A blog by runners. For runners.

Natural healing: apple cider vinegar

apple-cider-vinegarAs athletes, we all run into sports injuries and ailments while training, from swollen ankles to chaffing, athletes foot to sunburns. In this new series we will explore some of the natural ways we can help heal what ails us. As always, make sure you check with your doctor before starting any type of regimen. 

Today we’ll talk about the ever-powerful apple cider vinegar (APV). APV has been claimed as a wonder for helping treat acid reflux, UTIs, high cholesterol, and aiding in weight loss. It’s hard to limit its benefits but here are my top five favorite ways for athletes to use apple cider vinegar.

  • Swelling and bruising: You can use ACV in much the same way as the cabbage compress we discussed a few weeks ago.  Soak a washcloth in a mixture of half vinegar and half water. Place the washcloth over the affected area then cover in plastic wrap or an ace bandage for 10 minutes, elevate if possible. Repeat 2-3 times per day until swelling or bruising begins to subside.
  • Sunburn: With spring in full force, and shorts and tank tops just waiting to come out of hiding, many of us will soon be faced with our first sunburn of the season. If you find yourself looking a little lobster like, try this quick tip. Wet a washcloth then splash on some ACV. Place the washcloth directly on your sunburn for 2-3 minutes; the ACV will help relieve the stinging and burning. You can then follow up the ACV with a good lathering of coconut oil. Check out this post for a tutorial on an all-natural lotion with coconut oil. Or better yet – don’t get burnt in the first place with sun safety tips.
  • Allergies: ACV can help relieve one of my least favorite parts of spring, allergies. Mix 1-2 teaspoons of vinegar with a cup of water and drink the mixture once a day. The potassium and acetic acid in the AVC will help thin mucus and clear nasal passages.
  • Cramping: If you suffer from muscle cramps, drink a mixture of 2 teaspoons of ACV, one cup of water and a teaspoon of honey. ACV is high in potassium and has been known to alleviate leg cramps.
  • Acne: With summer running comes excess sweating and breakouts. Mix one part ACV with 2 parts water, if you have sensitive skin you can mix 1 part AVC with 4-5 parts water. Place in a small plastic container and store in a cool place away from sunlight. Using a cotton ball, apply directly to your skin. You can rinse immediately or leave on the skin for 20 minutes then wash with warm water.

These are just a few of the uses for apple cider vinegar. If you’ve ever tried it for anything besides salad dressing let us know your tips in the comments below.

Written by Lisa Chase.