Take it straight
HandmadePictures/Shutterstock Apple cider vinegar comes with a bit of a trade-off. On the one hand, it can do wonders for your body, from helping you lose weight to boosting your heart health. On the other… it tastes pretty awful. That’s why many people decide to take it in a quick, undiluted shot, and then immediately drink or eat something else to mask the bitter taste. If this is your chosen method of ACV consumption, though, it can actually be more harmful than helpful. “Due to the [acidic] nature of ACV, you risk the ACV severely irritating and causing damage to the esophagus and stomach,” advises Matt Weik, BS, CSCS, owner of Weik Fitness, LLC. “Do yourself a huge favor and always dilute your ACV in a liquid.” Water is probably the way to dilute the apple cider vinegar. Not only will this protect your throat and stomach from the acid, it will make it far more palatable. Experts recommend using one part vinegar to ten parts water. Learn more about why taking it straight is the biggest no-no of apple cider vinegar.
Drink it right after eating
Iuliia photographer/Shutterstock If you’re in the habit of drinking apple cider vinegar after a meal, you might want to amend your routine. Taking apple cider vinegar on an empty stomach is actually the best way to maximize its health benefits. Some of the foods you eat can make the vinegar less potent; drinking it before you eat also boosts its ability to help you process food. Experts recommend waiting about 20 minutes to eat something after you take ACV, to give the vinegar time to digest. Or you could have it as part of your meal—try these delicious apple cider vinegar recipes.