When it comes to supplements, the truth is that most are useless. Outside of a select few basics mentioned in my previous article Should I Take Nutritional Supplements?, most supplements not only fail to live up to their claims, but they are very expensive as well. A supplement that has been getting a lot of recognition as of late is Apple Cider Vinegar. Not only has it been living up to it's claims for me, but it's dirt cheap. Amazon has it here for only $2.40.
What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
All vinegar is a product of fermentation. Fermentation is a process where the sugars in a food are broken down by bacteria and yeast. After the first stage of fermentation, the sugars turn into alcohol and as it ferments further, it turns into vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is a product of pulverized apples. The main ingredient of apple cider vinegar is acetic acid. However, it also has other acids, vitamins, mineral salts, and amino acids.
Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
There are many benefits of apple cider vinegar but for the purposes of this article, I will focus on only those related to helping you improve your physique and appearance.
Thermogenic Fat Burner: The majority of over the counter fat burners are theromogenics. Thermogenic fat burners work by increasing stimulation to the central nervous system. They raise the body’s heat levels which causes an increase in the amount of calories and fat that the body burns off. Apple cider vinegar is a thermogenic fat burner and can therefore help you lose weight.
Appetite Suppressant: When eating a restricted calorie diet, it's highly likely that you will be hungry all the time. This may cause you to cheat. If you aren't hungry, then there is a much better chance that you will stick to your diet. Apple cider vinegar can help you do just that by helping to suppress your appetite. Apple cider vinegar has a water soluble fiber called pectin. It is believed that pectin absorbs water and fills the stomach. As a result, you will feel more full.
Treat Acne and Improve Skin: Apple cider vinegar can be used both topically and orally to treat acne. This is the reason I began using it and it definitely helped. Although I have never used it topically, I have been using it orally with great success. After just a few weeks, my skin was less oily, smoother, and most importantly, had no pimples. I still get the occasional pimple but apple cider vinegar has definitely improved my skin tremendously. You can also put apple cider vinegar directly onto pimples to help them go away faster.
Reduces Water Retention: Even if you are lean, you may look a bit smooth if your diet is high in sodium. Apple cider vinegar has potassium in it which is responsible for balancing the sodium in your body. By balancing your sodium, you will reduce the amount of water your body retains and appear leaner. Additionally, a proper balance of sodium and potassium is necessary for normal functioning of both nervous and muscular systems.
Improved Digestion: Apple cider vinegar can help improve digestion especially in metabolizing proteins. It enhances the action of hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes. As a result, it can help relieve bloating and gas known as "protein farts." It also acts as a detoxifier meaning that it clears the body of any toxins.
Various Health Benefits In addition to these benefits, apple cider vinegar can used to treat allergies, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart burn, sore throat, gout, the flu, fatigue and arthritis. It can help with almost anything.
The dosing for apple cider vinegar is not set in stone and the recommendations vary. Personally, I take 2 table spoons 3 times per day with meals. If you are using it for the thermogenic affect, I would shoot for a total of 6-9 table spoons per day. If you are just looking to use it as a general health supplement, then 3-6 table spoons per day should suffice.
Tips on Taking Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has a strong taste and smell and is very acidic. You aren't going to actually enjoy drinking it. It's best to dilute it in some water rather than drinking it straight due to the acidity. You may also want to use a straw to avoid having it touch your teeth since it can temporarily weaken your enamel. It's best not to brush your teeth directly after using it since your enamel is weaker after the apple cider vinegar touches your teeth. If you can't handle the taste even diluted in water, you can try mixing it with some honey and sugar to make it taste better. You can also mix it in a drink other than water to neutralize the taste. If even after doing all this you still can't manage to drink it but would still like to reap the benefits, the good news is you can buy it herein capsules.
Basically, apple cider vinegar is a great supplement for overall health but has specific benefits for people trying to improve their physique and appearance. It can be used to help you lose weight by acting as both a fat burner and appetite suppressant. It can help improve your skin and get rid of acne, reduce water retention and ensure proper nervous and muscular system function, and improve digestion. Outside of bodybuilding benefits, there are a tremendous other possible benefits as well. For the price, there is no reason not to try it. Get it at Amazon today.