Apple cider vinegar has been used for many decades as a powerful aid in losing weight, curing ailments and many other home remedies. Drinking apple cider vinegar for weight loss is not uncommon among the celebrity community either. In a recent Glamour interview, Fergie Ferg revealed how she drinks two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and has noticed a difference on her stomach. Megan Fox drinks it to clean out her system and lose retained water weight. And Scarlett Johansson uses it on her face to keep her porcelain complexion. So let’s take a closer look at what apple cider vinegar is all about, how it is used to promote weight loss, and clear up some misinformation about the nutritional content of apple cider vinegar and the truth about its pectin values.
What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar is derived from the apple fruit and produced through a fermentation process which take from a few days up to several months. For commercial purposed the faster process is preferred and is accomplished through an oxidation process. This involves adding “mother” of vinegar (bacterial culture) to the apple cider and then adding air using a venture pump or turbine. As with the longer process, this process will also produce the highly acidic nontoxic slime composed of acetic acid bacteria, which can be seen in the bottom of a bottle of Bragg organic apple cider vinegar with the “mother”.
What makes Apple Cider Vinegar so Beneficial?
Even with all the claims of healing powers and health benefits, it appears none of this can be attributed to its nutrient values. Surprisingly the vitamins and minerals in apple cider vinegar are very low and unsubstantial. According to the USDA, it has very little vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, or folate. It also has very little measurable amino acids, lycopene or other nutritional elements. And for pectin, ACV has no measurable amount of it or any other fiber.
So what makes this vinegar so beneficial? It appears that the true benefits of apple cider vinegar lies in its high acidic value. In order to better visualize this value and how it compares to other chemicals and foods, I have created a list with the approximate pH values. As you will see, vinegar is very high on the list with a pH value of 2.2. This value can however vary between 2.2 and 3.4, but nonetheless is still highly acidic.
0 - Hydrochloric Acid (HCl)
1.0 - Battery Acid
2.0 - Lemon Juice
2.2 - Vinegar
3.0 - Apples
4.0 - Wine and Beer
4.5 - Tomatoes
6.6 - Milk
7.0 - Pure Water
7.4 - Human Blood
8.3 - Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate)
10.5 - Milk of Magnesia
11.0 - Ammonia
12.4 - Lime
14.0 - Sodium Hydroxide
Apple cider vinegar contains 5% acetic acid. Due to its high acetic value, drinking apple cider vinegar for weight loss is highly encouraged before a meal, as this will increase stomach acidity and improve digestion and nutrient uptake. Let’s see how drinking apple cider vinegar helps us lose weight.
How does drinking Apple Cider Vinegar help promote Weight Loss?
- Rich in acetic acid, ACV increases stomach acidity which enhances digestion and nutrient uptake. As it aids in better digestion of proteins, a building block for HGH, it helps promote a raised metabolism and thus burn fat.
- The high acetic acid helps lower blood glucose levels and prevent insulin spikes. A 2004 study published in the American Diabetes Association’s publication “Diabetes Care” supports this claim, and that blood glucose levels had improved by 25 percent.
- Another discovery by Nobumasa Ogawa, Ph.D., of Tokyo University in Tokyo showed that the high level of acetic acid in ACV can inhibit the activity of carbohydrate-digesting enzymes, thus resulting in some sugars and starches passing through the intestines without being digested.
- A more efficient digestive process, rather than a sluggish digestive system not working properly, contributes to more nutrient absorption and thus a better mood and more energy for physical activity such as exercise.
Apple Cider Vinegar and the Truth about Pectin
I believe there is misinformation being spread about the benefits of pectin in apple cider vinegar and how it contributes to weight loss. Many sites convey the message that pectin is equally abundant in apple cider vinegar as it is in apples. Other sources, including the USDA, conclude that ACV has no measurable amount of pectin, or any other fiber for that matter.
Pectin, nonetheless, can be found in apples and apple sauce and a few other fruits, and is not only used as a thickening agent, but also known for its use in weight loss control. The thickening properties of pectin can help in controlling weight in that it causes a gelatinous mass in your stomach as it absorbs water and expands, which gives you the feeling of being full. The other benefit of pectin is that it helps lower blood sugar levels. By slowing down the movement of food through the small intestine, it slows down the rate at which sugar is absorbed into the blood stream and thus reduces insulin spikes which would otherwise promote fat storage.
Having said this, I would highly suggest having an apple or some apple sauce with your lunch or dinner to help encourage weight loss, as I have not seen anything conclusive that apple cider vinegar has the pectin needed to aid in weight loss.
What type of Apple Cider Vinegar should I drink for Weight Loss?
For daily use I strongly recommend only organic, raw, unfiltered, fermented with the ‘Mother’. The most popular and one I use and strongly suggest is Bragg’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar with the ‘Mother’ and is naturally gluten free. The ‘mother’ is “made up of strand like enzymes of connected protein molecules with living nutrients and bacteria”. For daily consumption and weight loss purposes, always avoid clear vinegar as it is processed and does not have the same health benefits as raw apple cider vinegar.
Bragg’s is pretty well distributed and can be found at almost all health food stores. Otherwise, ordering online is another option to consider.
