Everything that we do impacts our body in some manner or another. However, our health is most vulnerable when we have an empty stomach. Our body needs food to convert into energy and nutrition within minutes, which is why we feel hungry.
But while we’re craving food, there are certain things that we should avoid doing when we have an empty stomach (at least two hours after having a meal).
1. Taking anti inflammatory medications
Certain popular anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) such as paracetamol and aspirin should not be taken on an empty stomach. Firstly, it can reduce the effectiveness of the drugs and may also cause serious medical issues like gastric ulcers. There are also other prescription medications that should not be taken on an empty stomach. However, if you have milk, you can take NSAIDs with it to counteract the potential side effects. If you don’t have milk, try to wash it down with plenty of water.
2. Drinking morning java
Coffee, especially when consumed on an empty stomach, can increase stomach acid and lead to heartburn or other digestive problems. This is because coffee can stimulate acid production in the stomach. If you’re in the habit of skipping breakfast and replacing it with coffee, it can lead to a drop in dopamine production and affect your mood throughout the day. If you’re addicted to coffee and can’t control it, try adding milk to mitigate its negative effects. Also, opt for organic coffee instead of instant coffee.
3. Consuming alcohol
When you’re hungry, your body absorbs anything you consume at a faster rate. Therefore, when you drink alcohol on an empty stomach, it will be absorbed and metabolized more quickly. This can slow down the alcohol elimination process in your body, leading to a severe hangover and increased effects on your heart, kidneys, and liver. If you can’t refuse a drink, opt for carbonated beverages that are absorbed more slowly by the body. Alternatively, have a buttered sandwich with your drink.
4. Chewing gum
Chewing gum stimulates the production of digestive acid, which can damage the delicate lining of the stomach. Excessive gum chewing can lead to gastritis. Moreover, research suggests that chewing gum may make you more inclined to choose junk food over fruits and vegetables. If you do chew gum, choose ones with natural sweeteners like sorbitol or xylitol instead of those with cyclamate, aspartame, or sugar. Also, avoid chewing gum for more than ten minutes, even if you have a full stomach.
5. Skipping dinner
If you have ever skipped dinner, you must have noticed that you wake up terribly hungry the next day. Low blood sugar levels and hunger can disrupt proper sleep during the night and cause a restless sleep. You may wake up early, and your hunger hormones will be more active. However, it is not advisable to overeat before going to bed. It’s best to consume dairy products that contain magnesium and calcium, both of which help promote better sleep.
It is commonly believed that exercising on an empty stomach leads to increased calorie burn. However, studies show that fat loss does not occur in this manner. Instead, there is a significant loss of muscle mass, and due to the lack of energy, your exercise intensity will decrease. Instead of opting for intense exercise on an empty stomach, consider doing aerobic exercises. If you already have certain digestive issues, you may want to have a light snack before exercising. Exercise can stimulate the production of more gastric juices, which may cause problems in the digestive tract, so be cautious.
7. Moving shopping
When you’re hungry, there is a general tendency to buy more food. However, there is also an increase in the purchase of non-food items. Research shows that when a person is hungry, they may also opt for non-food items to feel satisfied. But if you can change your shopping tactics and opt for cash transactions, you can save money, as studies have shown that people tend to spend less when they are handling cash.
8. Having more citrus-based juice
Citrus foods contain rough fibers and have an acidic nature, which can irritate your stomach. It can cause gastritis or make you more susceptible to it. However, if you can mix freshly squeezed citrus fruits with water in a ratio of 1:1 if you suffer from acidity, and a ratio of 2:1 for others, it will be beneficial. Additionally, you can choose different types of fruits as well.
9. Engage in Arguments
Hunger can make you more unsettled in your mind. Therefore, research suggests that when you’re hungry, you may lose control of your rationality and engage in arguments. So, avoid having discussions during this time. However, if it’s necessary, have something warm and offer it to your partner so that both of you can have a more clear-headed conversation.
What do we do?
While these are some of the things you should avoid when you’re hungry, there are certain activities that can actually thrive when you have an empty stomach:
Problem solving abilities
When you’re hungry, there is an increase in your attentiveness. This may be, according to research workers, an evolutionary characteristic because our ancestors employed to focus on obtaining food when they were hungry. The hormone ghrelin that regulates appetite will help excite brain actions due to this.
- Problem-solving skills: When you’re hungry, your attentiveness increases. This may be an evolutionary trait since our ancestors focused on finding food when they were hungry. The hormone ghrelin, which regulates appetite, helps stimulate brain activity.
- Making decisions: If you’re faced with a decision-making situation, it’s better to start thinking when you’re hungry. Studies suggest that hungry people can be successful in decision-based activities, especially when they involve impulsiveness. However, refrain from using this approach when dealing with problems related to relationships or finances.
Health is wealth, and since sleep is closely connected to both our decision-making and overall health, it’s better to avoid the aforementioned things. It will help us lead a better life. Best of luck!