9 Incredible Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey
The health benefits of apple cider vinegar and honey and numerous and we now have clear evidence why these two foods are unbelievably powerful.
Wouldn’t you like to know exactly WHY apple cider vinegar and honey are so good for us?
Interested in knowing what happens when you drink apple cider vinegar and honey?
Did you know drinking apple cider vinegar and honey may be better to drink at different times of the day versus others?
Let’s examine the magic behind the health benefits of apple cider vinegar and honey.
The History of the Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey
The benefits of fermented foods go back thousands of years and apple cider vinegar (ACV) is no different.
The use of vinegar to preserve foods as a pickling agent goes back to 5,000 B.C. when the Babylonians were using it and residues of vinegar have even been found in Egyptian ruins suggesting it was used as around 3,000 B.C.
The specific use of apple cider vinegar and honey can be seen as far back as around 420 B.C. when the father of modern medicine, Hippocrates, first prescribed apple cider vinegar and honey to treat wounds, coughs, and colds as well as other illnesses. Coming into the present day, apple cider vinegar and honey is used in alternative medicine around the world, including in Africa and China.[1,25]
What Does Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey Do For You?
The benefits of apple cider vinegar and honey start with the ACV improving our digestion.
In fact, ACV been shown to improve weight loss and improve blood sugar regulation. Simply put, when the sugar in our blood is more steady we have better energy, tend to be more active, and have less cravings. So, better blood sugar leads to burning more calories and consuming less food. That is a win-win if you’re looking for weight loss.
Using honey with apple cider vinegar may help support the immune system through the addition of flavonoids, polyphenols and Vitamins D and C. Additionally, it can provide a boost in energy through the b-vitamins that are present in high-quality honey such as New Zealand Manuka honey, arguably the most nutrient-dense honey in the world. New Zealand Manuka honey in particular, has even been found to help with SIBO and C-Diff due to its bactericidal, antibiotic, and antibacterial effects.
So, what does apple cider vinegar and honey do for you? It supports your energy levels, immune system, and our gut which together led to improved long-term health.
What Happens When You Drink Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey?
When you drink apple cider vinegar and honey you will improve your digestion, blood glucose, energy levels, and immune system.
The benefits of apple cider vinegar and honey are immediate due to acetic acid in apple cider vinegar helping our digestion. Apple cider vinegar supports the health of your microbiome by providing healthy probiotics since ACV is a fermented food. Honey then provides b-vitamins, antioxidants, and a simple form of energy for the body to use. The
Taken consistently over long durations, apple cider vinegar and honey may also improve fasting blood glucose and cholesterol levels.
9 Incredible Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey
Whether you’re working out, looking to improve digestion, or just trying to optimize your health, here are nine of the most amazing health benefits of apple cider vinegar and honey. You will see there are good reasons why a daily dose of ACV might be just what you need to maintain optimum health and athletic performance.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar Helps Promote Healthy Gut Bacteria
Cases of unexplained fatigue and digestive problems are on the rise. Junk food, antibiotics, stress, and present-day diseases all play a role in upsetting the delicate balance of gut flora.
The community of microorganisms that live in the human body is made up of bacteria, fungi, and archaea. Scientists refer to this collection of organisms as the microbiome, and it is estimated that the average human has around ten times more gut microbes than they have human cells. So yes -you’re more made up of bacteria than you are human cells.
It’s no surprise then, that when the microbiome is knocked off balance, it can lead to a decreased immune system (since most of our immune system lives in our gut) as well as increased fatigue and muscle soreness post-workout,
How Does This Affect Me?
Even though many of us try hard to eat healthily, most still eat too much of the fatigue-inducing inflammatory foods commonly found in the Standard American Diet. This often includes too much processed foods, added sugars, high amounts of preservatives, and loads of low-nutrient processed bread and pasta.
If you’re one of the many people who suffer from digestive problems, general fatigue, and longer recovery times after a workout, this could be a sign that you’re suffering from dysbiosis – where an imbalance between good and bad gut bacteria is causing nasty physical symptoms that won’t go away.
The Harms of Artificial Sweeteners
One reason we’re big fans of honey is that there are many, many issues with consuming artificial sweeteners.
