7 Things to Never Do on an Empty Stomach

· April 1, 2018
Even though we might be used to doing these habits and even if they seem harmless, drinking coffee on an empty stomach-- even if it's decaf-- can lead to reflux and stomach acid

While many of these habits have become a part of our routine, or might even seem “inoffensive”, in reality, they can affect our well-being over time.

So, today in our post, we’d like to talk about 7 things that, for the sake of your health, you should avoid doing on an empty stomach.

Read on and discover!

1. Consume anti-inflammatory drugs

You shouldn’t take medications such as aspirin, acetaminophen and, in general, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) on an empty stomach. Doing so could lead to serious digestive complications.

Their compounds can cause an imbalance in the stomach lining and, in serious cases, lead to gastric bleeding.


  • In order to minimize the negative effects of NSAIDs, you should drink milk with their consumption.
  • If you don’t have milk readily available, take them with plenty of water.

Also read: 8 Essential Anti-Inflammatory Foods for Your Diet

2. Drinking coffee

There are some people who have the habit of “recharging” with a coffee at the start of the day. They ignore the possible side-effects that can take place.

Even though we can’t deny that it’s an energizing drink that contains many nutrients and benefits, drinking coffee on an empty stomach can be a harmful habit.

Even if coffee is decaffeinated, it raises acid production in the stomach and can cause burning and reflux.


  • If drinking coffee at the start of your day is something you can’t give up, drink it with cream or milk. The fat found in those ingredients minimizes the negative effects that coffee has.
  • If tea is a possible option, you’re better off swapping your coffee for a tea or a natural smoothie.

3. Drinking alcoholic beverages

Drinking alcoholic beverages on an empty stomach can potentially be harmful for your liver, heart and kidneys.

Our body absorbs alcohol twice as fast on an empty stomach, which is as fast as it would absorb alcohol through an IV.

To add on, the elimination of its toxins is slower, which causes a higher levels of alcohol poisoning as stronger hangovers.


  • If, for whatever reason, you drink alcoholic drinks on an empty stomach, make sure to eat a snack that, at the very least, contains butter as soon as you can.
  • Avoid combining alcohol with coffee or carbonated drinks because it could compound the effect.

4. Chewing gum

When we chew gum, our body produces a substance called hydrochloric acid that could lead to undesired side-effects if our stomach is empty.

This bad habit irritates the stomach mucus and in the long-term, it could cause serious problems such as gastritis.


  • If you’re used to chewing gum, opt for gums that have natural sweeteners in their ingredients.
  • Avoid gums that have sugar, cyclamate or aspartame.
  • Avoid chewing gum for more than 10 minutes, even if you’ve already eaten.

5. Intense exercise

There are a lot of myths out there about exercising the first thing in the morning. There are some who believe that working out on an empty stomach helps burn more calories.

However, it’s very unlikely that an empty stomach will influence the number of calories you burn. On the contrary, it could reduce muscle mass.

We should keep in mind that our body needs nutrients in order to get started every morning. By pushing it to exercise in the morning, it’ll try to keep itself going by using its energy reserves.


  • Substitute intense exercises for low-impact exercise activities.
  • Try to at least eat a piece of fruit before exercising.
  • If you have any digestive conditions, eat well before exercising in order to prevent any complications.

6. Drinking citric juices

Citric juices have plenty of vitamins, minerals and other important essential nutrients that are beneficial to our bodies.

Despite their benefits, you shouldn’t drink them on an empty stomach because they can irritate gastric mucus, especially in cases of gastritis or digestive complications.


  • If you want to drink a citric juice on an empty stomach, mix it with equal parts of water in order to prevent its harmful effects on your stomach.
  • Try to drink these kinds of juices during breakfast or in the mid-morning.

Visit this article: 7 Benefits of Ginger Water on an Empty Stomach

7. Arguing

Researchers in the United States have shown that the feeling of hunger raises our irritability and, as a result, makes us more susceptible to arguing.

The brain needs energy sources to function and “control itself”, which is exactly why it’s not a good idea to run on an empty tank for a long period of time.


  • If you don’t want to be full of bad vibes in the morning, share a tea or a healthy drink with your partner or family members when you get up.
  • Try to have breakfast within the first hour of wake up.
  • Doing so will, without question, instantly improve your mood.

Do you identify yourself with any of the habits in our post? Now that you’re aware of their negative effects, take the necessary means to correct them before they leave you with a problem.