Health

30 Things People Better Avoid Doing On An Empty Stomach

A lot of the time you get told what you should and shouldn’t do on an empty stomach. But is your stomach ever actually empty and… Simi - May 23, 2018

A lot of the time you get told what you should and shouldn’t do on an empty stomach. But is your stomach ever actually empty and what exactly does this mean? Let’s start by looking at how it all functions and how you can tell if your stomach is empty. You might think that you know your stomach is empty because you feel hungry, but feeling hungry is not an indication of having an empty stomach especially if you feel hungry every 30 minutes or so. You might think you have digestive super powers but you might actually be suffering from low blood sugar, which can trigger hunger pangs even when your stomach is not actually empty.

Depending on what you have eaten, it normally takes about 4 to 5 hours for a stomach to empty. It can take less if you have eaten a light and more digestible meal. It can also take much longer, especially if you have had a heavy, more fatty or meaty meal, which could be more difficult to digest. Having an empty stomach is when you have nothing in your stomach. This happens when you haven’t eaten for several hours. You can be sure of having an empty stomach in the morning if you go to bed a couple of hours after dinner and you don’t eat anything during the night. Although there are some things your shouldn’t do on a full stomach, what about things we shouldn’t actually do on an empty stomach?

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1. Take anti-inflammatories

There are a lot of things you shouldn’t eat or drink on an empty stomach, but let’s start with one of the more important. Taking anti-inflammatories on an empty stomach can cause serious health problems as well as reducing the effectiveness of the medicine. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs known as NSAIDs are Aspirin, paracetamol, and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. NSAIDs are used to treat a variety of symptoms such as pain, inflammation including swelling and pain, and stiffness caused by rheumatoid arthritis and tendonitis. NSAIDs are also used to treat several other conditions, such as Osteoarthritis, muscular aches, toothache, gout pain, menstrual cramps and even to reduce fever and help with the common cold.

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The walls of the stomach are made of protein and need protection from the very acidic stomach fluids. The acidity of these fluids varies from that of battery acid to that of lemon juice. But your body produces prostaglandins, a kind of layer of mucus, which can control the amount of stomach acid and neutralize it. A regular use of NSAIDs on an empty stomach will interfere with the protective function of prostaglandins, and lining of the stomach can be damaged.Taking NSAIDs with a cushioning meal helps to avoid this problem, although it may somewhat slow down drug absorption. NSAIDs are better absorbed from acidic, rather than neutral, solutions. When we eat more blood flows to the stomach, bile is released from the liver, and the cells of the stomach lining pump out gastric acid to break food down into compounds the body can use for its various purposes. This creates the right environment to allow this medicine to function in.

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2. Write an exam

If you are going to write an exam, you want optimum brain functioning. Your brain takes its energy from food, just like the rest of your body does. If your brain cells are not correctly nourished, your neural function and brain chemistry can be negatively impacted. Your brain looks after all your bodily functions including concentration, memory, sleep patterns, mood and your motor skills. When you write an exam you need concentration and memory. When you go without food for extended periods, your body quickly realizes the food deficit and responds accordingly to create hunger. One of the main areas of your body involved in and affected by this response is your brain. Although a bit of hunger can help you sharpen your focus too much hunger can be a distraction. Hunger is tied directly to low blood sugar that quickly leads to fatigue and low energy levels. These all wreak havoc on your ability to focus.

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If you are like some students who are nervous before exams and you don’t eat anything except for coffee you are likely to end up with nervous nausea. During an exam, you need to be able to focus on recalling information and be able to focus intensely on the task at hand. Although fasting does produce a hormone reaction that causes intense focus, hunger and nausea could be distracting. A large heavy difficult to digest meal is not the right way to go either as it will overload your body with digestion issues. The best thing to do before an exam is to eat a light well balanced and easily digestible meal, this could also play a role in keeping you calm, maintain your stamina as well as avoiding a perceivable distracting hunger.