In fact, artificial sweetener side effects are becoming more and more clear in research studies and regular consumption of them can wreak haevoc on our gut bacteria.
Common issues associated with high consumption of artificial sweeteners include:
- Damaging to good gut bacteria
- Desensitizes Sweet Receptors
- Increased Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
- May contribute to migraine headaches
- Much, much more!
So, if you have a bit of a sweet tooth, consider using honey in moderation instead of artificial sweeteners, and consume apple cider vinegar with honey to reduce unwanted spikes in blood sugar.
How Can Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey Help?
If you think you may have the wrong balance of gut bacteria, then the safest way to heal the gut naturally and restore balance is by eating a healthy, balanced diet, including prebiotic and probiotic foods. Prebiotics are the soluble fibers found in plant-based foods, which create the right environment for a healthy microbiome. Probiotics are the “good gut bugs” that we want to populate and thrive in our gut as they will help us better digest our food and strengthen our immune system..
Scientists have found gut-friendly bacteria in apple cider vinegar, making it a good probiotic.
So, a daily dose of ACV is a simple way to help restore a healthy balance of bacteria to promote optimum health.
2. ACV Helps Maintain Appropriate Blood Sugar
If you experience sudden bouts of fatigue and cravings for food between mealtimes, this could be a sign that your blood sugar levels are out of control. As well as leaving you feeling drained and exhausted, this could be a warning that your blood sugar levels are not well regulated, which may lead to accelerated aging or even worse, a future diagnosis of type-2 diabetes.
The good news is that more and more studies are recognizing that one of the many health benefits of apple cider vinegar is its ability to help regulate blood sugar levels.
A recent study by scientists in Sweden showed that the acetic acid which gives apple cider vinegar its tart taste and smell can help break down starchy foods and prevent the blood sugar “spike” often experienced after eating a high-carb meal.
Avoiding this spike means you’re less likely to crave sugary snacks and junk food so you stay in control of those urges to reach for the wrong things to eat. Additionally, if you’re someone who loves honey, you’re likely to see a greater benefit from its consumption if you consume it with ACV since it will help reduce a blood sugar spike. So, the health benefits of apple cider vinegar and honey are better they’re consumed together!
3. ACV Can Increase Satiety: Helping You Feel Full Longer
Many adults find that they can eat clean and healthy during the day but then can’t stop eating as they relax in the evening. If this sounds like you, perhaps apple cider vinegar might be your new best friend.
It’s been found that those who consumed vinegar with a bread-based meal felt full sooner than those in a control group who ate bread without added vinegar.
In another study, participants who had been given vinegar with a high Glycemic Index meal were found to have consumed 200-275 fewer calories daily when compared to a control group.
We definitely are not encouraging eating high gluten or high glycemic meals but the research certainly proves a point- ACV is powerful and may be able to help us in a variety of ways.
4. ACV Improves Athletic Performance
Whether you’re keen on running, weight training, or just wanting to keep your body performing at optimum levels, the ability of ACV to help keep blood sugar levels constant and improve endurance capacity is pretty appealing.
We now know that the acetic acid in ACV helps the body make acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that helps improve muscle function. Additionally, it may significantly help the oxidative abilities of muscle (The ability of muscles to use oxygen to convert fats and carbohydrates into energy such as ATP).
In a 2015 study examining the endurance capacity of mice, intake of acetic acid significantly increased endurance capacity. Furthermore, a decrease in visceral adipose deposits was identified (who wouldn’t mind having a little less fat!?). The changes may be partially due to fatty acids and urea nitrogen levels being reduced in the acetic acid-fed mice. This occurred due to stimulating muscles to create more of an enzyme involved in the “oxidation and glycolytic-to-oxidative fiber-type transformation”.
Long story short, the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar may serve as an ergogenic aid in improving the oxidative ability of muscles to create energy.
Why Improving Digestion Also Improves Athletic Performance
When the gut bacteria is improved and better balanced, food is broken down more efficiently and absorbed. When food is better absorbed, your body can more readily use it for repair and recovery. Athletes with gut issues or those who eat foods that may contribute to bacterial imbalance and/or a leaky gut, often have severe difficulty recovering from training.
