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The Placebo Cocktail

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Apple cider vinegar is a darling of the “alternative health” world claiming miracle cures for everything from weight loss and acne to dandruff, yeast infections, sunburns and high cholesterol. While a simple Google search returns a wealth of lay literature on the topic, clinical evidence is pretty hard to come by.

So why do I drink it every day?

I first heard about apple cider vinegar for health in an interview with Jillian Michaels way back in the day. The celebrity trainer recommends it as an appetite suppressant for weight loss. More recently, I see the ladies of Tone It Up pushing ACV in their daily Beach Babe morning cocktail calling it “a MUST on the Tone It Up nutrition plan!” Again, the list of benefits is always long but the proof is often little more than anecdotal.

I did find one study that suggests apple cider vinegar has short-term influence on satiety with subjects reporting significantly higher levels of satiety 15 minutes after a meal eaten with apple cider vinegar than those who did not consume ACV. Worth it? I don’t know. But here’s the anecdotal evidence supporting why I drink it anyway:

  • It makes me drink more water. ACV is too acidic to consume on its own so I dilute it with 8-12 ounces of water (and some pineapple juice to cut the taste). If I’ve convinced myself there’s some benefit to consuming my morning apple cider vinegar (which comes with about 12 oz of water), I’m more likely to drink that big ol’ mason jar of H2O than I would otherwise. Nothing wrong with that.
  • I’m convinced my skin looks better. Several things could be happening here. Maybe I’m just better hydrated from consuming more water. Maybe the new skincare line I’m using is doing its job. Or maybe ACV is a miracle. Don’t know, don’t care. Drinking it.
  • I like the taste. No for real though. I really crave this little morning cocktail now.
  • I feel like I’m less ravenous at 10am. Anybody else want to eat lunch basically as soon as you get to work in the morning? Me too. But since getting on a solid morning ACV routine this is not so much the case for me. Maybe I’m eating better breakfasts though. WHO KNOWS.
  • I think I’m losing weight. That’s not true. I know I’m losing weight. I’ve lost 5 pounds in the last month but I also started a new bootcamp in that time so that’s probably it. In general though I feel less bloated which is probably just me falling for the Jillian Michaels claim that a shot of ACV helps her “shred” for fitness photo shoots.
  • I’m a sucker. I don’t know. If it’s not hurting me and there’s a chance it’s helping me and it’s cheap and easy and readily available, I’m drinking it.

My Placebo Cocktail is: 1-2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup pineapple juice, 8-12oz water and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper.

Anybody else fall for this?


  1. Alex Alex

    Will you be posting on your new skincare regime?

    • Katie Katie

      Yep! Wanted to give it some time and see what I think. I’ve been using it about a week now…

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