WHAT IS APPLE CIDER VINEGAR?
Apple Cider Vinegar is a vinegar made from (you guessed it) apple cider.
Apple cider is distinct from apple juice in that cider is less refined and very minimally processed. Basically, you just take your apples, crush ’em up, squeeze out all the liquid, and viola! Apple Cider.
Apple cider is generally unfiltered and unpasteurized, which is a crucial point in the process of making ACV.
HOW IS APPLE CIDER VINEGAR MADE?
Vinegars are essentially super-fermented concoctions made from whatever original juices were involved. The fermentation process has two steps:
First, the natural sugars in the cider Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies are converted into alcohol by yeasts, in the same way that beer or wine are fermented. Cider will ferment all by itself if you let it, because of naturally-occurring yeasts present on the apple skins.
Secondly, once the sugars have been transformed into alcohol, different yeasts and bacteria further metabolize the alcohol into acetic acid, which gives vinegars their sour tanginess, and seems to be the magic ingredient that gives vinegars their potential health benefits.
This whole process, the transmutation of sugars into alcohols into acetic acid, is accomplished by a fascinating collection of microbes called The Mother.
WHAT IS THE MOTHER?
The Vinegar Mother is where the magic happens. The Mother is what’s called a Symbiotic Culture of Yeast and Bacteria, and it’s basically a collection of various beneficial micro-organisms that work together, sharing nutrients and metabolizing each other’s by-products.
If you’re familiar at all with Kombucha, it’s a similar process, at least at the beginning.
At the beginning of the fermentation process, there are a few different yeasts and bacteria present in The Mother.
Interestingly, a comprehensive analysis of the fermentation process using organic apples vs. conventional apples found that there are more different types of bacteria present in the cider made from organic apples than conventional ones.
© sasimoto / Adobe Stock
As the alcohol percentage increases, the microbial makeup of The Mother changes, until it’s pretty much entirely acetic acid bacteria left, which finishes the vinegarization process.
The result of this beautiful dance of microbes is a potent concoction of organic acids, flavonoids, polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals.
WHAT EXACTLY IS IN APPLE CIDER VINEGAR?
The primary active ingredient in ACV is acetic acid, which may be responsible for most of the potential benefits that ACV might hold.
Acetic acid is found in all vinegars, not just ACV. It’s mostly produced at the final stages of the fermentation process, when it’s just the acetic acid bacteria left standing.
Apple Cider Vinegar, and vinegars in general, usually contains about 4 or 5% acetic acid by volume.
Additionally, ACV contains several other bioactive ingredients, either originating in the apple cider itself, or as products of the fermentation process: polyphenols including flavinoids like quercetin, vitamins B1, B2, B6, and C, some minerals like potassium and iron, and possibly a trace amount of amino acids.
WHY DO PEOPLE DRINK APPLE CIDER VINEGAR?
Topically applied Apple Cider Vinegar for treating infections dates back at least to the Old Testament, and the practice of drinking ACV goes back at least as far as good ol’ Hippocrates, who administered it for coughs, among other things.
Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar had a little renaissance in the 1820s, but it’s only in the last couple of years it has become something of a craze, following a 2009 study on the potential weight-loss benefits of adding ACV to your diet, which we’ll cover a little more in depth later on.
THE POTENTIAL BENEFITS OF ACV
Among the claims made about the potential benefits of supplementing with Apple Cider Vinegar, the primary ones are gut health, weight loss Pod Vapes support and blood sugar regulation. ACV is also high in antioxidants, and can be considered a probiotic food.
We’ll look at a handful of the studies below. 👇
It’s important to note that, while there have been some promising clinical studies, they have often been limited in size or done with animal subjects, which makes it hard to draw firm conclusions regarding the actual benefits of ACV.
And as with pretty much all supplements, Apple Cider Vinegar isn’t currently approved by the FDA for any particular use, and they haven’t evaluated any claims.
STUDIES ON APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
The most famous study is the aforementioned 2009 Japanese study of 175 obese volunteers, who were given either 0, 15, or 30 milliliters of Apple Cider Vinegar per day for three months while on a reduced calorie diet and exercise regimen. After three months, the subjects given 15ml or 30ml of ACV had lost an average of 2.6 pounds and 3.7 pounds compared to the placebo group.
The same scientists who directed that study also found that giving rats acetic acid changed the gene expression and regulation of genes responsible for fat burning.
A 2005 Swedish study of 12 people found that eating bread with vinegar resulted in lower glucose and insulin responses compared to just eating bread, and helped increase feelings of satiety (feeling full).
