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Nutrisense Nutritionists Recommend: Glucose-Friendly Apple Cider Vinegar Drinks

Brooke McKelvey

6 min read

March 18, 2022
a bottle of apple cider vinegar and apples
a bottle of apple cider vinegar and apples

Whether you want to lose weight, lower blood pressure, or manage heartburn, someone has likely recommended apple cider vinegar (ACV) at some point. While most people think of cleaning agents when they think of vinegar, ACV is known for its potential health benefits.

Some research suggests that a little ACV at bedtime may positively impact your health. The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar can help reduce starch digestion and gastric emptying during sleep. And among other potential health benefits is ACV’s potential to control blood sugar levels, making it a popular drink for diabetes.

Some studies, including this one, suggest that a bit of apple cider vinegar every day could help with type 2 diabetes. As with most studies revolving around vinegar, there’s more research to be done here, but it sounds promising, doesn’t it?

But whether it’s regulating blood sugar levels after a meal or helping you lose weight, the potential benefits of apple cider vinegar make it a promising ingredient. 

What Exactly is Apple Cider Vinegar?

a bottle of apple cider vinegar and apples

Apple cider vinegar is, to put it very simply, a type of vinegar made from apple cider. It’s made by crushing apples and squeezing out the juice. The juice is boiled down to make a hard cider, then fermented to produce apple cider vinegar.

And, as we already know by now, it can help those who tolerate it with weight loss, heartburn and acid reflux, blood pressure, and overall wellness. The easiest way to consume ACV it is in a detox drink, as ACV drinks are typically low in carbs and can help keep blood sugar levels stable, making them a great beverage for diabetics. They're also high in antioxidants and minerals, such as potassium and magnesium. 

Vinegar isn’t something you’d think of incorporating into your daily diet, but consuming apple cider vinegar every day isn’t difficult! The tart ingredient is easy to incorporate into your diet. It lends itself well to everything from green tea to barbecue chicken.

Apple Cider Vinegar Drink Recipes We Love

Detox drinks are great, but sometimes a lot of hassle for little reward. If you're looking for ACV drink recipes that require little to no prep time, you're in for a treat! Here are some delicious recipes for glucose-friendly apple cider vinegar drinks recommended by six members of our Nutrition Team:

Morning Glucose Stabilizing Drink

a glass of Glucose Stabilizing Drink, recommended by Marie Frank

To Make This ACV Drink You Need

  • 16 ounces hot water 
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice 
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon ground ginger 
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon 
  • A dash of cayenne pepper 

Check out how to make Marie’s favorite recipe here

Why Marie loves it

“Starting your day off with an ACV drink before your first meal can help set the pace for stable glucose values by metabolizing carbohydrates a bit better.

The acetic acid in vinegar has been shown to slow the rate of gastric emptying, slowing down the breakdown of carbohydrates. The limonene found in lemons and limes also helps liver detoxification enzymes.” 

Hot ACV and Honey Drink

a cup of Hot ACV and Honey Drink recommended by Bahar Brocken

To Make This ACV Drink You Need

  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ½ to 1 teaspoons honey 
  • 8 ounces hot water 

Check out how to make Bahar’s favorite recipe here

Why Bahar Loves It

“Although honey can raise your blood sugar level just like other sugar or sweeteners, its antioxidants may help protect against metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Researchers have found that honey may increase adiponectin levels. Adiponectin is a hormone that reduces inflammation and improves blood sugar regulation.

There is also some evidence to suggest that daily honey intake may improve fasting blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. While it sounds promising, further research is needed here. 

Of course, while honey may be slightly better than refined sugar, it still contains calories. It can increase glucose values, so consume it in moderation. Adjust the amount you add into this drink based on your personal glucose tolerance (as per your CGM data if you wear a sensor).”

