It has been used in cooking and natural medicine for thousands of years.
What is the proper dose of apple cider vinegar?
Many claim it has health benefits, including weight loss , better blood sugar levels, relief from indigestion, and a decreased risk of heart disease and cancer.
With its many potential uses, it can be difficult to know how much apple cider vinegar to drink each day.
This article describes how much apple cider vinegar to drink for different health benefits, as well as the best way to avoid side effects.
To control blood sugar
Apple cider vinegar is often recommended as a natural way to control blood sugar levels, especially for people with insulin resistance .
When taken before a high-carb meal, vinegar slows the emptying of the stomach and prevents large spikes in blood sugar.
It also improves insulin sensitivity, which helps your body pull more glucose out of your bloodstream and into your cells, lowering blood sugar levels.
Interestingly, only a small amount of apple cider vinegar is needed to have these effects.
Four teaspoons (20 ml) of apple cider vinegar before meals have been shown to significantly lower blood sugar levels after eating.
It should be mixed with a few ounces of water and consumed just before a high carb meal.
Apple cider vinegar does not significantly lower blood sugar when taken before a low-carb or high-fiber meal.
Drinking four teaspoons (20 ml) of apple cider vinegar diluted in water immediately before a high-carbohydrate meal can reduce blood sugar spikes.
For polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal condition associated with abnormal menstrual cycles, high levels of androgen hormones, ovarian cysts, and insulin resistance.
A three-month study found that women with PCOS who drank one tablespoon (15 ml) of apple cider vinegar with 100 ml or about 7 ounces of water immediately after dinner improved hormone levels and experienced more regular periods.
Although more research is needed to confirm these results, one tablespoon (15 ml) per day appears to be an effective dose for improving PCOS symptoms.
Regularly drinking one tablespoon (15 ml) of apple cider vinegar with 100 ml or about 7 ounces of water after dinner can improve PCOS symptoms.
To lose weight
Vinegar can help people lose weight by increasing feelings of fullness and reducing the amount of food you eat throughout the day.
In one study, one or two tablespoons (15 or 30 ml) of apple cider vinegar a day for three months helped overweight adults lose an average of 2.6 and 3.7 pounds (1.2 and 1.7 kg), respectively.
Two tablespoons per day have also been found to help dieters lose nearly twice the weight in three months compared to people who did not consume apple cider vinegar.
You can stir it in a glass of water and drink it before meals or mix it with oil to make a salad dressing.
Apple cider vinegar is more likely to aid weight loss when combined with other diet and lifestyle changes.
Drinking 1-2 tablespoons (15-30 ml) of apple cider vinegar every day for several months can increase weight loss in overweight people.
To improve digestion
Many people drink apple cider vinegar before protein-rich meals to improve digestion.
The theory is that apple cider vinegar increases the acidity of your stomach, which helps your body create more pepsin, the enzyme that breaks down protein.
While there is no research to support the use of vinegar for digestion, other acidic supplements, such as betaine HCL, can significantly increase stomach acidity.
Acidic foods like apple cider vinegar can have similar effects, but more research is needed.
Those who take apple cider vinegar for digestion typically drink a tablespoon or two (15-30 ml) with a glass of water immediately before meals, but there is currently no evidence to support this dosage.
Some claim that drinking a tablespoon or two (15-30 ml) of apple cider vinegar before meals can aid digestion. However, there is currently no research to support this practice.
For general well-being
Other popular reasons to take apple cider vinegar include protection against heart disease, reducing cancer risk, and fighting infection.
There is limited scientific evidence to support these claims, and there are no recommended doses for humans available.
Animal and test-tube studies suggest that vinegar may reduce the risk of heart disease, fight cancer, and slow the growth of bacteria, but no human studies have been done.
Several studies have found that people who regularly eat salads with vinegar-based dressings tend to have a lower risk of heart disease and less belly fat, but this could be due to other factors.
More human research is needed to understand the best apple cider vinegar dosage for overall health and wellness.
There is no evidence that apple cider vinegar can protect against heart disease, cancer, or infections in humans, so no dosage recommendations can be made.
Best practices to avoid side effects
Apple cider vinegar is relatively safe to consume, but it can cause side effects in some people.
Since the acidity of apple cider vinegar is responsible for many of its health benefits, be sure not to mix it with anything that can neutralize the acid and reduce its positive effects.
Keep in mind that the acidity of vinegar can also damage tooth enamel with regular use. Drinking through a straw and rinsing your mouth with water afterward can help prevent this.
Although drinking apple cider vinegar is associated with health benefits, consuming large amounts (8 ounces or 237 ml) every day for many years can be dangerous and has been linked to low blood potassium levels and osteoporosis.
If you experience uncomfortable side effects after taking apple cider vinegar, such as nausea, belching, or reflux, stop taking it and discuss these symptoms with your doctor.
Apple cider vinegar is relatively safe in small amounts, but it can erode tooth enamel or cause an upset stomach in some people. Large amounts can be unsafe to consume for long periods of time.
The bottom line
Apple cider vinegar can help control blood sugar, improve PCOS symptoms, and promote weight loss.
A typical dose is 1-2 tablespoons (15-30 ml) mixed with water and taken before or after meals.
Research does not support claims that it can improve digestion and prevent heart disease, cancer, or infections.
Apple cider vinegar is a relatively safe supplement to consume in moderation, but it has not been thoroughly researched.
Future studies may reveal more potential uses and benefits and help clarify the most effective dosages.