Apple cider vinegar has been used in folk medicine for centuries, and recently it’s experienced a surge in popularity after some research studies suggested that a daily shot may play a role in blood sugar management and appetite control. Naturally, countless companies are capitalizing in on the trend and the market is flooded with a huge range of apple cider vinegar and related products.
It’s worth noting there’s more research needed to determine the true extent of any health benefits, though consumers now have more choice than ever when it comes to shopping for apple cider vinegar. We took a look at what’s on offer so you can better pick on the right product for you.
Best Apple Cider Vinegar
- Best Overall Apple Cider Vinegar: Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
- Best Apple Cider Vinegar Pills: Zeal Naturals Apple Cider Vinegar
- Best Apple Cider Vinegar For Keto: Herbtonics Apple Cider Vinegar + Keto
- Best Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies: Goli Nutrition Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies
- Best Apple Cider Vinegar Shots: The Twisted Shot
Editor’s note: The content on BarBend is meant to be informative in nature, but it shouldn’t take the place of advice and/or supervision from a medical professional. The opinions and articles on this site are not intended for use as diagnosis, prevention, and/or treatment of health problems. Speak with your physician if you have any concerns or before beginning any new workout regimen.
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Best Overall Apple Cider Vinegar
Perhaps the most widespread apple cider vinegar is indeed the best, ticking just about every box you could ask for: it’s USDA-certified organic, raw, kosher, and non-GMO. It also comes with plenty of the “mother” strands of proteins (which contain enzymes and beneficial bacteria) and bacteria that may add to the healthful properties.
A hugely popular vinegar that's organic, non-GMO, raw, tasty, and comes with the enzyme-rich "mother."
The packaging is simple and the bottle easy to pour, so you can easily make marinades, dressings easily. This vinegar is unheated and unpasteurized, so it may contain more enzymes and bacteria than the average competitor.
Who Should Buy Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
- Those aiming to improve their digestion.
- People who want USDA-certified organic and Non-GMO Project certified products.
- Anyone looking for a raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar.
Who Shouldn’t Buy Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
- Anyone who is working with a tighter budget.
- People who are traveling and don’t want to transport glass.
As the bottles are made of glass and not plastic, there is the chance that they could crack during travel, but that also makes them more recyclable than plastic.
There is potentially improved taste provided by a glass bottle versus a plastic bottle so it will ultimately come down to preference and how smooth of a traveler you are. For anyone looking to maintain a diet that can help with digestion, such as the vertical diet, this is likely to be a solid pick. Ultimately, the only knock was the price tag when compared to the rest of the field, but it wasn’t major enough to budge it off our top spot.
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Best Apple Cider Vinegar Pills
Not a fan of the acidic taste of vinegar? A lot of people have turned to taking pills to get theirs in. Each serving contains 1500 milligrams of apple cider vinegar powder, plus Zeal Naturals has thrown in 60 milligrams of cayenne powder, which may help to slightly increase the metabolism.
A convenient and tasteless way to get your apple cider vinegar, plus it contains an extra dose of cayenne pepper, which may increase thermogenesis.
These pills are easy to consume on the go and are a good pick for consumers who don’t like the taste of raw vinegar. Additionally, it is certified by the Non-GMO project and has been third-party tested for label accuracy.
Who Should Buy Zeal Naturals Apple Cider Vinegar
- Anyone who dislikes the taste of vinegar.
- People who appreciate label accuracy via third-party testing.
- Those who are looking for a potential boost to their metabolism.
Who Shouldn’t Buy Zeal Naturals Apple Cider Vinegar
- Folks who prefer a product that has been certified organic.
- Those who have budget constraints.
The two major downsides to this product when compared to the rest of the market. The first is not being certified organic. There are so many options that are and that kind of pushes the expectations to being certified organic is the floor for a product. However, these pills were well rounded enough that in comparison to other pills, they stood above the field and maintained the spot in our rankings.
The second downside is the cost per serving is significantly higher than the rest of the field. If your wallet is wide enough to support it, you’re likely to be satisfied. For athletes looking to save money on their grocery bills, there are other quality pill options available.
