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10 things you should NEVER do on an empty stomach

Everything that we do affects our bodies in some way or the other. However, our health is most vulnerable when we have an empty stomach. Our body requires food that it can convert into energy and nutrients within seconds and that’s why it becomes hungry.

However, while we might be craving food, there are certain things that we should not do when we have an empty stomach.

1. Coffee

Coffee tends to create stomach acid and can result in heartburn or other digestive issues if consumed on an empty stomach. It is because coffee tends to produce acid in your stomach.

So if you are in the habit of skipping breakfast and having coffee instead, it can result in a decrease in the production of serotonin and keep your mood down all day long. If you are addicted to coffee and can’t control it, then have it with milk. The milk fat can reduce the bad effects of coffee. Also, opt for natural coffee rather than the freeze-dried variety.

2. Sleep

Going to sleep at night on an empty stomach is the worst thing you can do for your health. Hunger and low blood glucose levels will prevent you from having a good sleep and cause insomnia. It may also cause poor sleep and early awakening.

Lack of sleep again will lead to an increase in the hunger hormones which is why some people tend to eat extra the next day if they skip dinner. Gorging before sleeping is also a bad idea. You could opt for a dairy product like milk before going to bed as this contains magnesium and calcium both of which helps us to sleep.

Read more: What To Eat Before Bed If You Want A Good Night’s Sleep

3. Shopping


Two studies conducted by Cornell’s University research team suggest that people who go shopping on an empty stomach not only land up shopping much more than needed but also tend to purchase more high-calorie food and more junk food.

Whenever you are hungry, there is a general tendency that you would want to buy more food. However, there is also an increase in the purchase of non-food-based products.

When a person is famished, they might go for non-food products as well to feel full. However, if you can shift your buying tactics and go for more cash transactions you can save money as studies show that people will spend lesser when they are dealing with cash.

4. Eat Spicy Food

Image by Shanta Islam from Pixabay

According to gastroenterologist Lisa Ganjhu, MD, at NYU Langone Medical Center in an interview with Huffington Post, eating spicy food when hungry can be really problematic for the stomach lining and can lead to upset.

Your body needs something in the belly to mix with the spices to avoid irritation.

5. Tomatoes

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Tomatoes are no doubt full of vitamins and antioxidants. However, when eaten on an empty stomach, these ingredients combine with the acidic nature of our stomach and can result in stomach blocks.

They put unnecessary pressure on the stomach and can cause stomach aches. This can be dangerous for people who are already suffering from ulcers.

6. Alcohol

Alcohol has no health benefits. It’s extremely high in calories, can cause dehydration, liver damage, weight gain, depression, and skin problems. Not to mention the bad decisions you make when under the influence.

When you are hungry, the body tends to absorb whatever you consume at a faster rate. As a result, when you drink alcohol, the absorption will start to increase and happen twice as fast. Even the alcohol removal process of the body will slow down and it will cause a terrible hangover as well as increase the effects of alcohol on your heart, kidneys, and liver. If you are unable to reject a drink proposal, then go for carbonated ones which can be absorbed slowly by the body. Or else, you can have a buttered sandwich along with it.

7. Taking anti-inflammatory medicines

Certain popular anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) such as paracetamol, aspirin, etc., should not be taken when you have an empty stomach.

Firstly, it will reduce the effectiveness of these drugs and it can also cause some serious health-related problems like gastric bleeding. There are also other prescription drugs that should not be taken when you have an empty stomach. However, if you have milk, you can have NSAIDs with it so that the ill effects can be countered to a certain extent. If you don’t have milk, try to wash it down with lots of water.

8. Chewing gum

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Chewing gum produces digestive acid which can result in harm to the delicate lining of your stomach. If you have too much of gum, then it can lead to gastritis.

Plus, it has been studied that chewing gum can make you more inclined towards junk food rather than fruits and vegetables. However, if you are chewing gum, try to go for the ones which have natural sweeteners like sorbitol or xylitol and not those with cyclamate, aspartame, or sugar. And don’t continue to chew the gum for more than ten minutes, even if you have a full stomach.

9. Workout

Generally, it is thought that exercising or training when you have an empty stomach can result in a lot of calorie burn. However, studies show that fat loss doesn’t occur in that manner. Rather, there is a lot of muscle loss and due to lack of energy your intensity will fall as well. Rather than going for an intensive exercise routine, one could go for aerobic exercises.

You can also take a snack before going for training if you are already suffering from certain digestive issues. Exercises can result in more gastric juices being produced which can result in issues with the digestive system, so be careful.

10. Don’t argue when hangry!

The next time you’re bickering you may want to first eat something before discussing anything further. Studies find that when people are feeling angry, they are usually dealing with low blood sugar and having a snack can sometimes combat the anger.

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