Why You Should Drink Apple Cider Vinegar, According To A Dietitian

According to Orlando Health, 42% of Americans have reported gaining weight during the pandemic, with the average gain being about 29 pounds. The undesired weight gain can be attributed to several factors, including stress eating, erratic exercise schedules, and more sedentary life, given many were working remotely from home. With summer in full swing, many are attempting to shed a few pounds fast. With so many diets and fads, it can be challenging to determine which things have validity and which do not. 

One that's been getting a lot of traction as containing numerous health benefits, weight management among them, is apple cider vinegar. With that in mind, Mashed asked registered dietitian Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD to address some of these claims. Before discussing the validity of ACV's purported health benefits, it's essential to understand what apple cider vinegar is and how it's made. 

Per Healthline, apple cider vinegar is processed in two steps. Crushed apples are introduced to yeast before bacteria is added. These steps cause fermentation to happen, which eventually leads to an acetic acid. When making unfiltered, organic apple cider vinegar, it also has a substance called mother in it. This is what gives your apple cider vinegar a cloudy appearance, and some argue the mother is also responsible for the alleged benefits we will discuss.

Does ACV a day keep the weight away?

Drinking apple cider vinegar daily is said to have many health benefits, but what do medical experts say about it? Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD provided Mashed with answers about one of the biggest health claims about apple cider vinegar: improved gut health. 

"Apple cider vinegar may help repair or correct many gastrointestinal issues because of the antimicrobial, antiviral, antifungal, and pre- and probiotic characteristics it exhibits. Each of these characteristics work together to improve and protect the gut's health, which can result in effective weight-loss efforts and more," Best explains to Mashed. "When the gut isn't working as efficiently as it should, it can slow the body's ability to digest and absorb nutrients, which can result in a slower metabolism and stalled weight loss."

Best recommends mixing apple cider vinegar into a cup of hot tea if you're not a fan of the taste. But you can also just put it in a glass of water or drink it on its own before each meal. However, Best warns that too much ACV can "aggravate acid reflux or lead to issues in this area. It can also cause weakened tooth enamel and nausea." So, how much should one drink? In a Japanese study, those who consumed one to two tablespoons of ACV daily for three months saw moderate weight loss. (And while apple cider vinegar does have health benefits, it's not a one-stop substitute for maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise.)