Besides water, tea is among the most popular drinks worldwide.
There are several types of tea, including black tea, green tea, white tea, and countless blends of herbal tea.
Apple cider vinegar has exploded in popularity in the health and nutrition world over recent years.
Apple cider vinegar tea is also gaining popularity thanks to its several potential health benefits.
What is apple cider vinegar tea?
Apple cider vinegar tea is a mixture of apple cider vinegar, hot water, and other ingredients like lemon juice, honey, and spices. Apple cider vinegar tea isn’t technically tea because it’s not made with tea leaves.
You shouldn’t confuse apple cider vinegar tea with apple cider tea, which includes ingredients like apples and cinnamon, but no vinegar.
6 health benefits of apple cider vinegar tea
1) Might lower blood sugar
There are several studies regarding apple cider vinegar and its promising ability to help promote healthy blood sugar levels.
According to a small study in Diabetes Care, apple cider vinegar was administered (compared with a placebo drink) before participants ate a high-carbohydrate meal consisting of a white bagel and orange juice (1).
Participants with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes consuming apple cider vinegar had significant improvements in insulin sensitivity and lowered post-meal blood sugar levels.
A randomized control study on 70 participants with type 2 diabetes and hyperlipidemia found that apple cider vinegar significantly reduced fasting blood sugar levels (2).
Using cinnamon in apple cider vinegar tea might provide further benefits for your blood sugar. According to 16 randomized controlled studies, cinnamon significantly reduced fasting blood glucose and improved insulin resistance in patients with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes (3).
2) May promote weight loss
According to a study on 39 overweight and obese people, apple cider vinegar resulted in more weight loss when paired with a reduced-calorie diet (4).
Apple cider vinegar also significantly reduced appetite, body mass index (BMI), hip circumference, total cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels while increasing HDL cholesterol.
According to a study on diabetic mice, the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar reduced lipogenesis, the process of making fat (5).
Another study found that acetic acid prevented the accumulation of body fat in mice fed a high-fat diet (6). Acetic acid increases the metabolism of fatty acids, which means that apple cider vinegar tea might help you burn more fat instead of storing it as body fat.
Apple cider vinegar tea often contains cinnamon. According to an analysis of 12 studies including nearly 800 participants, cinnamon supplementation significantly reduced body weight, waist circumference, and fat mass (7).
Drinking warm liquids can help boost your sense of satiety, helping to keep you feeling full. Lower-sugar drinks like apple cider vinegar tea and other healthy diet changes might help promote weight loss compared to drinking cold liquids.
3) Might reduce cholesterol levels
The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar might help your cholesterol levels.
According to animal studies, acetic acid given to rats who were fed a high-fat diet resulted in lower blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides (8). The acetic acid in vinegar appears to reduce the production of cholesterol in the liver and helps remove bile acid from the body, which helps reduce cholesterol levels.
An animal study on rats fed a high-sugar/calorie diet concluded that apple cider vinegar helped lower cholesterol levels (9). Levels of HDL cholesterol, also known as “good cholesterol,” were increased with vinegar administration.
Studies on human adults show similar promising effects of apple cider vinegar on cholesterol levels (10). Apple cider vinegar consumption significantly reduced blood cholesterol levels (as well as fasting blood sugar and hemoglobin A1c levels, which indicate improved blood sugar levels).
Reducing your cholesterol levels is one way to reduce your heart disease risk since high cholesterol is a “strong risk factor” for developing cardiovascular disease (11).
4) Lower-sugar alternative
If you choose to omit or reduce the honey in apple cider vinegar tea or use a sugar substitute instead, apple cider vinegar tea is a much lower-sugar drink than other options.
Instead of pumpkin spice lattes and other flavored hot drinks, apple cider vinegar tea can help you reduce your sugar intake.
If you use only one tablespoon of sweeteners like honey or maple syrup, you’ll take in around 17 grams of sugar, compared to around 50 grams of sugar in a typical 16-ounce pumpkin spice latte.
