6 Things to Never Do on an Empty Stomach

It might not be a good idea to do some of these things on an empty stomach. Get a good breakfast in order to start your day in a healthy way.
6 Things to Never Do on an Empty Stomach
José Gerardo Rosciano Paganelli

Reviewed and approved by the doctor José Gerardo Rosciano Paganelli.

Last update: 09 October, 2022

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

So, in today’s post, we’d like to talk about 7 things that you should avoid doing on an empty stomach.

Read on and discover!

1. Consume anti-inflammatory drugs

Consuming certain drugs on an empty stomach may not be good for you.

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.

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


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

2. Drinking coffee

There are some people who have the habit of “charging up” 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 tea is a possible option, you’re better off swapping your coffee for a tea.
  • Natural smoothies can give you energy and are healthier than coffee.

3. Drinking alcoholic beverages

Drinking alcohol on an empty stomach may not be good for you.

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.

In addition, the elimination of its toxins is slower, which causes a higher levels of alcohol poisoning and stronger hangovers.


  • If, for whatever reason, you drink alcoholic drinks on an empty stomach, make sure to eat a snack soon after.
  • Avoid combining alcohol with coffee.

4. Intense exercise

Exercise on an empty stomach may not be good for you.

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.

5. 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.

6. Arguing may be worse on an empty stomach

An empty stomach may make you more irritable.

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 you have a problem on your hands.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Galarza, V., & Cabrera, G. (2008). Hábitos alimentarios saludables. Nutrición, Salud y Alimentos ….

  • Sarabia Maheli, M., Vázquez, L. A., & Espeso Nápoles, N. (2005). Estilos saludables de vida y su relevancia en la salud del individuo. Rev Hum Med.

  • ALVARADO, I., MONTENEGRO, L., & GARCIA, O. (2013). Formación de hábitos alimentarios y de estilos de vida saludables. Curriculum de Educación Inicial. https://doi.org/10.1111/apa.12203.</p>

  • MINISTERIO DE SALUD. (2015). Ministerio de Salud. Consejo Nacional de Seguridad Social En Salud. https://doi.org/10.1108/02634500910955254.</p>

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