How should I drink Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar due to its high acidic value can be very harsh on your teeth and even the skin or throat. For this reason it is highly suggested that you dilute the vinegar in water before drinking. If not diluted, this harsh acid can damage teeth enamel.
Before pouring the vinegar in a glass, shake the bottle to evenly distribute the brown looking slime at the bottom of the bottle. As stated earlier, this slime is composed of highly beneficial acetic acid bacteria.
Pour 2 tablespoons of the ACV into a glass and fill the rest of the glass with water. Some may prefer to only fill the glass half full or even a little less, which is also fine.
If it is difficult for you to drink apple cider vinegar or if you would like the benefits of taking vinegar on the go, try taking vinegar pills. They are easier to consume and can be taken along to school or work.
When should I drink Apple Cider Vinegar?
Drinking apple cider vinegar for weight loss means consuming before meals. Although many people consume ACV in the morning after getting up, for weight loss purposes it is even more beneficial to drink ACV before meals, such as lunch and dinner.
Apple cider vinegar is by no means a miracle cure for weight loss. Too many sites are misleading, are distributing false claims and erroneous nutritional information, and overly hyping the effectiveness of ACV as a weight loss cure all. I do believe ACV can be effective in adding that extra punch to an already existing weight loss program or at least help shed a couple of pounds. Hopefully this article has provided you with a better understanding of how drinking apple cider vinegar for weight loss can contribute to your fat loss arsenal. Just remember, the brown murky goo in the bottle is your friend. It is responsible for the high acetic acid content in apple cider vinegar. Just give it a shake before pouring, and drink up.
See why celebrities like Scarlett Johansson and Hilary Duff are using Apple Cider Vinger.
Cindy on December 02, 2017:
My husband aunt drunk vinegar and honey together her whole life! She lived to be 92 and one hospitalization was the day she died. I wouldn’t suggest baking soda as it would neutralize the acid! We been adding it to our cup of tea! Cup of tea, teaspoon honey, tablespoon of vinegar
Stefan Dobrev on May 21, 2017:
Vinegar in general is great, apple cider is to (real apple cider venigar not flavored) is to. Ive been known to take a shot of ACV here and there, I mostly use it to make my own butter milk for soaking chicken. Whole milk, vinegar and lemon juice. Delicious
Mario on December 18, 2016:
I take 2 tablespoons in 1/3 glass of water for my blood pressure control which keeps the high reading around 114 to 120.
kat on December 08, 2016:
If the ACV hurts your teeth, use a straw.....
Daniel Hunter from Gold Coast on December 02, 2016:
I should give it a go for myself.
Deborah Nessmith from Florida on November 28, 2016:
Very interesting article. I was actually thinking about do a 30 day challenge to see if consuming ACV before meals helped with weight loss. I've read that pairing it with grapefruit or orange juice helps with weight loss, but I guess it's like you said, it the acidic nature that helps with digestion. Thanks for the information.
Abu sahadat md ayeat ullah from Dhaka,Bangladesh on September 14, 2016:
John Mark (author) from Texas on March 12, 2016:
Hello @Denis Lubojanski. Simply diluting the apple cider ACV in water or adding a little baking soda should resolve you issue. Thanks for asking and good luck.
Denis Lubojanski from 7 Station Street, London on March 04, 2016:
Oh, I really should have known earlier. But it is always better late than never. Only one problem is that acidic product causes my teeth pain. Is there any remedy for this?
Bob Schroeder on February 09, 2016:
My granddaughter swears by the vinager drinking for health benefits. I may try it again and see what the results might be.
Robin Grosswirth from New York on July 09, 2015:
Well written and informative hub.
Robert Morgan from Hutchinson Island, FL - Myrtle Beach, SC - Gilbert AZ on July 07, 2015:
Well written and right on the money. Thanks for the research and insights. Blessings.
John Mark (author) from Texas on January 21, 2015:
The only thing I would be worried about, in your case, is that you may be damaging your esophagus over time. I would seriously recommend diluting your shots with some water. Thanks for the comment.
Michelle on January 20, 2015:
I was told to drink it as a shot and was doing so. It burned a little but I'm ok with it. The bitterness doesn't bother me.
@mommaruns1 on August 22, 2014:
Oh, I didn't know you could add baking soda! I think I'll try that...maybe if I can just get used to if eventually can stop adding baking soda? :-)
John Mark (author) from Texas on August 22, 2014:
Thank you @mommaruns1, @Mel Carriere and @FitMDRx for dropping by and commenting on my article. I do agree that drinking ACV is pretty tough. Sometimes it's hard for me to choke down too. I usually only dilute the apple cider vinegar with water, but my first glass in the morning I add some baking soda which completely takes out the sting. But otherwise I stick to water only, so the pH is not changed. Thanks again for your comments. Have a great weekend and stay healthy.
@mommaruns1 on August 21, 2014:
I have tried to drink ACV but have yet to find a combo that makes it edible (or in this case drinkable I guess). I am very sensitive to acidic things however so that may be a big part of it. If it was just a little less awful, maybe I could at least get it down haha!
FitMDRx on August 21, 2014:
Mel Carriere from San Diego California on August 21, 2014:
Extremely informative and well written article. I will try to increase my consumption of apples, but I don't think I can do the vinegar thing.