If your muscles can’t use the food you ingest, you won’t be able to recover properly. This can severely impair performance as well as your ability to reach peak potential.
ACV has the potential to assist with improving digestion as well as restoring balance of healthy bacteria in the gut AKA gut symbiosis.
With improved gut bacteria and digestion, along with the addition of acetylcholine, ACV can be a major element in helping maintain performance or reach new levels of success.
Athletes who take a daily dose of ACV experience less fatigue and for centuries many have claimed that a daily dose helps reduce the effects of inflammation.
5. ACV May Help with Cramping
Whether you experience cramps after exercising or are kept awake at night by pains shooting down your legs, the well-known anti-cramping properties are another apple cider vinegar health claim.
The causes of cramping are varied and complex and include over-exhaustion of the muscles, potassium deficiency, and dehydration to name a few.
Apple cider vinegar contains high levels of naturally occurring potassium, minerals, and other enzymes which some athletes report lead to fewer cramps and shorter recovery times.
The Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey Drink
If you experience severe leg cramps, a few solutions to consider may include mixing apple cider vingar honey such as with high-quality manuka honey in water (see exact dosage later in this post) or soaking a cloth in a mix of warm water and ACV and wrapping this around the affected area. You may also try pouring a couple of cups into a warm bath that includes Epsom Salts (Epsom salts are high in magnesium which has been shown to help with muscle relaxation).[21, 22, 23, 24]
Remember, there are a countless number of things that can cause cramps. If cramping is a chronic problem for you, please seek professional evaluation.
6. ACV Helps Fight Type-2 Diabetes
Unfortunately, type 2 diabetes is more and more prevalent in the modern world. It’s been calculated that 1 in 7 healthcare dollars spent in the U.S. will go towards treating this disease and its complications. Unfortunately, this trend is on the rise and most worryingly amongst the younger generation . High sugar, carb-laden diets, and sedentary lifestyles are all to blame.
Athletes are not spared from this disease as many consume high fructose corn syrup-laden beverages and snacks in high quantities, even when not practicing. This done in addition to too much cereal, bread, and pasta can have extremely negative consequences. Few athletes are training at a high enough volume to consistently utilize such intake. This leaves many at risk for developing diabetes later in life if these habits are not changed.
If you’re among the millions who suffer from diabetes or among the many told they have “pre-diabetes” (this is really just a polite way of saying you have diabetes, welcome to the club!), then making radical changes to your diet and exercise regimen (maybe subscribing to our blog as well ;), and adding a daily dose of ACV will help limit the disease progression . Interestingly, it is believed that this is accomplished through making cells more responsive to insulin signals.
7. ACV Might Help Maintain a Healthy Weight
Countless people take a daily helping of ACV as part of their weight-control regime, but does it work?
Acetic acid, found in apple cider vinegar, has been shown to suppress the build-up of body fat in animal studies. A Japanese study involving obese individuals also found that those fed a daily dose of vinegar over a 12-week period were found to have reduced weight, visceral fat, and waist circumference than a control group.
At just 3 calories a spoonful, it might be well worth building a dose of apple cider vinegar into your daily routine.
8. ACV Promotes Healthy Blood Pressure
Even those living a healthy lifestyle may experience alarmingly high blood pressure for a variety of reasons.
A study on rats found that acetic acid fed to rats resulted in a significant lowering of blood pressure. As acid occurs naturally in apple cider vinegar, it is possible that ACV may also be of some benefit to blood pressure.
More studies need to be done to see whether this result can be replicated in humans, but in the meantime, why not see for yourself whether this promising health benefit of apple cider vinegar works for you? Compared to pharmaceutical drugs, you have nothing to lose!
9. ACV Can Help Protect Against Strokes and Heart Disease
Yet another health benefit of apple cider vinegar is the impact it may have on the cardiovascular system.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. A study conducted on rats found that those who were regularly fed acetic acid, similar to that found in ACV, had lower levels of triglycerides and cholesterol, both of which contribute to heart attacks and strokes.
Apple cider vinegar has also been shown to reduce the risk of oxidation of LDL cholesterol, which is another risk factor associated with cardiovascular problems.
When to Drink an Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey Drink
You may consume ACV and honey whenever you would like, but our preference is to enjoy the health benefits of apple cider vinegar and honey drink before or during lunch or dinner to help with digestion.
