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Is Apple Cider Healthier Than Apple Juice?

Science explains the key differences between these drinks of autumn—and what that means for your body.

Apple juice and apple cider might take you back to childhood or excite you about the fall days ahead at the pumpkin patch with your own kiddos in tow. Maybe both these drinks bring warm and fuzzy feelings, but they also have the potential to deliver great health benefits to you and your family. However, science suggests one is actually more powerful than the other in a very sweet way.

Keep reading to learn more about the difference between apple cider and apple juice—and speaking of health tips related to your favorite sips, read up on The #1 Drink for Faster Weight Loss, Says Dietitian.

Apple cider and apple juice share one obvious characteristic.


As WebMD points out, both these beloved bevs are liquid that results from apples that have been pressed.

Starting with the apple picking itself, some sources suggest that apple cider can be made with either tart or sweet apples. Meanwhile, for apple juice, a sweeter apple is likely to produce friendlier flavor.

 The Best Apples to Use for Every Fall Dessert

A main difference is in processing the two:

In the process of making apple juice, the liquid is pasteurized (that is, heated to kill off potential bacteria—after all, food safety is wise). Then, it's typically filtered to strain off any solids left from the apples.

In contrast, apple cider maintains some apple pulp and is sometimes pasteurized, but other times not.

Here's the health effect:


The content of actual fruit that's left in apple cider means the beverage packs nutrients from apples that the straight juice version might not.

WebMD suggests that specifically, apple cider contains polyphenols, which act as antioxidants. What does this mean for you? Our source explains the polyphenols in apple cider may "help the body to fight against free radicals and cell damage, lowering your risk of certain types of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Polyphenols also help to ease inflammation in the body."

Cheers to that!

Still, apple juice may have its advantages.

fresh apple juice

As long as you watch out for the phrase Added Sugars on the label, you might enjoy some benefits from apple juice.

Interestingly, a recent study applauded one type of apple in particular for the way its juice might support heart health. Find out what it was in One Major Effect of Drinking Apple Juice, New Study Says.

Finally, what about apple cider vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar remains a trend we're totally here for, but it's different than its juicier counterparts. Learn how in One Major Side Effect of Taking Apple Cider Vinegar, Says Science.

We've got more fall wellness news right here:

Krissy Gasbarre
Krissy is a senior news editor at Eat This, Not That!, managing morning and weekend news related to nutrition, wellness, restaurants and groceries (with a focus on beverages), and more. Read more about Krissy