Our editors have independently chosen the products listed on this page. If you purchase something mentioned in this article, we may earn a small commission.
When it comes to maintaining healthy blood sugar balance, there is no shortage of methods to help keep your levels in check. To highlight a select few: prioritizing sleep, walking after dinner, and embracing the cold before a big meal (yes, really!). Of course, not everyone finds success with the same plan of action–so whenever we catch word of a new method, you can bet we’ll cover it here, just in case it works for your lifestyle.
For today’s tip, here’s a recipe for a refreshing vinegar tonic from health and science journalist and New York Times bestselling author Max Lugavere. As he shares on the mindbodygreen podcast, he sips on this easy-to-make spritzer after meals to stabilize his glucose response—find all of the details and benefits here.
Why vinegar is great for blood sugar balance and digestion.
Functional Nutrition Training
A cutting-edge nutrition deep dive taught by the world’s foremost health & wellness experts.
Lugavere is a big fan of vinegar for its multitude of health benefits, including its metabolic effects: “Vinegar helps disrupt enzymes that break down starches and certain sugars into their constituent sugar molecules,” he says. “Acetic acid, which is the active ingredient in vinegar, helps disrupt those enzymes to the point that if you consume it with a high starch meal—like pasta or white rice—you’ll see a much lower postprandial glucose spike.”
In other words, consuming vinegar after a meal can slow down the absorption of that meal’s sugars into the bloodstream, thus preventing a big glucose spike and subsequent crash. One study even showed that daily vinegar intake (about 2 to 6 tablespoons per day) improved the glycemic response to carbohydrate-rich meals; another found that consuming apple cider vinegar (ACV) reduced post-meal blood sugar levels by about half in healthy participants. In addition to these blood-sugar-balancing benefits, vinegar—and especially ACV—is often lauded for easing constipation and reducing bloating.
A refreshing and simple tonic for blood sugar balance.
Below, you’ll find Lugavere’s recipe (also featured in his new book, Genius Kitchen), which includes ACV and ginger, another digestion aid. Full disclosure: “It’s not going to affect your fasting blood sugar—which is what gets measured when you go and get a checkup—but if [you’re someone who wears] a continuous glucose monitor, you’ll see that if you consume vinegar with a high starch meal, you’ll have a lower area under the curve for glucose.” Not bad for a simple spritzer recipe.
- 1 cup sparkling or flat water
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon ground or fresh ginger
- Optional: stevia to taste
- Place all ingredients into a large glass or pitcher. Stir to combine.
- Lugavere puts it simply: “Throw that on ice, and it’s a really refreshing vinegar-based tonic that can have a measurable impact on your post-meal blood sugar.”
Consider trying out this refreshing tonic after a meal to help balance your blood sugar. And if you’re curious about Lugavere’s other favorite foods, check out what he eats in a day.