And a 2017 systematic review and meta-analysis concluded that vinegar may help regulate blood sugar response after meals: “The findings suggest that vinegar can be effective in reducing postprandial glucose and insulin levels, indicating it could be considered as an adjunctive tool for improving glycemic control.”
Again, these studies by themselves are very interesting, but without further research, they don’t indicate that ACV can reliably produce these effects or that ACV should be taken with the intention of treating or preventing any condition!
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR GUMMIES VS. LIQUID
The biggest reason to take Apple Cider Vinegar gummies instead of liquid ACV? The taste, hands down.
Apple Cider Vinegar tastes crazy. Especially when you’re doing a straight shot.
The other thing is that liquid ACV is very acidic due to the acetic acid, and over time you could do damage to your tooth enamel or to the sensitive tissues in your mouth and throat.
You can dilute liquid ACV in a glass of water to help with both the taste and the acidity.
(If you’re looking for a good liquid ACV to try, we highly recommend Bragg‘s.)
Orrr, you could take ACV as a gummy!
HOW ARE ACV GUMMIES MADE?
ACV gummies can be made in a few ways: either with liquid ACV, or with dehydrated Apple Cider Vinegar powder.
There are various DIY recipes online which use liquid ACV + gelatin. These recipes call for using 1/2 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar to make between 20 and 30 gummies, which means that each gummy winds up with about 1/3 of a tablespoon of ACV: you’d need to at 6 of these per day to get 2 tablespoons of ACV.
Apple Cider Vinegar powder can be made a few different ways. The most common method is to mix ACV with maltodextrin and drying it. Pure vinegar powder can be made by freeze-drying or by spray-drying vinegar.
Dehydrating ACV into a powder, instead of using liquid, means you can pack a lot more into a gummy!
are the potential benefits the same?
Currently, there haven’t been any studies on dehydrated ACV specifically, let alone gummies, so we can’t say for certain that it’s exactly the same.
But it seems like the primary ingredients, acetic acid, the vitamins, etc. should all remain intact throughout the dehydration process if it’s done right.
what else is in acv gummies?
One of the best things about gummies is that they provide endless opportunities to include extra, synergetic ingredients!
Most commonly added to ACV gummies are B vitamins, especially B12 and B6. Some brands take the opportunity to pack in a few superfoods like beetroot and pomegranate.
All of the Apple Cider Vinegar gummies that we recommend are made with pectin instead of gelatin, although there are some gelatin-based gummies out there.
Pectin is a polysaccharide that’s naturally occurring in a lot of fruits, including apples! It’s actually what gives jams and jellies their jelly-ness, and is often used, alongside tapioca, for vegan gummies.
HOW MANY APPLE CIDER VINEGAR GUMMIES SHOULD I TAKE?
The 2009 study that we referenced above gave the subjects either 15 or 30 milliliters of ACV during the experiment.
15 ml is about 1 tablespoon, and that’s the dosage that usually gets referenced when you’re looking at serving sizes for gummies.
It can get a little confusing, because liquid ACV is measured in milliliters, but dehydrated ACV is measured in milligrams!
But Goli, for example, says that two of their gummies, which each contain 500 milligrams of concentrated ACV, “provides slightly more than the one tablespoon of the recommended dose of Apple Cider Vinegar.”
This might vary a little between brands, depending on the exact nature of the dehydrated ACV they use in their gummies, but the rule of thumb seems to be that 1,000 milligrams of ACV = about one tablespoon of liquid ACV.
So for example, the top 3 gummies in our list below all have 500mg of ACV per gummy, so you’d want to take 2 to 4 of those gummies daily if you want to approximate 1 or 2 tablespoons of ACV.
Like we mentioned, there are a ton of different ACV gummies out there.
How did we decide which ones to include here?
First of all, we tried them! We personally purchase and try all of the gummies that we recommend.
Second, we focused on brands that we trust to take care in formulating and manufacturing their gummies. Because supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA, it’s important to do your due diligence in researching and selecting brands that are trustworthy.
We’ve picked our five favorite top-quality Apple Cider Vinegar gummies, based on the ingredients, the amount of ACV, how much sugar they contain, if they’re organic, the taste, and if we trust the brands making them:
It’s hard not to tip our caps to the Apple Cider Vinegar gummy that launched a thousand ships.
Goli is the godfather of the ACV gummy world, and we have to pay our respects to the gummy that made ACV a household name, giving us all a better, less inflammatory lifestyle.
They basically brought ACV Life to the masses, unless your life already involved a lot of Bragg’s ACV from the local co-op back in the day.