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3. Go shopping

Did your mother ever tell you that going shopping when you are hungry is bad for your food budget? Most of us already know that hunger makes you buy more food than you actually need. But did you know that an empty stomach makes us more acquisitive even in non-food stores? Hunger relays an internal message of wanting and when you are hungry and out shopping you can end up by wanting everything. Going shopping when you are hungry will make you want to buy everything even nonfood products. Having an empty stomach doesn’t make the stuff you buy look any better, but it makes you more acquisitive. Research on shoppers has proved that hungry shoppers spend more money and buy more stuff than nonhungry shoppers.

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Of course, going to a grocery store when you are hungry is even worse. Researchers found that people who hadn’t eaten for some hours chose more high-calorie foods than those who were given a snack just before food shopping. Worse still, shoppers bought a higher ratio of high-calorie foods to low-calorie ones in the hours leading up to dinnertime. If you are going to go shopping with an empty stomach before dinner, then you must make sure that you have a list a stick to it, or your wallet will suffer. Better still before hitting the shops, you should take the time to have a quick snack, even if it’s a piece of fruit on the run. The optimum time for shopping is when you are less vulnerable, like after lunch versus before lunch.

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4. Intense training and workouts

You might have been led to thinking that if you train on an empty stomach you have a better chance of burning more calories. But it doesn’t actually do anything for fat loss and you won’t have the strength to exercise intensely either. Any kind of physical activity actually increases the production of gastric juices. As we saw before these can be extremely acid and can burn away the stomach lining, even causing ulcers. Exercising when you’re hungry doesn’t necessarily translate to weight loss. So far the research has shown that you won’t lose more fat or weight by sweating on an empty stomach than a full one. People lose roughly the same amount of weight and fat with an hour of steady-state cardio whether they ate beforehand or not.

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If you fast overnight and then exercise, your body will need some of the glucose that is stored in your muscles and liver. Only once the carbs start running low will your body look for the stored fat to burn. If you’re sweating at a light to moderate intensity for less than 90 minutes, your body should have a fairly easy time transforming fat into energy, and you can have a great workout without fueling up beforehand. But if you’re doing a high-intensity workout, your performance will suffer from skipping carbs beforehand. We now know that your body burns fat after a workout too, so if you eat something before you might not burn as much during your workout, but you might also flake sooner and reduce your chance to burn fat post-sweat. Also if you do flake out during your workout, its very like that you will be vulnerable to overdoing the carbs later on in the day.

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5. Argue

Sitting down to a discussion over a meal has helped many a couple work through their issues. Hunger makes you feel more irritable and less rational. When are you are self-controlled you are actually using energy. An empty stomach provides very little energy for keeping things rational. Research has shown that many couples tolerate each other less when they come home from work and that hunger causes them to argue more easily. In a research project, couples were tested for their sugar levels and their anger towards their partners was measured throughout the day. It turned out that they were angrier when their sugar levels were lower. This tendency was present even in the couples reporting well balanced and close relationships.

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The brain uses glucose as a fuel to regulate self-control, and when this is low then it is more difficult to control emotions like anger and aggression. Whether you need to have a discussion with your partner or have to negotiate sensitive issues with any other person, you are more prone to getting irritated if your stomach is empty. So if you have a big meeting planned to decide the future of your company, or a discussion on any kind of issues to deal with, make sure you don’t go into it on an empty stomach. The golden rule for any kind of discussion is…eat before you speak! If you are in a couple and you have to sort things out between you, then make sure you do it over a meal. Remember don’t start talking before you have eaten at least an entrée. The more complicated the issue, the longer you should wait to talk about it.

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6. Go to bed

You might think that you will be able to lose weight if you go to bed on an empty stomach. Indeed, nighttime snacks can lead to weight gain. If you go to bed on an empty stomach you will have to deal with low glucose levels. This could prevent you from falling asleep or cause a loss of sleep, a superficial sleep, or wake you up early with hunger pangs. Not getting enough sleep can then raise the level of hunger hormones. If you skip dinner and go to bed on an empty stomach, you might be setting yourself up to overeat the next day. Hunger pains can keep the brain active, so it can be difficult for your body to rest properly. Not getting enough sleep can slow down your metabolism and produce an increased production of the hunger hormone, ghrelin. This hormone actually boosts your appetite and encourages weight gain. Chronic sleep loss can cause all sort of health problems as well as diabetes and weight gains.

