Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is an apple juice-fermented product. It contains an acid known as acetic acid, which gives the liquid its sour taste and smell.
People are using it to treat several conditions, such as obesity, high blood sugar, and more. The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar may have some beneficial health effects, but drinking too much of it can cause some serious side effects.
What will happen if you drink too much apple cider vinegar? First thing first, apple cider vinegar is high in acid, which can damage your esophagus and erode your tooth enamel.
Drinking apple cider vinegar in a small quantity diluted in water is healthy, but it can be harmful or even dangerous if you take too much of it.
In this article, we list the potential side effects of drinking too much apple cider vinegar.
In This Article
Bone Loss and Low Potassium Levels
People with low potassium levels (hypokalemia) should avoid apple cider vinegar, as it may make the condition worse. There is no study on the effects of apple cider vinegar on potassium and bone health.
However, there is one case report of low blood potassium and bone loss because of drinking too much apple cider vinegar.
A 28-year-old woman consumed apple cider vinegar daily for six years 8 oz (250 ml) diluted in water. They admitted her to the hospital with low concentrations of potassium and other blood chemistry defects (1).
The woman had osteoporosis, a condition of brittle bones rarely seen in young people. Doctors who treated the woman believe that drinking too much apple cider vinegar caused her bones to leach minerals.
They also observed that elevated levels of acid can decrease fresh bone formation. Here, the amount of apple cider vinegar was much more than most people would consume on a single day. Plus, for 6 years, she did this every day.
Can Damage the Tooth Enamel
Acidic foods and drinks can damage tooth enamel. Soft drinks and fruit juices have been researched more extensively, but some studies shows that the acetic acid in vinegar can also harm tooth enamel.
Apple cider vinegar has a pH around 3, which is very acidic. For tooth enamel to dissolve, the environment within the mouth just has to be at pH 5.5.
However, exposing your teeth to an acidic substance with a pH level of 3 daily is harmful to your teeth. There is some evidence that drinking too much apple cider vinegar can cause dental decay.
Apple cider may induce stomach discomfort or digestive difficulties because of its high acidity. However, unless a person consumes a substantial amount of undiluted apple cider vinegar, this is unlikely to occur.
Although research on the effects of apple cider vinegar on stomach discomfort is limited, some people have reported negative side effects. A study shows that sometimes it can cause indigestion, which can lead to less appetite.
Impair Gastric Emptying
Apple cider vinegar can slow down the digestion process by decreasing the amount of food leaving the stomach.
This effect might be good for reducing blood sugar spikes, but it may increase the risk of diabetic gastroparesis, a rare disease in individuals with type 1 diabetes.
The manifestation of diabetic gastroparesis is that the nerves in the stomach do not function properly, so food stays in the stomach for too long.
Gastroparesis symptoms include heartburn, bloating, and nausea. In one controlled study, they examined ten patients with type 1 diabetes and gastroparesis.
Other Downsides of Apple Cider Vinegar
- A few medicines may interact with ACV. People who take insulin or other diuretic medicines may experience dangerously low levels of blood sugar or potassium levels.
- Can burn the throat. Drinking too much apple cider vinegar can cause burns of the esophageal (throat). keep it out of the reach of children (11).
- Can burn the skin. Apple cider vinegar can burn the skin because of its strong acidic nature (12).
How to drink apple cider vinegar safely?
Start with one tablespoon diluted in a glass of water and progressively increase to a maximum of two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar per day.
To keep your teeth safe from acetic acid, always use a straw and rinse your mouth with water. To reap the health benefits of apple cider vinegar, use it in moderate quantities for a few months.
You can also use apple cider vinegar in cooking, salad dressings, marinades, vinaigrettes, and chutneys. Apple cider vinegar allergies are rare, but if you experience an allergic reaction, stop taking it immediately and consult with your doctor.
What is the best time to drink it?
You can take apple cider vinegar on an empty stomach 40 minutes before a meal. This will help reduce your appetite.
Consumption of apple cider vinegar with meals helps delay the digestion of carbohydrates and provides satiety.
To minimize side effects and stay safe, it is always a good idea to monitor the quantity of apple cider vinegar you consume. Also, be cautious in how you interpret it.
Drinking apple cider vinegar in a small amount diluted in water can provide several health benefits, but drinking too much apple cider vinegar is not a good idea and may even be dangerous to your health.