Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV for short) has been used as a health tonic for ages, but alternative forms of the vinegar like pills and gummies are exploding in popularity.
While the practice of drinking vinegar in tonics has been around for thousands of years, tart vinegar is difficult for many people to swallow, hence the tastier modern alternatives.
So, what are the differences between the various forms of ACV supplements, and which is the best one to take?
Theoretically, pill-based ACV supplements should offer all the same benefits of the vinegar in its liquid form, but that isn’t always the case. In this article we’re going to take a detailed look at the pros and cons of each supplement form to determine who wins in the battle of apple cider vinegar pills vs liquid.
In their simplest form, Apple Cider Vinegar pills are made from dehydrated vinegar and a bulking agent, though many brands include other active ingredients. Designed to offer an easy way to take apple cider vinegar without the strong taste and smell, these pills are a popular alternative to traditional vinegars.
Depending on the manufacturer, these pills may include added ingredients like ginger or cayenne pepper (both of which are meant to support stomach health) or just ACV. Similarly, some supplements may use pure acetic acid (the main active ingredient in ACV) rather than unrefined apple cider vinegar.
However, there is currently no standardised dosage of Apple Cider Vinegar (whether in liquid or pill form), so it can be difficult to stay consistent when debating apple cider vinegar pills vs liquid. Many Apple Cider Vinegar producers advise you to take 1-2 tablespoons (15-30ml) of vinegar a day, which roughly equates to 1000mg of dried ACV extract.
Because the FDA does not (currently) regulate supplements like ACV pills, the concentration of vinegar and other ingredients can vary wildly between different manufacturers. Unless otherwise advertised, ACV (sometimes described as “acetic acid”) should be the primary ingredient in any ACV pills, so make sure to check the label before adding these supplements to your daily routine.
As a rule, search for brands that have been tested by third parties and include logos from product testing organisations like Informed-Choice, ConsumerLab or NSF International. It’s vital to compare like for like dosages when debating apple cider vinegar pills vs liquid, but the lack of regulation for ACV pills makes that difficult.
Because ACV Pills don’t need to be diluted or mixed before use, they’re much easier to fit into your daily routine, whether you take some at work or dose up in the mornings. Much like Apple Cider Vinegar, many manufactures of ACV pills recommend taking them with, or shortly before food to minimise stomach upset caused by their acid content.
Thanks to their compact size and easy consumption, pills definitely win on convenience in the battle of apple cider vinegar pills vs liquid. Furthermore, the pills are (almost) tasteless, so if you dislike the sour taste or smell of vinegar, than ACV pills are an easy way to avoid that whilst getting the health benefits of apple cider vinegar.
Currently, there isn’t much scientific research on the health benefits of ACV pills specifically, though they should share many of the benefits of liquid vinegar. Because the main active ingredient in Apple Cider Vinegar – acetic acid – is easy to extract, many ACV pills have comparable (or even higher) acetic acid content than raw vinegar, gram for gram.
This means that in the fight of apple cider vinegar pills vs liquid, the pills are potentially more potent, though they may lack the natural pro-biotic properties of raw vinegar. In studies focussing on apple cider vinegar, scientists discovered a wide range of health benefits, including:
In various animal studies, Apple Cider Vinegar was found to improve blood pressure and cholesterol, meaning that ACV pills could help you improve your heart health.
Vinegar’s historic use in cleaning and preserving foods shows that its anti-bacterial properties have been known for ages, as is backed up in studies showing that ACV can inhibit E. Coli and other bacteria.
When taken after a meal, ACV can manage insulin and glucose levels like the blood sugar lowering drug, metformin, helping to tackle issues with your insulin levels.
It stands to reason that ACV pills made with dehydrated vinegar should have all the benefits of apple cider vinegar, so this round of apple cider vinegar pills vs liquid is a tie. Because the pill and liquid forms of Apple Cider Vinegar are made of (basically) the same chemicals and compounds, it boils down to which type of supplement is right for you.
While raw apple cider vinegar is the most natural way to take ACV, many people find the pill versions easier to swallow (pun intended) and more portable. However, many ACV pills lack the healthy bacteria of unpasteurised vinegar or have added ingredients (i.e. ginger, preservatives and fillers) which may not be reported accurately on the labels due to a lack of FDA regulation.
So without further ado, let’s break down this discussion into the pros and cons of apple cider vinegar pills vs liquid:
Theoretically containing all the goodness of your daily apple cider vinegar dose in a compact, easy to take package, ACV pills sound like a sweet deal for those who don’t fancy drinking vinegar. Containing comparable levels of the active ingredient in vinegar – acetic acid – as well as additional ingredients in some cases, pills have unique benefits like:
Forget about mixing vinegar into ‘switchel’ cocktails or measuring out the right dose; just grab a pill and a glass of water and you’ve got your daily dose of ACV in seconds. Thanks to their compact form, you could even measure out pills for trips or stick one into your packed lunch and forget about it!