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If you go to bed on an empty stomach it can also slow down the rate that your body converts protein into muscle and if your body is deprived of nutrients for long enough, it can start to break down muscles for energy. Getting up in the middle of the night to raid the fridge causes weight gain and can disturb your sleep for the rest of the night while you are trying to digest your calorie overload. The best way to avoid hunger pains at night is to eat small meals throughout the day. This is the safest way to ensure a sound and restful sleep without weight gain.

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7. Make decisions

If you are going to make an important decision, you need to think about it first and for your brain to work well it needs fuel. Your brain uses glucose to work well but it can’t actually store it, your brain needs a refill every four hours or so for it to work smoothly. If you haven’t eaten for four hours your brain can have a hard time making decisions. The drop in blood glucose can not only affect your ability to think coherently, but it can also raise your irritability levels. Ghrelin is produced in the stomach when it is empty to send hunger signals. Research has shown that increasing ghrelin levels make the brain to act impulsively and affect the ability to make rational decisions.

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In the new study conducted on rats, the hormone has been shown to have a negative effect on decision-making capabilities and impulse control. When rats were given ghrelin directly into their brain in the same way that the stomach sends the message when it is time to eat, the rats made impulsive decisions, despite having been trained to wait for a greater reward. Making decisions on an empty stomach is nearly twice as likely to encourage you to make the wrong one compared to people who have eaten. Some research studies back up claim that low levels of blood sugar can cause the most rational people to lose their ability to think clearly and make impulsive and sometimes risky decisions. It also revealed that hunger pangs can significantly increase feelings of irritation and anger, which can also adversely affect concentration.

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8. Chew gum

Believe it or not, chewing gum on an empty stomach can be really bad for you. A lot of people chew gum to control their appetite and hope that by keeping themselves busy with a piece of gum they will manage to not eat and so lose weight. People like to keep their jaws moving and it helps them to feel less anxious. Gum can also be tasty with so many different flavors to try and some gums can keep you occupied with blowing bubbles. It can become a habit. The problems are that gum has many potential health hazards for both you and the environment. Not many people know that chewing gum on an empty stomach can cause more harm than good. When you chew gum you get the salivary glands going so the body thinks that it is eating real food. The stomach gets ready to digest food by excreting acid to break the food down.

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If there is no food in the stomach, the acids begin to break down the lining of the stomach. Over a long period of time, the acid can completely dissolve layers of a stomach and create ulcers. The damage that is done to the stomach develops over a period of time and on several occasions. Gum also contains some main ingredients that are dangerous to human health, like rubber, plastic and artificial flavoring. So if you do need to chew gum, chose gums containing natural sweeteners (xylitol, sorbitol) are less harmful than those with sugar, cyclamate, or aspartame and avoid chewing it for more than 10 minutes, especially if your stomach is empty.

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9. Drink cold beverages

While you might have heard that the best thing to do first thing in the morning on an empty stomach is to drink at least one large glass of water, you might also have heard that starting your day with warm water and lemon juice is equally good for you. Yet many people start the day with something ice cold. Drinking iced beverages on an empty stomach may damage your mucous membrane and make your digestion sluggish for the rest of the day whereas lukewarm beverages can help to kick-start your system and your metabolism. Although drinking water is good for you drinking refrigerated or cold water could lead to problems such as indigestion and an accumulation of toxins. Our body enzymes work best at a temperature of 37–42⁰C, and when we drink ice cold water, the process of warming up the cold liquid uses up your body’s energy making you feel tired.

