You’re unlikely to open a home remedy list on the internet and not find apple cider vinegar listed there. Touted for its numerous health benefits, ACV works as a detox, antibiotic agent, and anti-glycaemic medium. To harness its full potential, proponents always present different strategies regarding when to drink apple cider vinegar. Let us dissect each separately.
Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is the form of vinegar that comes from the fermentation of crushed apples. The process converts the sugar from the apple into acetic acid with the help of bacteria. This is the key component that provides ACV many of its infamous benefits.
While ACV’s direct impact on human health lacks sufficient sources, many clinical trials have indirectly contributed to its credibility. Here are a few of ACV’s health benefits, backed by both research and significant anecdotal evidence.
- It is an antimicrobial agent. Researchers have studied and proven its antimicrobial nature and skin benefits against several dermatological dysfunctions, including acne. Vinegar also has traditional uses as a cleaning and culinary agent because of its ability to fight bacteria.
- It helps treat gastrointestinal dysfunctions. The acetic acid in vinegar is proven to work against illnesses like acid reflux and GERD, and their symptoms in various studies.
- It strengthens the metabolism. Both animal and human studies demonstrated ACV’s action against fat accumulation in the body by improving the metabolic rate.
- It suppresses appetite. Additional research shows apple cider vinegar can increase satiety, so you feel fuller, longer.
- It helps preserve food. Vinegar’s antimicrobial properties have proven to assist in preserving refrigerated foods.
- It helps cleanse the body. Many studies show ACV’s ability to detoxify the body. Some even show the potential to flush uric acid out of the body and treat gout naturally.
Potential Side Effects
While drinking ACV, there are a few potential side effects that you may want to keep in mind.
- It delays digestion. Some studies using ACV reported a significantly delayed gastric emptying rate.
- It can cause tooth enamel damage. This especially happens when exposed directly or in large doses.
- It can cause throat burns. Always dilute ACV before drinking and use a straw for consuming it in liquid form.
- It can lower potassium levels. If you’re taking blood pressure medication or have a history of blood abnormalities, talk with your doctor before adding ACV to your regimen.
When to Drink Apple Cider Vinegar?
The best time to take apple cider vinegar is simply when it suits you best. Proponents suggest numerous different occasions during the day to do so, but very rarely can you find direct evidence for the effectiveness of one time over another.
Should You Drink ACV in the Morning?
Endorsers of the vinegar often suggest taking apple cider vinegar in the morning for a powerful energy-packed start to the day.
The findings of an Iranian study testify to this claim. After eight weeks of 30 ml ACV consumption every morning and afternoon, subjects reported a lower level of harmful lipids. Each participant had never used a lipid-lowering drug before, yet showed a reduction in cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL. (1)
ACV contains a significant portion of acetic acid, and bacteria generally grow in neutral pH level environments. Therefore, apple cider vinegar in the morning also suggests a prospect for fresher breath. Additionally, The Middlesex University, London reported high antimicrobial activity within apple cider vinegar. (2)
Should You Drink ACV on an Empty Stomach?
While many prefer drinking ACV in the morning, some are strict about consuming ACV on an empty stomach, just before a meal. The idea has potential as consuming vinaigrette dishes directly during breakfast after an overnight fast is backed up by research.
A trial by the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition studied the effects of vinegar on glycaemic index and insulin. Participants consumed a potato meal, each with vinaigrette sauce, containing 6% acetic acid for breakfast after an overnight fast. The results showed a positive reduction in high postprandial glycaemic rates and insulin responses. (3)
Another research trial observed the post-prandial glycaemic index after acetic acid supplementation by a bread meal. Twelve healthy participants consumed different doses of acetic acid with whole wheat bread. For reference, a simple bread meal was used. The reports indicated the highest reduction in blood glucose response at 30-45 min and insulin response at 15-30 min. (4)
Should You Drink ACV at Night Before Bed?
