Here's What Happens When You Drink Apple Cider Vinegar Every Day

Drinking apple cider vinegar, sometimes referred to as ACV, is touted as a healthy cure-all for everything from weight loss, to digestive issues, to preventing cancer, and even helping to clear up acne. It's become something of a trend in recent years, with health and wellness experts and influencers recommending a daily shot of ACV.

The benefits of drinking apple cider vinegar are so vast as to seem too good to be true. If it has such a multitude of health benefits, including weight loss, improved digestion, blood sugar, heart health, better breath, and more, how much should you be drinking and how often? Is a daily shot really the answer?

How apple cider vinegar might aid in weight loss

First, know that those trying to lose weight may benefit from drinking apple cider vinegar. The ACV makes you feel full faster, so you eat fewer calories overall. This is attributed to higher levels of acetic acid, which makes you feel full longer and use less total energy throughout the day (via Mind Body Green).

One study found that adults drinking 1 or 2 tablespoons had lower body weight, visceral fat, and triglyceride levels, as well as a smaller waist circumference compared to the placebo group. An additional study conducted on obese subjects found that, combined with diet and exercise, drinking ACV daily decreased body weight, visceral fat, and appetite, demonstrating a high likelihood that drinking the vinegar every day may help with weight loss.

Another way that ACV may contribute to weight loss is by reducing cravings for sweets (via The Healthy).

Apple cider vinegar improves digestion

Vinegar improves your gut health by providing good microbes. The fermentation process that creates ACV encourages the growth of good bacteria. Fermented foods are high in probiotics, which improve the immune system, digestion, and even mental health. The probiotics in ACV are found in the "mother," which is a creepy way to describe the cloudy yeast and bacteria that may appear as strands or sediment in the vinegar.

Apple cider vinegar may also prevent heartburn. Digestive acids sit in the stomach, except for those who suffer from acid reflux, where a weakened stomach muscle allows acid to leave your stomach and go up your esophagus, causing the pain referred to as heartburn. It may seem counterintuitive, as the acid in ACV is thought to prevent heartburn. When the acid is diluted with water, it creates an alkalizing effect. However, this could be dangerous if you have stomach ulcers or esophageal lesions, as vinegar will intensify the problem, so check with your doctor to see if you will benefit (via Longevity Live).

Blood sugar levels may benefit from apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar may help those with insulin resistance gain better control of their blood sugar levels (via Healthline). A study has shown that vinegar may reduce the production of glucose and insulin after a meal, meaning drinking ACV could contribute to lowering glycemic levels.

To gain these benefits, you only need to drink a small amount of apple cider vinegar. Drink 4 teaspoons before meals and your blood sugar levels should be significantly lower after eating. Because vinegar is highly acidic, mix it with some water before consuming it. Combining it with liquids other than water could potentially reduce the acid levels and decrease its effectiveness.

The benefits of ACV on so many ailments

In addition to drinking ACV, it can also be consumed with oils in salad dressing where it is more palatable. A study has shown that women who eat salad, or other foods that contain high levels of polyunsaturated fats, with vinegar-based dressing have a reduced risk of heart disease. This is due to the alpha-linolenic acid in apple cider vinegar.

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a condition many women have that can affect menstruation. Many physical ailments are attributed as possible causes of PCOS, including insulin resistance. A study looked at the effects of ACV on PCOS sufferers to see if natural treatments could potentially replace pharmaceutical treatments. Subjects drank 15 grams of ACV for between 90 and 110 days. Six out of seven subjects were found to have decreased insulin resistance. Four of the subjects were observed during their next menstruation, which indicated that there is the possibility that ACV could restore ovulatory function in patients and allow for normal periods. This would help PCOS patients avoid prescriptions and have successful treatment faster.

Apple cider vinegar also has anti-inflammatory effects, which could help ailments like skin issues. It also boosts your immune and digestive systems. Apple cider vinegar contains malic acid, which can help your gut, which has a major effect on your overall health (via Well+Good).

A smaller area where ACV can help is improving bad breath due to its antibacterial properties.

Risks of drinking apple cider vinegar daily

As with many natural remedies, ACV can have negative side effects if too much is consumed, or it is used incorrectly. It is highly acidic, so it can potentially damage tooth enamel. One way to prevent this is to drink your dose with a straw.

Apple cider vinegar is also potentially dangerous in large amounts. According to the Mayo Clinic, it can cause low potassium. The recommended dose is 1 to 2 tablespoons.

The actual health benefits of drinking ACV every day may vary by person. Many different articles have been written about individual's experiences with it, over varying time periods from a week to a month, at MSN and PopsugarSome found it improved aspects of their health, while others didn't.

People with diabetes should approach drinking ACV with care, and consult a medical professional, as it can have adverse effects including low blood sugar and difficulty controlling blood sugar (via Everyday Health). Finally, if you try drinking it and can't take the taste, there are still additional health benefits from ACV, including many topical uses for it, from using it as skin toner, to repelling fleas from pets.