8 Things You Should Never Do While Taking Apple Cider Vinegar

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Apple cider vinegar is packed with health benefits, but there is a right and wrong way to use it—and in this case, the “wrong way” can potentially be dangerous and unhealthy.

Take it straight

If you’re thinking about downing some apple cider vinegar and then quickly eating or drinking something else to mask the bitter taste, you may want to think twice. While there are many ACV health benefits, drinking it this way may 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, a kinesiologist and 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, which can help protect your throat and stomach from the acid and make it more palatable.

Drink it right after eating

Green apples in a lilac plate and a bottle of apple juice on a wooden light background. Selective focus.

If you’re in the habit of drinking apple cider vinegar after a meal, you might want to amend your routine. Elizabeth Abel, licensed functional nutritionist with First State Integrative Health Center in Wilmington, Delaware, explains that taking apple cider vinegar on an empty stomach may yield health benefits. “Many people, especially as they age, tend to experience a decrease in their gastric juices which can help break down the food they eat,” she says. “Consuming a little bit of ACV right before eating can help substitute for these lost gastric juices, allowing food to digest more easily.” The end result is that you may experience less bloating or indigestion after eating. She also suggests trying it as part of a salad dressing, which she says is another way to reap its benefits.

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