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Home arrow Nutrition arrow Intermittent Fasting arrow Does Apple Cider Vinegar Break a Fast? Another FAQ Answered

Does Apple Cider Vinegar Break a Fast? Another FAQ Answered

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: April 26, 2023
5 min read 1775 Views 0 Comments
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does apple cider vinegar break a fast

Apple cider vinegar, the unpretentious bottle in the pantry, has multiple uses and many potential benefits.

It’s a vinegar made from the fermentation process of crushed apples (in other words, it’s fermented apple juice). It’s frequently used in the kitchen as a cooking agent for dressings, vinaigrettes, pickling, and preservatives.

Outside of cooking, people use apple cider vinegar for various household tasks and personal care routines. It’s also popular as a dietary supplement or an ingredient in other supplementation products.

It’s thought that consuming ACV can promote weight loss, contribute to healthy blood sugar and cholesterol, and boost the immune system.

Other than therapeutic purposes and medical reasons, one of the primary goals of intermittent fasting is weight loss. Due to its health benefits, many people who use intermittent fasting to lose weight are drawn to apple cider vinegar. 

But with fasting comes a long list of dos and don’ts. 

If you consume apple cider vinegar, will it break a fast? 

This article answers this frequently asked question in detail as we determine the impact on fasting, how and when to take it, and the apparent benefits.

Does ACV Break a Fast?

Technically, a fast is broken when you consume calories. But a very low-calorie intake is not enough to diminish the effects of intermittent fasting. 

When fasting, you remove your usual steady flow of fuel that comes from food. As your body no longer has access to sufficient fuel, it turns to fat stores to provide energy instead.

Whether a product breaks a fast depends on calorie and carb content.

It’s great news for apple cider vinegar enthusiasts. One tablespoon of undiluted apple cider vinegar has around 3 calories. As the calories are minimal and the carbs barely exist, you can safely drink apple cider vinegar without breaking a fast.

Better yet, when you dilute it with plain water, you lower its calorie content. When diluted enough, it becomes free from calories.

How Much ACV Can I Have While Fasting?

Apple cider vinegar is perfectly fast-friendly. But how much of it can you have? 

As it contains very few calories, it’s safe in small quantities. As a general recommendation on a fasting routine, stick to a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar diluted with plenty of water.  

Of course, if you consume it excessively, the calories will add up and break your fast. 

It’s always best to add water if you drink apple cider vinegar, as it is highly acidic. Consumption of apple cider vinegar straight up can cause digestive problems and seriously damage tooth enamel. 

Stick to apple cider vinegar water to prevent the above effects. 

How Do You Take Apple Cider Vinegar? 

If you didn’t catch it the first time, apple cider vinegar is extremely acidic. 

It’s best to avoid taking it on its own to prevent an upset stomach and enamel erosion. 

To consume apple cider vinegar, add a small quantity (one teaspoon is sufficient) to food or drink. 

You’re supposed to stay away from calories outside of your eating hours with intermittent fasting. So, the best way to take apple cider vinegar is with plain water. 

Water is calorie-free, and the dilution makes the ACV virtually calorie-free. You’re left with a refreshing, healthy beverage without fear of breaking your fast. 

Truth be told, it might even help you make it through the intermittent fast. 

If you don’t want to drink water, you can add apple cider vinegar to plain tea as an alternative. 

If you’re not keen on drinking apple cider vinegar, it is available in other forms, such as capsules and gummies. Be careful with apple cider vinegar gummies. They may contain additional vitamins, but sometimes, they have extra sugar and calories that will break a fast. 

When Should I Drink Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)?

A typical proposal circulating the internet is to take apple cider vinegar first thing in the morning, as it may help curb hunger, which is a great way to start the day. 

If you’re practicing intermittent fasting and skipping breakfast, it could potentially be the boost you need to get through to lunch. 

Another suggestion is that taking apple cider vinegar before bedtime can prevent digestive issues and acid reflux. 

As we’ve established, apple cider vinegar doesn’t break a fast, and it probably doesn’t matter too much when you consume it. 

Many intermittent fasters prefer ACV consumption before breaking a fast and before a meal. 

Benefits of ACV

Drinking ACV or adding it to food has many health benefits. Here are the top 5 reasons to use apple cider vinegar. 

#1 May promote weight loss

Although there is little evidence to back up claims, it’s thought that consuming ACV may aid weight loss by contributing to satiety, controlling blood sugar levels, and lowering insulin levels.

The satiety effect prevents people from overeating in the feeding window and consuming calories in the fasting window.

If weight loss is your end goal for intermittent fasting, it can’t hurt to add this low-calorie health product to your diet. 

#2 May help with blood sugar management 

Studies have shown that apple cider vinegar may support blood sugar control, as it may improve insulin and glucose levels when consumed before or during a high-carbohydrate meal. 

Again, further scientific evidence is required. 

#3 It supports the digestive system 

Apple cider vinegar contains gut-friendly bacteria that support the digestive system. It can alleviate indigestion and acid reflux by neutralizing the acid in the stomach. 

It is also an antimicrobial substance that can fight off harmful bacteria in the gut.

#4 It promotes good heart health

A particularly good health benefit of apple cider vinegar is that it can help lower triglyceride levels. 

Triglycerides are a form of fat found in the blood that is stored in your body’s fat cells. They are vital for our health, but high triglyceride levels are associated with a greater risk of heart disease.  

#5 It’s a self-care product

Apple cider vinegar isn’t only a favorite for cooking and adding to your drink. It’s a popular home remedy for use as a beauty product due to its antibacterial and antifungal properties. 

People apply it to the skin, hair, and nails. The anti-inflammatory properties can act as an exfoliator while restoring the skin’s pH balance.  

A Word From Our RD

Intermittent fasting is praised for promoting weight loss and reducing several medical risks.

An intermittent fasting plan can be complex. You’re plagued with questions and curiosities as you get into the swing of things.

One of the top questions circulating is whether apple cider vinegar breaks a fast. Ultimately, the introduction of calories breaks a fast, especially if you’re using intermittent fasting for religious reasons.

Apple Cider Vinegar and Intermittent Fasting: Final Thoughts

Does apple cider vinegar break a fast? No, because it does not have enough calories to impact your fast. 

If you are using intermittent fasting for weight loss, drinking apple cider vinegar can have a positive impact and help make the fast more manageable. Just remember to avoid drinking it undiluted to protect your teeth, and only consume small doses to remain in fasting mode. 

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
The article was fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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