7 Things You Should Avoid after Eating

Although many people are in the habit of going out for a walk or taking a nap after eating, you should really wait for these activities so they don't interfere with your digestion. Learn more in this article!
7 Things You Should Avoid after Eating
Elisa Morales Lupayante

Reviewed and approved by the pedagogue in physical education and nutritionist Elisa Morales Lupayante.

Last update: 26 May, 2022

Many people have a bit of spare time on hand after eating their main weekend meals. To take advantage of that time, they often have certain habits to help themselves relax. Many of these habits are done unconsciously, but they are not always good for our health. Welcome to our 7 things to avoid after eating!

Many of these things may seem rather inoffensive. However, over time, they can actually trigger worrying symptoms or even serious health problems. Given that many people are unaware of these risks, we want to tell you about them today!

1. Things you should avoid after eating: sleeping

Woman sleeping after eating

Having a siesta or going to sleep after eating can lead to troublesome digestive symptoms. This is a relaxing and necessary habit for many people. However, it’s important to bear in mind that doing this directly affects the digestive process.

Given that the body is lying down, the gastric juices don’t fully cover the food in the stomach. Thus, the food’s nutrients are not fully absorbed. In addition to that it can also cause problems in the esophagus. This is due to the acid nature of the gastric juices which cause reflux and a burning sensation.

2. Smoking

It’s no secret that the bad habit of smoking has serious consequences for lung and cardiovascular health. What some people don’t know is that the risks are even higher when you smoke after a meal.

This is because the nicotine combines with the excess oxygen that is necessary for digestion. As a consequence the carcinogens are absorbed even easier.

Read more: Everything You Should Know About Staying Away from Tobacco

3. Eating fruit

A bowl of fruit

Some people may think that fruits are a healthy alternative to complement the main meals of the day. They are sweet, versatile and seem to be a good option to replace traditional desserts. However, what few people know is that it is best to eat them on an empty stomach. This can be either first thing in the morning or between meals.

This is because fruits require different enzymes to be digested well. Their natural sugars also need longer to be absorbed fully. Without other foods to digest at the same time, the body benefits from all their nutrients, fibers and sugars. As a result you’ll have more energy.

If you eat fruit just before or after an abundant meal, they will stay in the stomach for longer and can cause indigestion and gases.

4. Taking a shower

Taking a shower is relaxing and good for circulatory health, However, it’s not ideal to take one after eating, because it can weaken the digestive system. Showers increase the blood flow to the hands and lower parts of the body. Because of this there will be less blood flowing to the stomach area.

As a consequence, your stomach may function inadequately, which can cause pains, inflammation and heaviness. So, showers too after something you should avoid after eating.

5. Drinking cold water

Woman drinking water

Drinking cold water during or after meals can cause poor digestion. It causes foods to agglutinate and makes the processes of absorbing nutrients and separating out waste more difficult.

6. Drinking tea

Although tea is a healthy drink, it’s not advisable to drink it with main meals. It interferes with the absorption of iron because it contains a substance called tannic acid.

This binds to proteins and, as a result, there is a reduction of up to 87% in the absorption of iron. This can result in chronic episodes of anemia. An iron deficiency can cause symptoms like:

  • Chest pain
  • Pale skin
  • Weakness and extreme tiredness
  • Brittle nails
  • Lack of appetite
  • Cold hands and feet

7. Walking or running

Woman going running

Another thing you should avoid after eating is walking or running. It’s a mistake to think that doing physical exercise after eating will help you to drop waist sizes and burn calories. It can’t be denied that running and walking are healthy. However, doing so after eating a big meal can cause indigestion and discomfort.

As a result, it’s not advisable to walk until at least 30 minutes after eating a meal. Or, if you do walk sooner, it shouldn’t be for more than 10 minutes.
Do you have any of these habits? If so, take a mental note! From now on try to avoid them to that they don’t interfere with your health.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.