Why Do I Crave Vinegar?

Bottles of vinegar among apples.

The sour, tangy flavor of vinegar is distinctive and enjoyable by many, but what does it mean if you crave vinegar? There may be a health reason you are craving the taste of something sour. If you are wondering what deficiency causes sour cravings, here are some possible reasons.

What Is Vinegar?

Vinegar is a fermented beverage that contains acetic acid. It can be made from multiple different bases, most commonly wine (red or white), cider, malt, rice or barley. The acidic flavor and PH level of vinegar vary depending on the type, but all will have an acidic, tangy taste.

Vinegar is used in many different condiments – you will find it as an ingredient in ketchup, mustard, hot sauces and many other popular condiments. Vinegar is also used for pickling everything from cucumbers to fish, preserving and adding that lovely tang to many foods.

Vinegar components and nutrients vary depending on the type. Most vinegar contains a bacteria culture (Mother of vinegar or MOV) that creates the acidic taste, but distilled vinegar kills the bacteria while “raw” vinegar still contains the MOV. Other nutrients that may be found in vinegar include:

  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • Phosphorus

There are many touted health benefits of vinegar, but these do not necessarily explain cravings. If you are still wondering, “Why do I crave vinegar?” it may be due various factors from the nutrients to the taste.

Low Acid Levels
Your body needs acids to create the desired PH balance. If you crave vinegar, it may be due to low acid levels in your digestive system. When you crave pickles or anything sour, it could be your body telling you that it needs more acid. Giving in and enjoying a pickled item may satisfy this craving.
Low Sodium
Vinegar does not necessarily have sodium but many condiments and foods containing vinegar are high in sodium. Your body may equate the vinegar taste with excess sodium, which is why you may crave that tangy flavor of vinegar.
Nutrient Deficiency
What deficiency causes sour cravings? The most common are minerals that are commonly found in vinegar, including potassium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus. When you are low on some of these minerals, you may be prone to muscle cramps and other symptoms like sour cravings.
Taste Preference
Not all cravings are due to a deficiency or health concern. If you crave vinegar, it may simply be due to enjoying the flavor. If you love pickled items, craving them is a normal occurrence. The reason you have a hankering for buffalo wings is often just because they taste good to you, not due to needing vinegar.

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Should I Drink Vinegar?

If you are craving vinegar or items that contain vinegar, should you give into that craving? There are many people that take vinegar supplements to aid in wellness due to the nutrients it contains. If you have a craving for vinegar, there are a few considerations before you consume vinegar.

  • Don’t drink vinegar straight. The acidic nature of vinegar can be detrimental to your tooth enamel and could harm your throat tissues. If you are going to drink vinegar, it should be diluted in water or other items.
  • Watch your sodium. If you are on a low sodium diet, be careful of vinegary condiments and foods that are loaded with salt. You may benefit from talking capsules or gummies that contain apple cider vinegar versus salty items.
  • Medical concerns. Vinegar can interact with some medications and can contribute to some health issues. While it can contain potassium, it can also lower potassium in the body. You should consult your doctor before consuming vinegar regularly.
  • Limit intake. There is not a specific dosage for vinegar, but most doctors agree that no more than two tablespoons should be taken daily to avoid overconsumption.

Occasional consumption of vinegar-flavored items is normal. If you are craving vinegar on a regular basis, you may want to find out why this is occurring and if there is a nutritional reason behind your desire for vinegar. This can require a trip to your doctor’s office for a wellness exam.

What Deficiency Causes Sour Cravings?

If you are wondering what deficiency causes sour cravings and if you are lacking certain nutrients, you may want to seek nutrient testing. Your doctor can perform lab testing to see if you crave vinegar due to a nutrient deficiency. This is a more efficient way to determine if you need certain nutrients.
Sour pickled vegetables in jars.
If you are craving vinegar or sour foods, it may simply be a desire for the taste. However, if you are concerned that it could be related to a deficiency or other health concerns, schedule a visit to your primary care physician. You can discuss lab testing and if vinegar supplementation is safe for your health.