Written by Divinity Nutra, Updated on January 19, 2022
Apple cider vinegar is one of the most touted dietary supplements, famous for its medicinal uses. Similarly, ketogenic diets have been all the rage within weight loss circles for years now, and science frequently backs up the claims.
How about combining the two powerhouses and finding out how well apple cider vinegar for keto performs? Let’s evaluate.
Apple Cider Vinegar and Keto Diet
The type of vinegar produced from fermented apples is called apple cider vinegar. ACV production results in the conversion of sugar, to alcohol, to acetic acid. The acid is the workhorse of the substance and grants it many beneficial healing properties.
What is Ketosis?
Your body has an ever-increasing demand for energy that is satisfied by breaking down the carbs you consume. If the body runs out of carbohydrates, it instead starts consuming fats, resulting in the build-up of ketones. This process is called ketosis.
- More Reading: Does apple cider vinegar break a fast?
Triggering ketosis is the aim of the ketogenic diet. The keto diet is a low-carb, high fat intake designed to reduce weight and manage blood sugar levels. Historically, ketosis was thought to help control seizures in epileptic individuals. Today, numerous research trials back the efficiency of a ketogenic diet in controlling hunger, balancing metabolic rate, and losing weight. (1)
Is Apple Cider Vinegar Keto Friendly?
Yes, apple cider vinegar is keto-friendly. ACV works well with the keto diet when you consider its low carbohydrate composition. Besides its low carb count, ACV offers numerous health benefits. These range from a cleanse and detox solution, to a gout treatment, and even as a remedy to heartburn and GERD.
In the research below, we’ll discover how apple cider vinegar and ketosis go hand in hand. We’ll also discuss how ACV can further support your weight loss goals.
It Helps Reduce Weight
A 2018 study from PeerJ evaluated the effects of several nutritional supplements in the induction of ketosis. It concluded vinegar as a “free food” (low-calorie content) for all ketogenic diets and a prospective stimulus for ketosis by the use of acetic acid. (2)
Moreover, in a trial performed by the Journal of Functional Foods, subjects were introduced to a restricted 250kcal/day ACV diet. After 12 weeks, each of the subjects reported improvements in body weight, hip circumference, and BMI. (3)
Another trial by the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition proposed similar positive results. It found participants felt fuller after an ACV meal due to the acetic acid content. This result was duplicated by a Japanese study when a 12-week dietary exposure to ACV helped lower visceral fat and triglyceride levels in obese participants. (4, 5)
Managing Blood Sugar
Together, keto and apple cider vinegar have a similar influence on blood glucose levels in humans. Ketosis is a great diet for managing blood sugar levels and keeping insulin responses at bay. Trials utilizing vinegar have concluded similar properties and declared it efficient in reducing postprandial glycemia (an exaggerated rise in blood sugar). (6, 7)
Furthermore, studies have also identified acetic acid’s positive influence on glucose uptake and blood flow rates. (8)
- Read More: Apple Cider Vinegar for Neuropathy
As an Antimicrobial Agent
It’s well known that keto diets can have a dramatic impact on gut health. In time, ketosis can alter the gut microbiome in a way that reduces bodily inflammation and combats autoimmune diseases like arthritis and joint pain.
Apple cider vinegar can also improve gut health, working in tandem with ketosis due to its high antimicrobial and antifungal activity. The keto diet and ACV work together to support weight loss, improve gut health, and maximize immune system function. (9)
How Many Carbs are in Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar is a low-calorie, low-carb keto-friendly supplement. Each 1 tbsp serving of ACV consists of merely 0.1g of carbohydrates. The total calorie content in 1 tbsp is about 3.1 calories.
If you follow a basic apple cider vinegar drink recipe with water alone, the carb content remains unaffected. However, with the inclusion of a sweetener, such as honey or sugar, you’ll need to recalculate your calories and carbs. We recommend mixing ACV with a low-carb additive, like turmeric, instead.
If you’re choosing to consume apple cider vinegar gummies over the liquid form, keep the following in mind: A serving size of 2 ACV gummies contains about 6g of carbohydrates. If you’re keeping your carbs very low, the gummies are unlikely to influence your state of ketosis and are much more pleasant to consume.
Keto-Friendly ACV Drink Recipe
A common method of ACV consumption is to dilute it with water and gulp it down on an empty stomach. For a more fancy approach, you can make yourself a better-tasting ACV drink using the following recipe:
- In a cup, put 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with 8 ounces of water.
- Add a stevia-based sweetener (naturally derived and keto-friendly).
- Add a tablespoon of non-concentrated lemon juice.
- Consider additional ingredients based on personal preference, like cinnamon, ginger, or pepper.
When Should I Drink Apple Cider Vinegar for Weight Loss?
Proponents suggest several different ways to squeeze more ACV into your diet. For instance, in the morning, between meals, or drinking ACV every night before bed. There is no strict rule about the timing, however, make sure you choose one that suits you best.
For instance, if you suffer from heartburn and acid reflux problems, consuming before bed may not be the best approach. In this case, you may want to drink ACV in the morning with a meal.
Other Ways to Take ACV
Apple cider vinegar is versatile. You can add it to your keto diet in more than one way.
- Add ACV to your favorite salad or cook it with a vegetable.
- Using ACV pills saves time and is hassle-free. However, studies have shown them to not be as effective as liquid vinegar.
- Marinating poultry/meat with ACV intensifies its flavor.
- ACV gummies are delicious, they work great, and they make up for the lack of good palatable keto-friendly dessert options.
- Mix up apple cider vinegar and baking soda. Dilute with water and drink before meals.
Potential Side Effects
- The acidity from non-diluted ACV can damage tooth enamel and result in throat burns due to prolonged exposure.
- After ingestion of large amounts of acetic acid with a ketogenic diet, you may increase your risk of acidosis.
- Pregnant women, children, and adults with medical illnesses may experience a high pH imbalance. For more info, read about the pH of apple cider vinegar.
- Excess ACV can overburden the kidneys and lead to nausea.
- It may lower potassium to unsafe levels.
Moderation is key. Too much ACV in the body can lead to health issues. Therefore, never take an ACV dosage of more than 15-30ml. This is equivalent to 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar per day.
If you have any serious medical issues, consult with a professional before drinking apple cider vinegar for keto. We suggest you perform a test round before making it a constant part of your diet. Should you feel any adverse side effects, immediately quit use and consult with a medical professional.
Final Thoughts on ACV and Ketogenic Diet
We can conclude that ACV is a keto-friendly dietary supplement that can support your weight loss goals. However, remember that neither of the two can magically transform the body without a healthy approach to life. Stay hydrated, eat healthily, exercise regularly, get enough sleep, and if it suits you, combine keto and apple cider vinegar to help you lose weight faster.
- Learn: What are the benefits of an apple cider vinegar bath?