It’s no secret that I tend to “go through phases” when it comes to experimenting with my health. Unique to this cycle, Apple Cider Vinegar has been an ongoing “experiment” for over a year. The first time I tried it, I took a shot of it straight (from an actual shot glass), and chased it with room temperature water. It was horrible! I remember thinking, “why would anyone ever do this to themselves…this cannot be worth it!” But, with all the trial and error that is my wellness journey, I knew that was just a mindless reaction to something new and uncomfortable and I owed it to myself to keep researching, and learning before writing it off for good. Over the most recent several months, my relationship with ACV hasn’t dimished, or even faulted by more than a day or two – usually onset by travel, but it has evolved in terms of everything from concoction, routine, and appreciation.
What I’ve learned? I’ll separate it into categories:
The Benefits – WHY drink this stuff in the first place? The regimen initially sparked my interest because of it’s natural effects on detoxification, and anti-inflammation. I was experiencing gut related discomfort, and this seemed it could potentially be an easily accessible and inexpensive solution.
But the perks don’t stop there. Incorporating ACV into your diet can help to improve your overall health by positively impacting your digestion, helping to regulate your bowels, strengthening your immune system, and even improving bad breath! And listen, I’ve become so obsessed with it that I’ve recently been using my Apple Cider Vinegar as a toner for my skin…but more on that another time…
What keeps me coming back specifically? Well I wasn’t consistent right away and I actually NOTICED the difference in the way I felt when I didn’t drink it. Even now, missing a few days here or there due to travel, my energy level drops, I can sometimes lose focus more easily, and often times I’ll get chest/stomach pains from indigestion (I suffered from acid reflux for years and ate tums like candy before ACV – now, it’s a complete nonissue when I drink it on a consistent basis!).
The Method – HOW do you drink it? I will admit, the first several trials were rough – as I mentioned, I was just straight up ripping this like it was cheap vodka in college, and trust me, the experience was eerily similar. In my experimentation, I eventually ruled out several juice options as chasers as well. A few were good, like actual apple cider, but these options eventually got to be too expensive.
You can also try some mixed concoctions using grapefruit juice, honey, cinnamon, lemon juice, and more!
I can’t really remember where the logic came from, but for some reason I recall feeling concerned diluting the ACV would minimize it’s benefits – NOT TRUE. Right around the time I got to the comfort level of drinking it straight from the bottle (talk about building a tolerance), I found it’s actually BETTER to dilute your intake.
The recommended mixture is anywhere from 1/3 ACV to 2/3 water, or 1-2oz ACV with 8oz water. Sometimes I’ll add honey, which is of course optional, but I sometimes like to add it if I’ve had any kind of hiatus from my routine and need a little pep-talk for that first dive back in.
When do you drink it? I also learned that while it matters less when you take it, and more so just that you do, the most optimal time-frame for your daily concoction is first thing in the morning – after 8oz of water to jumpstart your system, but before any amount of caffiene. When we are sleeping, our bodies are working to clear-out, and get ready for a new day. Taking the ACV early in your day can help to optimize it’s potential benefits with minimal distractions floating around your system.
Early in my experience I was taking it at night, right before bed. I was drinking it straight, so it was irritating to my esophagus, possibly distracting me from noticing it’s impact. When I started chasing it, I was able to notice my typical evening-bloatiness lessen overtime. I also woke up more refreshed, and still less bloated than I was used to.
During the real wild straight-from-the-bottle era, I was keeiping it on my desk at work and would swig it in the middle of the day, or just on my way out of the office in the evening. I was able to coorelate it with thinking clearly, and an improved ability to focus, and though still present, the inconsistency in schedule seemed to lessen the positive impact it had on my bathroom habits.
Finally, with most of my kinks worked out, the first thing I do after I get home from the gym in the morning is mix 2oz of ACV with 1/2c of water and toss it back like everyday is my birthday! Immediately following the shot, I refill the measuring cup with water and wash it down further (I usually drink it from a measuring cup…two birds, one less dish to clean). I could have just had the best workout of my life at the gym and I still don’t feel fully awake until I have my ACV. I’ve also noticed the regularity of the routine heightens it’s benefits (at least for me!).
Whether you needd to get your gut in check, or if you’re just looking for a step in the right direction toward improving your overall health, look no further than that nasty stuff your grandma used to give you if you said a bad word! I highly recommend apple cider vinegar above almost anything else in my healthcare routine. It’s natural, it’s cheap, and it’s super beneficial for serveral reasons! Make sure you get it organically (if you can) and always with the mother!
Now that I think about it, I probably should’ve sworn a lot more as a child…