Loving the BITE’s Magic Health Tonic


The words “health tonic” were not something we discussed in nutrition school or residency much.  Unfortunately.  More and more, I’ve seen the benefits of tonics, supplements, and practices that are far from your standard Western Medicine protocols.  I’ve seen them work firsthand, and I’ve seen their efficacy documented in studies.

But, since we can’t really figure out why they work, we don’t recommend or discuss.  Any more, I’m okay with not knowing why.  To me, some of the most beneficial nutrition is found in components I can’t explain and we don’t understand: anti-cancer, phytochemicals, energizing, and detoxification nutrients.  And while I love research and academics as much as the next, I’m fine with recommending something I can’t explain – in my opinion, the proof is in the pudding.  Or tonic, rather.

Recipe of the week: Apple Cider Vinegar Health Tonic


  • 1 Tbsp RAW apple cider vinegar
  • 16 oz. water (cool or warm)


  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger (¼ tsp ground)
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper


  1. Mix all together.
  2. Drink.
  3. If you can’t, plug your nose, and drink up anyway.  This is a health tonic, not Jamba Juice!


Yes, the all-natural, all-curing, amazing Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV).  The stuff of folk-medicine legends.  A cure so powerful, so strong, nothing stops it from improving health.  On everything.  Just like fish oil, organic coconut oil, Vicks Vapor Rub, and Windex.

Mostly, I’m making fun of myself.  There do seem to be a few ingredients I come back to, time after time, and recommend them for a variety of ails.  I can’t help it, if they’re that good.  And, now, I present ACV.  What’s the fuss all about?

In folk-medicine, ACV is proclaimed to energize, detoxify, decrease harmful bacteria, fungus, and viruses in our bodies, reduce infections, alleviate seasonal allergies, improve eczema, prevent heart disease, diabetes, and obesity, and be an all-around nutrition winner.  Now, when I hear of a supposed cure-all, I’m suspicious, as I should be.  And as you should be.  I’ll let you know what I know, and you can decide for yourself.

In my own practice, I’ve seen it aide weight loss, aide healthy blood sugars and cholesterol, and most notably, help fend off colds, seasonal allergies, and sinus infections.  For example, I work with one ultra-runner who had been plagued with sinus infections most of his life, and has had unsuccessful sinus surgery to alleviate the problem.  Still, he suffered many debilitating sinus infections per year.   Since taking the tonic at the on-set of any symptoms, he’s not had one sinus infection in two years.  Other athletes have experienced the same results, but less dramatic stories.  As for myself, I’ve suffered three severe sinus infections in my life, all in the past five years.  The kind where you can’t eat because your teeth hurt too much, can’t look down because the pressure in your head is too great, and can’t clear out your sinuses no matter how much you’ve steamed your face and used a neti pot (these two are still often helpful, but now I use them in conjunction with ACV).  Hasn’t happened again since the health tonic.  Several times I’ve felt one coming on and went into action early.  Not sure exactly how, but it does make my nose run, which immediately relieves the pressure and reduces the incidence of infection.  Good enough for me.

In research, it has in fact been shown to reduce waist circumference, blood sugars, triglycerides, blood pressure, and “bad” cholesterol.  In studies involving mice, it’s been shown to be anti-cancenogenic as well.  And why not?  Almost twenty-five hundred years ago, Hippocrateds used it to reduce infections and manage wounds and the Chinese used it to avoid infections during autopsies as early at the 10th century.  For a full research review on it, you can access this document for free at  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1785201/.

Of note, there are some risks.  In the rare cases of esophageal tissue damage, the vinegar was consumed, often in large amounts, straight.  I recommend drinking a smaller amount in water (we athletes could use the hydration anyway, right?).   Also, if possible, use a straw.  Highly acidic fluids can damage tooth enamel.  And, I do recommend using raw ACV.  Like other raw fermented foods, it will provide the added bonus of healthy bacteria.  With this in mind, it’s fine to drink every day, even twice per day if you’d like.

