Take swigs of it
Michelle Lee Photography/Shutterstock
Even when it’s diluted, apple cider vinegar is still an extremely acidic substance. “Because of its highly acidic nature, ACV… can damage your tooth enamel,” says Caitlin Hoff, a health and safety investigator for consumersafety.org. To keep the vinegar from wearing on your tooth enamel, don’t just sip it or swig it from a glass (even diluted). Instead, try drinking it through a straw so that it comes into as little contact as possible with your choppers. Elizabeth Abel, MS, a licensed dietician, nutritionist, and creator of freeandabel.com, also recommends avoiding brushing your teeth for at least 30 minutes after taking apple cider vinegar. Learn more about apple cider vinegar’s effects on your teeth.
Start by drinking lots of it
If apple cider vinegar is so miraculously good for you, the more the better, right? Wrong. Too much of a good thing is usually a problem—and apple cider vinegar is no exception. Especially if you’re new to ACV, you should make sure you’re not taking too much of it. “It’s a good idea to ease into it,” says Abel. This will help you gauge how your body reacts to it. “If it gives you an upset stomach or a burning feeling, reduce the amount until there’s no sensation,” Abel suggests. Plus, starting small and working your way up to a larger amount will allow you to adjust to the taste. Even if all goes smoothly and you experience no issues, you should never go beyond two tablespoons at a time. “Even when you dilute it in water, limit your intake to two tablespoons to protect yourself against harmful or uncomfortable side effects,” Hoff advises. These are the things that happen to your body when you take apple cider vinegar every day.
Drink it right before bed
While taking apple cider vinegar before you eat is a good idea, taking it before you sleep is not. “Taking ACV immediately before bed is not advised because of the potential for it to creep back up the esophagus,” says Laura C. Stix, ND, a naturopathic doctor and clinical hypnotherapist. Even if the ACV is diluted, it can still harm your esophagus if the acid comes into contact with it while you’re lying down. “Regardless of the time of day, people should remain upright for 30 minutes after taking it to ensure there is no reflux and irritation to the esophagus,” Stix adds. She recommends drinking ACV at least half an hour before you hit the hay.