Apple Cider Night Time Drink

a bottle and a cup of ACV drink recommended by Stephanie Etherington

To Make This ACV Drink You Need

  • 1 chamomile tea bag in hot water
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 drops Stevia
  • 3 to 5 grams glycine or 3 to 5 grams collagen (Stephanie recommends half a scoop of Vital Proteins)

Check out how to make Stephanie’s favorite recipe here

Why Stephanie Loves It

“Chamomile helps you sleep better. Poor sleep can impact fasting and overnight blood sugars and exaggerate your postprandial responses. Additionally, vinegar at bedtime helps modulate waking glucose values.

Research has also shown that cinnamon may help lower fasting blood sugar and improve insulin signaling. Glycine helps increase serotonin in your brain, a precursor to melatonin. These ingredients make for a supercharged bedtime drink that is tasty and good for your health!”

Apple Cider Vinegar Recovery Drink

two glasses of ACV drink recommended by Amanda Donahue

To Make This ACV Drink You Need

  • 12 ounces water
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 tablespoons tart cherry concentrate
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

A drink of her own creation, Amanda simply combines all the ingredients for a quick-mix detox drink that’s so good you’ll be drinking it daily.

Why Amanda Loves It

“I recommend drinking this a few hours before bed. Tart cherry juice has been shown to help with muscle soreness, reduce inflammation, and improve sleep quality to help with workout recovery.

Additionally, the ACV could help with a few other things. It could promote decreased inflammation with acetic acid and mitigate glucose responses to help curb your postprandial response from glucose found in tart cherries. It can also help with fatty acid oxidation and muscle glycogen repletion.

And as if all that wasn’t enough, turmeric (curcumin) can help decrease inflammation and provides some antioxidants. The black pepper in this drink gives it a tasty kick, but is also helpful here since black pepper helps with curcumin absorption.”

Fermented Apple Cider Vinegar Drink

a bottle and a glass of ACV drink recommended by Liz McKinney

To Make This ACV Drink You Need

  • 8 ounces low sugar kombucha like Humm or GT’s gingerade
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of liquid apple cider vinegar (Liz recommends Bragg’s
  • Mint leaves, berries, ginger, or lemon to garnish

Liz’s own recipe, this delicious drink is so simple; all you have to do is mix some ready kombucha with ACV. Depending on the flavor of kombucha you pick, you can add fresh mint leaves, ground ginger, lemon slices, or fresh raspberries as garnish.

Why Liz Loves It

“Meta-analyses suggest that ingesting vinegar at the start of a meal—one to two tablespoons in a glass of water can diminish the post-meal (or “postprandial”) surge in blood glucose. For two hours after a meal, vinegar consumption is associated with a reduction in postprandial blood sugar of about 20 percent to 40 percent.

Kombucha is a fermented non-alcoholic tea-based drink. It contains live and active cultures that favorably impact your gut microbiome.

The results suggest that kombucha consumption lowers oxidative stress and inflammation, improves liver detoxification, and reduces intestinal dysbiosis. A healthy microbiome is vital for healthy glucose control.”

Simple & Refreshing Apple Cider Vinegar Drink

a bottle of ACV drink recommended by Molly Downey

To Make This ACV Drink You Need

  • 8 ounces filtered water 
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 

This may be the most straightforward drink on our list, which is one reason Molly loves it. A dash of lemon mixed with some ACV mixed into a glass, and you have a quick, delicious detox drink.

Why Molly Loves It

“Consuming ACV before a meal can help blunt a blood glucose response, making it a great drink for diabetes control. Since it’s a bit rough to consume on its own, mixing it with water and a touch of lemon can make it super simple and more palatable. Drinking it 10 to 15 minutes before your meal can help optimize your glucose response.”

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Carlee Hayes, RDN, CD

Reviewed by: Carlee Hayes, RDN, CD

Carlee's training at Western Illinois University and an internship at the Memphis VA Hospital lead her to a career in outpatient counseling and bariatric nutrition therapy. In these positions, Carlee realized many of the disease states (upwards of 80%!) her patients experienced were actually preventable. She knew she had to dig deeper into preventative health and has since been passionate about helping people translate this complex glucose data into actionable changes anyone can implement into their everyday lives.