The practice of drinking apple cider vinegar and water to help with weight loss or other promised health benefits has been around for quite some time since people learned how to ferment things. Apple cider vinegar and water are also believed to be more moisturizing than plain water.
In addition to adding a little tart flavor to flat water, apple cider vinegar is believed to have beneficial properties, especially in the sediment that forms at the bottom, which is known as the “mother”. But this has not been proven by scientific tests.
As with any home health remedy, adding apple cider vinegar to your daily routine should be handled with caution. There is no magic elixir, but used sparingly as part of a healthy overall diet and consistent exercise, apple cider vinegar can help increase your vitamin C intake.
Myths about apple cider vinegar
As with other so-called miracle foods and drinks, the benefits of apple cider vinegar are many and varied. Some of these have no basis in reality; others range from possible true, anecdotal evidence, to possible true based on peer-reviewed scientific studies.
Among the claims made for apple cider vinegar is that daily consumption will:
- Reverse or slow aging
- It relieves the symptoms of arthritis
- Clean up the eczema
- Prevent leg cramps
- Fix sinus problems
- Repair split ends
- Promote weight loss
According to Assistant Professor Melissa Wdowik, Ph.D., RDN, FAND, Colorado State University, there is no science behind any of these claims. There is anecdotal evidence that taking 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before eating can help reduce food intake, but only because it can cause nausea. Cooking with apple cider vinegar can actually help you lose weight, notes Dr. Wdowik, because it adds flavor, but not a lot of calories.
Read more: The powers of apple cider vinegar have been greatly overestimated
Information about apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has been used for medical and health purposes since ancient times, according to experts at the University of Texas A&M, which further explains that it was used internally as a healthy drink and also externally as an antibacterial and antifungal agent. . Roman soldiers enjoyed an apple cider vinegar drink, as did many modern athletes, says Texas A&M.
As for any medicinal properties that apple cider vinegar may contain, the jury is still out. According to Texas A&M, a study found that taking about a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar lowered participants’ blood sugar levels by about 30 to 60 minutes after a meal. Unfortunately, Texas A&M points out, this study included only 11 people, so it cannot be considered significant.
Other possible health benefits that have been studied include the effect of apple cider vinegar on weight and cholesterol levels. Texas A&M concludes that while there are some promising results, many studies are needed before a final decision can be made on any health benefits. One thing that has been proven is that LCA is rich in vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant and a source of support for the immune system.
The benefits of drinking water
Drinking water is essential for life, according to the MedlinePlus website of the US National Library of Medicine. The old adage about consuming at least 64 ounces of water a day has been replaced by the more modern notion that calculating how much water you should drink depends on your age, weight, sex, activity level, and where you live.
According to the American College of Health Sciences, the best way to make sure you are fully hydrated is to pay attention to your body. If your urine is dark yellow and you are constipated, have a headache and are mentally disturbed, you are probably dehydrated. Simply drink more water, says ACoHS, and eat foods that are high in water, such as fruits and vegetables.
Read more: How do I know when my body is hydrated?
Homemade apple cider vinegar
The best way to control the quality of your apple cider vinegar drink is to make your own LCA from scratch. This is not difficult, according to experts at Pennsylvania State University. The two main keys are maintaining the oxygen mixture and strictly controlling its temperature. The three steps to follow are yeast fermentation, acetic acid fermentation and clarification, Penn State explains.
Start by washing ripe and red winter apples, says Penn State. Squeeze them and strain all the juice through the cloth. Add a vinified cultured yeast cake to each gallon of cider to speed up fermentation. Fill open containers to about three-quarters full and keep them out of sunlight at temperatures between 60 and 80 F. Mix them daily to keep them oxygenated. It will take three to four weeks for the LCA to fully ferment, says Penn State.
Strain the mixture through a double layer of cheesecloth or a paper coffee filter to remove the mother. This will prevent the apple cider vinegar from continuing to ferment, PennState explains. Pasteurize your ACV by heating it to 140 F and placing it in sterilized bottles.
Put the sealed bottles in a hot water bath, but do not allow the vinegar to exceed 160 F, warns Penn State. Allow the bottles to cool and store them in a dark place so that you have them handy for your daily drink with apple cider vinegar and water.
Apple cider vinegar and water
Drink apple cider vinegar and water for your health will not work if you can not stand the taste. One way to solve this problem is to make a drink called switchel, advises the University of Wisconsin Madison. This drink was most likely brought from the Caribbean and is a combination of apple cider vinegar, water and sweeteners such as honey, maple syrup or molasses, in addition to ginger and fruit juice.
North Carolina State University agrees, further explaining that it is also called a switchel Haymaker’s fist because it was traditionally served to farmers during the hay harvest. Switchel is known to be extremely invigorating and healthier than water, as it will not damage your electrolytes.
Tips and warnings
Apple cider vinegar can be used in other ways, rather than just mixed in water as apple cider vinegar and water drink. Use it instead of white or balsamic vinegar in salad dressings and as an acid in marinades. Add a small teaspoon to the dessert fresh water such as those made with watermelon, peaches, plums or berries to add a refreshing tart.
Never drink undiluted apple cider vinegar, warns Katherine Zeratsky, RD, LD, at the Mayo Clinic. Apple cider vinegar is rich enough in acid to damage your throat. More importantly, stroke may interfere with certain medications, Zeratsky warns. These include diuretics and insulin.
According to experts at Harvard Health Publishing, undiluted apple cider vinegar can damage your tooth enamel, and consuming too much ACV can reduce your potassium levels. If you are taking diuretics to lower your blood pressure, you should avoid apple cider vinegar, as diuretics also lower potassium levels.