What happens if you drink vinegar?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, “What happens if you drink vinegar?”. We will further elaborate on the different types of vinegar and their effects. 

What happens if you drink vinegar?

If you drink vinegar, it can cause many health problems. Drinking vinegar alone can have many side effects; it can erode tooth enamel and induce digestive problems, like nausea. It also delays digestion and causes acid reflux. 

However, if you want to enjoy its benefits, you will have to dilute it with water and take 1-2 tbsp of diluted vinegar every day. 

What is vinegar?

There are many different kinds of vinegar. Each is made from a liquid extracted from fruits, whole grains or potatoes. Some common kinds of vinegar are apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, rice vinegar and balsamic vinegar.

All kinds of vinegar are produced via fermentation in two steps. For instance, during the production of apple cider vinegar, the first step involves the feeding of yeast on the sugar present in apples and turning them into alcohol. While the second step involves the Acetobacter turning the alcohol into acetic acid.

Acetic acid is the reason behind the health benefits of vinegar which gives the vinegar its acidic flavor. Vinegar contains 4-8 percent acetic acid. The remainder is mostly water, with minute quantities of vitamins, amino acids and polyphenols. 1 tbsp of vinegar provides around 2-15 calories. It does not have any fats and cholesterol. 

What are the dangers of drinking vinegar alone?

It is highly not recommended to drink vinegar alone as it is a powerful acid that can prove to be harmful if aspirated. It may cause burns to the tender tissue of the mouth and esophagus, and can erode tooth enamel. Let us now look at the dangers of drinking vinegar in detail:

Erodes tooth enamel 

Enamel is the protecting surface of our teeth. It can get damaged by acidic foods having a pH of less than 5.5. 

The pH of vinegar is between 2.4 and 3.3, making it extremely acidic. The high acidic nature of vinegar can erode tooth enamel, making the teeth more prone to tooth decay, discomfort and sensitiveness.

It has been found that each type of vinegar can erode tooth enamel to some extent. 

However, this can be prevented if you only drink vinegar after diluting it and only at mealtimes. In the case of apple cider vinegar especially, no more than 1-2 tbsp should be consumed in a single day.

Furthermore, try to abstain from wagging the diluted vinegar around in the mouth prior to swallowing. If you waggle it side by side, your teeth will be more exposed to the acid in vinegar, and there will be more chances of tooth erosion.

Cause mineral deficiency 

Some research has proven that consuming large doses of apple cider vinegar every day can cause mineral deficiency, which may lead to unfavorable long-term effects on the bones. But, this is only a concern if you are consuming vinegar alone rather than drinking small, diluted doses.

Cause stomach pain

Consuming vinegar in large doses, any more than a few tbsp in a single day can result in stomach pain and acid reflux. 

In serious cases, excessive vinegar consumption can lead to gastroparesis, a condition in which the stomach is emptied very slowly, which may cause bloating, pain, nausea, heartburn, and loss of appetite. 

In addition, it can cause malnutrition and blood sugar problems.

What are the health benefits of drinking diluted vinegar?

Diluted vinegar is a mixture of water with vinegar. Diluted vinegar has a less pungent taste and has some beneficial effects on the body which are mentioned below.

Supports weight loss

It has been found that vinegar can make your stomach feel full. This way it helps to limit calorie consumption, thus aiding in weight loss. However, it alone can not do the task, you must follow a proper diet and exercise routine along with drinking vinegar. 

Controls blood sugar and cholesterol

The consumption of vinegar has also been found to control blood sugar levels and cholesterol even after consuming a high carbohydrate diet. However, it would not treat diabetes. 

Help with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome)

PCOS is a hormonal disorder in females characterized by irregular menses.                       Drinking vinegar has been found to restore the normal menstrual process.

Has antimicrobial characteristics

Vinegar has been shown to have some antimicrobial characteristics. For this purpose, it has long been used to treat skin infections, burns, and fungal infections.

How many times a day can you drink diluted vinegar?

You should not drink diluted vinegar more than two times a day in order to prevent side effects like nausea and tooth erosion. Apple cider vinegar is safe to drink, but the key is to drink it in moderate amounts. 

Other FAQs about Vinegar that you may be interested in.

Why do I have to add vinegar in water for poaching eggs?

What is the percentage of acetic acid in vinegar?

What is the formula for vinegar?

What is the difference between white wine vinegar and white vinegar?


In this brief guide, we have provided an answer to the question, “What happens if you drink vinegar?”. We have further elaborated on the different types of vinegar and their effects.