Super adventurous would never be two words that describe me. Skydiving will never be on my bucket list, and I never use hot sauce on my food — ever! But in the name of my physical and mental health, I'm into trying just about anything. I tried CrossFit for a year, and I also committed to drinking a gallon of water a day for three weeks (spoiler alert: there were LOTS of trips to the bathroom).
One simple thing I've never tried is taking apple cider vinegar (ACV). I've heard about the possible weight-loss benefits and the fact that it's rich in vitamins E, A, and P and minerals such as magnesium, iron, and calcium. It can also improve digestion and boost immunity. But I am not a vinegar person. The smell alone kept me from it — until now.
A yoga friend mentioned that she takes ACV with fresh lemon juice in her water. She assured me that "it just tastes salty, not super vinegary." I decided to give it a try and commit to drinking a glass once a day for a week. It seemed easy enough to incorporate into my day without a huge commitment.
I filled up a 20-ounce mason jar with water — I usually prefer cold water, but warm water was great on a chilly day. I poured in one tablespoon of ACV (I went for raw, unpasteurized, and organic) and squeezed in the juice from one-quarter of a lemon.
The taste? I could still smell the vinegar slightly, so it definitely tasted a tad sharp and tangy, but not as pungent as I was expecting. It was like a slightly salty lemonade. The fresh lemon juice was key — I ran out of lemons one day, and drinking ACV in plain water was pretty tough to swallow.
I do intermittent fasting in the morning, so I drank my ACV lemon-water in the afternoon or after dinner. I found that the flavor grew on me. I thought drinking it every day would be a chore, but I started to look forward to it.
I found that I really enjoyed the ritual of sipping on my special ACV "cocktail." You see, the only beverages I drink are water, herbal tea, and the occasional black coffee, so it was nice to drink something different.
Drinking this ACV lemon water also surprisingly satisfied my need for something sweet after dinner. I was shocked by how one tablespoon of ACV could have this much of an effect! This must be why people say ACV can help with weight loss.
Will I Keep Going?
Yes! I may not drink it every single day, but I'm hooked. Aside from feeling satiated after lunch or dinner, I also enjoyed sipping on something besides water and found that it offered me a sense of ease and calmness. As an added bonus, my digestion was great all week. No bloating or constipation — just a happy tummy.
If you've contemplated trying ACV, talk to your doctor first, as it may not be safe for those who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking certain medications. Although I'm not a doctor or registered dietitian, and while I know that ACV could affect different people in different ways, for me, it helped satisfy sugar cravings, made me feel calmer, and eased my digestion. If you're worried about the vinegary flavor, try this blueberry banana ACV weight-loss smoothie — you can't taste it at all, but you'll still reap all the health benefits — or make this ACV salad dressing for your greens.
I really thought I'd feel absolutely nothing after a week, but I'm glad I was wrong. My bottle is almost empty, so it looks like I know what I'll be adding to my grocery list!