Vinegar consumption at bedtime was declared a favorable discourse in a trial published in the Diabetes Care Journal. The anti-glycaemic effect of the acetic acid proved essential to moderate glucose concentration in diabetic patients when they woke up. (5)
However, drinking apple cider vinegar before bed can be counterproductive if not done with proper care. Always drink ACV at least 30 mins before bed. Otherwise, the contents could come flowing right back up the esophagus. Patients with gastrointestinal dysfunctions should particularly concern themselves with medical guidance before ingestion.
Should You Drink ACV Before or After Meals?
Taking ACV Before Meals
Studies have reported ACV to promote appetite control through various clinical trials. ACV contains 5-6% of acetic acid, which slows down the rate of nutrient absorption in the bloodstream.
A 2005 study by the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported subjects to feel fuller after an ACV intake. A Japanese Study concluded similar results after testing an ACV diet on 175 participants for 12 weeks. The results showed lower triglyceride levels and a controlled metabolic syndrome. (6)
Thus, ACV’s appetite-suppressing properties promote its use before meals for a healthier lifestyle. Additionally, this may also help with weight loss.
The Imperial College London again reported signs of appetite suppressant in healthy individuals after vinegar consumption. The ingestion of the substance alongside meals showed potential for satiety.
However, it eventually provoked nausea. This turn of events questions whether taking ACV before meals merely for the sake of appetite regulation is worth the potential downside. (7)
Taking ACV after Meals
Another clinical trial studied the effects of acetic acid on healthy subjects by consuming a mixed meal. Five healthy subjects each took a portion of the acid in the form of vinegar after a lettuce meal. The ingestion resulted in a significant positive impact on the glycaemic response. (8)
The Journal of Diabetes presented a study in 2015 in which blood sugars significantly lowered after ingesting a meal with vinegar. (9)
The Korean Society of Food and Nutrition presented a study to understand the effects of fermented beverages with 5% vinegar on metabolic syndrome. The results showed potential alleviation in metabolic syndrome after consuming 250ml of fermented juice daily. (10)
How about Taking ACV with Meals?
A study concerning the effects of vinegar as a complementary food showed the potential for including ACV with meals. High glycaemic load during mealtime may lead to chronic diseases. This study proved a significant control in postprandial glycemia in eleven healthy subjects by consuming vinegar as a complementary food. (11)
Another trial from the Journal of Functional Foods introduced the subjects to a restricted AVC diet directly. The results showed prospects for AVC application in weight loss as reports showed a reduction in body weight, hip circumference, and BMI. A study on rats also found positive health benefits by including AVC as part of the meal directly. (12, 13)
How to Drink Apple Cider Vinegar
There are different drink recipes for ACV, but as long as you have a raw, unfiltered ACV at hand, all will work for you. Generally, a basic recipe goes like this:
- Mix a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar into 8 ounces of water.
- Add in a sweetener of your choice, be it natural or artificial. Apple cider vinegar and honey are the most common mixture.
- Top it off with a secret ingredient you love. Some examples are lemon juice, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric curcumin, or cayenne pepper.
The maximum ACV dosage is no more than 15-30 ml per day. This makes about 1-2 tablespoons.
If you want to save the trouble, you can opt for ACV pills. However, there have been reports denying their efficiency as compared to liquid vinegar. We’d suggest talking this through with a medical expert for better results. (14)
A more palatable and great tasting option can be apple cider vinegar gummies, the market’s new favorite dietary supplement. For most brands, 1-2 gummies per day will do the trick.
Final Thoughts on The Best Time to Take Apple Cider Vinegar
In the end, there is no perfect time to consume apple cider vinegar. Decide on whatever works best for you, but do not forget the more important matter of how to drink apple cider vinegar. Always dilute the ACV with water, and if you experience any side effects, be sure to stop drinking ACV and speak with a medical professional for further guidance.
- More Reading: Does apple cider vinegar expire?