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Drinking cold carbonated beverages on an empty stomach can create even worse problems. Carbonated drinks are fizzy, from the carbon dioxide in them. Carbon dioxide has also been known to cause your stomach to bloat because the gas adds to the gases in your stomach. As your stomach swells up with excess gas the acidity from the soda will meet the acidity of the stomach acids causing excess acidity. Add ice cold to the mix and the cold will shrink your blood vessels, restricting your digestion and hindering your hydration. Instead of working to digest the sugars from the carbonated beverage, your body expends energy to regulate your temperature. Any iced beverage will make the digestive system work harder. If you want to start your day well drink water at ambient temperature or something warm.

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10. Eat raw vegetables

While some foods are really good to eat on empty stomach other can cause problems. Raw vegetables or a salad may not be the best thing to eat on an empty stomach. They are full of coarse fiber, which may put an extra load on an empty stomach. They can also cause flatulence and abdominal pain when eaten on an empty stomach. Nutritionists advise giving your digestive system a bit of time to start functioning when it has been empty all night. In order to give your stomach time to wake up properly, you should eat breakfast at least two hours after you wake up. Although eating lots of vegetables is seriously important for our health, some vegetables (as well as some fruits) are high in insoluble fiber.

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Insoluble fiber is difficult to digest and if your gut has to digest these first thing in the morning it may have a hard time. If you are suffering from irritable bowel syndrome or if your stomach is already a bit inflamed this can be very painful. While soluble fiber can be soothing for the gut, consuming insoluble fiber on an empty stomach is very hard work for your gut. Vegetables that are high in insoluble fiber include greens like spinach, lettuce, kale, collards, arugula, and watercress. Peas are also difficult to digest, including whole peas, snow peas, snap peas, pea pods, as are green beans, fresh corn, bell peppers, eggplant, celery, onions, shallots, leeks, scallions, garlic. Other vegetables that should never be eaten on an empty stomach are cabbage, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower. These vegetables should always be eaten with other foods that contain soluble fiber or well cooked.

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11. Drink coffee

If you are like many millions of people the world over, you need your coffee to get going in the morning. The bad news is that your first cup of coffee in the morning on an empty stomach can cause (or aggravate) a number of health problems. Coffee actually has a number of health benefits if it is taken in moderation. But jump-starting your day with that cup of coffee on an empty stomach could cause a variety of health problems. Most of the problems start off in the intestines and digestive tract, but the effects go far beyond the stomach. Firstly coffee makes the stomach produce large amounts of acid and if there is no food for the acid to digest it can cause heartburn, indigestion, and irritation of the intestines. If this goes on for long enough, it can lead to acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, and ulcers.

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When your stomach is excessively acidic, it may stop producing stomach acids, resulting in slower digestion and an accumulation of the bacteria which consume undigested proteins. These bacteria produce hydrogen sulfide which gives a rotten egg smell and produces some very smelly farts. Research has found that coffee moves food out of your stomach more quickly than it would on its own so your intestines don’t have as much time to absorb the nutrients properly.  It also flushes the kidneys so you lose liquids quicker. An empty stomach needs to be properly hydrated to work well, so losing liquids could lead to dehydration. If you can’t give up the habit of drinking coffee first thing in the morning, consume it with milk or cream as the milk fat which will reduce the negative effects.

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12. Drink alcohol

You should know by now that you should never drink on an empty stomach. If your stomach is empty your alcohol tolerance is lower and you can get drunk quicker. Alcohol is absorbed by the stomach and small intestine. The blood carries it to all the other organs in the body. Your body then has to digest a toxic substance. The liver does most of the work and the rest is metabolized through the lungs and kidneys. Having food in your stomach can help your body deal with alcohol better. Food dilutes alcohol and slows down its absorption into the bloodstream.mIf your stomach is empty, the alcohol absorption rate increases by a factor of two which is nearly the same as having an intravenous injection of alcohol. The enzyme that breaks down alcohol in the liver is also found in small amounts in the lining of the stomach. So if the stomach is full and the alcohol remains there for longer, the lining can actually begin breaking down the alcohol before the liver does.

