“It’s not easy living like a rockstar“, I tell myself while taking a deep breath. I ceremoniously touch the shot glass to the table before downing the murky brown liquid. I grab onto the lime and bite into it hard. “I think my throat is on fire!” is a thought that runs through my mind every single time. I feel the liquid slowly move down my esophagus and hit my stomach, it feels weird. I look at the clock and it’s 6:03 am. How did we get here? Well, Kara missed my drinking days, so now here we are, taking shots of Apple cider vinegar. Like I said… Rockstar.
If you’re at all interested in health, wellness, and weight-loss you have probably heard about Apple Cider Vinegar. ACV, along with coconut oil, has been touted as the greatest cure-alls to ever grace the supermarket shelves. If you’re anything like me, you dove in hook line and bitter, cringe-inducing sinker. But is apple cider vinegar really all it’s cracked up to be? Here I will discuss five of the benefits of taking ACV.
What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar is actually made from, you guessed it, Apple cider. Traditionally, yeast is added to apple cider which will ferment. This will create a sort of “Apple Wine”. Then certain microbes, or bacteria, are added to the wine mixture. These microbes break down the alcohol in the wine and convert it into Acetic acid. Acetic acid is very important and can be a cause of many of the health benefit listed for AVC. Now let’s talk about some of the benefits of ACV.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, please check with your doctor before starting any new habit.
1. Boost your immune system
Many proponents of ACV believe it is the reason that they become sick much less often than their not ACV drinking counterparts. While there is still no solid scientific evidence to back these claims, many believe it is the antipathogenic properties along with the probiotics that can be found in ACV that help you fend off that cold.
One 2015 study tested its anti-microbial properties by observing arugula that was contaminated with salmonella. When the arugula was treated with ACV the growth of the salmonella decreased. With that being said, STILL WASH YOUR GREENS AND YOUR HANDS! This does not mean that you can remove proper food safety standards and just take ACV and call it a day, you will not feel good, I promise you that.
2. Helps Regulate Blood Sugar
That’s right! It is believed that taking ACV before a meal can help decrease your overall blood sugar response after eating. In a 2004 study of blood glucose and insulin response, they found that when subjects consumed 20g of AVC prior to eating a bagel, butter, and OJ that their blood glucose and insulin levels were significantly lower.
While the exact mechanism behind this is not covered in this study, it does look promising for Type 2 diabetics and the population as a whole. That being said, it is not a magic potion. Proper diet and exercise are still highly recommended. Did you really think I would say otherwise?
3. Improved digestion
A main component of ACV is that it is a relatively strong acid. Apple Cider Vinegar clocks in a ph around 2 – 3. Your stomach acid ph will normally fluctuate between 1.5 and 3.5. When our stomach becomes too basic (or alkaline) it will not convert pepsinogen into the enzyme pepsin. Pepsin’s main function is to break down proteins into amino acids. If these proteins are not broken down correctly, larger food particles can make their way into your small intestine. Definitely not ideal. By taking 1 tablespoon ACV (preferably mixed with 4 oz. of water) before a meal you are lowering the ph in your stomach (making it more acidic) and promoting the digestive enzyme conversion.
4. Less Acid Reflux?
Now you may be saying, “But Kyle, I have acid reflux (or GERD) and I have too much stomach acid to begin with…” First off, acid reflux is ZERO fun, but we may have something that will help.
It is a common belief that acid reflux and GERD are caused by too much acid in the stomach, after all, that would make sense. However, new studies and courses of treatment believe that these stomach issues are actually caused by too little stomach acid. Chris Kessler wrote a 6 part series on this topic. To summarize, he feels that it is not an abundance of stomach acid but a lack of acid, or more basic stomach ph, that causes these issues. By supplementing ACV into their diets many patients saw relief almost immediately.
5. It may help with bloating
One theory behind this claim is that since ACV helps the body produce more pepsin and is able to more fully digest proteins that this will lead to a decrease in fully formed proteins making their way into the small intestine causing bloating.
However, bloating can be caused by a number of different factors. For example, if you have a condition known as gastroparesis you have slow emptying of the stomach. In this situation, it was shown in studies that the incorporation of ACV can actually slow the emptying of your stomach potentially making the bloating worse. Please proceed with caution if you have excessive bloating in your stomach and please consult your Doctor.
This week I would like for everyone to take 2 tablespoons of ACV daily. This can either broken up throughout the day, say before lunch and dinner, or it can be taken all at once in the morning, dealers choice. It is highly recommended to mix the two tbsps of ACV in with 4 oz of water to cut back on the shiver-inducing nature of the drink.
After consuming the drink I recommend rinsing your mouth out with water. Remember this is a strong acid and it can do a number of your enamel. Rinsing with water post drink or drinking this through a straw is highly recommended
What do Kara and I do?
As I touched out at the beginning, we take ours like a shot of tequila.
1/2 of a shot glass with ACV, Salt on your hand and a lime wedge while listening to mariachi music, quick and dirty.