Most Effective Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) Diet

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

For those who have never gone on an apple cider vinegar diet, it may sound like a strange way to lose weight and boost your metabolism, but many people find it to be extremely effective.

What is the Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) Diet?

The apple cider vinegar diet is a diet that focuses on including apple cider vinegar into as many different parts of your diet as possible. It is important to note that this diet does not include limiting your dietary intake to only apple cider vinegar, as this could be extremely detrimental to your health. Apple cider vinegar has been in use for thousands of years in various different cultures for its obvious health benefits and positive effects on the body. [1]

Although apple cider vinegar is a highly contentious substance in the natural health world, since so many health benefits are attributed to it, it does have clear anti-inflammatory, appetite-suppressing and metabolism-boosting effects. This makes it highly popular with many people looking for a more natural way to increase their health. The best way to consume apple cider vinegar is when it is diluted in water. If you are just starting to use apple cider vinegar, start with 1 teaspoon mixed in the water, and increase as you feel comfortable. Eventually, you could be mixing in 2 tablespoons in a glass of water. You can also mix this vinegar into various marinades or salad dressings, side dishes, roasting meat, and glazes. Regardless of how you get it into your diet, most experts don’t recommend more than 4 tablespoons of this substance be consumed per day. [2]

A jar of apple cider vinegar with whole and halved fresh apples and leaves

A jar of apple cider vinegar Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Apple Cider Vinegar Diet Plan

Most people will go with an apple cider vinegar diet plan to lose weight, detoxifying the body, regulating digestion or boosting the metabolism. Depending on what your goals are, you will want to combine your ACV intake with a healthy diet and regular exercise. Remember, apple cider vinegar alone doesn’t have the power to make major changes in your body; it is a tool to help you along the way. [3]

An average ACV diet plan may look something like this.

Breakfast – Along with a balanced breakfast of yogurt, fruit, and granola, add 1 tablespoon of ACV to a glass of warm water and drink within one hour of waking up.

Lunch – Using no more than 1 tablespoon of ACV, make a salad dressing for a dense, leafy green salad with peppers, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, and mushrooms.

Dinner – Use approximately 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to create a marinade for a chicken breast or salmon filet. Pair this with some steamed vegetables or a baked sweet potato for a well-rounded dinner.

Snack – If you want to increase your ACV intake even higher, have another 1 tablespoon of ACV mixed in a glass of warm water before bed.

Apple Cider Vinegar Diet Side Effects

Consuming too much apple cider vinegar does have a number of unpleasant side effects, such as gastrointestinal problems, low electrolyte levels, throat and skin burns, negative drug interactions, and tooth decay, among others.

Stomach Issues

People who consume too much apple cider vinegar often complain of gastrointestinal problems, such as constipation or the slow passage of their bowels. You may also experience symptoms of nausea and possible vomiting if too much ACV is taken on an empty stomach, particularly if you are not used to it. [4]

Throat and Skin Burns

Due to the powerful nature of ACV, it can cause burns on both the skin and throat if used too often. If topically applying ACV, use moderation, as only a small amount is needed. Similarly, slowly increase your daily intake of ACV to allow your throat and gastrointestinal system to adjust to this new dietary element. [5]

Drug Interactions

Some medications and drugs are known to have negative interactions with ACV, including medication for diabetes and diuretics, as well as prescriptions intended to lower your potassium (electrolyte) levels. [6] [7]

Tooth Decay

Although apple cider vinegar is good for you, it is also quite sweet and can cause tooth decay if allowed to remain on your teeth. After drinking this vinegar in a glass of water, be sure to brush your teeth or fully flush out your mouth with another glass of water.


Some research has shown that repetitive use of ACV can cause your electrolyte levels to drop, particularly potassium. This can cause dangerous deficiencies in one of the most important minerals in your diet, causing spikes in blood pressure and other unwanted side effects. Again, moderation in your use of ACV is key! [8] Protection Status
About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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