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When To Drink Apple Cider Vinegar To Reap All Its Incredible Benefits

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Personally, I've always loved waking up in the morning to a large, steaming cup of peppermint tea. The warm brew feels gentle on my digestive system, and it prepares my body for the day. In recent years, though, I’ve heard of people tossing back shots of apple cider vinegar first thing in the morning to kickstart their immune systems, help sensitive skin, and reap the other seemingly endless benefits of ACV. So I, too, wanted to get in on the action — but is the morning the best time to drink apple cider vinegar, or is it more beneficial to take ACV before bed? That’s what I wanted to find out before I ditched my tea and began my own ACV journey.

After doing some research and interviewing three nutrition experts on the subject, I’ve learned there isn’t one answer to that particular question; there are multiple times when it’s beneficial to drink apple cider vinegar.

1. Drink apple cider vinegar in the morning.

While some people may be turned off by the idea of taking a shot of ACV in the morning, due to its potent smell and slightly acidic taste, here’s a hack that can make it a bit easier, not to mention healthier: Dilute the substance first.

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“When drinking apple cider vinegar, it is important to dilute it with water,” Dr. Niket Sonpal, New York-based internist, gastroenterologist, and adjunct professor at Touro College, tells Elite Daily. “The acidic nature of the liquid can erode enamel in the teeth, and if you are a beginner to the ACV trend, you might not be accustomed to its strong taste and smell, which can leave you nauseous for a little while.”

The belief, according to Sonpal, is that drinking apple cider vinegar in the morning rather than at night “is stabilizing and aids digestion during the day.”

Tammy Fender, holistic aesthetician and founder of Tammy Fender Holistic Skincare, agrees that ACV can help improve digestion, telling Elite Daily that it eliminates “toxins from the body more easily.”

Nutritionist and fitness specialist Adnan Munye also recommends drinking diluted apple cider vinegar, prior to consuming any food (which is, most likely, in the morning). “Studies have identified a correlation between the consumption of vinegar and blood sugar management,” says Munye. “One study found participants who consumed vinegar before eating a meal had lower insulin and triglyceride levels after eating.”

2. Make it your nightcap to prevent illness.

Yes, opting for the fermented apple juice before bed can also assist the body while you snooze.

In a study on the benefits of vinegar conducted by Arizona State University nutrition professor Carol Johnston and registered dietician Andrea White — which was published in the December 2007 edition of Diabetes Care — their research concluded that taking ACV at the end of the day was beneficial to those living with Type 2 Diabetes.

There were 11 participants in the study, all of whom live with the chronic condition. Over the course of two days, they were asked to follow a standardized meal plan: “Each had to ingest water and a 1-ounce piece of cheese, or 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and 1 ounce of cheese before bedtime,” according to the official ASU website. Each participant had both treatments.

The result: Participants saw a significant drop in their blood sugar levels the following morning, which is beneficial for those with hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). According to the Mayo Clinic, if hyperglycemia is left untreated, it can lead to serious complications, such as a diabetic coma; persistent high blood sugar can also lead to complications affecting your eyes, kidneys, nerves, and heart.

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3. Drink ACV with meals.

In the same ASU study, the researchers noted that previous trials have shown drinking apple cider vinegar with food can lower the mealtime rise in sugar levels as well.

Johnston said at the time that other studies have shown that acetic acid — which is a key ingredient in ACV, and “influences weight, lipids, and blood sugar management,” says Munye — may alter the levels of sugar in the liver, which may benefit people with Type 2 Diabetes when they eat.

4. Drink ACV when you need to detox.

To drink apple cider vinegar in the morning or at night isn’t always the question. If you feel low energy, fatigued, bloated, or constipated, an internal detox using ACV may be necessary.

Sonpal says, “It is believed that apple cider vinegar with the mother enzymes can help diversify your gut bacteria and reduce inflammation in your intestines.”

However, Sonpal does not recommend people spend days only drinking the substance. "Our bodies are great at detoxing themselves, but an added push can be helpful to your system," he says. "What you would do in these cases is, first consult your doctor and then try diluted ACV once a day for a few days (the amount of days depends on your consult with the doctor, and your response to the diluted ACV), along with a nutritional regiment of mostly vegetables, fruits, and lean protein."

Another benefit? “Detoxification can have amazing effects on the complexion,” says Fender, “slowing premature aging and soothing reactive skin, whether sensitive and irritated or acne-prone.”

Additional reporting by Kaitlin Cubria.

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