If you're regular users of TikTok for morning routine inspiration, then you've likely noticed that people are absolutely raving about apple cider vinegar right now. Both feature videos dedicated to the benefits that apple cider vinegar supplements claim to provide.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) isn't new; you may even have an old bottle lying around your kitchen. It's made from apple cider that's been fermented, according to Dr. Erin Stokes, a naturopathic doctor and medical director at MegaFood, and its something people have been eating and taking in shot form for years due to its many health benefits.
Stokes advises people to choose a food first approach, stating that it is always best to eat or drink your vitamins and nutrients before you add them to a supplement form, either in warm water or in salad dressings.
Supplements and especially ACV gummies are popular for a variety of reasons. For one, they help you avoid the nasty fermented taste that can accompany apple cider vinegar. And they contain a greater amount of ACV than you would get from eating a salad with it in your dressing, according to Melissa Rifkin, MS, RD, CDN, a registered dietician with Monat Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies.
Are they effective? Here's what you should know if you want to include ACV supplements to your #morningroutine.
Supplements for ACV: The Advantages
Mollie Ferguson, RD, LDN, a registered dietician and CEO of Functional Wellness RD, claims that taking ACV before meals may result in delayed gastric emptying, which can affect how you feel after eating.
Apple cider vinegar may help maintain healthy blood sugar levels, but Stokes says it's still unknown whether ACV supplements are as effective as the food itself.
ACV aids digestion or reduces bloating, according to Amanda Sauceda, RD, a registered dietician nutritionist.
Of course, these benefits are often anecdotal. If someone says it helps their digestion, it certainly does, but as of right now, there isn't much evidence to support it. It's also a red flag if someone believed they always needed ACV for their digestion, according to Sauceda.
ACV, while it will not directly boost your immune system, may help your gut, which in turn can help your immune system. It's believed that ACV containing the mother, which is unpasteurized, may help build a healthy gut microbiome, which may support immune function.
Ferguson advises that you include a wide array of probiotic and prebiotic foods into your daily diet, not just ACV. Probiotic foods include beans, onions, garlic, artichokes, and cabbage.
After taking ACV, many TikTokers demonstrate themselves jumping up and down, surviving tough workout routines, and generally feeling more energized. However, is this a genuine side effect?
According to Rifkin, an energy boost may be secondary to other benefits of the supplement, such as improved blood sugar, immunity, and digestion. Limited research also suggests that acetic acid in ACV may improve muscle energy refueling.
Is ACV a Good Way to Detox Your Body?
Sauceda claims that ACV works by detoxing your body. And while it may be tempting to take a supplement that promises to cleanse your body of harmful substances, its important to remember that your detoxing organs are the primary focus. Your liver is the shining star.
Ferguson explains that your body should be able to detox fairly well if you sweat on a regular basis, drink 64 ounces of water a day, eat enough protein, and drink colorful fruits and vegetables.
Is It Worth It to Take ACV Supplements?
According to Ferguson, it's also tempting to trust a product that promises to address a wide array of health issues. But you can get the same benefit from the whole food source as from the whole food source, hence you'd better buy a lower-cost bottle of ACV and call it a day.
If you want to try the gummies or supplements, there is no problem, according to TikTok. It's not the magical thing she tries to portray.
How To Choose An Apple Cider Vinegar Supplement
Ferguson advises buying apple cider vinegar in a glass bottle that contains the mother for its many antioxidant benefits, then mixing it into water or juice to savor its complex flavor.
If you want to buy a supplement, read the label first. Stokes cautions that the main thing to look out for in gummy supplements is the additional ingredients. Use a gelatin-free, non-GMO gummy that works.
Ferguson warns that an actual ACV injection would cause your throat to go down a bit. It might also damage your tooth enamel if you forget to dilute it.
ACV is generally acceptable in both food and supplement form, but you should always consult your doctor before adding it to your diet, particularly if you take other medications.
References to studies
Anderson, S. 2021. Evidence That Daily Vinegar Ingestion Could Contribute to Erosive Tooth Wear in Adults. J Med Food. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2020.0108.
Aykn, E. 2015. Mother vinegar's bioactive components. J Am Coll Nutr. 2015;34(1):80-9. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2014.896230.
Cobb, K. 2021. Acetic Acid Supplementation: Effect on Resting and Exercise Energy Expenditure and Substrate Utilization. Int J Exerc Sci. PMID: 34055150.
Diljeberg, H. 1998. Improved glycaemia in healthy individuals to a starchy meal with added vinegar
Is Vinegar a Promising Candidate to Help Achieve Targets in Diabetes Control? J Evid Based Integr Med. 2018 Jan-Dec;23:2156587217753004. doi: 10.1177/2156587217753004.
Wiertsema, SP. 2021. The Interplay Between the Gut Microbiome and the Immune System in the Context of Infectious Diseases throughout Life and the Role of Nutrition in Optimizing Treatment Strategies. Nutrients. doi: 10.3390/nu13030886.
Erin Stokes, a naturopathic physician, is a well-known expert in the field.
Melissa Rifkin, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietician.
Mollie Ferguson, RD, LDN, is a registered dietician.
Amanda Sauceda, MS, RD, is a registered dietician nutritionist.