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As soon as alcohol is consumed, the body starts to break it down, but some is always absorbed directly into the bloodstream. Once alcohol is in your blood, there is nothing you can do to move it out any faster. Drinking alcohol on an empty stomach will make you drunk faster and will have all sorts of ill effects on your health especially on your liver. If the situation you are in doesn’t allow you to refuse a drink, give preference to cooled noncarbonated drinks as they are absorbed more slowly and try and eat at least a small sandwich, ideally one that contains butter or some kind of fat.

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13. Citrus fruit juice

For quite a while a fallacy has lived on that fruit juices are healthy. They most certainly are not. It is not like eating your five fruit and vegetable requirements all in one go. What is happening is that a person is getting a very high dose of fructose but without the accompanying fiber. While fructose is not as unhealthy as glucose, which is the sugar that is added to most foods, it is still a lump of sugar and getting too much of it at once can wreak havoc on your blood glucose levels. There is also the question of added sugars which is always a problem with store-bought fruit juice. The take away from this is to avoid them if possible. Moving onto the whole citrus problem, while fruit juices should be avoided in general. Citrus juices should not be had on an empty stomach. The first consideration is acid.

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Citrus is by nature quite acidic, and it can be quite damaging to your stomach if it enters it without any other substances. There are also tough fibers in citrus juice. This is especially the case if the juice has pulp in it. Usually, this is not an issue. But without any other food in the stomach, tough fibers can prove to be quite abrasive. If you cannot go without your morning cup of juice, then it would be better to water it down. The ratio that should be observed is 1:1 for people without stomach issues and 1-part juice with two parts water for people who have particularly sensitive stomachs. This being said, people with gastritis should rather avoid such liquids altogether.

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14. Travel

There is nothing quite like getting motion sickness. When people head out on the road, there is always a sense of excitement in the air. Bags are packed, accommodation is booked, and everyone is ready to go. Everyone that is except those who get motion sickness. They look towards the journey with fear and dread. They know the nausea is going to come, but they don’t know when. There is no guarantee that there will be a pitstop nearby and they generally don’t want to be annoying to their fellow travelers. Yes, there are countless products on the market to help with such things, but there is no guarantee that these will work. They may fail you at the most inappropriate time. Leaving one feeling utterly hopeless in the face of the rest of the journey. If you are a person that suffers from motion sickness then don’t, whatever you do, go on a journey with an empty stomach.

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While reading a book or sitting sideways on a journey may result in nausea, this will all only be compounded upon if your stomach is empty. You should not overeat when going on a journey, but a small meal could go a long way. There is also the question of energy levels and cognitive function. If you are catching multiple planes, buses or trains, you will need your wits about you. This can be easily accomplished by eating something small before setting off. No one wants to have a huge slump in energy levels right when you have to carry your bags to the next platform. Its always better to be safe than sorry so include a slice of toast in your pre-trip inspection.

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15. Labor

The miracle of life is indeed a miracle. It is also inconvenient at best. Generally, a woman cannot schedule when or where she goes into labor. It just happens when the baby is ready to come out. There are a couple of ways to speed it up or slow it down. But, on the whole, it will happen when it needs to happen, and the expecting parents are expected to roll with the punches for the next couple of hours. It’s the next couple of decades to be precise. This being said, if possible, a woman should not go through labor on an empty stomach. There are a lot of doctors that will say that a woman should not eat at all while she is in labor and this is good advice. A full stomach may lead to some discomfort when one considers the sheer number of things that are taking place in this woman’s body. No one is saying that you should be having a full lunch. But a small slice of toast before heading off to the hospital could be very useful.

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The process of giving both is possibly the most grueling physical thing a person could ever go through. There is the pain, there is exertion, there are fluids. It is altogether a painful and exhausting experience. This can be significantly compounded by the fact that you have no fuel in your system. But, if you seriously have no appetite then don’t force yourself to eat. The best thing you can do is listen to your body. If you can stomach some food, then do it, if not then it is not the end of the world.

