Apple Cider Vinegar: A Shot of BS
I’m really hoping that, by the time you see this, ACV will no longer be a thing.
That’s unlikely though, given the fact that apple cider vinegar has been around since the B.C. ages of Hippocrates himself. It was the magical elixir with many purposes from curing infections and treating wounds to even cleansing homes.
So, like most ancient substances, many have revisited apple cider vinegar as a health tool (as long as they don’t also bring back bloodletting as a retro trend, I’m good).
There are a lot of health claims around apple cider vinegar, but the one that gets most buzz is weight loss.
Many public figures have popularized taking a shot of apple cider vinegar first thing in the morning to supercharge your metabolism for the day.
I can’t tell you how many gut-churning Snapchat stories I’ve seen of celebrities taking shots of what looks like misery and the tears of children judging by the looks on their faces.
Others take the more acid-reflux-friendly route and dilute a couple of spoonfuls in a glass of water to drink before each meal.
Whichever way it’s taken, the promise is that you’ll just melt the fat off of your body. But, what’s the real deal with this stuff?
The health benefits many claim can be yours if you just jump on the vinegar train include:
Accelerated fat burning and weight loss
Blood sugar control
Let’s go through each of these shall we?
Accelerated fat burning and weight loss
I can’t wait to cover this one.
This claim all started with a large Japanese study consisting of 175 obese individuals. The subjects drank apple cider vinegar every day for 12 weeks and the results showed the subjects had increased fat burning and weight loss.
Check and mate. What more is there to say?
Here’s the thing though: the subjects that had weight loss lost about 1 pound of fat a month.
Like? One measly pound? Over A MONTH???
If you’re okay with having vinegar with your breakfast every day for three months just to lose 3 pitiful little pounds over the course of 3 months, then apple cider vinegar would be one way to achieve that.
You could get a lot farther with keeping a sensible (about 250-400) calorie deficit without the vinegar. Just a thought!
A small study found that drinking vinegar could reduce your appetite if consumed on an empty stomach. So, many ACV takers will take a shot either first thing in the morning or just when they are feeling hungry to quell their appetite.
It’s worth noting, though, that the study also states in its conclusion that this “appetite-suppressing” effect is likely due to the nausea caused by consuming something so acidic and unappealing on empty stomach.
Do you know what else suppresses your appetite?
And it tastes better too!
Controls blood sugar
Okay, this has some actual science behind it, with studies supported by dietitians.
Many studies and reviews have found that vinegar can help control blood sugar in those with type 2 diabetes and prediabetes. The studies showed that the body’s cells took up sugar from the blood more easily when vinegar was consumed with a meal.
The study also showed that the acetic acid in vinegar breaks down the starches to slow blood sugar spikes. It is worth noting, too, that all vinegars, from plain old white vinegar to better-tasting ones like red wine vinegar, have the same acetic acid that can cause this effect.
So, apple cider vinegar alone isn’t the magic solution.
Is There Any Downside?
Apple cider vinegar is still an acid and, in large quantities, acetic acid can have toxic effects. YouTubers everywhere have popularized taking shots of it every morning, but experts advise against this due to the fact that your esophagus isn’t anatomically designed to withstand acid so regularly.
This could cause harmful irritation when done on a daily basis. Additionally, apple cider vinegar can have interactions with prescription medication, so if you’re making the choice to try it, you may need to consult your doctor.
Despite all of this info, if you STILL want to give it a try, at least be safe about it.
Do not shoot it straight, but dilute it with 8 ounces (or 1 cup) of water for every tablespoon, no more than 2 tablespoons a day.
It would also be a good idea to brush your teeth or rinse your mouth afterwards. Again, the acidity of this stuff can definitely come with some issues, one of which is making the environment in your mouth too acidic. This could lead to cavities and wear down your enamel if you’re drinking it too often.
The bottom line?
No matter how much noise you hear about something, if anything is sold to you as a “magic bullet” for weight loss, you should be skeptical, cautious and seek the advice of a professional.
Especially if the person who is swearing by their mother that works is also a person who is trying to sell you something or has an otherwise vested interest in you taking the stuff.
Research has shown that apple cider vinegar is particularly effective at getting rid of dandruff, curing bad breath and getting the odor out of shoes.
When it comes to it being a fat-burning elixir, though, sorry. There’s just no science to support that.
If you want to learn how to lose fat the right way, check out my program The Athlete's Method.