Fact or Fiction: Does Apple Cider Vinegar Boost Metabolism?

If you haven’t already tried apple cider vinegar (an ancient folk remedy used to cure a variety of health conditions), maybe it’s time you should. A new year often brings with it hefty weight-loss goals, so anything that can help boost your efforts might be worth trying. But the real question is: Does it actually work?

We turned to nutritionist and fitness trainer Franci Cohen and Derek Johnson, corporate director of nutrition for The Biggest Loser Resort, for the answer.  

The Facts
“Apple cider vinegar does not increase metabolic function, but it has been proven to aid in fat loss for various reasons,” says Cohen. “Vinegar is effective at reducing the speed at which glucose (sugar) enters the blood, thereby lowering blood sugar levels. This is an asset to both diabetics and those looking to lose weight.”

Johnson adds, “The process of metabolism has many moving parts—it’s affected by sleep, exercise and digestion. It is why skipping breakfast can cause weight gain by slowing down your metabolism and increasing hunger later in the day. If you had apple cider vinegar before eating doughnuts, it would have no effect on the fat-storing properties of insulin. That being said, some studies do show that apple cider vinegar can help with sugar levels in a healthy diet.”

How It Works

Studies show that too much acidity in the body has been linked to weight gain. “Apple cider vinegar does the opposite by helping to alkalize the body (balance acidity levels), which therefore aids in weight loss,” says Cohen. It also acts as an appetite suppressant (telling your brain not to crave snacks all day), and assists your stomach in digestion and the breakdown of food for energy.

Adding It Into Your Diet
According to Cohen, the most effective way to consume apple cider vinegar is to drink 1-2 teaspoons (there are about three calories per tsp.), mixed into a glass of water before each meal three times a day. The taste is a little hard to get used to (honestly, I’m not sure you ever really get used to it), so I found that pinching my nose shut and downing it quickly like a shot of strong medicine was the best method. Johnson says it also works well as a salad dressing—think of it as an amped-up vinaigrette of sorts.

One To Try:
Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar ($8), gnc.com

6 Comments
  • Danny
    Posted on

    I toast bread, quarter it, put PB&J on one quarter and 2 tablespoons soaked into one quarter and make a sandwich. Very tolerable.

  • Emmy
    Posted on

    My mom and I take it everyday and it's amazing. Everyone should try it even though it tastes disgusting.

  • Holly
    Posted on

    I'm the pickiest person in the world when it comes to food and drinks BUT I actually think it tastes OK when mixed with: 1-2 tsps ACV, dash of honey, and squirt or two of lemon juice. Before each of my 3 meals. I just try not to smell it, but honestly, it doesn't taste half bad! It's only been one day, so I cannot say whether or not it has helped me lose weight, but it feels promising because I have had no desire to snack between meals (And I have a terrible snacking problem).

  • Brooke Jade
    Posted on

    Does it really help you lose weight?????

  • Stella
    Posted on

    It's nice with hot water, crushed ginger, and a teaspoon of honey!

  • Shannon
    Posted on

    Worst tasting stuff ever, but amazing health benefits. I'm taking it daily now!

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