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16. Tea

The chances are, you already know that you shouldn’t be drinking coffee on an empty stomach. This could mistakenly lead one to believe that tea is a safe alternative. On the whole, it is considered to be the healthier drink, this is not necessarily true, but even if it were tea is not good for an empty stomach. It has nothing to do with the contents or even the caffeine content. The reason why tea should be avoided along with coffee is that it is hot. It is as simple as that. Unless you are drinking your tea cold, which is probably not the case, then it should not be the first thing you drink in the morning. It turns out that the stomach can be quite sensitive. This can seem odd considering that it is a bag filled with acid. But, there is a very delicate balance that exists in the body and it can be very easily upset by the things that we put into it.

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Hot liquid on an empty stomach results in an increase in acid production. This might not be a problem at first, but if it is left to carry on for long enough then a person could be facing serious complications in the future. If you simply cannot resist your morning cup of tea, then try munching on a slice of toast before drinking it. There is the option of drinking lukewarm tea or of throwing some milk in the cup. But if you are wanting to avoid a bout of morning vomiting or diarrhea then it is best to stick to having a snack before drinking that first cup of tea.

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17. Aerated drinks

In all fairness, drinks like these should be avoided regardless of the circumstances. Yes, they are quite delicious. But have you ever stopped to think about why they are so delicious? They taste as good as they do because they are entirely stocked with sugars and artificial flavors. There is not a single doctor on this planet who would recommend consuming any of these substances in small doses, let alone large ones. But, the question here is not soda. Instead, it is aerated drinks in general, and yes this most certainly does include soda water. It may seem like carbonated water merely is water that is a bit fizzy, but it is not. To produce this drink, the manufacturers have infused the liquid with carbon dioxide. If you were listening in biology classes, then you would know that carbon dioxide is a waste product produced by the body which is swiftly expelled by the lungs. With this in mind, it is not a massive leap of logic to say that a substance like this does not belong in the stomach either.

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When you consume these drinks on an empty stomach, the result is an overall increase in acid levels. If this state is prolonged for too long, then one could potentially land up with ulcers or even a case of irritable bowel syndrome. Both of which can be incredibly painful and difficult to manage. These are just the effects on the stomach. Aerated drinks can even wind up affecting the rest of the digestive tract. The overall result is that one feels unsettled and possibly even sick. The rule of thumb should be to reduce the intake of these drinks in general and stay away from them if your stomach is empty.

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18. Sugar

It should go without saying at this point that sugar is bad for you. If you can, you should not consume it at all. There is no nutritional value, and if you are looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle, it should be unceremoniously turfed form your house entirely. But sugar is quite tasty, and many people would rather limit their intake than get rid of it completely. If this is the case, then at least keep the following things in mind. Even though refined sugar is bad for the body, it gets absorbed incredibly quickly. You probably have noticed this effect after eating too many sweet things. The result is a surge in energy which is always accompanied by a drastic slump. This is very noticeable in children who have been left to their own devices.

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While the slump after overeating sugar may seem annoying at worst, it can be very dangerous in the long run. If a person is consistently consuming too much sugar, the body stops being able to deal with it. The mechanisms which control the release of insulin into the bloodstream get exhausted, and if left to degrade, one could land up with diabetes. The effect of sugar on the body is especially dangerous if a person as an empty stomach. What lands up happening, is that the sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream in one massive dose. This results in an enormous insulin response which naturally brings about an enormous energy slump once the glucose has been dealt with. This is quite possibly the worst way to start your day.

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19. Don’t swim

If your exercise of choice is swimming, you probably take your regular swim in the mornings, before eating breakfast. But swimming on an empty stomach is not a good idea, experts say. If your body is well-fueled, you can work out at high intensity, leading to better fitness over time. Eating before swimming or any other kind of exercise can top up your body’s level of glycogen, which is the body’s way of storing carbohydrates. These carbs are what give you the energy to exercise.

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Without refueling before swimming, you run the risk of low energy and a lower intensity workout, which is less beneficial. Eating a pre-workout meal delivers fuel for the muscles and brain, settles the stomach and stomach acids, and prevents low blood sugar symptoms like blurred vision, fatigue, and light-headedness. Before swimming, eat a small meal about 30 to 60 minutes before beginning.

