Apple cider vinegar has been used in folk medicine for centuries, and recently it’s experienced a surge in popularity after some research suggested that a daily shot may play a role in blood sugar management, appetite control, and heart health. Naturally, countless companies are capitalizing in on the trend and the market is flooded with a huge range of apple cider vinegars 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 apple cider vinegars. We took a look at what’s on offer so you can better pick on the right product for you.

Best Overall

Bragg Organic 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 and bacteria that may add to the healthful properties. The packaging is simple and the bottle easy to pour, so you can easily make marinades, dressings, or however you prefer.

Pros

  • Bragg’s apple cider vinegar is unfiltered and includes the “mother,” which may extra have digestive benefits.
  • The product has a range of certifications, including USDA-certified organic and one from the Non-GMO Project.
  • This vinegar is unheated and unpasteurized, so it may contain more enzymes and bacteria than the average competitor.

Cons

  • This is on the pricier side for an apple cider vinegar.
  • The glass packaging doesn’t travel as well as plastic — some consumers complain of cracks.
Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

A hugely popular vinegar that's organic, non-GMO, raw, tasty, and comes with the enzyme-rich "mother."

Best Pills

Zeal Naturals Apple Cider Vinegar

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.

Pros

  • 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.
  • The product is certified by the Non-GMO project and has been third party tested for label accuracy.
  • The addition of cayenne pepper may have benefits for the metabolism.

Cons

  • This product hasn’t been certified organic.
  • On a per milligram basis, this is considerably more expensive than regular vinegar.
Zeal Naturals Apple Cider Vinegar
Zeal Naturals Apple Cider Vinegar
Zeal Naturals Apple Cider Vinegar

A convenient and tasteless way to get your apple cider vinegar, plus it contains an extra dose of cayenne pepper, which may increase thermogenesis.

Best Value

Viva Naturals Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

Viva Naturals has produced a solid product that has a wide variety of certifications that include non-GMO, USDA organic, gluten free, and it’s made in a facility certified by the Global Food and Safety Initiative. It’s also considerably less expensive than leading brands, even though it’s made from apple juice and not concentrate.

Pros

  • Viva Naturals is made in a facility that’s been certified by the Global Food Safety Initiative.
  • This vinegar contains the “mother,” so it has some more enzymes and bacteria than you’d find in purified vinegars.
  • This product is quite inexpensive for vinegar that’s organic and non-GMO.

Cons

  • Viva Naturals only offers this in a 32-ounce bottle, which might be more than the average person would want to buy.
  • Some people object to the fact that the bottle is plastic.
Viva Naturals Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
Viva Naturals Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
Viva Naturals Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

This vinegar is organic, raw, non-GMO, and gluten free, but it's considerably less expensive than the leading brand.

Best for Keto

Herbtonics Apple Cider Vinegar + 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.

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • 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 won’t result in ketosis.
Herbtonics Apple Cider Vinegar + Keto
Herbtonics Apple Cider Vinegar + Keto
Herbtonics Apple Cider Vinegar + Keto

An apple cider vinegar designed to reduce fatigue associated with the ketogenic diet with the inclusion of MCT oil and exogenous ketones.

Best Gummies

Goli Nutrition 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 B12.

Pros

  • Provides a significant amount of B-vitamins in addition to the apple cider vinegar.
  • Unlike many gummies, Goli Nutrition’s are vegetarian friendly.
  • The apple cider vinegar is unfiltered and certified as  non-GMO .

Cons

  • This winds up a pretty expensive way to take apple cider vinegar.
  • It’s advertised as a source of pomegranate and beetroot, but there’s less than 0.01 milligrams of both per gummy, so don’t expect much.
  • This hasn’t been USDA certified organic.
Goli Nutrition Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies
Goli Nutrition Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies
Goli Nutrition Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies

Tasty, berry-flavored gummies that deliver B-vitamins in addition to a dose of non-GMO apple cider vinegar.

Best Ready-to-Drink Shots

The Twisted Shot

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 2 ounces of vinegar in each, plus it contains a little honey, turmeric, and ginger so the taste is quite enjoyable.

Pros

  • These little bottles are a very convenient and portable way to get a daily hit of apple cider vinegar.
  • The addition of honey, turmeric, and ginger make for a very enjoyable way to consume the vinegar.
  • Every ingredient is certified organic.

Cons

  • 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.
  • The bottles are made from plastic, which some users would rather limit.
The Twisted Shot
The Twisted Shot
The Twisted Shot

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.

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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)

  • Weight Loss

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)

  • Heart Health

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.

apples

BarBend Tips

  • 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)

The Takeaway

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.

References

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.