When To Drink Apple Cider Vinegar – The Answer From Experts In 2024


Reviewed by Jocelyn Chen, BME
when to drink apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is renowned for its health benefits. Photo: Nghi Tran

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While commonly used in salad dressing, sauces, and soups, apple cider vinegar or ACV has benefits beyond serving as a component of delicious culinary creations. From Victoria Beckham to the Kardashians, many celebrities mention drinking apple cider vinegar for its health benefits. 

So, is there any truth to this? And if so, you might wonder when to drink apple cider vinegar to gain these effects.
In this article, we dig into the best time to take apple cider vinegar and the benefits of apple cider vinegar. Is it best to drink apple cider vinegar before meals or after meals? What else should you know?

What Is The Best Time To Drink Apple Cider Vinegar?

The best time to drink apple cider vinegar may depend on the individual. Many people take it before each meal or in the morning on an empty stomach. For those with indigestion or stomach issues, the acidity of the vinegar may cause further problems. Thus, eating before drinking apple cider vinegar may be best to maximize gastrointestinal comfort.

When To Drink Apple Cider Vinegar

When To Drink Apple Cider Vinegar 1
Apple cider vinegar is boasted about for its health benefits. Photo: Africa Studio/Shutterstock

If you want to know the best time to drink apple cider vinegar, this depends on what you want to achieve.

Some celebrities claim they take it before eating first thing in the morning. However, scientific evidence shows that the best time to drink apple cider vinegar may be before a meal to help with blood sugar control, particularly for those with diabetes.[1] It’s important to note that most of these studies involved the drinking of diluted, not undiluted, apple cider vinegar.

Additionally, apple cider vinegar has made a name for itself in the weight loss industry. Consuming apple cider vinegar, which contains acetic acid, may help suppress appetite.[2] In turn, it may be beneficial to have it before larger meals.

At the same time, when to take apple cider vinegar comes down to what works best for your lifestyle. So, let’s take a closer look at drinking apple cider vinegar in the morning versus the night.

Is It Better To Drink Apple Cider Vinegar In The Morning Or Night?

Are you wondering: When should I drink apple cider vinegar? 

The most recent evidence indicates the use of apple cider vinegar before a meal or in the morning. There’s much older and scarce research indicating its use before bed. However, no further studies have been conducted on this exact methodology.

It’s also worth noting that apple cider vinegar isn’t a miracle cure of any kind. It may support your efforts[3] to lose fat or aid in blood sugar regulation. Yet, it won’t be the end-all, be-all to these problems.

Dosage And How To Use Apple Cider Vinegar

The dosage and use of apple cider vinegar varies. For instance, research indicates that 15 to 120 ml per day have been used for weight loss.[4] Meanwhile, 20 ml per day has been shown to have a positive impact on blood sugar.[5]

Most studies seem to indicate mixing a tablespoon of vinegar with a cup of water, but dilution ratios depend on the intended use. The dilution piece is important since apple cider vinegar is very acidic; studies even show its acidity gives way to antimicrobial and antifungal activity[6] — with the amount of dilution needed varying according to pathogenic strain.

Health Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar

Health Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar
Many opt to take apple cider vinegar by spoonful. Photo: New Africa/Shutterstock

Given its recent rise in popularity, more people are incorporating apple cider vinegar into their diet for a healthier lifestyle.  So, what are the health benefits of apple cider vinegar?

Weight Loss

As mentioned previously, apple cider vinegar may suppress appetite, thus helping weight loss.[2] In turn, this leads to the consumption of fewer calories. A reduced calorie intake is necessary for weight loss. 

However, the research on the weight loss benefits of apple cider vinegar is unclear. A recent review indicates there is not sufficient evidence[7] to support the effects either way. 

At the same time, weight loss further requires a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle. This may include a whole foods diet, exercise, vitamins, and supplements, like protein powder. Temporary fixes or habits usually don’t keep the weight off, but sustainable habits often do.

Blood Sugar Regulation

In today’s processed and fast food society, many struggle with reduced insulin sensitivity and diabetes. Blood sugar dysregulation may impact fatigue and energy levels.[8] In turn, glycemic control may impact quality of life and aforementioned weight loss efforts.

Evidence suggests that apple cider vinegar may have a positive effect on blood sugar[5] and oxidative stress in those with diabetes. 

Yet, it’s important to note that vinegar should not replace diabetes medications. Always follow your doctor’s instructions regarding medication dose and timing. It’s not a medical treatment but rather a complimentary strategy to what you’re already doing.

Reduced Risk Of Heart Disease

Among apple cider vinegar’s beneficial effects, there’s some evidence that it may contribute to better heart health. A recent animal and human systematic review showed consuming this drink had positive effects on cholesterol.[9] Research links high blood cholesterol levels and high blood pressure[10] with increased cardiovascular risk.[11]

In combination with drinking apple cider vinegar, there are other proven ways to enhance heart health, such as regular exercise.[12]

Improved Digestion

Gut health has become a prominent pillar when it comes to overall health. The gut-brain axis[13] is shown to impact cognitive, emotional, endocrine, and immune function. Apple cider vinegar is thought to help promote good digestion and a healthy gut through its acidity and ability to produce more digestive enzymes, as a result enhancing brain function.[14] 

At the same time, the antimicrobial activity of apple cider vinegar may help sustain healthy bacteria over bad gut bacteria. Research suggests that it may help do this by inhibiting the activity of pathogenic gut bacteria,[6] such as  E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Candida albicans.

