Apple cider vinegar is one of the most useful and versatile ingredients in your pantry. Deceptively simple, apple cider vinegar is made by fermenting apples, yeast and sugar. The process creates a liquid that is full of healthy bacteria, which can either be strained out or left in to boost the natural benefits. Apple cider vinegar can be used for everything from salad dressings and hair treatments to cleaning, but what did you know it can be used for detoxing the body?
Apple cider vinegar detoxes are popular and have many potential benefits. Let’s look at what apple cider vinegar detoxes are, why people do them, and some possible benefits you may experience.
What Is an Apple Cider Vinegar Detox?
People have different methods for doing an apple cider detox. In general, though, to do an apple cider detox you drink some apple cider vinegar before your evening meal. Some regimens suggest drinking it before every meal. In this situation, you’ll want to reduce the amount of vinegar per drink to make sure your daily intake doesn’t go over a couple tablespoons. This is because apple cider vinegar can actually reduce your potassium levels.
Typically, you add apple cider vinegar to water in order to make it less harsh and easier to drink. This also helps prevent nausea, which can happen if you drink it straight or consume too much at a time. Some recipes include adding honey and ingredients like cayenne pepper or lime juice. Your best bet is to start with the basic recipe and change it based on personal preference.
The basic recipe for an apple cider vinegar detox drinks is as follows:
1-2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1-2 tablespoons honey
8 ounces of water
Additional optional ingredients:
- Lime juice
- Dash of cayenne pepper
- Dash of cinnamon
- Tea in place of water
- Distilled water
Most recipes call for apple cider vinegar that still has “the mother” left in it. This is the name for the natural sediment that occurs during the creation process. This sediment may make the liquid look a bit murky, but is full of healthy bacteria and enzymes. Typically, raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar has the mother in it. You’ll see this listed on the label as well, so you don’t have to guess if it’s included.
Why Do People Do ACV Detoxes?
Just like there are different methods for doing an apple cider vinegar detox, there are different reasons as well. Many people use it as a way to reset their eating and drinking habits to help with weight loss, digestive issues and problems like bloating. This may kick-start weight loss efforts and help break bad habits like habitual snacking or overeating.
It’s sometimes popular to do an apple cider vinegar detox before starting a new eating plan. This may be helpful if you’re trying to find sneaky food-related problems, like sensitivity to gluten. By detoxing between your old way of eating and your new diet, you can more quickly shift away from problem foods. You could also add suspected foods back one at a time after your detox to see which one is causing problems.
Possible Benefits of ACV Detox
While more research is needed, there are studies to support some potential health benefits from drinking apple cider vinegar. For instance, researchers found that apple cider vinegar did have a positive impact on glycemic status in a group of studies involving 686 adults.
Some possible benefits of apple cider vinegar may possibly include:
- Appetite control
- Blood sugar control
- Reduced cholesterol
- Blood pressure improvement
Additionally, users say that it helps with acid reflux and digestive issues. People may also have less after-meal bloating and feel more energetic.
Apple Cider Detox Tips and Precautions
The following tips can help you get started once you’ve decided to try an apple cider vinegar detox.
- Dilute ACV: Avoid drinking apple cider vinegar that isn’t diluted. Drinking it straight can damage your teeth, cause a sore throat and stomach pain. Plus, some find that it tastes nasty.
- Ease into it: Start by drinking it prior to a single meal at first. After several days, you can drink it before two meals.
- Don't over do it: Apple cider vinegar can actually reduce your potassium levels, so don’t overdo it. Play it safe by sticking to 2 tablespoons a day, or even better, premium ACV supplement.
- Hydrate: Increase your water intake during the detox to ensure you stay hydrated.
- Prepare ahead: Make a couple of days worth of apple cider vinegar detox drinks ahead of time, to help you stay on track when you’re busy. (Or, again, consider taking a premium ACV supplement.)
- Add movement: Include some form of movement into your detox plan such as walking, stretching or yoga.
- Get rest: Prioritize sleep, so you have plenty of time to rest and recharge.
- Eat better: Reduce sugar and focus on whole, nutrient rich foods to get the most out of your efforts.
- Get a physical: Talk with your healthcare provider before doing any type of detox, especially if you’re on medication or have health concerns.
An apple cider vinegar detox may help reset your eating habits, may improve some digestive issues, may suppress your appetite and may aid in weight loss. Just remember to always dilute it and to watch your daily intake. If you have trouble taking it in a drink due to the taste or if it hurts your stomach, you can always take an apple cider vinegar supplement. This gives you the benefits of an apple cider vinegar detox without any of the negative side effects.
*The information in this article and throughout Trio Nutrition’s blog is for informational purposes only, and should never be mistaken for professional medical advice.