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Glass of apple cider vinegar on blue tiles

How to take apple cider vinegar

23 Feb 2024 • 3 min read

Wondering how or even when to take apple cider vinegar to best harness its potential benefits? Keep reading and we’ll tell you all you need to know.

What is apple cider vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has been used in health and wellness as far back as 3300 B.C. and is still hugely popular today.1

ACV is made from fermented apples with yeast and bacteria that naturally form during the fermentation process. When the sugars from the apples ferment, acetic acid is created and it’s this which is thought to be the source of ACV’s potential health benefits.1

Finding the right dose: How much apple cider vinegar do you need?

Most of the studies surrounding apple cider vinegar recommend that you don’t exceed more than two tablespoons of ACV per day.1,2,3

The best way to start taking apple cider vinegar is to start small. Try half a tablespoon at first and slowly work your way up to two. However, it's best to check with your GP that doing so is safe.

Can you drink apple cider vinegar straight?

Due to its high acidity, you shouldn’t drink apple cider vinegar straight.

Drinking apple cider vinegar straight could damage your teeth and your throat.1 So, it’s always best to dilute your apple cider vinegar with water or mix it into a drink or food dressing.

Is it safe to take ACV every day?

Yes, it’s safe to drink apple cider vinegar every day, but don’t drink too much.4 Larger quantities of apple cider vinegar have some adverse side effects, such as the decay of tooth enamel.4

Is apple cider vinegar a good choice for me?

If you’re considering taking apple cider vinegar, there’s a few things you should watch out for. 
  • Are you on diuretics or heart medication? – Apple cider vinegar can interact with these medications and cause low potassium levels.4
  • Are you diabetic? – Apple cider vinegar can lower blood sugar levels, so taking it in combination with diabetes medication can cause your blood glucose levels to drop too far.5  Make sure to monitor your blood sugar levels.
  • Do you have problems with your kidneys? – Apple cider vinegar was found to be toxic in situations where kidney function is impaired.6  If you have lower kidney functions, avoid ACV.
If you’re on medication or have any pre-existing conditions, you should always check with your GP before making major changes to your diet.

4 different ways to take apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar comes in different formats, so adding it to your diet has never been easier.

Here’s a few different ways that you can take apple cider vinegar: 
  • Pure apple cider vinegar – The traditional liquid form. You can get this either with or without the Mother (the good bacteria created during the fermenting process), and it can be diluted down with water or added to salad dressings to be incorporated into your diet. 
  • Apple cider vinegar gummies – Gummies are a quick and easy way to incorporate supplements into your everyday routine. You can get ACV gummies with or without the Mother. 
  • Apple cider vinegar tablets – Like gummies, but less chewy. Tablets are another quick, easy way to incorporate ACV into your routine. Simply swallow with water. 
  • Apple cider vinegar shots – Shots are short, quick drinks that you can essentially have in one go. These are a great start to your day and can replace your morning coffee.

8 ways to make apple cider vinegar part of your daily routine

Making apple cider vinegar part of your daily routine has never been easier. Here are eight of our favourite ways to take apple cider vinegar as part of your diet.

1. Apple cider vinegar and honey with lemon

We’ve learned that taking apple cider vinegar straight isn’t great for you. So, why not try mixing ACV into a delicious drink?

Mixing a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with a cup of water, a squeeze of lemon juice and a teaspoon of honey creates a tasty, sweet drink. 

You could even add a pinch of cinnamon for extra flavour or add more honey to make it sweeter! (Make it a teaspoon of Manuka honey, and it’ll be even better!)

2. Water with apple cider vinegar

A simple but effective way to take your shot of apple cider vinegar is to simply mix your ACV into a glass of water. 

You can add anywhere up to two teaspoons into your water but remember to start small if you’re just starting to introduce apple cider vinegar to your diet.

3. Take an apple cider vinegar gummy

Maybe the most efficient and easiest way to introduce apple cider vinegar into your routine is to take apple cider vinegar gummies.

These pre-made gummies contain a carefully measured dose of apple cider vinegar, so there’s no messy measuring for you to do. Another bonus is that these gummies often have other vitamins added to them, so they’ll benefit you in other ways too.

They also often don’t have too much of a taste, so if the thought of consuming vinegar feels weird to you, this could be the best way to take apple cider vinegar.

4. Add apple cider vinegar to a salad dressing

Quick and easy, an apple cider vinegar salad dressing is a tasty way to not only take your daily taste of ACV but also add a bit of flavour to your favourite salad.

Our favourite salad dressing recipe is super simple. You’ll only need one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, three tablespoons of any cooking oil, one crushed garlic clove and salt and pepper. Simply mix it all and drizzle over your salad!

5. Take it as a shot with water, lemon juice, honey, and turmeric

Perhaps a bit different to the shots you might take at the weekend, taking apple cider vinegar diluted and mixed with other ingredients as a small shot, particularly in the morning, can really kickstart your day. 

All you need is some water, lemon juice, honey, turmeric, and apple cider vinegar.

Mix a squeeze of lemon, one teaspoon of honey (two if you want it a bit sweeter), a quarter of a teaspoon of turmeric, and one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a small cup of water and (if you have enough) separate the mix out into small shots.

Once you’re more familiar with apple cider vinegar, you can work your way up to two tablespoons.

6. Mix into your favourite recipes

If you’re keen to start cooking with apple cider vinegar, there are some easy ways to add ACV to some of your favourite recipes.

For instance, if you’re a fan of chutney or jam, you can add a tablespoon or two to your favourite recipe for a hint of acidity. You can even try adding apple cider vinegar to cooking sauces or even stews.

Check out our apple cider vinegar recipes for more!