Enhanced Skin Health

Another health benefit of this vinegar is thought to be improved skin health. In particular, it’s shown to potentially help reduce ectopic dermatitis[15] in animal studies. In turn, it’s often assumed it can help with various skin conditions.

Yet, other research shows it doesn’t help enhance skin barrier integrity and causes skin irritation.[16] Thus, the use of apple cider vinegar on the skin should be approached with caution. 

When using any new skin product or home remedy, apply a small amount to the wrist. This will help determine if there is any irritation before applying it to a larger area.

Potential Side Effects

While apple cider is generally safe to consume, some people may experience side effects. Always dilute ACV to avoid damage to the tooth enamel.[17] Anecdotal suggestions from dentists are that ACV should be diluted with four to five parts water to one part vinegar.

Vinegar is a highly acidic substance, which may lead to digestive discomfort when consumed regularly. It may further interact with some medications.[18] Thus, it’s important to discuss your options with your doctor, especially if you have an underlying health condition or are on medications.


So, back to the main question: When should I consume apple cider vinegar? It seems the most common time is in the morning or before meals.

Yet, evidence doesn’t seem to indicate timing. More so, studies, such as the ones above, involve the consumption of apple cider consistently each day.

With many unverified health claims, caution is advised when consuming this vinegar. It may or may not lead to your desired outcomes. 

Remember, drinking apple cider vinegar alone won’t necessarily lead to the weight loss results you hope for. To improve your health, incorporate apple cider vinegar with an overall healthier diet, and regular daily exercise. And, seek consultation for potential interactions regarding medications and ACV use. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Should you take apple cider vinegar on an empty stomach?

Most people can consume apple cider vinegar this way without issues.  However, if you’re prone to acid reflux or have a sensitive stomach, the high acidity may worsen these problems.

Can I drink coffee after taking apple cider vinegar?

Yes, you can. However, both drinks’ acidity may cause problems with those with sensitive gastrointestinal tracts. Alternatively, you can accompany the drinks with food.

What to avoid when taking apple cider vinegar?

If you commonly suffer from indigestion, consider drinking drinking apple cider vinegar with food. If you take medications regularly, discuss with your doctor whether this is appropriate for you as it may chemically interfere with your treatments.

+ 18 Sources

EHproject has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We work mostly with peer-reviewed studies to ensure accurate information. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

  1. Fahad Javaid Siddiqui, Pryseley Nkouibert Assam, Nisa, N., Sultana, R., Dalan, R. and Edwin Shih-Yen Chan (2018). Diabetes Control: Is Vinegar a Promising Candidate to Help Achieve Targets? Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine, [online] 23, p.215658721775300-215658721775300. doi:https://doi.org/10.1177/2156587217753004.
  2. Hasan, F., Hamilton, K., Siddhartha Angadi and Kranz, S. (2022). The Effects of Vinegar/Acetic Acid Intake on Appetite Measures and Energy Consumption: A Systematic Literature Review. Current Developments in Nutrition, [online] 6, pp.285–285. doi:https://doi.org/10.1093/cdn/nzac053.026.
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  4. Tran, R. and Tyler, C. (2022). In adults, does apple cider vinegar consumption increase intentional weight loss? Evidence-Based Practice, [online] 25(9), pp.14–14. doi:https://doi.org/10.1097/ebp.0000000000001667.
  5. Alireza Gheflati, Reihane Bashiri, Akram Ghadiri-Anari, Javad Zavar Reza, Marjan Tajik Kord and Azadeh Nadjarzadeh (2019). The effect of apple vinegar consumption on glycemic indices, blood pressure, oxidative stress, and homocysteine in patients with type 2 diabetes and dyslipidemia: A randomized controlled clinical trial. Clinical Nutrition ESPEN, [online] 33, pp.132–138. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clnesp.2019.06.006.
  6. Darshna Yagnik, Serafin, V. and Shah, A.J. (2018). Antimicrobial activity of apple cider vinegar against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans; downregulating cytokine and microbial protein expression. Scientific Reports, [online] 8(1). doi:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-18618-x.
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  15. Noo Ri Lee, Hae Jin Lee, Na Young Yoon, Kim, D., Jung, M. and Eung Ho Choi (2016). Application of Topical Acids Improves Atopic Dermatitis in Murine Model by Enhancement of Skin Barrier Functions Regardless of the Origin of Acids. Annals of Dermatology, [online] 28(6), pp.690–690. doi:https://doi.org/10.5021/ad.2016.28.6.690.
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Krista Bugden worked as a Kinesiologist at a physiotherapist clinic in Ottawa, Canada for over five years. She has an Honours Bachelor Degree in Human Kinetics (Human Movement) from the University of Ottawa and uses her… See More