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6 Mistakes People Make When Taking Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is one of those multipurpose products that has countless uses - from cleaning to cooking to laundry, beauty, and even health and weight loss. There is evidence to suggest that taking ACV can help with blood sugar management and may improve gut health, which is why many people drink it daily. That said, there is a right and a wrong way to take apple cider vinegar, and doing so incorrectly may not just be ineffective, it could be harmful to your health. Avoid these 6 mistakes if you’re taking apple cider vinegar.

1. Not diluting the apple cider vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar Mistakes bottle
One of the biggest mistakes people make is drinking ACV without previously diluting it with water. Since vinegar is a highly acidic substance, doing so can be dangerous and could lead to severe irritation, chemical burns, and damage to the esophagus and the stomach according to health experts. If you'd like to take apple cider vinegar, make sure to dilute it first: use 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and add it to a 350 ml (12 oz) glass of water daily after a meal.

2. Applying vinegar directly on the skin

Apple Cider Vinegar Mistakes applying toner
Apple cider vinegar is also often used for its beauty benefits, with people using ACV to clear acne, reduce dandruff, or even calm down a sunburn. If you are tempted to use ACV on your skin, never apply it onto the entire face, and make sure to always dilute it in a 1:10 ratio. As Caleb Backe, a wellness expert for Maple Holistics told Reader’s Digest, “Prolonged exposure to the highly acidic vinegar can actually kill skin cells, erode your skin, and even leave you with semi-permanent chemical burns.”
To avoid these undesired effects, only apply the diluted ACV directly onto the spot. 

3. Drinking apple cider vinegar before bed

Apple Cider Vinegar Mistakes woman drinking from a cup
The best time to take ACV in the morning. In fact, drinking apple cider vinegar right before bed can actually be harmful, especially if you already suffer from acid reflux and heartburn. The reason why is because the vinegar can leak back into the esophagus when you’re lying down and even diluted vinegar could damage the esophagus when exposed for a long time. For this reason, it is always recommended to stay upright for 30 minutes after taking ACV to make sure it doesn’t lead to acid reflux.

4. You’re sipping apple cider vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar Mistakes straws
Let’s be honest, apple cider vinegar, even diluted, isn’t a tasty beverage for most of us, but the unpleasant taste isn’t the only reason why you shouldn’t savor and sip on the ACV. In fact, doing so could damage your tooth enamel, and inhaling it could irritate the nose and eyes.
Therefore, experts recommend drinking ACV through a straw to minimize any contact with the teeth, eyes, and nose. To prevent any damage to the tooth enamel, doctors also say you shouldn’t brush your teeth for 30 minutes after drinking apple cider vinegar.

5. Taking apple cider vinegar if you have kidney issues or H. pylori

Apple Cider Vinegar Mistakes woman with stomachache
Apple cider vinegar isn’t for everyone. For example, if you suffer from kidney damage or any urinary condition, avoid taking apple cider vinegar as it's one of the foods that can damage the kidneys in those susceptible to kidney diseases. In addition, apple cider vinegar isn’t always good for digestion either.
For example, those who have Helicobacter pylori, a common type of bacteria that causes ulcers, may actually feel worse if they start drinking ACV because the highly acidic substance can irritate the ulcers. Signs that point that you should discontinue taking apple cider vinegar are an upset stomach or a burning sensation. An even better course of action would be to discuss whether or not you should be taking ACV in the first place with your doctor.

6. You’re taking apple cider vinegar right after a meal

Apple Cider Vinegar Mistakes glass
While drinking apple cider vinegar after a meal isn’t dangerous per se, it’s not the most effective approach. Drinking apple cider vinegar first thing in the morning on an empty stomach seems to be the most beneficial. As Elizabeth Abel, a licensed functional nutritionist, stated in an interview, “Many people, especially as they age, tend to experience a decrease in their gastric juices which can help break down the food they eat.”
Drinking ACV before a meal can help replace part of these gastric juices and improve digestion. So, if you’re taking apple cider vinegar for indigestion, the best time to take it is early morning.
Share this information with those who take apple cider vinegar
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