The main active ingredient in ACV is acetic acid, which may damage your tooth enamel, mouth, and throat tissue over time, but pills can bypass this issue entirely: Because the acid content of ACV pills is released in your stomach (which is well qualified to handle acid) pills win the battle of apple cider vinegar pills vs liquid, at least as far as your teeth are concerned.
Apple cider vinegar is a very tangy drink, to put it mildly, and not everyone is ok with chugging diluted vinegar or experimenting with hipster switchels, so why not avoid the taste entirely? ACV pills are (virtually) tasteless and go down easy with a glass of water, so don’t let the taste sour you on the many health benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar.
Apple Cider Vinegar has been used as a health tonic for thousands of years, made from fermented apples and water all across the world. In the battle of apple cider vinegar pills vs liquid, this tangy tonic has clear seniority and a host of benefits from its natural production, including:
Apple Cider Vinegar is quite simple to manufacture, meaning that you can find competitively priced organic vinegar all over the place, especially if you shop around. Considering that the recommended daily intake of Apple Cider Vinegar is around 1-2 tbsp (15-30ml), a quart jug of the stuff will last you around 2 months, making it easy and affordable to stock up.
Whether you mix it into drinks, sauces or salad dressing, apple cider vinegar is an incredibly versatile ingredient that can lend a tang to tons of your favourite recipes. When comparing apple cider vinegar pills vs liquid, it’s clear that the vinegar wins on taste, though it’s not to everyone’s taste – we urge you to try mixing it up before dismissing vinegar altogether.
Unlike pills which contain some kind of setting agent at the bare minimum, Apple Cider Vinegar you buy in liquid form is just that, unless stated otherwise. Most brands of apple cider vinegar will only have two ingredients (i.e. Apple Cider Vinegar and water) so there’s no doubt about what you’re getting.
While ACV pills are a super convenient way to get your daily hit of vinegar, they’re not perfect, so the battle of apple cider vinegar pills vs liquid isn’t over just yet. As much as we wish it weren’t so, ACV pills have some drawbacks that straight-up vinegar doesn’t, including:
Because ACV supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA, there is no ‘standard’ dosage or restrictions on added ingredients like fillers, preservatives, and GMO crops. As such, the effects and ingredients of ACV pills vary greatly between brands, so always read the label carefully and look for stamps from third party product testers like NSF International so you know what you’re getting.
Because ACV pills require extra processing, they can often cost more per recommended dose than liquid apple cider vinegar, even when looking at the organic stuff. Of course, this may vary depending on sales and where you shop, but compare the cost of apple cider vinegar pills vs liquid and maybe consider switching the next time you stock up.
The processing that ACV pills need to go through can remove some of the natural benefits of apple cider vinegar, especially the pro-biotic benefits from the ‘mother’ culture. Furthermore, some pills contain artificial preservatives and fillers such as GMO soy extract, which mean that anyone trying to have an organic diet will have to be extra careful.
While its liquid form is the oldest and most natural way to take apple cider vinegar, it’s not perfect for everyone and there are some disadvantages when comparing apple cider vinegar pills vs liquid. Make sure that you safely dilute the vinegar before drinking and keep the following apple cider vinegar disadvantages in mind when using this historic tonic:
Unadulterated apple cider vinegar is incredibly unpleasant for most people as well as being dangerous in the long term, thanks to its acid content. Even if you like the taste of pure ACV, most manufacturers and health experts recommend diluting it in drinks (like switchels) or food recipes, so you may have to work hard to find a tasty way to take ACV…
You’ve probably heard that sugary drinks can damage your teeth, but so can highly acidic drinks like apple cider vinegar, especially if you’re drinking it undiluted. While you’d have to have a serious vinegar drinking habit before you saw the dental damage, this may tilt the balance of the apple cider vinegar pills vs liquid argument if you have sensitive teeth.
Apple cider vinegar is sold in a variety of sizes, ranging from ready-mixed ‘ACV shots’ to gallon jugs, but none of them are easier to carry around than ACV pills. Sure, that gallon jug may be cheaper per dose but who wants to carry a big glass bottle of vinegar at work or worry about mixing a vinegar drink in the hotel room when ACV pills exist?
Whether you fancy yourself as an organic vinegar fuelled foodie or think that compact vitamin pills are the future, we hope that this article has given you food for thought. However, there can only be one winner when it comes to the battle of apple cider vinegar pills vs liquid, and we like to think that this form of the age-old vinegar reigns supreme…
They’re compact, they’re easy to take and they won’t erode your tooth enamel with acetic acid – what’s not to like about ACV pills? There are tons of quality brands on the market and an increasing variety of supplements to choose from, ranging from simple dehydrated ACV pills to comprehensive supplements that have added ingredients designed to provide a wide range of benefits.