Vinegar has been used as a natural remedy for centuries. In fact, it dates back to the ancient Greeks for use as a skin applicant. However, over the past few decades people have been using apple cider vinegar for the wide variety of health benefits it can provide. Apple cider vinegar is produced through fermentation of apple cider, and this fermentation can yield lots of healthy bacteria. Somewhat similar to the popular health drink kombucha.
However, while intermittent fasting it is important to only consume acceptable beverages that won’t break your fast. I commonly get asked if apple cider vinegar is acceptable to consume while fasting, because lots of people like to take a shot of it right when they wake up. This article is going to be explaining what apple cider vinegar is, how it is made, health benefits of drinking it, and if apple cider vinegar will truly break your fast.
Does Apple Cider Vinegar Break My Fast?
Apple cider vinegar will not break your fast, it essentially contains 0 macronutrients thus not causing an insulin response within the body. However, it still activates digestion. So the digestive healing and gut rest benefits of fasting will be turned off. Although, you still will receive all of the other main benefits of fasting such as fat loss, increased metabolism, and autophagy.
The main reason apple cider vinegar is tricky while fasting is because it activates stomach acid metabolites and gastric acid secretion within the gut. One of the main reasons people participate in intermittent fasting is for the gut rest and digestive healing benefits. Intermittent fasting gives our body a break from constantly digesting food and beverages.
So, it all depends on the reason for which you are fasting. If your primary goal is weight loss, metabolism benefits, and longevity, then you can consume apple cider vinegar during your fast. However, if you want to receive all the benefits of fasting like gut rest and digestive healing, then you should avoid consuming apple cider vinegar while fasting.
Apple Cider Vinegar Nutritional Facts
First let’s look at the nutrition label for a popular apple cider vinegar. This apple cider vinegar is by BRAGG, a popular apple cider vinegar found in most grocery stores.
It is super important to check the nutritional facts for all beverages you consume while fasting. You need to ensure it contains 0 calories/macronutrients, and that it will not break your fast.
You can see that 1 Tbsp of this apple cider vinegar contains 0 calories, 0 grams of carbs, 0 grams of fat, and 0 grams of protein. So it contains 0 calories/macronutrients. Next, let’s look at the ingredient list to ensure it is free of artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols. The only ingredients are raw apple cider vinegar and water. So, you can see that it is free of any artificial sweeteners, and this is acceptable to consume while fasting.
Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits
There are a variety of health benefits associated with drinking apple cider vinegar. The process of fermentation causes apple cider to turn into acetic acid or vinegar. That is why apple cider vinegar is so strong smelling and sour. However, fermentation causes good bacteria to form within the vinegar. So, the good bacteria or probiotics can help the digestive system stay clear of harmful bacteria.
Other benefits of apple cider vinegar include improved blood sugar and insulin levels, which is why it is popular among diabetics. Another reason people drink apple cider vinegar is due to fat burning and increased metabolism effects. Vinegar has been shown to increase certain gene activity which increases fat burning and metabolism in the body.
This makes apple cider vinegar a popular choice among those who intermittent fast. People usually try intermittent fasting to lose weight or spike their metabolism. So having a shot of apple cider vinegar may help enhance these effects of intermittent fasting.
Apple Cider Vinegar While Intermittent Fasting
Apple cider vinegar can be helpful while intermittent fasting due to its abilities to blunt hunger and suppress appetite. It has been shown to help promote fullness and prevent overeating. The reason apple cider vinegar can help with appetite suppression is due to the effects it has when it reaches your stomach. It has been shown to slow the rate of digestion, and reduce stomach emptying rates. So, apple cider vinegar can make you feel full longer.
A main problem for those who try intermittent fasting is hunger cravings and stomach growling. Some people can not stick with their fast due to these cravings. So, a shot of apple cider vinegar can really help blunt these cravings, and allow people to continue through their fasting window. If you have a problem with hunger cravings while fasting, then consider adding a shot of apple cider vinegar into your fasting window.
Other acceptable drinks that help suppress appetite while fasting are black coffee and sparkling water. The carbonation in sparkling water can really help reduce hunger cravings and suppress your appetite. Check out my article on the 10 best sparkling waters to consume while fasting. Also, black coffee is very effective at appetite suppression due to the caffeine from the coffee beans.
Apple Cider Vinegar Disadvantages
There are always some potential side effects with every product, even those that are quite healthy for us. Apple cider vinegar may cause some digestive upset for some people, especially on an empty stomach. This is due to the acetic acid, which contains very high acidity levels. If you experience stomach issues or discomfort from consuming apple cider vinegar, then it would be best to avoid this while fasting.
Also, large amounts of apple cider vinegar can cause eroding of the tooth enamel due to the acidity. Some people drink only a tablespoon or 2 oz shot of apple cider vinegar for this reason, or you can drink it with a straw to protect your teeth.
It can sometimes be hard to decide if a zero calorie beverage will break your fast, and it is best to do your research before consuming it. You do not want to be ruining your fasting window by consuming something that will break your fast. Apple cider vinegar is acceptable to consume while fasting, and actually makes a good choice due to its fat burning and appetite suppressive effects.
However, apple cider vinegar will trigger digestion within the body. So you will not be receiving the gut rest and digestive healing benefits of fasting. You will still receive all the other benefits of intermittent fasting like fat burning, increased metabolism, longevity, autophagy, etc. So it all comes down to a personal decision whether or not gut rest matters to you. Otherwise, continue consuming your apple cider vinegar for all the heath benefits it can provide!