Here are just a few reasons why more people are drinking apple cider vinegar (ACV) with signs that it can improve your health:

Stamina and energy

Physical exertion and in some case, extreme stress cause a build up of lactic acid in the body, particularly in muscles and causes fatigue.  Amino acids in apple cider vinegar act as an antidote.  Furthermore, apple cider vinegar contains potassium and enzymes that can help relieve tiredness. Just add a tablespoon to a glass of water or veg/fruit juice or smoothie.

Leg cramps

Leg cramps often occur, due to low levels of potassium in the body.  I’m not sure of sufficient levels in apple cider vinegar, but it has been suggested as a home remedy to mix 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar and one teaspoon honey to a glass of warm water to relieve those uncomfortable night-time leg cramps.  However, as you walk to the kitchen to prepare the drink, the chances are the cramp will have passed.

Skin benefits

Who doesn’t want their skin to look perfect?  There are no miracle cures of course and we spend a lot of money on products.  Although there’s some doubt over improving acne, but it does seem to work on killing bacteria (spots) on the surface of the skin.  Use it as an astringent (diluted and apply directly to your face.  It can result in contractions of tissue and control bleeding.

Weight loss

Scientists speculate that apple cider vinegar interferes with the body’s digestion of starch, meaning fewer calories actually enter the bloodstream.  The acetic acid contained in vinegar can act as an appetite suppressant, increase your metabolism and lowers water retention.

Body detox

The body is always striving to achieve an ultimate state of health.  ACV helps the body maintain a healthy alkaline pH level (scale in numbers to measure the acid and alkaline levels – remember at the school the litmus paper test?)  Research has shown that higher acid levels (lower pH level) lead to a large increase in lack of energy levels and thus higher cases of infection.  ACV is seen as a natural way of counteracting these symptoms.  It can also help stimulate cardiovascular circulation and help flush the liver.

Digestion and acid reflux

Acid reflux occurs typically when the body does not have enough acid in your stomach.  You can easily improve your stomach’s acid content with the aid of ACV.  The pectin (a setting agent in jam making) in apple cider vinegar may also help to soothe intestinal spasms or cramps.

apples cider vinegar, honey and a glass

Drinking ACV to Improve Your Health

Personally, I like to drink ACV 15 minutes before breakfast.  Some people even do this before each meal.  Beware that acid can ruin enamel of your teeth, so it is important to drink a large glass of water afterwards.  Also remember to wash your mouth and teeth thoroughly after about 15 minutes.  Despite its acidity, ACV, like lemon water and as such, is recognised as a top alkaliser.  Basically neutralising or reducing acidosis in the body, which has been reported to aid in the recovery from a wide range of health conditions and diseases.

My method for drinking ACV is putting a teaspoon of raw honey in a glass tumbler and pouring ‘off the boil’ water to cover it and allow to dissolve.  Fill up the glass with around 100ml of cold water (boiling water can affect the benefits of the enzymes etc., so I am told) then adding 1 – 2 teaspoons of ACV and drinking.  With the quantity you are drinking, it is equivalent to 3 calories per tablespoon.

The starting dose is 1 tablespoon in a glass of water and you can slowly increase the dosage, a teaspoon at a time over several weeks, to a maximum of 3 tablespoons, should you find the increased dosage beneficial to your health.  Yes, it does taste a little sour, but that’s a good thing and the reason why it is recommended that beginners start with a small dosage at first and build it up.

If you really cannot handle the taste at the start, then try it with a drop of natural stevia sweetener or Xylitol.  Using refined sugar or commercial honey to sweeten it, will only encourage the intestinal problems that ACV is used to treat.  Raw, unpasteurised honey still contains the natural enzymes (this is not suitable for under 12’s), as it has not been treated with heat.

When you buy ACV,  you want the organic and unfiltered version that also contains the ‘mother.’  It is said that the mother is a cobweb like amino acid based substance in unprocessed versions that contains strands of protein, enzymes and friendly bacteria.  And yes, it is normal for it to look cloudy, this is best to buy.  Good brands to look out for are Braggs’, Biona and Living Earth (if buying from the UK).  Other brands are available too.

Here is an article on the website Authority Nutrition written by Kris Gunnars (BSc) evidence based approach research, highlighting ACV’s health benefits.

Disclaimer: Remember, ACV is no miracle cure and unlikely that any one of these health benefits above will determine health improvements alone.  This will come with eating a healthy, well-balanced diet and other health improvements.

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