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Sunday, September 27, 2020

10 Things to Avoid Doing on an Empty Stomach

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We often make the mistake of eating some things or carrying out some activities with nearly no food in our stomach. Doctors and scientists have said that this is unhealthy and may have damning results on our body in the long run.

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When I say ‘empty stomach’, I’m referring to anything exceeding about 2 and a half hours after your last meal. Some things to avoid doing on an empty stomach are:

1. Tablets and pills

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and paracetamol shouldn’t be taken on an empty stomach this not only reduces the effectiveness of the medication but could also cause your stomach lining to bleed. However, if you must, with no access to actual food, wash it down with a glass of milk.

2. Chewing gum

When chewing gum, your body produces a digestive acid in your stomach. This acid is very dangerous to an empty stomach. This could lead to gastritis.

Studies also show that people who indulge in chewing gum prefer junk food to healthy fruits and vegetables, which are not good for your health. You should also avoid chewing gum for more than 10 minutes even on a full stomach.

3. Coffee

It’s a common habit to reach out to a cup of coffee when we wake but what your body really needs is food. Drinking black coffee, even decaffeinated, on an empty stomach can produce an acid that will cause heart burns and acid reflux.

Skipping breakfast even after drinking coffee can lower the production of serotonin, making you gloomy through the day. If you must, take your coffee with milk as the fat content with milk will aid its digestion and reduce or prevent the cases of heart burn and acid reflux.

4. Intense training and exercise

This is to debunk the rumour that training on an empty stomach burns more fat. It does not. There is nothing linking it to fat burn. It does, however cause muscle loss.

Training on an empty stomach can also reduce the intensity of your training, making you to burn less fat than if you had a little something to eat.

However, if you insist on fasted training, switch your routines to aerobic exercises. Remember, engaging in exercises causes the release of more gastric acid, which can be harmful. If you have any gastric issues, take a little food before you start your exercise.

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5. Citrus fruits and juice

Citrus fruits such as lemons, limes, oranges, contain acid and tough fibres that could harm the stomach lining and should not be taken on an empty stomach. This is very dangerous for those who have gastritis or are at a high risk of developing it.

Diluting the juices, however is much more beneficial. Some doctors even recommend taking diluted lemon juice on an empty stomach to detox and flush out toxins.

6. Shopping

I know that it seems weird having this on the list, but it should not. Studies show that going shopping on an empty stomach causes you to buy more things than you actually need and you also susceptible to buy more junk food than healthy food.

You also spend more than your budget. Your body begins to register things you want and not things you need. But if you must, a pre-hunger list, a list done before you were hungry would be helpful.

You should also pay in cash as studies show that people who pay cash spend less than those using cards, probably something to do with seeing your money leave your hand.

7. Sleep

Low glucose level and hunger makes it harder to fall asleep. It also causes superficial sleep and early waking up. It is like a feedback reaction, because lack of sleep also increases hunger hormones.

Yikes. This is why we tend to eat more breakfast when we skip dinner. However, it is not healthy to eat too much before sleeping or to sleep with a heavy stomach. To be on a safe side, drink some warm milk. It contains magnesium and calcium that ensures a sound sleep.

8. Dieting

It may sound crazy but when dieting, starving yourself actually has an opposite negative effect. Instead, eat small healthy snacks at regular intervals.

9. Manual labour

Working on an empty stomach leaves you with little energy and you feel fatigued easily. It could also increase your stress level. Fatigue while working could also cause accidents, both minor and fatal ones. Try to grab a healthy breakfast before doing any work.

10. Studying

Be sure to be well fed before making any attempt to study. Lack of food and energy causes you to be fatigued easily and makes it harder to perform active reading or learning. After a while, your mind may begin to drift and you will end up not really learning much.

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Same goes for taking any tests or exams. But be careful to not over eat either as it may cause you to sleep off or make you unwell if coupled with nervousness and fear.

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Disclaimer: This article is purely informative & educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

Asmau Mohammed
I am a medical student and I love discussing all things health related. I also love being a health or lifestyle coach.
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