In the recent decades apple cider vinegar has become a wellness and weight loss world trend. Proponents claim it has all sorts of positive benefits like helping kill harmful bacteria, reducing inflammation, promoting weight loss or even slowing down aging.
Yet if you’re doing intermittent fasting you might be wondering: “Can I use apple cider vinegar while intermittent fasting?”. Lucky for all the apple cider vinegar fans the answer is: “Yes, you can!”.
However, there are a few things to note before you add apple cider vinegar to your daily intermittent fasting routine. We will look at the frequently asked questions about fasting and apple cider vinegar in our article:
- What is apple cider vinegar
- Does apple cider vinegar break a fast
- Benefits of drinking apple cider vinegar during your fast
- How to use apple cider vinegar while fasting
What Is Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar comes from apples that have been crushed, distilled, and then fermented. This turns them into acetic acid – the active ingredient in vinegar. It’s been used for centuries in cooking and medicine.
When looking for apple cider vinegar you might come across two apple cider vinegar types. Most store-bought apple cider vinegars have been filtered – they look a little lighter and don’t contain any bits floating in it.
The other type is what’s called apple cider vinegar with “mother”. It’s organic, unfiltered and contains a substance called “mother”. It consists of bits of proteins, enzymes, and gut-friendly probiotics or, more specifically, acetic acid bacteria that also gives this type of apple cider vinegar a cloudy appearance.
It’s entirely up to you which type of apple cider vinegar to choose. While some people believe that the “mother” is responsible for most of apple cider vinegar’s health benefits, there is currently no scientific evidence to support that.
Does Apple Cider Vinegar Break a Fast
The short answer is that: No, apple cider vinegar won’t break your fast.
However, it depends on two factors: how much apple cider vinegar you are using and what type of fast are you following.
If you are sticking to a strict fasting schedule that doesn’t allow any calories during the fasting window, you might prefer to stay away from any drinks, additives and supplements other than plain water. A cup of coffee contains around 5 calories, tea has around 2 and fruit infused water can add up a few calories as well. When it comes to apple cider vinegar – 1 tablespoon is 3 calories.
Having said that, these couple of calories won’t interfere with your fast much and therefore most people allow themselves at least a cup of black coffee or plain tea during the fasting window. This makes 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar diluted in water a great option to have during your fasting window.
1 – 2 tablespoons per day is also the recommended dosage for apple cider vinegar. If you stick to that amount you shouldn’t worry about combining intermittent fasting and apple cider vinegar.
Benefits of Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar During Your Fast
Now when we have cleared any doubts about having apple cider vinegar during the fasting window, we can look at whether there are actually any benefits of going for that apple cider vinegar water.
If you’re doing intermittent fasting it’s very likely you’re doing it with the goal of losing or maintaining weight.
Can drinking apple cider vinegar help boost your weight loss goals?
It would be nice to have a glass of water with a tablespoon or two of magic vinegar and – voila! – your weight would start to magically disappear. Unfortunately, no such a liquid exists and apple cider vinegar is no exception.
The evidence for apple cider vinegar aiding weight loss is quite limited. A small study has concluded that one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar consumed twice daily with meals combined with a calorie-restricted healthy diet and exercise results in more weight loss than diet and exercise alone. However, more research is needed to confirm these results.
Even if apple cider vinegar won’t be the magical potion to make weight disappear, it can possibly help improve digestion. It has been shown to reduce gas by providing enzymes to help with digestion.
Additionally, apple cider vinegar has appetite-suppressing effects slowing the rate at which food leaves your stomach. Sounds promising for anyone looking to extend their fast.
Also, let’s not forget that a glass of water (with or without apple cider vinegar) will help you feel more full and stay hydrated which is essential not only for weight loss but your general well being. Drinking plenty of water is especially crucial during your fasting window – it can help avoid many intermittent fasting side effects and successfully survive your fast.
How To Use Apple Cider Vinegar While Fasting
Don’t make the mistake of drinking apple cider vinegar straight up. It is highly acidic and can cause problems, like eroding the enamel of your teeth or causing stomach burn. Leave undiluted apple cider vinegar to make an all-purpose cleaner. Even in that case it’s recommended to dilute it with water.
You should also consume apple cider vinegar in moderation. 15 – 30 milliliters (ml) or 1 – 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar daily is usually enough for a person to see potential health benefits.
You can consume this daily tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar in various ways. Here are some ideas:
- Dilute it in water. This might be the most common way to consume apple cider vinegar. Just mix 1 – 2 tablespoons in a glass of water and enjoy your intermittent fasting friendly drink. As we concluded before – it can be enjoyed both during the fasting and eating hours.
- Make salad dressing. Just add a tablespoon or two to your salad or mix with olive oil, lemon or any other of your favorite ingredients.
- Use it for marinades. Apple cider vinegar is a popular ingredient in many steak marinades. It gives meat a nice sweet-and-sour flavor. Try mixing apple cider vinegar with garlic, oil, soy sauce, onion, and/or cayenne pepper to give meat (or tofu, if you’re vegetarian) a delicious flavor.
- Add to other drinks. If you’re not a fan of the taste but still would like to enjoy some of the benefits, try adding apple cider vinegar to other drinks like tea, juice or smoothie.
If you’re looking for a different way to add some flavour to your fasting hours try apple cider vinegar gummies. These ones have also added a jolt of vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid to your blood cells and boost your metabolism.
With apple cider vinegar or without, the intermittent fasting journey can be a bumpy one. Check out the 21 Day Intermittent Fasting Challenge to help you get started and keep consistent. It also includes a healthy meal plan to make sure you nourish your body with healthy and delicious meals during the eating window.