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Best Apple Cider Vinegar For Keto
If you’re trying to follow a ketogenic diet, you may find Herbtonics useful. The vinegar comes in pills with two ingredients linked to improved ketosis: medium-chain triglycerides, a type of fast-digesting fat that increases ketones in the blood; and BHB, ketones that can help to provide energy when in ketosis. It’s also free from all major allergens and vegetarian friendly.
An apple cider vinegar designed to reduce fatigue associated with the ketogenic diet with the inclusion of MCT oil and exogenous ketones.
These pills contain a dose of medium-chain triglycerides, which may help to reduce symptoms of “keto fatigue.” The ingredients list includes three kinds of ketones, which can increase energy levels when following a ketogenic diet. The formula is 3rd party tested to ensure potency and purity.
Who Should Buy Herbtonics Apple Cider Vinegar + Keto
- Those who follow a keto diet and want to reduce “keto fatigue.”
- Anyone aiming to improve their energy levels.
- People who desire their supplements be third party tested for potency and purity.
Who Shouldn’t Buy Herbtonics Apple Cider Vinegar + Keto
- Anyone who needs a clear breakdown of how much of each ingredient is used.
- Those who want clear labeling.
The blend of ingredients is proprietary, so we don’t know exactly how much of each it contains. The labeling says the pills “put your body into ketosis,” but it’s more accurate to say they can help to facilitate ketosis — taking these with a bowl of cereal for breakfast won’t result in ketosis. That was a bit of a put-off because it felt a bit snake-oil salesman-like as this product is targeted at those who follow a keto diet, therefore, they should know how to speak about it.
Marketing aside, this product checks enough the boxes a keto athlete would likely be happy to see so it holds its rank in the list of our top picks.
Best Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies
This innovative product turns apple cider vinegar into vegetarian-friendly, berry-flavored gummies. Each pill provides 500 milligrams of apple cider vinegar, and in addition to that, there’s a remarkable dose of 50 percent of your daily Vitamin B5 and Vitamin B12.
Tasty, berry-flavored gummies that deliver B-vitamins in addition to a dose of non-GMO apple cider vinegar.
The apple cider vinegar is unfiltered and certified as non-GMO .
Who Should Buy Goli Nutrition Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies
- Anyone who wants to increase their B-vitamins.
- Vegetarians on the lookout for a gummy alternative for their apple cider vinegar.
- People who appreciate their supplements being unfiltered and non-GMO certified.
Who Shouldn’t Buy Goli Nutrition Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies
- Those who need to stick to a tighter budget. This winds up a pretty expensive way to take apple cider vinegar.
- Anyone who dislikes misleading advertising.
- People who only want USDA certified organic products.
This winds up a pretty expensive way to take apple cider vinegar, granted it is likely worth it if you actively prefer gummies over a normal vinegar option. It’s advertised as a source of pomegranate and beetroot, but there’s less than one one-hundredth of a milligram of both per gummy, so don’t expect much.
Best Apple Cider Vinegar Shots
A lot of people like to grab a shot of vinegar as a means to improve their health and digestion, and these pre-mixed bottles are a good way to go about it. One delivery will get you 16 little bottles with two ounces of vinegar in each, plus it contains a little honey, turmeric, and ginger so the taste is quite enjoyable.
A convenient and portable way to get a daily shot of apple cider vinegar — and it's flavored with ginger and honey so it's much more enjoyable than your average shot.
Every ingredient is certified organic and the convenience paired with the easier portability might be a nice boon for athletes who are routinely on the go.
Who Should Buy The Twisted Shot
- Those who need convenient ways to take their supplements.
- People who prioritize better tasting supplements
- Folks who value products that are certified organic.
Who Shouldn’t Buy The Twisted Shot
- Anyone who doesn’t like drinking from plastic bottles.
- Those who need clarity on ingredient amounts.
This has a proprietary blend of ingredients, so we don’t know how much of each it contains — therefore it’s hard to know if there’s enough cayenne pepper to increase the metabolism. Otherwise, this is a nice way to get your dose of apple cider vinegar in a quick fashion. This product is easier to travel with means that athletes have more control over the timing of their supplement intake. The same can be said for anyone taking it as part of their intra-workout between deadlifts, squats, etc. That kind of flexibility differentiates it from the rest of the market and pushes it up onto our top rankings.