And they still lead the pack.
Goli’s ACV gummy is top notch from start to bottom: with 500mg of ACV per gummy, certified Organic by Oregon Tilth, vegan, Non-GMO, and a luscious pillowy texture with the perfect balance of sweet and sour.
Goli, along with Mary Ruth, also has the least amount of sugar of the bunch, clocking in at a minimal 1 gram per gummy!
All of the gummies on this list have 2g of sugar or less per gummy, but if you’re being sugar-conscious, these are definitely the way to go-li.
(Sorry, we couldn’t help it.)
GARDEN OF LIFE / MYKIND ORGANICS
OUR ORGANIC QUEEN
Garden of Life is a serious supplement brand, stocking the shelves of health-food coops across the land since 2000, when the original founder decided to only eat a diet consisting of foods available during biblical times. Hence “Garden of Life.”
USDA Certified Organic, non-GMO, and vegan, these gummies come from a company with a rigorous scientific and health-conscious philosophy.
And by Organic Queen we’re not just talking about these ACV gummies, we’re also talking about the actual organic queen herself, Alicia Silverstone. MyKind Organics is the brainchild of Alicia Silverstone, and she partnered with Garden of Life to bring top-of-the-line ingredients to gummy vitamins, fit for the vegan queen herself.
They have an incredible trio of ACV gummies, including a probiotic + ACV and energy + ACV, but we’ve only tried the original, straight-up ACV gummies so far.
And we love these. These are probably our favorite-tasting ACV gummy.
Don’t get us wrong: all of the gummies on this list are delish. We love the way all of these tart and lush gummies taste.
But the mykind Organics gummies also taste like you’re chomping on a handful of actual fruit, seeds and all! (Seriously, you can see little berry seeds in your gummies!)
And that’s because their proprietary blend includes actual organic fruit: Strawberry, Blueberry, Tart Cherry, Elderberry (for our Immune Queens), and even Cranberry! (Let’s not forget our Urinary Tract Queens).
These contain 500mg of “Apple Cider Vinegar Fruit Blend” per gummy.
We are a little bummed that all of this fruit is in a proprietary blend which includes the ACV, so we’re not actually sure of the exact amounts of each fruit, or if the benefits extend into a meaningful dose of Cranberry.
One final note: while many of the gummies on this list contain organic ingredients, mykind Organics are the only Certified USDA Organic ACV gummies out of the 5.
THE NEW DROP
When we first conceived of our list, Embody hadn’t even launched their ACV gummy.
But they earned their spot as soon as we tried them!
Embody’s other offering is their groundbreaking Retinol Gummy, and they picked ACV as their second offering in their mission of “skincare from the inside out!”
Embody claims that ACV’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties can support skin health, giving you that signature Embody dewiness, and we highly recommend pairing Embody’s two gummies for maximum glow up.
The Embody ACV gummies are insanely delicious: intensely apple flavored, with a little tart tang from the 500mg of ACV per gummy.
We give bonus points for an actual apple shape, too. We mean, it’s just too cute for us gummy nerds.
MARY RUTH ORGANICS
MOST TRUE TO LIFE
These are kind of the outliers on our list, and you can see why as soon as you pop open the bottle. They’re the only gummy that’s white, not a shade of pink-red. And this gummy tastes like you’re taking an actual shot of ACV.
Now, while one might think the whole point of an ACV gummy is to mitigate the harshness of the ACV, Mary Ruth pretty much leans into it, crafting a gummy that tastes like the real deal.
And ultimately, we kinda like this move. We feel like we’re getting the puckered mouth, squinting-with-sourness, full-on ACV experience. Just know that that’s what you’re in for!
We also trust Mary Ruth’s rigorous standards. She’s another great purveyor of organic and non-GMO gummies, and this is a great way to go if you basically want to take a non-liquid shot of ACV to the face.
ECO AND BUDGET-CONSCIOUS
Let’s not forget everyone’s favorite gummies that come in a cute little pouch!
We can’t help it we’re a sucker for Vitafive’s adorable little lunch sack, and have been fans of both their Elderberry for Immunity Gummy and their Collagen Gummy (other than the mislabeling of it being veg!)
So we’re happy to report that these do not disappoint, delivering us organic apple cider vinegar with an actual ripe apple taste. These give us actual apple cider vibes, autumn splendor in a burgundy pouch.
We also want to note that these are the cheapest of the bunch, so these are our no frills, affordable option.
They don’t have any other ingredients like B-12, Folic Acid, or actual berries, but for a go-to ACV gummy these do the trick in a really delicious way.