When drinking apple cider vinegar tea, remember that the recommended amount of added sugar (such as from sweeteners like honey) per day is fewer than 24 grams per day for women and fewer than 36 grams per day for men.
5) Cancer-fighting properties
If you choose to use honey in your apple cider vinegar tea, you might benefit from its cancer-fighting properties. According to studies, honey helps induce cancer cell death, including skin cancer, cervical cancer, and endometrial cancer (12).
Like honey, using cinnamon in your apple cider vinegar tea might also help protect you against certain types of cancer. Cinnamon acts as an antioxidant, helping to reduce cell damage that can result in cancer. In addition, cinnamon can also induce cell death in cancer cells (13).
6) Aid in healthy digestion
The lemon juice in apple cider vinegar tea might aid in digestion. Your stomach secretes acids, enzymes, and other components that help digestion.
According to a study, lemon juice helped increase stomach secretions and reduced gastric emptying time (14).
Staying hydrated with clear liquids like apple cider vinegar tea can also help promote regular bowel movements and reduce constipation.
When should I drink apple cider vinegar tea?
Apple cider vinegar tea is popular as a morning “detox” tea, but you can drink it anytime.
The vinegar in apple cider vinegar tea is acidic, which can irritate the lining of your throat. If you suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), you might want to avoid apple cider vinegar tea at the end of the day before lying down for bed.
Drinking apple cider vinegar tea on an empty stomach before eating a meal might help reduce the rise in your blood sugar level, as referenced earlier.
How to make apple cider vinegar tea
You can find several variations of apple cider vinegar tea online and tailor the ingredients to fit your preferences. Here is an example of a simple recipe for apple cider vinegar tea.
- 12 fluid ounces of hot water
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon raw honey
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or use a cinnamon stick)
Combine hot water, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, honey, and cinnamon in a mug.
As you can see, the recipe for apple cider vinegar tea is quite simple. You might prefer to add other spices like cayenne pepper, ginger, or a sweetener of your choice like stevia to your apple cider vinegar tea.
You can use any type of apple cider vinegar for the tea, such as organic versions or apple cider vinegar with the “mother.”
Possible side effects of apple cider vinegar tea
Apple cider vinegar is acidic, which might bother your stomach. Drinking small amounts of apple cider vinegar tea is less likely to cause stomach upset than drinking several cups daily.
Lower blood sugar levels
According to studies, apple cider vinegar reduces blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes (2).
If you’re taking insulin or other diabetes drugs that lower your blood sugar (like sulfonylureas), you should take caution when taking apple cider vinegar because it might lead to low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).
Because apple cider vinegar is acidic, it might cause heartburn by irritating the lining of your esophagus. If you have reflux and are prone to heartburn, you’ll want to start by drinking small amounts of apple cider vinegar tea to see how well you tolerate it.
Weight gain and/or dental caries
If you make apple cider vinegar tea with sweeteners like honey or maple syrup, you might notice weight gain if you drink significant amounts due to the calories from sugar.
You might also experience dental caries (cavities) if you take in large amounts of added sugar and don’t practice good oral hygiene.
One tablespoon of honey provides around 60 calories, which come from sugar. Limiting your calories from added sugar (like honey) to fewer than 150 calories per day is ideal.
Apple cider vinegar tea isn’t technically tea but is a mixture of apple cider vinegar, hot water, and other ingredients like honey, lemon juice, and cinnamon.
The main potential health benefits of apple cider vinegar tea are due to its main ingredients, such as apple cider vinegar, honey, and cinnamon.
Drinking large amounts of apple cider vinegar tea might result in heartburn and excess sugar intake from using caloric sweeteners like honey.
Drinking one cup of apple cider vinegar tea daily is reasonable, as is using less sweetener than the recipes call for or using a sugar substitute like stevia if you drink more than one cup per day.