Does Apple Cider Vinegar Break A Fast?

Human Window Staff
By Human Window Staff
Updated on February 07, 2020

Does apple cider vinegar break a fast? If you’ve landed on this page, then the chances are that you’re looking to find out whether having apple cider vinegar will mess up your intermittent fasting routine.

Apple cider vinegar and intermittent fasting have both become popular health trends in recent years but can you use them together or not?

In this article, we’re going to take a close look at apple cider vinegar and see whether it can be used alongside intermittent fasting.

Apple cider vinegar has developed a reputation as a ‘health food’ in recent years, and we’re also going to take a closer look at whether it’s something worth trying or not.

So, with the introductions out of the way, let’s start taking a closer look at how apple cider vinegar and intermittent fasting fit together.

What Is Intermittent Fasting?

The chances are that if you’ve landed on this page, you’re already familiar with the basics about intermittent fasting, but lets cover them again quickly anyhow.

In case you didn’t know, Intermittent Fasting (sometimes simply called IF), is simply a general term for various eating patterns that involve fasting (not eating) for short periods of time.

Intermittent fasting is not for everyone, and you should not try it without having first consulted with a certified medical professional, especially if you have an underlying medical condition, are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Intermittent Fasting

(Photo: Adobe Stock)

One of the ideas behind the increasingly popular way of eating is that by restricting the hours in which you are eating, you are giving your body a break from constantly digesting food, so that it focus energy elsewhere.

There is some initial evidence to suggest that intermittent fasting may bring about some health benefits, but it is worth remembering that the research is still at its early stage and it is probably too early to start drawing conclusions.

Nonetheless, many people have found intermittent fasting to be a useful lifestyle hack that has helped them to hit their goals.

So, how does intermittent fasting work? There are various forms of intermittent fasting, but a popular one, for example, is a daily 16-hour minimum fast with an eight-hour ‘eating window’.

For example, if you were to implement the format above and finished eating at 8pm, you would fast until 12pm the following day. This would simply mean not eating as soon as you get up for most people.

To some people who have not heard of intermittent fasting, the word ‘fast’ can make it sound a whole lot more dramatic than it actually is.

A simple way to start with intermittent fasting would be to begin with a daily 12-hour fast, and a 12-hour eating window.

Another benefit of fasting that people report is that it helps to teach them to get more in tune with their body and their hunger levels.

In modern society, it is quite easy to keep eating around the clock and this can sometimes cause us to lose touch with how our body is actually responding to food.

Many people report feeling more empowered and that they benefit from an improved relationship with food when practicing intermittent fasting in a sensible and safe way.

If you’re interested in learning more about intermittent fasting, then be sure to check out our dedicated guide to intermittent fasting put together by 2 Meal Day founder Max Lowery.

What Is Apple Cider Vinegar?

As we mentioned above, apple cider vinegar has enjoyed something of a trend status among health foods in recent years.

There are various claims made about it and plenty of anecdotal reports of it helping with a number of things, but the actual scientific evidence behind it is somewhat limited.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar (Photo: Adobe Stock)

In case you didn’t know, apple cider vinegar is made by mixing chopped up apples with water and sugar, and then allowing the mixture to ferment, turning some of it into acetic acid, which is the active ingredient in the vinegar.

When taken on its own, a small amount (usually about one or two tablespoons) of apple cider vinegar is usually diluted into water and consumed as a drink. That said, some people do also drink it ‘neat’.

What Does Apple Cider Vinegar Do?

There are plenty of claims out there about what apple cider vinegar can do for your health.

Among them is the suggestion that it may help to stabilise blood sugar levels when consumed before a meal.

There are also claims that apple cider vinegar may help with weight loss and bring other health benefits, but there is only limited scientific research to suggest this is true.

In 2016, a BBC programme examined the health claims about apple cider vinegar and found that many of them did not stack up, although there was some suggestion that it may help with controlling blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

The bottom line here is that although apple cider vinegar is claimed to be a miraculous health food that may bring a host of benefits, it is worth doing some of your own research to examine the science behind the claims.

Does Apple Cider Vinegar Break A Fast?

So, the big question is does apple cider vinegar break a fast or not? Can you continue to consume it during your intermittent fasting protocol?

The simple answer is that it depends. Apple cider vinegar is a very low calorie substance, and it contains only about three calories per tablespoon.

For this reason, many people would argue that the low calorie content in apple cider vinegar means that it is unlikely to have much of an effect on the body and so it is fine to consume while fasting.

While that may be true, it all depends on how strict you are being with yourself when it comes to the fasting protocol.

If you want to be 100 per cent sure that you will remain in a fasted state during your window, then the only way to guarantee this is to make sure that you’re only consuming water during this time.

However, most people feel that it is OK to consume things such as black coffee and tea (without milk or sugar) during a fast. If that is the case, then having some apple cider vinegar is probably OK.

The Bottom Line: Apple cider vinegar only contains about three calories per tablespoon. For this reason, it is probably OK to consume it during your fasting window. However, if you are looking to be 100 per cent sure of remaining in the fasted state, then it is probably best to stick to water and have your apple cider vinegar during your eating window.

Anything Else To Consider?

As we mentioned above, intermittent fasting is not without its risks.

For this reason, we strongly recommend that you seek the advice of a certified medical professional before trying intermittent fasting for the first time.

And you should certainly not try intermittent fasting without seeking professional advice if you have any underlying medical condition, or are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Apple cider vinegar may well bring some benefits when consumed in a sensible way, but both it and intermittent fasting cannot replace the foundation of a healthy lifestyle and balanced nutrition plan.

You should always make sure that your diet and exercise routine are on point before thinking about adding anything new to your regimen.

Wrapping Things Up – Our Final Thoughts

So, that brings us to the end of our look at whether apple cider vinegar breaks a fast or not.

We’ve walked you through the basic things you need to know about both intermittent fasting and apple cider vinegar.

Apple cider vinegar is a low calorie food, and contains only about three calories per tablespoon. For that reason, unless you are being super strict with yourself, it is probably OK to consume apple cider vinegar during a fast.

However, if you are looking to be 100 per cent sure that you remain in the fasted state, then it is probably better to just stick to water during your fasting window.