Whether you’re a bowlful-of-sinigang kind of gal or a vinaigrette fiend, I’m sure you know your way around vinegar. Filipinos love sour food, after all! Now, have you ever tried chugging vinegar straight? Before this week, I can honestly say I never have. But there’s a first time for everything, right?

WHY APPLE CIDER VINEGAR?

You don’t exactly have to be a health nut to know that apple cider vinegar has been making the rounds. Made from fermented apple cider, ACV is rich in gut-friendly probiotics. Here’s what you need to know about probiotics: they balance your blood sugar levels, improve skin health, and even aid in weight loss. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

WHY I STARTED DRINKING IT

Fine, fine: my reasons for taking on this assignment weren’t entirely unselfish. I drink a lot of water daily (I’m talking 4 to 5 liters, on average), and that leads to a bit of stomach bloat. I’ve even considered quitting carbs to get around it, but I love rice too darn much! And before you say, “Just cut down on water, girl,” let me tell you—I’ve tried. My body’s just used to having copious amounts of agua, day in and day out.

Since cutting down on water is obviously a no-go, I knew I had to look elsewhere for solutions. Fast-forward to the moment I read that ACV can help de-bloat your stomach. From then on, I was intrigued!

HOW I DRANK IT

I’m not typically squeamish when it comes to food (I got a 3 out of 87 on that Buzzfeed picky eater quiz, thank you very much). But like any human being with nostrils and a functioning set of taste buds, pure vinegar makes me gag. It’s sharp and pungent, and while it’s tasty over salad or with fried stuff, having it straight is certainly not for the faint of heart.

Initially, I’d thought that’s exactly what I had to do: toss back ACV shots every morning before breakfast. Quick tip: don’t do that. It will do more harm than good, especially to your teeth and throat! A much safer way is to dilute your ACV and then drink it, like I did.
STEP 1. Measure out 1 tbsp. of ACV (I used the Barnes Naturals Organic Apple Cider Vinegar With Mother) and dilute it in a glass of hot or cold water. A tablespoon is a good place to start if you’re iffy about the taste! There’s no hard and fast rule for how much you should be drinking, anyway, so feel free to work your way up.
STEP 2. Stir in 1/2 tsp. of honey (I used the Capilano Manuka Honey MGO 30+). I can’t even describe to you how delicious this is. It really makes drinking ACV more beginner-friendly!
STEP 3. This is optional, but you can also mix in some cinnamon, to taste. I love this spice, so I went a little overboard with it, but trust your senses on this! There are a lot of ACV drink recipes out there. This honey-cinnamon one just happens to be the most appealing to me.

WHAT I LEARNED IN FIVE DAYS

As with my moringa supplement experiment, I knew going into this that these things take time. To reap the full benefits of ACV, I’d definitely need to have it for longer than 5 days. Still, it’s a start—and I was curious to see what it can do for me in that timespan! So, here’s what happened:

1. Yes, it did help with bloating. It was late into Day 4 when I noticed it. I’d had my lunch, a couple of liters of water, and my cup of masala tea… and my stomach was fine. It didn’t magically grow abs or anything, but it was certainly a lot firmer than usual. Besides that, I also felt none of the post-lunch bloated-ness that usually lingers way into the afternoon. Jackpot!
2. It lessened my appetite (by a bit!). All the articles I’d read on ACV recommended drinking it before every meal, but I opted to start small. I only had it once a day, before breakfast (or brunch, as it were). After each cup, I’d wait 30 minutes before diving into my first meal. I noticed I wasn’t as ravenously hungry as I typically was before. A feat, given that I was breaking my fast at 11:00AM every day! Still, mid-afternoon snack cravings persisted, so I eventually did realize that a cup of ACV a day may not be enough to minimize my appetite completely. 3. It encouraged better digestion. I’ll spare you the gory details, but yes, it really did. This explains the minimal bloating (ACV made my stomach extra happy this week!), so I can’t say I’m all that surprised. It’s the probiotics working away. For the uninitiated, probiotics are beneficial bacteria that aid in gut health. ACV is brimming with the stuff, so if your tummy needs a pick-me-up, pick this up!

WOULD I DRINK IT AGAIN?

Without question, YES. What ACV did for me in just five days was the clincher. If sustained use means no bloating, less snacking, and better digestion, I don’t plan on quitting it any time soon. Maybe I’ll even road-test all the Pinterest-friendly recipes I keep seeing. ACV mocktails, anyone?

Now, tell us: how would you drink your ACV?

The Barnes Naturals Organic Apple Cider Vinegar with Mother (500ml) and Capilano Manuka Honey MGO 30+ are available on BeautyMNL for only P350 and P605, respectively. Shop them right here and here!

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