as you remain within the 1-2 tbsp serving suggestion. Review the negative risks for a reminder of what can happen if you indulge in more.
Many people find ACV too pungent tasting and smelling to consume every day. Yet, others acclimatize to the taste and hoard mason jars of their favorite tonic in the fridge.
If you or your digestive system can’t handle guzzling a drink option, consider adding it to homemade salad dressings or taking a tablet.
This vinegar drink undoubtedly holds the powerful potential to benefit your health.
Unless you have gastroparesis or an allergy, including 1-2 tbsp of this vinegar a day won’t derail weight loss efforts and will probably positively assist. Just remember, more isn’t always better.
Still, even if ingested in tablet form, don’t expect it to blast all of your belly fat. A healthy lifestyle paired with a healthy diet is still the most important and potent weight loss solution. More potent than the pungency of apple cider vinegar.
It’s best to seek medical advice when starting a new regimen.
- den Besten, G., van Eunen, K., Groen, A. K., Venema, K., Reijngoud, D. J., & Bakker, B. M. (2013). The role of short-chain fatty acids in the interplay between diet, gut microbiota, and host energy metabolism. Journal of lipid research, 54(9), 2325–2340. https://doi.org/10.1194/jlr.R036012
- Frost G, Sleeth ML, Sahuri-Arisoylu M, Lizarbe B, Cerdan S, Brody L, Anastasovska J, Ghourab S, Hankir M, Zhang S, Carling D, Swann JR, Gibson G, Viardot A, Morrison D, Louise Thomas E, Bell JD. The short-chain fatty acid acetate reduces appetite via a central homeostatic mechanism. Nat Commun. 2014 Apr 29;5:3611. doi: 10.1038/ncomms4611. PMID: 24781306; PMCID: PMC4015327.
- Fushimi, Takashi, and Yuzo Sato. “Effect of Acetic Acid Feeding on the Circadian Changes in Glycogen and Metabolites of Glucose and Lipid in Liver and Skeletal Muscle of Rats.” British Journal of Nutrition, vol. 94, no. 5, Nov. 2005, pp. 714–719., doi:10.1079/bjn20051545.
- Fushimi, Takashi, et al. “Dietary Acetic Acid Reduces Serum Cholesterol and Triacylglycerols in Rats Fed a Cholesterol-Rich Diet.” British Journal of Nutrition, vol. 95, no. 5, May 2006, pp. 916–924., doi:10.1079/bjn20061740.
- Kondo, Shino, et al. “Antihypertensive Effects of Acetic Acid and Vinegar on Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats.” Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, vol. 65, no. 12, Dec. 2001, pp. 2690–2694., doi:10.1271/bbb.65.2690.
- Nazıroğlu, Mustafa, et al. “Apple Cider Vinegar Modulates Serum Lipid Profile, Erythrocyte, Kidney, and Liver Membrane Oxidative Stress in Ovariectomized Mice Fed High Cholesterol.” The Journal of Membrane Biology, vol. 247, no. 8, 2014, pp. 667–673., doi:10.1007/s00232-014-9685-5.
- Sakakibara S, Yamauchi T, Oshima Y, Tsukamoto Y, Kadowaki T. Acetic acid activates hepatic AMPK and reduces hyperglycemia in diabetic KK-A(y) mice. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2006 Jun 2;344(2):597-604. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2006.03.176. Epub 2006 Apr 5. PMID: 16630552.
- Spritzler, Franziska. “7 Side Effects of Too Much Apple Cider Vinegar.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 10 Aug. 2016, www.healthline.com/nutrition/apple-cider-vinegar-side-effects.
- Spritzler, Franziska. “Can Apple Cider Vinegar Help You Lose Weight?” Healthline, Healthline Media, 24 Aug. 2018, www.healthline.com/nutrition/apple-cider-vinegar-weight-loss.
- Yamashita H. Biological Function of Acetic Acid-Improvement in Obesity and Glucose Tolerance by Acetic Acid in Type 2 Diabetic Rats. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2016 Jul 29;56 Suppl 1:S171-5. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2015.1045966. PMID: 26176799.