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Can apple cider vinegar help with weight loss?

Read this first, if you're thinking about using ACV in your weight loss plan

Pouring apple cider vinegar on a spoon
Michelle / Adobe Stock

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is an acidic liquid made from crushed apples that are combined with yeast. Over a two-step fermentation process, the yeast converts the sugar in the apples to alcohol. From there, safe bacteria is added, which converts the alcohol into acetic acid. The resulting apple cider vinegar liquid contains about 5% acetic acid, which is used for a variety of purposes — from salad dressings to apple cider vinegar drinks for weight loss.

Many health enthusiasts boast about the amazing weight loss benefits consuming ACV can provide — but are these health claims true? Here, we’ll dive into the research to determine if apple cider vinegar is good for you and if you should include it in your weight loss plan.

Jar of apple cider vinegar
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Apple cider vinegar for weight loss

Researchers disagree on the overall effectiveness of apple cider vinegar for weight loss and if weight loss is an actual apple cider vinegar benefit. However, it is thought that apple cider vinegar could help promote weight loss through the following mechanisms.

AMP-activated protein kinase

When we consume apple cider vinegar, our bodies activate an enzyme known as AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). This special enzyme can help switch your body into a fat-burning mode, as well as help reduce your blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity. Several studies have shown that AMPK is powerful in burning stomach fat, which means better weight loss results.

Promotes fullness

Several studies have examined the ability of apple cider vinegar to help promote fullness. By promoting satiety, apple cider vinegar could make it easier to cut calories as part of a weight loss plan. However, some research studies disagree on this, which means it’s clear that more research is necessary before we weigh in on this. In addition, no long-term studies have followed the ability of ACV to promote fullness either.

Lowers blood sugar

Lowering blood sugar can make it easier to lose weight and maintain regular insulin levels. Researchers have found that apple cider vinegar can effectively lower blood sugar, which may help support weight loss for some people.

Apple cider vinegar with apples
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Apple cider vinegar liquid vs. apple cider vinegar pills

Both apple cider vinegar in liquid form and apple cider vinegar pills are effective ways to take ACV. However, both have pros and cons to consider. Ultimately, it comes down to preference when choosing which type to add to your health and wellness routine.

When consuming apple cider vinegar in liquid form, there are a few precautions to consider. First and most important, the acetic acid found in apple cider vinegar can cause damage to tooth enamel when not properly diluted. To avoid any issues, be sure to dilute your ACV in enough water and consume your apple cider vinegar drink with a straw.

The taste of the liquid can be a deterrent for some people. Although there are many ways to make an apple cider vinegar drink taste delicious, the pills are a better choice if you can’t handle the taste of ACV. In addition, pills can be consumed more easily on the go than the liquid form. For this reason, many people prefer apple cider vinegar pills for their clear convenience.

However, it’s important to note that apple cider vinegar in liquid form does absorb more quickly in the body when compared to pills. If you opt for pills, it’s also important to look at the other ingredients, as many pill products have additives and fillers. It’s also imperative to note that the acidity in apple cider vinegar could make symptoms worse for people with specific health conditions that involve the throat or digestive system.

Red apple with measuring tape around it
Robert Owen-Wahl / Pixabay

Making an apple cider vinegar drink

Many people swear by ACV as a helpful factor in a weight loss plan, for a variety of good reasons. When used in combination with other lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise, science supports the idea that apple cider vinegar can help you ramp up your fat loss efforts. There are a few different ways in which researchers believe ACV can help accelerate weight loss.

If consuming the liquid form of apple cider vinegar, take no more than 1 to 2 tablespoons mixed with plenty of water. A good rule of thumb is to mix 8 ounces of water into every tablespoon of apple cider vinegar you consume. For best results, take your ACV before or after meals. This can be done once or twice a day, depending on your preference.

Diluting your ACV is an important step that you can’t miss, as the liquid itself is too strong to drink on its own. To make your apple cider vinegar drink more palatable, some people add lemon or a dash of honey to the mixture.

Man in gray socks on a scale
Annushka Ahuja / Pexels

Trying apple cider vinegar for weight loss

When it comes to weight loss, there’s no “one-size-fits-all” approach or any magic bullet. However, apple cider vinegar is certainly safe to try when consumed in small doses. The benefits of apple cider vinegar extend beyond weight loss, too, which can make it extra enticing to try. Remember, weight loss is a combined effort, which means consuming ACV alone is not enough to lose weight. With this in mind, try incorporating ACV into a comprehensive health and wellness routine for the best results.

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Emily Caldwell
Emily is a full time freelance writer with a special focus on health, fitness, lifestyle, food, and nutrition topics. She…
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