Apple Cider Vinegar – are there actual benefits? How to Use it, Risks, and More

Are there any benefits to drinking apple cider vinegar? Should we be putting it on our skin or in our hair?

image of apples and apple cider vinegar
There are benefits, so don’t throw it out yet – source

Through the years, apple cider vinegar has gotten a good reputation for things like cleaning acne, improving hair, and even weight loss, but is there any evidence to support this?

Let’s sort fact from fiction in this article. Find out the actual science-based benefits of this apple vinegar and how to use it effectively to get the most out of it today!

What is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar is simply fermented juice. Yeast turns sugars in the juice into alcohol, and bacteria then turn this alcohol into acetic acid. Acetic acid is the main ingredient looked at when studying this cider’s benefits.

However, here’s a fun fact, acetic acid is in all kinds of vinegar, not just this type. The good thing about this type is that is it easier to drink in water than something like balsamic vinegar.

Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

Here are the science-based health benefits of this kind of vinegar today! The only benefits included are those supported by science.

Helps Lower Blood Sugar Levels

Just 20 grams of apple cider vinegar after a meal can help slow the absorption of food into the intestines. Why is this important? 

We want our blood sugar to be stable. Slow absorption of food causes a slow release of insulin, which can help stabilize blood sugar. This is especially important in individuals with diabetes, though anyone can benefit.

High blood sugar levels are linked to chronic illnesses, so everybody needs to manage them.

Trace Amounts of Healthy Properties

This cider vinegar is not high in vitamins or minerals but it is high in acetic acid. Most cider kinds of vinegar are about 6% acetic acid. Organic unfiltered apple cider also has proteins, enzymes, and good bacteria.

It also contains small amounts of potassium and high-quality cider vinegar contain good amino acids and antioxidants.

Helps Kill Harmful Bacteria

Any type of vinegar, due to its acidity, can kill pathogens including bacteria. In the past, kinds of vinegar of many kinds were used to clean and disinfect.

Studies have found that it can kill E Coli bacteria, a harmful pathogen responsible for spoiling food.

May Aid Weight Loss

Apple cider may help weight loss in two ways. Some studies have reported that people feel fuller for longer consuming apple cider vinegar, which may reduce overeating. 

Other studies have found it may promote lower blood sugar and reduce insulin levels, contributing to weight loss that way. 

May Balance Skin Health

Our skin has a pH that is slightly acidic, which means this cider vinegar may help balance the skin barrier naturally. This is when it is used diluted as full strength apple cider is more likely to cause irritation.

Improves Heart Health (in animals)

Preliminary studies have found that apple vinegar lowers cholesterol and triglyceride levels greatly, while others have shown that blood pressure is reduced. However, this is in animal studies.

While promising, there is no evidence of this cider vinegar for heart health, so do not rely on it for cardiovascular benefits.

When Should You Drink it?

Ok, so in theory you can drink this cider vinegar and it can’t hurt, but when should you drink it? There are pros and cons for any time so here’s a breakdown.

Apple Cider Vinegar in the Morning

This vinegar on an empty stomach may help control blood sugar throughout the day.

Apple Cider Vinegar at Night

One study found that drinking this cider vinegar before bed reduced fasting blood sugar the following day.

Apple Cider Vinegar Before a Meal

Drinking cider vinegar before meals can help you feel fuller for longer, so if this is the goal, it may be vital to take it about 30 minutes before a meal. This cider vinegar may even help support gut mucin, which is a barrier to protecting the body from pathogens.

Apple Cider Vinegar After a Meal

This cider after a meal after a high starch meal helps to control blood sugar, which means insulin does not rise as much. This delays digestion, so if you are eating a high-starch meal, this may be the time to drink it.

How to Consume it

You can simply have 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water. This cider vinegar can be had in this way up to twice a day. 

It is also a great addition to food! Apple cider can be added to meals and recipes. Try it in a salad dressing, or even add a splash to a smoothie. It makes a great addition to any meal to add an additional depth of flavor. Any sweet and sour recipe may benefit from this ingredient as well!

Fact vs Fiction

Time to separate fact from fiction with apple cider vinegar.

Apple Cider Vinegar for Skin

Sorry, y’all. There are little to no studies supporting apple cider vinegar for acne or clearing breakouts. One study even found that this cider vinegar caused skin irritation and worsened eczema! 

Overall I do believe apple cider may be good for the skin, but more research is needed and there are much better safer options.

Apple Cider Vinegar for Hair

Again, no research has been conducted to prove the effect of apple cider vinegar on hair. 

However, this vinegar can kill harmful bacteria, which may lead to it reducing microbes in the hair. It can even reduce a type of fungus that leads to dandruff. Remember to dilute it however since it is so acidic.

Apple Cider Vinegar for White Teeth

For the teeth, apple cider may cause damage, not whitening. This is because highly acidic foods damage tooth enamel greatly.

Apple Cider Vinegar Side Effects

Here are the potential side effects of this vinegar. 


Full-strength vinegar on the skin may cause a feeling of burning, especially when using eczema or acne. Remember to dilute the cider for less risk of pain. 

Using this cider vinegar for long periods increases the risk, so limit the use and dilute.


As with the burning side effect, using undiluted apple cider may cause irritation. This is particularly important if being used in the hair, as the skin of the scalp is sensitive. 

Reducing Tooth Enamel

Tooth enamel is the outer layer of the teeth. Too much brushing for acidic foods can wear down this protective enamel, and it does not grow back. Once weakened, this may lead to sensitivity and cavities.

The Takeaway

Apple cider vinegar has a lot of claims, but many are not supported by strong science. It is important to dilute the vinegar regardless of the way you are using it.

The most important benefit of apple cider vinegar is how it helps control blood sugar levels, which is important for anyone. High levels of blood sugar contribute to chronic illnesses such as diabetes and metabolic syndrome. 

Use it as an ingredient in salads and smooth! You don’t have to drink it as a shot, nor should you.

Remember, health starts from within and it is about progress. Take small steps to increase wellbeing daily and watch how wellness flourishes. 

Spread the love

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *