“It tastes like you’re drinking salad dressing, but I swear if I take a shot of it every morning for a week I lose a pound a day.”
I was interviewing a young, cute, up-and-coming celebrity a few years back when she admitted to me that she wasn’t big on working out … but if she had to tone up fast, she turned to apple cider vinegar. Apparently, she’d take a shot of ACV every morning, just after waking. She wouldn’t change anything about her diet other than add in her ACV shot—and according to her, she always slimmed down and seemed to burn fat by the end of the week.
Obviously, I was totally skeptical. Not only does taking shots of vinegar in the morning sound gross, it sounds dumb. Hi, there’s no magic weight loss potion that you can chug and instantly see results—everyone knows that, right? But this young woman’s absolute dedication to her daily vinegar stuck with me for weeks after our interview … so much so that I decided to do a little more digging into her theory.
And that, my friends, is when my obsession with apple cider vinegar began.
OK, remember how I said there’s no such thing as a miracle elixir? Well … ACV might just prove my theory wrong. Made by crushing apples, squeezing out the liquid, and adding yeast in order to ferment its sugars, apple cider vinegar develops a number of health-benefiting compounds during its fermentation process. The two stand outs? Acetic acid and probiotic bacteria.
Acetic acid is the active ingredient in ACV, an organic compound that’s naturally antibacterial and antimicrobial—this makes ACV a clutch cleaning product to have on hand. You can use diluted vinegar to effectively disinfect and clean everything from your kitchen to your bathroom without relying on harsh chemicals.
Acetic acid’s bacteria-fighting powers are also why many add ACV to their beauty cabinets—using vinegar as a toner can reduce oil production and kill the bacteria that causes acne, all while encouraging cell turnover.
So what does acid have to do with weight loss? ACV’s high acetic acid content encourages better digestion, improves nutrient absorption from the food you do eat, lowers blood sugar levels, and improves insulin sensitivity—all of which could result in less bloat and make it less likely that you’ll gain weight around your midsection.
Because it’s fermented, apple cider vinegar contains a plethora of beneficial probiotic bacteria. If you’re throwing back ACV shots on the regular, the probiotics in ACV will support your body’s natural microbiome and likely improve your digestion and gut health. This could lead to reduced bloating, less inflammation, and even encourage your body to burn more fat.
So, does it work?
Sadly, I’ve yet to find a scientific study that proves drinking ACV can help you lose “a pound a day,” like our overzealous actress friend promised. But it’s plausible that drinking it regularly will improve digestion and minimize bloat, which could definitely make it look like you’ve lost weight in a short period of time. For me, the health benefits of ACV are more than worth the nasty flavor—and hey, if it also happens to make me look svelte while improving my immunity and digestion, I’m OK with that!