Apple cider vinegar is a rumored magical elixir for a range of health-related woes. Jennifer Aniston drinks it every morning and she hasn’t aged in 25 years. Is that not proof enough? Other people say the acidic substance cleared their skin, got rid of belly bloat, increased their energy and lessened sugar cravings within a week. Some even say they lose weight. This sounds too good to be true. Is it?
To find out if apple cider-based vinegar is as great as it’s made out to be, I choked a tablespoon down every morning around 8 a.m. and let me tell you: It was vile. Nothing against Trader Joe’s (I love you, Trader Joe's), but I used its private-label Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar.
I would rather have taken this like a shot because, in truth, shots of anything are disgusting, but it’s ill-advised to drink ACV straight because it’s highly acidic. I value the enamel on my teeth and lining of my esophagus, so I diluted it with a cup of cold water from the Brita.
Some people prepare their ACV cocktail with lemon and honey, but I just plugged my nose and chugged it with water alone because whenever I buy lemons, they spoil, and the honey in my honey bear is rock solid. Could I have just bought a new one? Sure. Did I? Absolutely not.
The Daily Meal/Taylor Rock
Reader, I want to stress the fact that, for an entire month (30 days), I basically drank straight salad dressing, and it was all for you. The experience may have been a bit less disturbing if I’d noticed any actual results, but I didn’t.
Drinking apple cider vinegar may have made me slightly less hungry, but that’s only because every morning after I force-fed myself this ugly potion, I didn’t want to eat anything right away because my stomach was full of liquid sloshing around like a waterbed and I was nauseous from the taste. I didn’t lose any weight because when my appetite came back, I ate normally. The presence of ACV didn’t appear to speed up my metabolism and, as a person who is basically bloated around the clock, that didn’t change, either.
Increased energy would have been nice, but I didn’t experience any at all. I’m generally a pretty tired person and still needed coffee or sugar-free Red Bull an hour or so after taking the ACV. Decreased sugar cravings? Ha. By 3 p.m. every day my brain was like, “You know what sounds good right now? A Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.” There are so many different triggers for sugar cravings, though.
As far as skincare goes, it’s a no from me, dog. My blemishes did not clear, and I’ve had the same dry patch on my lower right face for three weeks now. I’m disappointed by the results of this heinous test, but I’m glad it’s over. I will be using the rest of my ACV to make broccoli salad.
The Daily Meal/Taylor Rock
This sour, apple-based concoction isn’t a cure-all, but if you want to try it for yourself, you could get different results, and some hidden health benefits are actually backed by science. Many brands, like the one I used, are unpasteurized and unfiltered with the “mother,” which refers to the murky-looking combination of yeast and bacteria formed during fermentation. This is considered a probiotic and, apart from that, ACV is rich with vitamin B and polyphenols or plant-based antioxidants.
According to Dr. Edwin McDonald IV at The University of Chicago Medicine, ACV can moderately lower blood sugar and, in turn, help fight diabetes (in addition to medicine), lower your appetite and lower your cholesterol. It could even thwart harmful bacteria in your salad from making you sick. On the contrary, it could erode your tooth enamel (that’s why I diluted it with water), give you acid reflux and, if you have chronic kidney disease, your kidneys might not be able to process it.
To be completely transparent, I did go to the dentist a day before writing this article, and the hygienist told me that the enamel on my teeth was weak. Correlation does not imply causation, but that’s the first time I’ve ever heard that, so … be careful if you choose to drink it, too.
More research is needed to truly know pros and cons tied to ACV, but for me, it didn’t do jack. If you’re an ACV believer and it works for you, that’s amazing. If you tried it and didn’t see a change, I’m right there with you. Trying to follow a healthy diet can be tricky, but if there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that these so-called “healthy” foods aren’t actually as good for you as they seem.