By Erica Julson, MS, RDN, CLT on August 22, 2018
Apple cider vinegar has been used in cooking and natural medicine for thousands of years.
Many claim it has health benefits, including weight loss, improved blood sugar levels, relief from indigestion and a decreased risk of heart disease and cancer.
With its many potential uses, it can be difficult to know how much apple cider vinegar to take each day.
This article outlines how much apple cider vinegar you should drink for different health benefits, as well as the best ways to avoid side effects.
For Blood Sugar Management
Apple cider vinegar is often recommended as a natural way to control blood sugar levels, especially for people with insulin resistance.
When taken before a high-carb meal, vinegar slows the rate of stomach emptying and prevents large blood sugar spikes (1).
It also improves insulin sensitivity, which helps your body move more glucose out of the bloodstream and into your cells, thus lowering blood sugar levels (2).
Interestingly, only a small amount of apple cider vinegar is needed to have these effects.
Four teaspoons (20 ml) of apple cider vinegar before meals have been shown to significantly reduce blood sugar levels after eating (2, 3, 4).
It should be mixed with a few ounces of water and consumed right before a high-carb meal (2, 5).
Apple cider vinegar does not significantly lower blood sugar when taken before a low-carb or high-fiber meal (6).
For Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal condition associated with abnormal menstrual cycles, high levels of androgen hormones, ovarian cysts and insulin resistance (7).
One three-month study found that women with PCOS who drank one tablespoon (15 ml) of apple cider vinegar with 100 ml or about 7 ounces of water immediately after dinner had improved hormone levels and experienced more regular periods (8).
While further research is needed to confirm these results, one tablespoon (15 ml) each day appears to be an effective dose for improving PCOS symptoms.
For Weight Loss
Vinegar may help people lose weight by increasing feelings of fullness and reducing the amount of food eaten throughout the day (9).
In one study, one or two tablespoons (15 or 30 ml) of apple cider vinegar daily for three months helped overweight adults lose an average of 2.6 and 3.7 pounds (1.2 and 1.7 kg), respectively (10).
Two tablespoons each day have also been found to help dieters lose nearly twice as much weight in three months compared to people who didn’t consume apple cider vinegar (11).
You can stir it into a glass of water and drink it before meals or mix it with oil to make a salad dressing.
Apple cider vinegar is more likely to aid weight loss when combined with other diet and lifestyle changes.