Written by Divinity Nutra, Updated on March 21, 2022
Apple cider vinegar is endorsed as a low-calorie elixir that treats acid reflux, helps with gout, and can even detox and cleanse the whole body. If one assumes the claim to be credible, then there is perhaps no better tonic than ACV for intermittent fasting. But, can apple cider vinegar break a fast? Let’s find out.
Apple Cider Vinegar & Intermittent Fasting
Vinegar produced from the fermentation of crushed apples is called apple cider vinegar. ACV is highly acidic due to the acetic acid production during fermentation. Thus, it harbors many beneficial properties that other home remedies lack. Proponents love it, scientific research is underway, and all in all, ACV is a popular solution to numerous health issues.
What is Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is the idea to adopt an eating pattern whereby food intake is limited to certain times of the day. During this time, the body does not receive any carbs to burn thus, the body turns to fat as its preferred source of energy.
Fasting is no revolutionary idea to man. It is part of history, tradition, and many cultures all over the world. The civilizations in the past were scarce on resources and had to limit food consumption for survival. Many religions like Islam, Christianity, and Buddhism foster the spirit of a healthy lifestyle through fasting.
ACV’s medicinal use dates back to the 5th century. The Father of Medicine Hippocrates used to recommend restricted diets for therapeutic purposes against many human diseases.
The idea behind intermittent fasting is to distribute your eating hours during the day wisely. It does not restrict intake of low-calorie foods like coffee, tea, or water. Just make sure you do not supply the body with any carbs to burn.
Does Apple Cider Vinegar Break a Fast?
No, drinking apple cider vinegar will not break a fast. As long as your body sustains a low carb intake, it remains in a state of ketosis. Thereby, it consumes the stored body fat as a direct source of fuel for the body instead of carbs.
A single tablespoon of apple cider vinegar only contains 0.1g of carbohydrates. Its overall calorie intake also sums up to merely 3 calories. Thus, it is evident that consuming apple cider vinegar while fasting can not break a fast, especially if you dilute it before use.
Below, we’ve compiled the research behind how apple cider vinegar can promote weight loss and support your fast.
Apple cider vinegar is known to suppress appetite and contribute to feelings of fullness.
The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition presented a clinical trial in 2005. Twelve healthy subjects consumed different vinegar concentrations with a bread meal. Each one of them reported reduced postprandial responses of glucose levels and increased satiety rating. (1)
A recent 2020 study performed a similar trial involving dried-apple-soaked rice. It concluded that dried apple-containing meals promoted feelings of fullness and worked better as a dietary supplement. (2)
This research suggests drinking apple cider vinegar shots may promote fasting by inhibiting hunger and unhealthy cravings.
Intermittent fasting is a means of achieving a healthier body and losing unnecessary body fat. Here, ACV’s presumed weight loss benefits could be significant. ACV is heavily marketed as a supplement for weight loss because a variety of studies lead us to believe it could potentially contribute.
A Japanese journal brought forward a study in 2014 whereby participants were given an ACV diet for 12 weeks. At the end of the study, each subject reported a reduction in body weight, triglyceride levels, and body fat mass. (3)
Further research from the Journal of Functional Foods performed a trial studying the ACV diet. Yet again, after 12-week exposure, each subject reported reduced body weight, hip circumference, and BMI levels. (4)
Improves Blood Sugar Levels
In 2018, a study showed that intermittent fasting could help those suffering from insulin resistance. Simultaneously, the subjects in this study also reported bodyweight reduction. This research lays the foundation for additional benefits associated with fasting outside of simply losing weight. (5)
Vinegar ingestion may also reduce postprandial glycemia (an exaggerated rise in blood sugar) when taken alongside high-glycemic load meals. (6)
Does ACV and Fasting Affect Blood Work?
In 2018, a study came forth that observed the effect of ACV on blood work for diabetic patients. It reported a significant reduction in hemoglobin levels and fasting blood sugar levels in the subjects. This leads us to believe that the combination can potentially impact blood work in beneficial ways. (7)
- Read More: Apple Cider Vinegar for Nerve Pain
What Is The Best Time to Take Apple Cider Vinegar?
Suggestions concerning the proper time to use apple cider vinegar flood the internet. Advocates of the remedy each have a different approach to it, and the results from scientific trials are inconclusive to reach a single answer.
One common suggestion is to consume it early morning to give a fresher start to the day. This approach may also help neutralize the bad breath in the morning as most bacteria thrive in neutral pH environments. Therefore, the acidity would help hinder their reproduction. On the flip side, consuming it before bed is also proven to counter diabetes and promote insulin sensitivity.
For apple cider vinegar and fasting, the best time comes down to personal preference. For instance, in the 16/8 pattern (where you only eat or drink for 8 hours of the day), breakfast is generally skipped. Thus, ACV in the morning might not be helpful. However, since ACV does not break a fast, you may consume it during periods of restricted eating.
- More Reading: Should you drink apple cider vinegar before bed?
Can You Drink Apple Cider Vinegar on an Empty Stomach?
Drinking ACV on an empty stomach can still provide numerous health benefits, even though many trials utilize apple cider vinegar in conjunction with meals. Two trials by the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition are valuable sources in this regard.
For the first one, each subject consumed a vinaigrette potato meal after an overnight fast—in other words, on an empty stomach. In the end, each participant reported a reduction in postprandial glycemic index rates and insulin responses. (8)
In the second trial, participants went through an overnight fast. Following the fast, they each consumed a bread meal with a different dosage of acetic acid. Blood glucose response at 30-45 min and insulin response at 15-30 min were reduced, and ACV showed significant potential for use on an empty stomach.
Potential Side Effects
If ACV’s acidity grants it all the power, it also presents minor drawbacks if you’re not being careful. Many of the side effects associated with drinking vinegar may be avoided by practicing basic safety tips.
- Prolonged and intense exposure to ACV can damage the tooth enamel or cause throat burns upon ingestion. Always use a straw for drinking it and dilute it with water before use.
- Consuming this product in the form of apple cider vinegar gummies or capsules is an effective way to reduce the harsh experience associated with drinking ACV.
- Large amounts of ACV consumption during ketosis can result in conditions of acidosis. Never exceed the ACV dosage of 1-2 tablespoons per day.
- ACV’s effects on blood sugar levels could be counterproductive if you have a history of other medical illnesses. Consult a medical professional before opting for it.
- If you’re drinking ACV, you should always be aware of the expiration date. Read this article to learn how long apple cider vinegar lasts.
Final Thoughts on ACV and Intermittent Fasting
Does ACV break a fast? The answer is no. In fact, apple cider vinegar can provide many additional weight loss benefits when incorporating fasting into your routine. When paired with other supplements that aid weight loss and control blood sugar, like turmeric curcumin, results may be amplified.
- More Reading: Apple cider vinegar and baking soda
However, always consider the potential side effects and practice safe consumption to achieve the best results. You should always consult with a certified medical professional before using this, or any dietary supplement.
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