You down with ACV? Ya you know me!
I couldn’t even type that title out without singing “OPP”, anybody else? I’m here today to talk about an ancient substance that’s been around for centuries. Apple Cider Vinegar. I decided to do a write up on this because a question was asked on my Facebook page about it. Once I thought about it, ACV has had a lot of claims for health benefits so I dug in deeper, found some studies, even tried it myself, and here are my findings. First lets look at what it really is. Apples are crushed or juiced and then fermented where the natural sugars are converted to alcohol. Then it is fermented again where the alcohol is converted to vinegar by acetic acid forming bacteria. Not all apple cider vinegar’s are created equal though! If you’re looking to get the “health” benefits we’ll talk about today you will want to find “raw” ACV. It will appear murky and need to be shaken before used, it may even have some cobweb looking streaks in the liquid when it’s set still, this is actually a good thing and people refer to that is “mother”. It’s the raw and in many cases “organic” version of ACV where the magic happens.
Now before you start thinking maybe humanity has known about the greatest weight loss and health aid for centuries, it’s NOT a miracle cure-all but could be beneficial if used consistently in your diet.
The biggest known “fact” about ACV is that it supposedly helps burn fat, or helps with weight loss. In a study cited by the American Diabetes Foundation, the test group who took 2 TBL of ACV before 2 meals a day lost an average of 2 lbs over the 4-week test, some losing as much as 4lbs.
Looking at other studies, I believe the weight loss is a result of ACV’s effect on blood sugar. It makes us more insulin sensitive and dramatically reduces insulin and glucose spikes. This is where the weight loss is probably happening and is great news for those who have a high risk of diabetes from it running in the family, or those who are pre-diabetic. In a similar test where users took the same 2 TBL of ACV before meals the diabetics improved their blood glucose levels by 25% which is very significant.
I would venture to guess that this would be very beneficial for anyone IF you stayed consistent with it long term. It isn’t like a medication where if you skip a dose, you’ve done harm, you can simply pick up the next day like normal and it’s OK, but the health effects would come when used long term.
Other interesting and great news about ACV is the fact that it can actually help neutralize your bodies PH. I recently did a detailed video on our PH (http://youtu.be/BupfNkmJzDE) and ACV ties into that as well. Getting our bodies PH to be more on the alkaline side (7.2-7.4 being optimal) is greatly beneficial for our long time health by limiting the ability for bacteria, viruses and even cancer to grow in our bodies. It is also where our oxygenation is the highest which is very important for recovery and overall well being.
I did find claims that ACV was effective at lowering cholesterol levels but I was unable to find any official studies that backed that up. They may be up there but I did not immediately find them.
Being a body builder I am very in-tune with my body and my muscle fullness. I am immediately aware when my muscles are flat or on the opposite when after a larger amount of carbohydrates they are full of glycogen and full. I have experimented with taking 2 tsp of ACV 3 times a day for several days now. No other changes were done to my diet and I will say that my muscles after about a day did have more fullness than previously. I feel this is enough evidence for me that it does increase insulin sensitivity and can be a cheap effective tool if used long term. I plan on continuing to use 2tsp in my water a few times a day and see if any long term benefits are added to what I have already experienced.
Remember, if you choose to try this out, make sure to get the “raw” version. It will be cloudy compared to the pasteurized processed version commonly used for cooking. I was able to find the raw version easily at my local supermarket on the same shelf as the other ACV options.