7. In a pickle!

For a more mellow, sweet taste when pickling your favourite vegetables, swap out regular vinegar for apple cider vinegar!

ACV is a much less harsh alternative to other vinegar types, so when using apple cider in your pickles, they’ll be slightly less sour. You can even add herbs and spices to your pickle for a completely unique taste.

8. Add it to your tea

Green tea is thought to contain some great nutrients, so combine that with a splash of apple cider vinegar and well, your tea will really pack a punch!

Simply brew your green tea as normal and add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Give it a stir and voila! For a sweeter taste, you can even mix in a teaspoon of honey or a squeeze of lemon.

What's even better is that you can drink your green tea and apple cider vinegar cold or hot! If you want to drink it cold, pop it in the fridge to chill and add some ice to your glass when you’re ready to drink!

FAQs

When should you drink apple cider vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar can be taken at any time of the day. No research supports taking it at a particular time, so take ACV whenever is convenient for you.

Can you drink apple cider vinegar straight?

You should not drink apple cider vinegar straight and you should always dilute ACV with water if you’re drinking it. The high acid content can cause erosion of the enamel in your teeth, as well as damage to your mouth and throat.7,8

Why drink apple cider vinegar?

Drinking apple cider vinegar can provide a lot of different potential benefits.1 Read more about the health benefits of apple cider vinegar here.

Side effects of apple cider vinegar

There are some side effects of apple cider vinegar that anyone who is considering adding it to their diet should be aware of. 
  • Injure the digestive tract (throat, oesophagus, and stomach) – The highly acidic nature of ACV means that it can be damaging if consumed undiluted and in large quantities. 7
  • Tooth enamel erosion – The high acid content in apple cider vinegar could erode the enamel on your teeth over time.8  Try drinking apple cider vinegar through a straw to avoid contact with your teeth, and always make sure it’s diluted. 
  • Decreased potassium levels – Those who are taking certain heart medications or certain diuretics found that their potassium levels decreased while taking ACV. 9
  • Allergic reactions – People with allergies to either pectin or apples should not take apple cider vinegar.10  If you experience any unexpected side effects after taking ACV, such as a rash, trouble breathing, or swollen eyes and throat, contact your doctor immediately. 
  • Nausea or indigestion – If ACV is taken undiluted, it can make you feel sick or cause acid reflux.11

The final say

Not only is apple cider vinegar a great all-around ingredient for your health and well-being but there’s so many ways you can introduce it to your diet.

As a drink, a salad dressing, or even in a gummy form, you can make the most of all the great benefits of apple cider vinegar with minimal effort. A bottle (or two) in your kitchen cupboard will undoubtedly never go to waste.

Disclaimer

 

Sources

1. Martini N. Apple cider vinegar. Journal of Primary Health Care. 2021 Jun 29;13(2):191-2. Available at: https://www.publish.csiro.au/hc/fulltext/hc19561?crsi=6624972164&cicada_org_src=healthwebmagazine.com&cicada_org_mdm=direct
2. Fahey RL. Health benefits of apple cider vinegar and other common vinegars: A review. Integrative Medicine Alert. 2017 Jun 1;20(6). Available at: https://www.proquest.com/openview/9db6b9a61f9a3f127ab3f13f39566c26/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=196259
3. Santos HO, de Moraes WM, da Silva GA, Prestes J, Schoenfeld BJ. Vinegar (acetic acid) intake on glucose metabolism: A narrative review. Clinical nutrition ESPEN. 2019 Aug 1;32:1-7. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2405457719303055
4. Martini N. Apple cider vinegar. Journal of Primary Health Care. 2021. Available at: https://www.publish.csiro.au/hc/fulltext/hc19561?crsi=6624972164&cicada_org_src=healthwebmagazine.com&cicada_org_mdm=direct
5. Morgan J, Mosawy S. The potential of apple cider vinegar in the management of type 2 diabetes. International Journal of Diabetes Research. 2016. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ayesha-Humayun/publication/333673829_Effect_of_Apple_Cider_Vinegar_on_Glycemic_Control_Hyperlipidemia_and_Control_on_Body_Weight_in_Type_2_Diabetes_Patients/links/5cfe28db4585157d159ff700/Effect-of-Apple-Cider-Vinegar-on-Glycemic-Control-Hyperlipidemia-and-Control-on-Body-Weight-in-Type-2-Diabetes-Patients.pdf?crsi=6624969130&cicada_org_src=healthwebmagazine.com&cicada_org_mdm=direct
6. Shen Z, Yu Q, Li Y, Bao Y, Lu H. Determination of acyclovir in renal microdialysis fluid and confirmation of renal function index. Drug and Chemical Toxicology. 2020. Available at: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01480545.2018.1524474
7. Kousar M, Manzoor B, Rafiq A, Jabeen A. A perfect detoxifying drink–Apple cider vinegar. Just Agric. 2022. Available at: https://justagriculture.in/files/newsletter/2022/march/01.pdf
9. Martini N. Apple cider vinegar. Journal of Primary Health Care. 2021. Available at: https://www.publish.csiro.au/hc/fulltext/hc19561?crsi=6624972164&cicada_org_src=healthwebmagazine.com&cicada_org_mdm=direct
10. Martini N. Apple cider vinegar. Journal of Primary Health Care. 2021 Jun 29;13(2):191-2. Available at: https://www.publish.csiro.au/hc/fulltext/hc19561?crsi=6624972164&cicada_org_src=healthwebmagazine.com&cicada_org_mdm=direct
11. Yagnik D, Serafin V, J. Shah A. Antimicrobial activity of apple cider vinegar against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans; downregulating cytokine and microbial protein expression. Scientific reports. 2018 Jan 29;8(1):1732. Available at: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-18618-x
 
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