I received this question from a reader:
I hope you can answer this question. I am reading Dee's book "The Science of Skinny" and just read about the vitality vinegar tonic. I have drank it and wonder if there was a reason why you have to drink 8 ounces of it. If I put 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in 4 ounces of water, and drink it, do I get the same benefit? The same of the lemon water with vinegar first thing in the morning. If I drank only 3 or 4 ounces of the lemon/vinegar drink in the morning with warm water, is it still as beneficial? Even putting Stevia or raw honey in with it, I have a hard time drinking the full 8 ounces. So I wondered.
Also, are all stevia's the same? I have looked at stevia in different stores and they have different ingredients listed on the back.My answer to this inquiry is:
The benefit of drinking 8 ounces of water in the morning is to flush your liver and hydrate your body. Four ounces of water is not very much, and I don't think it will hydrate very well with such a limited amount. There will still be some benefit, but you really need more liquid than just four ounces.
If it is only the vinegar/lemon water that is not tolerated, then yes you can cut that in half to four ounces, but you should then drink another four ounces of just plain water. The most important thing is the water. If for whatever reason you cannot tolerate the vitality vinegar drink or lemon water in the morning, then just drink 8 ounces or more of plain water, preferably more. The optimal amount of water would be twice that.
To answer your question about stevia--no, all stevia is NOT the same.
The only brand I recommend is Sweet Leaf, either the liquid extract or the powdered form.
The Sweet Leaf product retains more of the naturally sweet glycosides than the other products on the market. There are over 25 glycosides within the leaves of the stevia plant, along with many vitamins and minerals. The two sweetest glycosides are stevioside and rebaudioside A (also known as Reb A). Stevioside has the aftertaste, Reb A does not.
Sweet Leaf soaks the stevia leaves in cool water, and over a period of soaking time, all the nutrients are extracted. Then they use a series of filters of various molecular pores (sizes) which can extract various compounds and separate them. They end up with the four most desirable glycosides, leaving behind the bitter ones.
This is a proprietary process developed by Sweet Leaf, and they are the only company that uses a 100% cool water extraction. No bleaches or chemicals ever touch the product.
The ingredients in the Sweet Leaf liquid extract says: Purified water, organic stevia leaf extract, natural flavors.
Most other companies extract differently. They seek to extract only the rebaudioside A, which is the sweetest glycoside. The process usually involves drying the leaves, using water for the first extraction and then narrowing the product down to only the Reb A with alcohol. The alcohol is usually made from grain, corn to be exact. Unless the label says the alcohol is organic, I think we should all assume that the alcohol is made from GMO corn. Vegetables glycerin is typically made from soybeans, which are also GMO unless they are organic.
I personally prefer to use the liquid extracts, but the pure powder from Sweet Leaf is also acceptable. Some people have asked how green stevia leaves are made into clear extracts and white powders. The answer comes from Jim May himself, the founder of Wisdom Naturals and SweetLeaf Stevia:
Like all green plants, the stevia herb is green because it contains chlorophyll. When the stevia leaves are soaked in cool water, all the nutrients are extracted, including the chlorophyl. They then use a series of filters of various molecular pores (sizes) which allow the four most desirable stevia glycosides to pass through, but the chorophyll, which is a much larger molecule, cannot pass through the pores and remains behind on the filter paper. The final product is a clear liquid because the chlorophyll has been removed. No bleaches or chemicals ever touch the product. To make a powder form, the liquid is dehydrated and just the stevia glycosides remain. The powder is then blended with inulin, a natural plant fiber from chicory root. This is done to dilute the powerful sweetness of the glycosides so that they can be put into a packet-size serving with a less potent sweetening power.
We have a store on our website that carries all of my approved products. The Sweet Leaf stevia products can be found at this link: http://astore.amazon.com/centforprocfr-20?_encoding=UTF8&node=1