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20. Don’t drive

If you travel on an empty stomach, you are more likely to suffer from motion sickness. Motion sickness can affect just about anyone in any kind of moving vehicle. The symptoms of nausea, dizziness, and discomfort are caused by sensory confusion when your inner ears and eyes receive conflicting information about what is moving around you.

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It’s far easier to prevent motion sickness from happening in the first place that it is to treat the symptoms at the time. If you are prone to motion sickness, make sure you never travel on an empty stomach. The best thing to do is eat a light meal 45 to 60 minutes before traveling. Try a spoonful of peanut butter with some crackers or pretzels, or a couple of slices of turkey. Your stomach is likely to feel more settled after having a light pre-travel snack, and you’ll be less likely to vomit.

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21. Don’t negotiate

When entering a business negotiation, science says you need to plan not only what you’re prepared to put on the bargaining table, but also what food you eat before you start. Research conducted by Cornell University and Dartmouth College found that undergraduate students felt more entitled when they were hungry than when they weren’t. The researchers defined entitlement as a person’s belief that they deserve positive outcomes more than others.

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Entitled people tend to behave selfishly and find it hard to take the perspective of others. They’re also more likely to be dishonest and have problems getting along with other people. The explanation might be that when you’re hungry, you focus on your immediate needs, rather than the needs of others, leading to a sense of entitlement. So make sure you don’t try and negotiate a business deal on an empty stomach. You’re more likely to behave unethically and selfishly.

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22. Don’t go to work

You know what they say about breakfast being the most important meal of the day? Well, nothing’s changed, and if you aren’t making breakfast a non-negotiable, you’re doing yourself and your health a disservice. If you want to perform at your best throughout the day, a healthy, balanced breakfast is essential to kick-start your metabolism and keep you fueled until your mid-morning snack.

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After having no food for a whole night, your body needs refueling like a car needs petrol. You can’t run on an empty tank! You should eat a healthy breakfast that provides from 20 to 35% of your daily calorie and nutrient requirements within two hours of waking up. Research shows that breakfast is also good for the waistline. Studies have found that those who eat breakfast regularly are more likely to be thinner and closer to their ideal weight than those who don’t.

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23. Don’t take the kids outside

If your stomach’s empty, avoid taking the kids out to play or for a walk in the park. As all parents know, children are bundles of energy who need regular outings to get rid of excess energy. While you might ensure that your children have something in their tummies when they go out and that you’ve packed snacks for nibbling on, you might have forgotten yourself.

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To help you cope with the demands of boisterous kids, you’re going to need a healthy snack or even a meal before you can easily meet the energy demands of your kids. So, while the kids have their own snack, make sure you have one too. What about avocado toast, or a sugar-free, low-fat granola bar? Hummus with veggie sticks are a great hunger-buster, and a cucumber and cottage cheese sandwich will fill the gap. All snacks are kid-friendly, too.

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24. Don’t take a sauna

Although it’s a really bad idea to take a sauna after eating a full meal or heavy, rich food, taking a sauna on an empty stomach is not advisable either. The best thing to do before having a sauna is to eat something light such as a piece of fruit or two. This won’t make you feel uncomfortably full, but will also prevent you from getting dizzy or light-headed from low blood sugar.

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After your sauna is over, you probably won’t feel like eating much, so stick to a light meal before getting back into your usual routine. Other things to do when you’re about to take a sauna is to take off your jewelry because metal heats up in a sauna and could burn you, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, and apply an appropriate aromatherapy oil such as lavender for even more relaxation.

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25. Don’t eat spicy foods

When your stomach is empty of food and drink, it is more sensitive than usual. This is because the food you have eaten has been digested by your system. It follows that after a night of no food and drink, the first thing you put in your mouth in the morning is very important. If your stomach is empty, try to avoid eating spicy foods or anything containing chilies. Pungent spices can irritate the lining of the stomach, and lead to acidity and cramping, as well as indigestion.