How We Decided Our Picks
We looked at three major factors to determine which apple cider vinegar made our list.
If you know how you’d like to consume apple cider vinegar, we attempted to sift down to the best options on the market when it comes to a pill, gummy, or drinkable form of apple cider vinegar.
Vinegar isn’t easy to get down for a lot of people. A product taking that into account and adding some natural flavors to make it easier to consume did have some weight in our rankings. Of course, a pill or gummy is often going to be easier to consume than vinegar, but we did make sure to check that there weren’t any undesirable ingredients added. Some products will add spices such as ginger, turmeric, etc. that can make drinking apple cider vinegar more of a pleasure rather than a chore.
There are a lot of apple cider vinegar options out there in many different forms. Depending on which form you lean towards, you might see a lot of proprietary blends in the ingredient lists. This means that there won’t be a way to tell how much of an ingredient is in the formula just by reading the label — additional research would be needed, assuming the brand would share more specifics. This isn’t good for those who are maintaining their supplement intake on specifics.
What Are the Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar?
Recent evidence has suggested a few potential reasons to consider making apple cider vinegar a part of your diet.
Appetite Control and Blood Sugar Management
These two effects go hand in hand; a shot of vinegar taken before a meal may help to reduce blood sugar spikes once the meal is over, thereby increasing satiety from the meal itself. (1)
Perhaps due to the potential effects on appetite, some research has seen subjects taking a daily shot of apple cider vinegar to experience significant weight loss. One popular example was a 2009 Japanese study that found over twelve weeks, participants who consumed 15 or 30 milliliters of vinegar per day lost significantly more weight — 2.6 pounds and 3.7 pounds respectively — than a placebo group. (2)
Most of the research has only been performed on animals, but there’s still evidence that consuming apple cider vinegar may lower cholesterol and triglycerides, which could lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. (3)(4) More research is needed to determine any benefits here.
Tips for Taking Apple Cider Vinegar
It’s not necessary to take a shot of pure vinegar to obtain a daily dose. Consider using it in salad dressings, marinades, or diluted in water with some other flavorings. Many prefer their apple cider vinegar to contain the “mother,” which is the name for the enzymes and bacteria used to make the vinegar.(5) It’s possible that vinegar that contains the mother has more benefits for digestive health, though clinical evidence is lacking.(6)
Remember that while apple cider vinegar may be good for blood sugar and appetite, it’s not a magic bullet for weight loss: calories and exercise still matter to achieve your ideal body composition. It’s important to speak with a doctor before you start drinking apple cider vinegar every day, especially if you have diabetes. Some research suggests that it slows the rate food and liquids leave the stomach, which can make it harder to control your blood sugar level.
Consider restricting your intake to one or two shots per day; one study found that taking excessive amounts (250 milliliters per day) could negatively impact potassium levels. (7)
These days, there is a huge variety of ways to take apple cider vinegar and we’re confident that we’ve landed on the best picks for any goal or preference. Whether you like apple cider vinegar as is, in pill or gummy form, or as a few-ounce shot, there is plenty of options on the market for you.
1. Ostman E, et al. Vinegar supplementation lowers glucose and insulin responses and increases satiety after a bread meal in healthy subjects. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2005 Sep;59(9):983-8.
2. Kondo T, et al. Vinegar intake reduces body weight, body fat mass, and serum triglyceride levels in obese Japanese subjects. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2009 Aug;73(8):1837-43.
3. Fushimi T, et al. Dietary acetic acid reduces serum cholesterol and triacylglycerols in rats fed a cholesterol-rich diet. Br J Nutr. 2006 May;95(5):916-24.
4. Setorki M, et al. Acute effects of vinegar intake on some biochemical risk factors of atherosclerosis in hypercholesterolemic rabbits. Lipids Health Dis. 2010 Jan 28;9:10.
5. Aykın E, et al. Bioactive components of mother vinegar. J Am Coll Nutr. 2015;34(1):80-9.
6. Johnston CS, et al. Vinegar: medicinal uses and antiglycemic effect. MedGenMed. 2006 May 30;8(2):61.
7. Lhotta K, et al. Hypokalemia, hyperreninemia and osteoporosis in a patient ingesting large amounts of cider vinegar. Nephron. 1998 Oct;80(2):242-3.