Okay so I decided to write this blog post because I get sooooo many questions about my Apple Cider Vinegar routine, how I take it, etc. So before I give you the straight, easy answer, I did some research on what it is this natural & beneficial “supplement” is – after all, I want to know what the hell I’m talking about & you should too!
What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar is a liquid produced during the fermentation of apple cider. During this process the sugar in apples is fermented by yeast and/or bacteria added to the cider, then into alcohol and finally, into vinegar.
Like other types of vinegar, the key component in apple cider vinegar is acetic acid. Apple cider vinegar also contains other substances such as lactic, citric and malic acids, as well as healthy gut bacterias aka probiotics (my personal favorite). It contains only 3 calories per tablespoon, has no fat, carbohydrates, protein, or fiber.
What is the Mother?
Apple cider vinegar is made through a two-step process. First, yeast is added to apple juice to break down the sugars and turn them into alcohol. Then, bacteria is added, which converts the alcohol into acetic acid. This bacteria is what is known as the mother, because it is the catalyst that gives rise to the vinegar. Many stores do not carry ACV (that’s apple cider vinegar to us cool kids) with the mother because it gives the ACV a cloudy appearance which leads customers to think the bottle had gone bad, which is in fact not the case (actually it’s even healthier WITH the mother in it).
Why is the Mother so important?
The mother consists of dozens of strains of good bacteria, which we often refer to as probiotics. These help keep your digestive system running smoothly, so that you can get the most out of the food that you consume.
I am a huuuuge believer in Probiotics. When I introduced probiotics to my daily routine about four years ago I saw a drastic difference in my body form the inside out. My overall gut felt less bloated, I was going potty regularly like clock work, I wasn’t feeling so gross after big meals (nor was I as tempted). Just do yourself a favor and get yourself some additional probiotics. They’re the secret to life.
So when you’re buying ACV always make sure it contains the mother! Otherwise you’re just drinking sour ass. I get mine on Amazon here, or you can get a great steal of a deal at Costco for a 3 pack.
What are the benefits?
The mother contains enzymes, which are essential for breaking down foods so that your body can make use of the nutrients you consume. Most raw foods contain enzymes, but the enzymes are often destroyed by cooking; adding in a supplementary source like apple cider vinegar is a great way to make up for this.
Apple cider vinegar has shown great promise in improving insulin sensitivity and helping lower blood sugar responses after meals. AVC studies also show that it improves cholesterol and overall heart health which can ultimately reduce the chance of heart disease. And even some studies in test tubes and rats have shown that vinegar can slow the growth of cancer cells and shrink tumors. Anything that will help my overall health and longevity- sign me up!
By far one of the best & most popular benefits and my personal favorite is losing belly fat. Several human studies show that vinegar can increase satiety, help you eat fewer calories and lead to actual pounds lost on the scale. Consuming a small amount of apple cider vinegar activates your metabolism, which in turn helps your body use fat as a form of energy instead of storing it.
How do you drink ACV?
There are a few ways to drink ACV and to each their own, but personally this stuff tastes like shit so I like to take it in shot form and consume ASAP, or I mix it in with my pre-workout drink (still gross, but a 2 for 1 combo).
However, even though shot form is easiest, you must be weary of your teeth- yes, you’re teeth! The amount of acetic acid in commercial apple cider vinegar varies but it can still be detrimental to your teeth enamel. Not worth the risk. So either use a straw, shoot it back, or dilute it with something like water…
Or, you can dilute it with pre-workout like I do! I’ve done it all and find this regimen is best. I do intermittent fasting all morning, so the first thing that enters my body is 2-3 shots of ACV mixed in with my pre-workout. Alternatively, if you’re a supplement person they come in capsule form.
I hope this answers your ACV questions. Enjoy the less bloated, flatter midsection, baby!
Photography by Lia Loo Photography