Everything that we do affects our body 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 for food, there are certain things that we should not do when we have an empty stomach (no less than two hours after you had your last meal).
1. 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.
2. Drinking morning coffee
Coffee, even the decaffeinated one, 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. 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.
3. Consuming alcohol
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.
4. Chewing gum
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.
5. Skipping dinner
If you have ever skipped dinner, then you must have seen that you were terribly hungry the next day. Low glucose level and hunger can cause a lack of proper sleep during the night and cause a kind of superficial sleep. You will wake up early and your hunger hormones will act with increased power. But then, you should not be eating too much before sleeping. It’s best to go for dairy products which have calcium and magnesium – both capable of letting you have a good sleep.
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.
7. Going shopping
Whenever you are hungry, there is a general tendency that you would want to buy more food. However, there is also an increase in purchase of non-food based products. Research shows 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.
8. Having more citrus-based juice
Citrus foods have tough fibre and an acidic base which will cause irritation in your stomach. It can cause gastritis or make you vulnerable to it. However, if you can combine fresh citrus fruits squeezed into water in a ratio of 1:1 if you suffer from acidity and a ratio of 2:1 for other people, then it will be beneficial. Plus, you can go for other kinds of fruits too.
9. Engage in Arguments
Hunger makes you a bit unsettled in your mind. As a result, research shows that when you are hungry you can lose control of your rationality and engage in arguments. So, don’t have discussions during this time. But if it is necessary, then have something warm and give it to your partner so that both of you can have a more clear-headed conversation.
What can we do?
While these are some of the things that you should avoid when you are hungry, there are certain activities which can actually flourish when you have an empty stomach:-
Problem solving skills
When you are hungry, there is an increase in your attentiveness. This could be, as per researchers, an evolutionary trait since our ancestors used to concentrate on getting food when they were hungry. The hormone ghrelin that regulates hunger tends to help to stimulate brain activities because of this.
Be more capable of making choices
If you are in a dilemma regarding any choice of clothes, then, you can start thinking when you are hungry. Studies show that people who are hungry can be successful in choice-based activities, especially when they are impulsive. But just don’t try using these methods when you are trying to settle issues like relationship problems or finances!
Health is wealth and since sleep is so connected to both our health and decision-making, it’s best if we avoid going for these things. It will help us lead a better life. Best of luck!