Apple Cider Vinegar – Will it Really Help You Lose Weight Fast?
If you’re looking for a magic elixir that will help you lose weight, the online forums extolling the benefits of apple cider vinegar weight loss might have you sold. And with drinks like Switchel, a mix of apple cider vinegar and maple syrup, making waves all over the web, the debate over the merits of ACV is certainly heating up.
While whipping up apple cider vinegar-based salad dressing is one thing, the benefits of drinking it straight from the bottle can be questionable at best. And there are real risks, too.
“A lot of cleanses focus on juices or beverages, so it’s possible that apple cider vinegar is getting looped in as part of this trend,” says Lisa Cimperman, RDN, LD, a clinical dietician at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland. But unlike downing green juice, drinking too much apple cider vinegar could actually be harmful to your health.
The Sketchy Claims Surrounding Apple Cider Vinegar
Lauded as a way to improve everything from weight loss to indigestion, apple cider vinegar has even been said to help people control diabetes. “But the fact is that we don’t have the research to uphold any of these claims,” Cimperman says.
In fact, apple cider vinegar might make some health conditions worse — particularly if consumed in excess. “People tend to think more is always better but if individuals were to take in large amounts of apple cider vinegar, it could cause severe negative health consequences,” Cimperman says. “For example…[consumed] in tablet form, there have been reports of it burning an individual’s esophagus because it is highly acidic.”
Claims of “Drink this, lose weight!” generally sound too good to be true for a reason.
That acidity might also be bad news for people suffering from acid reflux, or heartburn. “It can potentially irritate the esophagus as it’s going down, and not only that, then there’s more acid [in your stomach] to potentially reflux back out,” Cimperman says. If you’re looking for digestive relief, Cimperman recommends sticking to a diet rich in fiber and probiotics, instead.
When it comes to controlling diabetes, leave that to your doctors, please! Many people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes also have a condition called gastroparesis, which can prevent the stomach from properly emptying. This can make it more difficult to manage blood glucose. “If someone with gastroparesis were to take apple cider vinegar weight loss, it could make that condition even worse,” Cimperman says.
What About Apple Cider Vinegar for Weight Loss?
Claims of “Drink lose weight!” generally sound too good to be true for a reason. One recent study of 14 people showed that those who drank a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar weight loss mixed with 8 ounces of water before a meal had lower blood glucose levels. This may be because vinegar interfered with the body’s digestion of starch.
“By blocking digestion of starch, that would result in a calorie reduction of your meal,” Cimperman says. “So that’s possibly where [those weight claims] came from, but it’s hard for me to say.” Other minor studies have shown similar benefits, but Cimperman says weight loss claims, “often grow out of a very small study that gets blown out of proportion.”
In other words, don’t bank on apple cider vinegar when clean eating and good old-fashioned exercise will do. If you’re set on incorporating apple cider vinegar in your diet, do it in moderation. “My advice would be to do no more than one to two teaspoons and mix it in water or some other beverage to dilute the acidity.
You never want to take it just straight,” Cimperman says. Even better: Mix it with olive oil and use it to top your salads as a low-calorie alternative to your usual ranch dressing. Or, try delicious apple cider recipes that incorporate it in creative ways. It’ll be tastier than chugging it, that’s for sure.
Apple Cider Vinegar Weight Loss – How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar
Ready to start taking apple cider vinegar for its health benefits?
In studies, participants typically take one to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar every day. That’s 15-30mL.
If you’re brave, you can do a shot of the stuff yourself (a typical shot glass is 30mL). However, as soon as the apple cider vinegar hits your tongue, you’ll realize just how awful it tastes.
That’s why some people combine apple cider vinegar with other, stronger-tasting fruit juices. Grapefruit juice is one popular option. Pour yourself a glass (about 250mL) of grapefruit juice and add your two tablespoons (30mL) of apple cider vinegar. Mix together.
Of course, you don’t have to drink apple cider vinegar. You can use it as a salad dressing, like a vinaigrette. Put it on salads or your favorite vegetables.
If you’re drinking apple cider vinegar to reduce diabetes symptoms (which has been shown to reduce fasting blood sugar levels by 4% overnight), then you should mix it with a glass of water before bed.
Obviously, you don’t want to drink a glass of sugar juice just before bed – so a full glass of water mixed with two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar is often the best option.