Around 23% of the human population is potentially hangover-resistant.(1) But if you’re like the majority of people, you suffer through painful symptoms the day after heavy drinking.
Throughout history, this is caused us to seek out hangover cures; anything to stop our heads from throbbing and to cease the never-ending nausea.
In your research to find hangover cures, you may have read that apple cider vinegar is good for hangovers.
But does it actually work? In this article, we’ll answer this question and more.
What Is Apple Cider Vinegar?
First things first: what is apple cider vinegar, exactly?
As the name suggests, this is a vinegar made from apples. The apples are first made into juice, then fermented by adding yeast and bacteria to the liquid.
During the fermentation process, the sugar in the juice is broken down into alcohol. Then, that alcohol is broken down into acetic acid. Acetic acid is what vinegar is made of!
When you go to the grocery store and see the wide variety of vinegars products available, this is how it’s done. You just use different fruits and starting ingredients to get the various final products.
What Are the Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar?
You may have heard about people using apple cider vinegar for a number of health benefits, not just for hangovers.
- Lowering blood sugar levels
- Lowering cholesterol
- Weight loss aid
However, take all benefits with a grain of salt. Not much scientific evidence has been found for these health benefits, and even within these studies, it’s been found that apple cider vinegar makes little difference.(2)
At the end of the day, it’s only vinegar!
Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good for Hangovers?
At the time of writing, there are no studies looking into apple cider vinegar as a hangover remedy specifically.
Unfortunately, it’s just a myth that apple cider vinegar is good for hangovers. The reason is, it’s basically just vinegar. If apple cider vinegar was good for hangovers, then any vinegar would be good for alleviating your symptoms.
In general, no, apple cider vinegar isn’t good for hangovers. It can unsettle your stomach (more on this later), which may make you feel worse instead of better.
Many consider apple cider vinegar as a “superfood”. However, it’s likely another health fad.
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What About Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey as a Hangover Cure?
Apple cider vinegar and honey is an interesting combination as a hangover cure. Honey is a sugar source, and one of the sugars found in it is called fructose.
Fructose has been found to increase alcohol metabolism, which means it certainly wouldn’t hurt to take apple cider vinegar with honey. In fact, it’s probably more effective than taking apple cider vinegar all on its own, considering its vinegar properties are unlikely to have any benefits at all.
If fructose was going to have any effect, you would need to take it while alcohol is still in your bloodstream. Therefore, if you wake up hungover, the only benefit will be from the sugar boost.
Also, it’s important to mention that the research into fructose and increased alcohol metabolism is from 20 years ago and needs more looking into.(3)
How Do You Use Apple Cider Vinegar as a Hangover Cure?
If you still want to use apple cider vinegar as a hangover cure, people usually take early in the morning, right when they wake up. To do so, pour out 2 to 3 tablespoons and drink it neat.
Do note that because it’s mainly acetic acid, apple cider vinegar may be very harsh to take straight. It’ll be extremely sour, which may make you feel worse.
Are There Any Side Effects?
When you’ve had alcohol, this increases the amount of acid your stomach produces. When this happens, it can cause indigestion, which is part of the reason you may feel nauseous when you wake up.(4)
Apple cider vinegar is an acid that will, in theory, increase your stomach acidity.
As with any acidic substance, Acetic acid can also weaken the enamel in your teeth. So regular use should be avoided to keep your teeth healthy.
A good idea is to put those 2 to 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into a glass and dilute it with some water. This may make it not so hard to choke down.
Can I drink apple cider vinegar after drinking alcohol?
Sure you can! But it’s unlikely to do you any good.
Alcohol is an irritant and so is acetic acid (apple cider vinegar). Therefore, it may leave you with a stomach ache.
Conclusion – Apple Cider Vinegar Isn’t a Great Hangover Cure
So is apple cider vinegar good for hangovers? Well, as you’ve probably guessed by, it’s not a hangover cure. Even if you add some honey to it for its potential fructose benefits, it’s unlikely to have any significant effect.
Also, if you drink it straight, it may end up irritating your stomach even further, considering it’s high in acidity. It’ll certainly help if you dilute it with water and drink it that way, as it’ll reduce the harshness and it’ll get more water into your body.
Prevention is key when it comes to hangovers. Drinking within your limits, keeping well hydrated and having a meal before going out will go a long way.
If you’re looking for a remedy to sooth some of your discomforts, try one of these teas!.