For Optimal Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar, What Kind is Best?
As you can see, the case for a daily dose of apple cider vinegar is pretty strong, but which type is best?
Chances are that you might already have a bottle of it at the back of your pantry and you can experience many of the benefits of apple cider vinegar from whatever type is available in your local store.
“The Mother” Knows Best…
For optimal results, organic, unfiltered, unpasteurized, raw apple cider vinegar is best. The organic and unfiltered versions of ACV are often described as being “with the mother”, and might be cloudy in appearance.
Don’t be put off by the cloudiness in the bottle- that’s just a sign that all the good bacteria, minerals, vitamins, and enzymes, which are a by-product of the fermentation process, are present. Remember that it’s these byproducts of the fermentation process which give apple cider vinegar, along with many other incredibly beneficial fermented foods their amazing healing powers.
It may be worth noting that research has shown that organically produced ACV has different bacterial microbiota than conventionally produced ACV.
So, not only are you likely reducing the risk of chemicals such as pesticides in your ACV (apples are part of the “dirty dozen” foods known to be loaded with pesticides) by drinking one that is organically produced, but you’re likely ingesting higher-quality bacteria to help your gut.
If you don’t already have some, Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar is arguably the best raw and organic brand. This is the one we use if we don’t see it at Costco.
The BEST Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey Drinks and Supplements
1. Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar Wellness Cleanse – Made with ACV, Honey, Lemon Juice & Cayenne
Bragg is a leader in producing high-quality apple cider vinegar. They have grown dramatically over the past few years and now offer a variety of products that include amazing mixtures with everything from honey and cayenne to Orange Tart Cherry.
The “Wellness Cleanse” from Bragg is a tasty mixture of apple cider vinegar, honey, zesty lemon juice, and cayenne pepper. Users report that compared to traditional ACV, this is easier to drink, helps cramping, and others reported decreased appetite and improved weight loss.
Want to keep things simpler and not bother with mixing honey with ACV? Here it is!
Sometimes its just easier to take a capsule or gummy!
If this is you, you have to consider the 3Bee Manuka Honey and ACV Gummies which use premium New Zaland Manuka Honey.
We aren’t a fan of the use of corn syrup, so, we would recommend the Bragg drinks over this product, but, if drinking it just doesn’t work for you or you’re having a hard time fitting it into your routine, you may want to consider this product.
How Often and in What Ways Should Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey Be Taken?
If you want to start to experience the health benefits of apple cider vinegar for yourself, what’s the best way to take it?
It’s probably not the best idea to take it undiluted as over time, such an acidic substance running down your throat could cause problems with acid reflux, and there is even the risk of the acid damaging your tooth enamel. So you’ll want to dilute ACV with water.
If you’re after maximizing the health benefits of apple cider vinegar, taking one or two teaspoons two or three times a day does the trick for most individuals. It’s best to build up the dosage gradually over a couple of weeks to avoid any unpleasant side effects as your body gets used to this powerful detoxifying agent.
Personally, I most often consume ACV by watering down a glass of ~2 teaspoons ACV before meals since it has also been shown to help with digestion (it is even highly recommended for those suffering from SIBO. Do you homework, however, if you suffer from SBIO as treatment may vary based on your type. Be sure to see a professional for this!). Many apple cider vinegar enthusiasts also recommend using 1-2 teaspoons mixed with manuka honey in ten parts of water just before a meal. It does sound tasty…
But probably the best way to enjoy it is to incorporate it into your normal diet. This is surprisingly easy. Here are some ideas:
ACV as a Salad Dressing
Take a tip from the French and start your meal with a healthy salad, dressed in delicious apple cider vinegar dressing.
Not only will this help you feel fuller sooner, but it is a good way of ensuring that you’re getting your daily requirement of leafy greens. To make the dressing, mix one part unpasteurized ACV with three parts extra virgin olive oil and, if you like, a little French mustard to taste. Mix with a fork until creamy and pour over raw spinach/watercress/lambs lettuce etc. Or, you can do what I do most often, and just pour a bit into your salad dressing container to mix with your basalmic vinnegerette or other oil based dressing. I often take a small dressing container to be used with my salad at lunch and the mixture is deliscious.
