The thought of drinking apple cider vinegar every day might seem a little repulsive to some.
And I agree - plain tap water is actually more appealing, however, with apple cider vinegar supposedly possessing so many health benefits, I figured I’d go all in and drink it every day for 30 days.
One of the key reasons that people seem to applaud apple cider vinegar, is because it supposedly helps with weight loss. Could it be better than using the best exercise machine to lose weight? Well, I was keen to find out if this helped me shed some of the remaining Christmas weight and to see what else might happen.
So, 30 days, let’s go!
Apple cider vinegar challenge: what is it?
I’d heard good things about apple cider vinegar, which often gets abbreviated to ACV.
From weight loss to helping to lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, this acidic, sour-tasting blend of apples and yeast has shot to fame in recent years for supposedly helping boost health. Even though it’s acidic, apple cider vinegar helps balance the body’s pH levels too which could, supposedly, help avoid illness.
Bottles of apple cider vinegar tend to contain something called The Mother; an odd name to describe the collection of bacteria (acetobacter aceti to be precise) that forms during the fermentation process. Could this bacteria help sort my dodgy gut out, beat the bloat, and make my digestion a little ‘smoother’?
My challenge involved taking a 50ml shot of apple cider vinegar every morning before food.
I opted for Willy’s ACV Turmeric + Apple Cider Vinegar with Honey & Black Pepper. Willy’s ACV states that every drop is loaded with ‘premium live probiotics to boost your gut health and help you feel fantastic’.
Bring it on! Here’s what I noticed when I drank apple cider vinegar for 30 days…
1. I didn’t lose weight. Not even an inch
I maintained the same diet and exercise regime throughout this whole experiment, so any weight loss, I figured, would be down to my apple cider vinegar consumption.
But nope, my jeans were just as snug as always and the scales stayed the same.
Research published in the Journal of Functional Foods (opens in new tab) covered the apple cider vinegar and weight loss connection. The study placed participants on a diet eating 250 calories less than their bodies needed. Half the group also had 15ml of apple cider vinegar; the other half didn’t. The apple cider vinegar group lost around 3lbs more, however, this was done over 12 weeks. That’s three months. And for just 3 lbs in three months, I’m not sure it’s worth the five seconds of taste bud torture if I’m honest. Oh, and on that note of taste…
2. The taste became bearable
For the first two weeks of taking apple cider vinegar, I winced every time I had to do my shot in the morning.
It was awful and I genuinely didn’t know if I could keep it up. However, once these initial two weeks passed, the taste became quite nice. I found that I was doing less of the exaggerated, scrunched-up facial expressions.
I did some reading and discovered that no, taste buds don’t become ‘accustomed’ to sour tastes, so perhaps I just learned to love it.
3. It made me bloat…
Look, I’ll be honest, I’m one of those annoying people that glance at food or drink and just seems to balloon. And subsequently moans about it to everyone in the vicinity. So, with apple cider vinegar supposedly great for gut health thanks to all the bacteria it possesses, I figured it would help. But, alas!
For the first two to three weeks of taking apple cider vinegar every morning, I noticed that immediately after taking it my stomach basically blew up. It wasn’t extreme but it was enough for me to notice.
I spoke to nutritionist Rob Hobson about the bloating issue and he explained that the theory behind ACV is that ‘it is an antimicrobial substance, meaning it may kill bacteria in the stomach and excess of which may lead to bloating’. However, he does reiterate that the research is still relatively new in this area.
“If I client came to me with bloating then I would look at their whole diet and lifestyle as there are so many reasons for it.” Hobson told me.
…but then in time, my bloating subsided
After this period of morning bloat, I started to notice that I was actually less bloated than normal and seemed to be less puffy.
Perhaps the initial shock of apple cider vinegar bacteria took some getting used to for my gut.
Either way, taking apple cider vinegar was far more enjoyable when I wasn’t ballooning up after every shot.
4. It made me ‘go’
You knew it was coming. But yes, I must be open and tell you all that apple cider vinegar did indeed help things flow a little more easily.
As a female I often find that around my time of the month, going to the toilet can be more of a struggle; if you’re a woman I’m sure you can relate. However, even during my period, taking apple cider vinegar every morning meant I was still regular, which was actually a huge relief.
5. My skin glowed
I know my skin inside out, and I’m well aware of the hormonal fluctuations that take place on my face right before I’m due on my period. Although I broke out big-time in the first week of my challenge, going forward I spotted fewer pimples and just a general smoothness to my complexion. If I needed a reason to continue taking apple cider vinegar, this would be it.
To sum up…
Would I continue to take apple cider vinegar? I think I would perhaps do a 30-day stint every so often. For the skin benefits, I am all for it.
Lucy is a freelance journalist specializing in health, fitness and lifestyle. She was previously the Health and Fitness Editor across various women's magazines, including Woman&Home, Woman and Woman’s Own as well as Editor of Feel Good You. She has also previously written for titles including Now, Look, Cosmopolitan, GQ, Red and The Sun.
She lives and breathes all things fitness; working out every morning with a mix of running, weights, boxing and long walks. Lucy is a Level 3 personal trainer and teaches classes at various London studios. Plus, she's pre- and post-natal trained and helps new mums get back into fitness after the birth of their baby. Lucy claims that good sleep, plenty of food and a healthy gut (seriously, it's an obsession) are the key to maintaining energy and exercising efficiently. Saying this, she's partial to many classes of champagne and tequila on the rocks whilst out with her friends.
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