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Many other substances directly irritate the stomach and esophagus lining and can contribute to heartburn. Apart from spicy foods, tomatoes and tomato sauces, citrus fruit and citrus fruit juices, aspirin, ibuprofen, and cigarette smoke can irritate your stomach. These should all be avoided on an empty stomach to avoid damaging the stomach lining and the development of hyper-acidity symptoms. Break the fast with alkaline foods instead.

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26. Don’t eat yogurt and other fermented foods

One of the benefits of eating yogurt and other fermented foods is that they provide the gut with valuable ‘good’ microbes that aid digestion and prevent digestive problems. These bacteria are essential for a properly-functioning digestive system. The problem with eating yogurt on an empty stomach is that an empty stomach is full of hydrochloric acid. This acid, which aids digestion, also, unfortunately, kills the ‘good’ lactic acid bacteria found in yogurt. This renders the yogurt useless from a microbial point of view.

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Although eating yogurt and other fermented foods on an empty stomach won’t do you any harm, you won’t get the bacterial benefits. This is why eating so-called ‘live’ yogurt for breakfast is actually not a good idea. If you are going to eat yogurt, save it for later in the day when your stomach isn’t completely empty for maximum benefits to your gut biome.

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27. Don’t consume bananas

As the saying goes, we should breakfast like a king. But we often don’t have much time to prepare anything nutritious to sate our empty morning stomachs. That means we often grab something as we fly out the door, and what’s easier than a banana. It comes with its own protective covering, it’s full of minerals, and it doesn’t need to be washed.

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Eating bananas on a full stomach might not be such a good idea after all. This is because bananas are high in magnesium and potassium, two essential minerals for health. But when you eat bananas on a completely empty stomach, the levels of these minerals in the blood spike, leading to an imbalance. This can have an adverse effect on the cardiovascular system’s ability to maintain pumping, with possible serious consequences for the heart. So, leave the bananas for later in the day, when your stomach isn’t empty.

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28. Don’t have sex

According to some experts, many women develop a love-hate relationship with their bodies and food as they grow up. Food and sex are both sources of pleasure, but some women end up feeling ashamed at experiencing the pleasure of food. This shame gets extended to other sources of pleasure such as sex. Instead, they say, women need to learn to believe that they deserve to experience pleasure with both eating and sex.

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A study discovered that women who ate healthy snacks during the day were more likely to have sex at night. And the secret is in the ‘healthy.’ Eating a donut or a bag of chips is not going to make you feel as sexy as a healthy snack is. An empty stomach, on the other hand, is not the ideal time to have sex. You won’t have much energy, and you’ll feel more fatigued than if you had had something to eat beforehand.

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29. Eat tomatoes

You may find this particular entry a little surprising. Most of us are told to eat tomatoes ever since an early age. Our parents and friends put it in almost every dish as one of the seminal ingredients for every even remotely healthy meal. Not only are they full of water and an excellent hydration choice, but they also contain one of the most important vitamins – vitamin C. This is precisely why tomatoes are bad for you whilst on an empty stomach.

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Vitamin C, if you didn’t know, is technically ascorbic acid. If you eat a tomato on an empty stomach, it will react with your stomach acid and create a highly acidic environment. Such a reaction can cause bloating, nausea and even diarrhea. You can eat tomatoes as much as you want, but there should always be an addition or a base that can prevent the acid levels from rising.

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30. Spray pesticides

Even though pesticides are getting banned in more and more countries due to food quality concerns, some countries still allow farmers and agricultural workers to apply them to the cultivation of plants. While there are regulations concerning facial protection and the blockage of airwaves, spraying pesticides is still a dangerous thing to do, and it can impact your health. It is especially true when you’re on an empty stomach.

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Why is this the case? Well, when your stomach is empty, your body is yearning for food. Food gives you the needed strength and fuel to be able to function. Because pesticides are heavy chemicals, they will impact your body much more if you haven’t eaten anything. Because of this, it’s important to pay attention when you have to do yard work or when you’re at a farm. Be sure to eat something and use a high-grade mask to protect yourself.

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