ACV with Chicken or Pork as a Stew
Make a tasty stew using chicken or lean pork sautéed in olive oil with apples and onions. Add a mix of 1 part apple cider vinegar to 2 parts water and sprinkle with fresh thyme or tarragon. Simmer for 40-50 minutes. This can be enjoyed as it is or with a little crème fraiche whisked in just before serving.
ACV as a Marinade
Did you know that the right kind of marinade will help make your barbecue meat more tender, as well as pack a punch of flavor? Create a marinade of 1 part apple cider vinegar to 3 parts olive oil (use a light variety, suitable for cooking at high temperatures). Grate in a couple of cloves of garlic and add fresh herbs and a little-shaved lemon/orange peel. Before you barbecue chicken or pork, cover with marinade and set in the refrigerator for at least an hour, preferably overnight.
Summing Up The Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
We first started using apple cider vinegar last fall when I randomly (hopefully the first and last time) had a bout of shingles. I searched extensively for natural treatments, and apple cider vinegar was hands down the most often recommended natural remedy as it had many raving endorsements in the blog post comment sections.
I used it for two weeks both topically and by drinking a small amount mixed with water, and first noticed a major difference in just 2 days.
I understand it can be challenging to buy into simple or all-natural remedies such as this without understanding exactly why they are beneficial. I was skeptical but I have to say that I used ibuprofen and Aleve for 3 days feeling no relief (at which point I discontinued their use) and noticed a drastic improvement with apple cider vinegar almost immediately.
The apple cider vinegar allowed me to discontinue NSAIDs as well as avoid using one of several traditional shingles medications such as Acyclovir which is often accompanied by such potential side effects as:
- Muscle or joint aches
- Fluid retention
- Hair loss
When treating a physician colleague of mine, I told her how I came down with shingles a few weeks prior and how it was. She asked why I didn’t just call her, as she would have been happy to write a prescription for Acyclovir. I said, “If I can treat it with a natural remedy without any side effects, why would I take a medication with a laundry list of side effects that may also harm my liver and kidneys?”
She threw her hands in the air and laughed and said I was being ridiculous.
The traditional medical community has difficulty dealing with natural remedies and not understanding why people want to skip out on potentially harmful medications. To each his own BUT let’s not forget that many of us are living in the US, AKA the most medicated country on earth and also one of least healthy of any industrialized country.
Makes perfect sense to follow the recommendations of traditional medicine. Or not…
Now, nearly a year after my first experience, I have come to appreciate ACV to be the liquid form of duct tape- a natural remedy that seems to help just about everything!
Summing up the Miracle Combination of Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey
Time to recap- What does apple cider vinegar and honey do for you?
The benefits of apple cider vinegar and honey are due to the anti-bacterial and immune-boosting benefits of honey that are then combined with the gut-supporting and immune-boosting benefits of apple cider vinegar. Together, they’re a match made in heaven, especially when you choose super-healthy honey such as manuka honey .
The Final Word on Apple Cider Vinegar Health Claims
The health benefits of apple cider vinegar are astonishing. It is important to remember the proper dosage and timing of ACV intake for optimal benefit. Without a doubt, doing many little things right can significantly reduce fatigue and add up to big improvements in health and performance.
It is important to note that many of the current studies are on animals, and it will take more time for high-quality human-based studies to provide a more sound base of research. However, a vast majority of the research thus far has been promising, and I highly encourage considering the many apple cider vinegar health uses.
If you enjoyed this article and are dealing with fatigue, you may want to consider checking out our article on the Low FODMAP Diet for Athletes and the Ultimate Candida Overgrowth Diet. As discussed above, using ACV can benefit many athletes dealing with gut issues and can be used in conjunction with many therapeutic diets. In fact, one study found ACV demonstrated antifungal properties, which may allow it to provide therapeutic effects in the treatment of candida overgrowth . Even more, using ACV can be a lifestyle change that helps maintain a healthy gut and peak performance in the long run.
- Shishehbor, F., et al., Apple cider vinegar attenuates lipid profile in normal and diabetic rats. Pak J Biol Sci, 2008. 11(23):2634-8.