Since posting ACV as one of my tips for reducing colds in another post, I’ve heard from readers around the world who have stated it’s used regularly where they live.  Traditional folk medicine absolutely has its place.  And, if it sounds a bit too hard on the stomach, consider the AVC, ginger, and cayenne pepper are actually soothing to the stomach and promote digestive health.

Bonus Recipe:

Of course, ACV is great on salads.  Don’t forgot our delicious Everyday Salad Dressing recipe.

If you’ve never officially drank a “health tonic,” today’s a great day to start.  Possibly more energy and less risk of disease. Which can only mean one thing, more loving the bike.  Cheers.

Fuel your Ride.  Nourish your Body.

Enjoy Your Ride

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9 Responses to “ Loving the BITE’s Magic Health Tonic ”

  1. lisa on August 5, 2021 at 11:59 pm

    I think our mental health requires you to prioritize your self-care. This can include a wide variety of different habits. Such as spend your time with your loved one, use fresh fruits, increase the use of water and sleep a full night then our mental health remains healthy.ultrasonic massage machine

  2. Eat2Wellness on July 19, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    Been drinking my ACV with freshly squeezed lemon or orange juice, honey and coconut oil with a pinch of baking soda to reduce the acidity. Been meaning to try this one and will do so in the morning!!

  3. Bill on March 2, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    Thought this was a month early April 1st joke, until I read how much you and your clients loved it. Went and bought two bottles last night and tried some today. Not bad, and I’m drinking more water this way. On the optional additives- do I pick one or add all three? I tried just the ginger and liked it.
    Thanks forthe great ideas!

    • Kelli Jennings on March 4, 2013 at 2:25 pm

      Ha! Now I’ll have to come up with some really crazy tonic for April 1st:)! I go for variety with it…I usually drink it at least once per day unless I feel like a cold’s coming on, then twice. So, sometimes with all 3, sometimes just ginger. I usually use warm tap water if adding cinammon, then it mixes in better. Glad it wasn’t as bad as you might have thought! Let us know if it helps keep you healthy!

  4. Carrie on March 1, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    I am continually amazed at the preventative and curative affects of the food we eat (and the food we choose not to eat!). I’m a wannabe elitist foodie and decided long ago that the only vinegar allowed to call my kitchen home was balsamic. What a loser. I’m going to the store today and buying some apple cider vinegar. Thanks for sharing this!

    • Kelli Jennings on March 1, 2013 at 8:39 pm

      Hi Carrie – thanks for your comment. Not a loser at all, there is so much to learn. For me too. The bottom line continues to be less processed, more real/whole, and many traditional foods. So simple, but yet difficult, too. Let us know what you think of the tonic! All the best!

  5. George on February 28, 2013 at 9:34 am

    I don’t really like the taste of vinegar, but maybe if I add in some of the other ingredients it will help. But I do like what it has to offer for health benefits.

    • Kelli Jennings on February 28, 2013 at 10:40 am

      Got to tell you, George, I don’t really like the taste of vinegar either:). The other ingredients do help. And, if all else fails, go for the plug-your-nose-and-swallow method!

    • Eat2Wellness on July 19, 2013 at 9:17 pm

      I’ve read elsewhere that adding honey to sweeten is ok and we all know how good for us honey is.


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Sugar Alternatives for Energy and Hydration

Question: I am using the homebrew sugar formulations (sometimes added to green tea).  I am also trying to wean myself off 1/2 dose adrenalean “lip tonic delivery system” (biorhythm brand- caffeine, hoodia g, synephrine, yohimbe) capsule for energy.

My question is other than juice, can you suggest modifications in lieu of table sugar for energy and hydration.


Both raw/organic honey or agave can work great in the homebrew (substitute in the same quantities for the sugar, or to taste), but you do have to shake well in order to make sure they don’t settle out.  Have you tried either of these?  Also, make sure to use at least the minimum amount of salt recommended in the homebrew as the temps rise, you need the sodium replacement if you’re sweating.

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Please send us your questions for our Expert Sports Nutritionist, Kelli Jennings to “Ask the Sports Nutritionist“. Kelli Jennings is a Registered Dietitian with a passion for healthy eating, wellness, & sports nutrition. For more information go to www.apexnutritionllc.com.

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