For over two thousand years, people have used vinegar as a food flavoring and preservative as well as for treating wounds and managing diabetes. Vinegar is also a disinfectant and a cleaning agent.
Recently, apple cider vinegar has become mainstream with celebrities such as Scarlett Johansson, Katy Perry, and Kim Kardashian raving about its benefits.
There are numerous ways to drink apple cider (ACV) such as diluting with water, adding to ginger tea, and mixing with honey and water.
The question of whether you should add apple cider vinegar in coffee is an unending debate with some people swearing by it and others frowning at the prospect of mixing these two inherently bitter liquids together.
Can You Add Apple Cider Vinegar in Coffee?
Yes, you can add 1-2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar per 8 ounces of coffee but expect the coffee to be very tangy. Adding natural honey or pure maple syrup can tone down the sourness. Most people prefer to drink ACV and coffee separately due to concerns about their combined acidity and tanginess.
What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar is a type of vinegar that is made by crushing apples and adding yeast to ferment the sugars into alcohol. Bacteria is then added to ferment the alcohol to form vinegar.
Acetic acid makes up 5-6% of the ACV. Organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar is more nutritious than the processed version.
Organic unfiltered ACV has a cloudy appearance due to the presence of the “mother” – a gelatinous substance that is a combination of the yeasts and bacteria that is formed during fermentation.
What Happens When You Add Apple Cider Vinegar in Coffee?
Apple cider vinegar is described as mildly acidic and has a strong tangy flavor. Coffee, on the other hand, has complex flavors that are easily influenced by external factors such as the serving temperature, serving vessel, and add-ons.
When you add apple cider vinegar to your coffee, the tanginess overshadows the coffee flavors and the coffee can be totally unrecognizable. However, the caffeine level remains the same.
How To Add Apple Cider Vinegar in Coffee
Most people add one to two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to an 8oz cup of coffee. If the resulting coffee flavor is too tangy, you may dilute the vinegar in equal parts of warm water and then add it to the coffee.
For, example, you can mix one teaspoon of ACV with one or two teaspoons of warm water and then add it to your coffee.
Alternatively, you can sweeten with natural honey or pure maple syrup. You may not want to add sugar as most people use ACV as part of a healthy diet to lose weight and manage blood sugar.
Avoid diluting with a lot of water as it will water down the coffee. Consuming large amounts of ACV can cause or worsen tooth decay, low potassium levels, and digestion issues such as acid reflux and stomach ulcers.
Why Are Most People Against Adding Apple Cider Vinegar In Coffee?
- Acidity and acid reflux. Regular vinegar is mildly acidic with a pH of 2-3. Apple cider vinegar has a weaker acidity than regular vinegar but adding ACV to coffee that is also acidic can increase the risk of acid reflux, especially in people with GERD problems. The effects of ACV on acid reflux are disputed with some sources linking ACV to reduced indigestion and acid problems and others warning that ACV can worsen acid reflux
- Caffeine. Apart from the risk of increased acidity, the caffeine in coffee is linked to GERD problems. The combination of caffeine and the increased acidity can worsen when you add ACV to the coffee
- Astringency. Apple cider vinegar is very sour and leaves an awful aftertaste. Coffee has a characteristic bitterness and mixing these two together is a recipe for quite an awful drink. The delectable flavors of coffee disappear as astringency takes over
- There are concerns that caffeine may inhibit the absorption of the B-vitamins in apple cider vinegar
- Some ACV enthusiasts recommend drinking ACV in the morning on an empty stomach. Adding coffee to this routine can damage your stomach lining
Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is linked to many health benefits but most of these claims are not based on science. According to Healthline, the health benefits of apple cider vinegar include:
- Vinegar mother is probiotic (beneficial bacteria). ACV is rich in antioxidants and the B-vitamins that are present in apples
- Apple cider vinegar kills harmful bacteria. ACV can disinfect and kill harmful bacteria and fungi on wounds. Vinegar is also a food preservative and prevents E. Coli bacteria from thriving and spoiling food
- Can manage diabetes and regulate blood sugar levels
- ACV can help in weight loss. Taking ACV before eating makes you feel satiated hence you eat less. Daily consumption of ACV can also help in lowering belly fat
- Heart health. Some studies have shown ACV lowers the level of cholesterol and triglyceride. This reduces the risk of heart disease. Vinegar was also found to reduce blood pressure
- Skin Health. ACV can treat eczema and dry skin. ACV contains antioxidants and probiotics that can improve the health of your skin. However, undiluted vinegar can burn damaged skin.
Should You Add Apple Cider Vinegar to Coffee?
People with health problems such as diabetes, low potassium levels, and GERD issues should consult a physician before using apple cider vinegar in coffee as it can worsen the problems. In fact, coffee is not recommended for people with GERD problems.
For healthy individuals, adding small amounts of ACV to your coffee, if you can handle the tangy flavor, will not hurt you but there is likely no added benefit in mixing the two.
Furthermore, by adding ACV to coffee, you mute the flavors of the coffee and reduce the coffee to just a source of caffeine. Most coffee lovers who enjoy the complexity of coffee flavors would not even consider adding ACV.
Should I Drink Coffee Before or After Apple Cider Vinegar
The best option is to drink coffee before the apple cider vinegar or 1-2 hours after drinking ACV for your taste buds to reset. Apple cider vinegar leaves a bitter aftertaste in your mouth.
Drinking coffee too soon after drinking apple cider vinegar can inhibit your taste buds from tasting the coffee flavors. The coffee can taste different due to the vinegar aftertaste on your palate.
How To Get Rid of Apple Cider Vinegar Aftertaste
- Fruits and vegetables. Apples and vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, and mint leaves are excellent for removing bad aftertastes
- Brush your mouth, especially the tongue after drinking ACV
- Mint. Chewing on spearmint neutralizes the bad taste in your mouth
- Swish one tablespoon of carrier oil and one drop of food-grade essential oils such as peppermint oil, rosemary oil or eucalyptol
Can I Drink Apple Cider Vinegar Every Day?
Apple cider vinegar is safe to drink every day in small diluted amounts. To dilute ACV for drinking, add 1-2 tablespoons of ACV to 8oz (237ml) of warm water.
Drinking large amounts of vinegar over time can cause bone disease. Undiluted apple cider vinegar can cause the following side effects:
- Eat away the enamel on your teeth
- Oesophageal injury
- Damage to the lining of the stomach
- Skin breakouts
You can add apple cider vinegar to coffee but the coffee will taste awful as both coffee and apple cider vinegar are astringent in flavor.
Mixing the two can cause stomach problems in people with GERD issues as apple cider vinegar and coffee are both acidic. Furthermore, the caffeine in coffee can worsen GERD symptoms.
Since there is no evidence of any added benefits when you mix apple cider vinegar with coffee, you are better off drinking them separately to avoid altering the taste of your coffee.
Drinking large amounts of apple cider vinegar can exacerbate health problems such as diabetes, tooth decay, low potassium levels, and digestion issues. It can also cause bone disease.