Apple cider vinegar is one of the most popular health trends going right now. There are a lot of claims about its benefits, especially when it comes to weight loss. And get this... some of them are actually true!
So what can you expect from apple cider vinegar, and is it right for you?
We break it down so you know the truth about this incredibly popular trend.
What's Special About ACV
The impact of apple cider vinegar is all about its dense concentration of acetic acid.
Acetic acid does some pretty interesting things in our bodies, and when used intentionally, provides some real benefits.
All vinegars contain acetic acid, so what makes apple cider vinegar special?
Mostly it's about potency. Apple cider vinegar contains the most acetic acid of any vinegar, so it has historically provided the greatest benefits.
Regulating Blood Sugar
So what's the big deal about acetic acid?
There are a range of claims about the positive impacts of ACV, but if you had to choose the most powerful and demonstrable of them all, it would be its effects on blood sugar.
ACV has been shown to significantly decrease blood sugar spikes and fluctuations, especially when taken before eating carbohydrates.
The mechanism that achieves this effect is still somewhat a mystery, but we do know that acetic acid slows down the process our bodies use to break down starches and sugars.
Stretching out the breakdown of carbs means that blood sugars don't spike like they normally would. In fact, some studies have shown that post-meal blood sugar spikes have been decreased by as much as 50%, simply by taking apple cider vinegar before a meal!
ACV and Weight Loss
Regulating blood sugar is how apple cider vinegar makes its mark when it comes to weight loss and management. There are two ways that steadier blood sugars help us manage weight:
1. Removing Cravings
When our blood sugar spikes (like after we consume large amounts of carbs) the body responds with a similar spike in insulin (the hormone responsible for prompting the absorption of blood sugar into the cells).
The result: Our blood sugar swings wildly from low to high, to low again.
When blood sugar dips from an insulin dump, you get very hungry. The whole process from carbohydrate consumption, to elevated blood sugar, to insulin dump, to low blood sugar and cravings may only take a few hours.
That's why you're hungry again so quickly after consuming a lot of carbs. By avoiding blood sugar spikes, you even out the insulin response, and avoid the crashes that lead to overeating.
2. Reducing Insulin
Without insulin, blood sugars would be impossible for our bodies to regulate, so it's an important hormone. But the body is a complicated place, and hormones never serve only a single function.
The same insulin that tells the cells to take in energy from the bloodstream, also gives the signal to hold on to body fat. Essentially, insulin signals to the body that it is time to take in energy (fat in this case), and not time to release it.
So while we need insulin to keep our blood sugars in-range, producing as little insulin as needed to do that job is a great thing for losing weight.
In fact, decreasing insulin presence is one of the foundational principles of another health trend that has gained a huge following: Intermittent fasting.
Is Apple Cider Vinegar Right for Me?
If you're looking for a quick, easy fix for weight loss that will work for you without any effort or planning, this isn't it.
Apple cider vinegar has real health benefits and can provide a significant boost to your weight loss efforts. But you have to know what it does and incorporate it effectively into a plan that makes sense in order to really capitalize on what it can do.
So if you're looking for an edge in your fitness goals, or are wanting to limit the damage done when you eat meals that feature carbohydrates, ACV is a great supplement for you, and we encourage you to add it to your routine.
Also, if any of these three things apply to you, we recommend adding ACV right away:
1. You're Diabetic
ACV is a must-have for diabetics. It increases insulin sensitivity, and reduces blood sugar volatility. Both of these things are key to diabetes management.
2. You Get "Hangry"
You probably know people that turn into a fire-breathing monster when hunger strikes. Maybe you are that person. What you may not know is that this kind of hunger is not necessarily natural.
Hunger that swings rapidly and effects mood is more about blood sugar drops than actual need for nourishment. If you get "Hangry" then you're almost certainly experiencing large swings in blood sugar. ACV is a great way to start leveling those out.
3. You're Fasting (Intermittent or Otherwise)
The benefits of fasting programs derive from the time spent with low insulin levels, which can trigger fat burning for fuel. ACV allows you to enter that state sooner following your most recent meal, and limits hunger that could drive you to break a fast prematurely.
But What About The Taste?
If you've used ACV before, you already know that the taste is... not great. Okay, it's downright bitter.
There are ways around this offensive downside. You'll find plenty of drink mix recipes out there that attempt to diffuse and hide the unpleasant taste with varying levels of success.
The drinks that do the best job also tend to feature sugar (often in the form of honey), which can sort of defeat the purpose. You also want to be careful to dilute ACV so that you don't do damage to the enamel of your teeth over time.
If that sounds like a hassle, we agree.
That's why we will soon be releasing our brand new apple cider vinegar capsules. So if you don't like the taste of bitter, and want a convenient way to take advantage of this supplement, we will soon have you covered!