You are what you eat. Surely you have heard of this adage countless times. But do you know that what you do before your meals can also have a significant impact on your health? Today, we share with you four things you should not be doing on an empty stomach.
1. Rigorous Activity
There seems to be an underlying opinion that you may have come across on the depths of fitness forums that working out or participating in any form of physical activity on an empty stomach will allow your body to burn more calories. We are sorry to burst your bubble, but no, partaking in sporting activities on an empty stomach does not influence the rate of your weight loss or calorie burn in any way. The only loss you will be getting out of this busted myth is muscle loss. Additionally, the intensity of your exercises is also reduced seeing that your body is deprived of the much-needed energy from the very beginning. In truth, you should always have a light snack to fill up your stomach and fuel yourself for the activity ahead as any form of physical exercise may induce the production of gastric juice, which has been proven to be detrimental on an empty stomach.
2. Consuming Anti-Inflammatories
Paracetamol, aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that are commonly used as a quick remedy for pain relief by impeding the prostaglandins, cannot be taken on an empty stomach. Taking these anti-inflammatories without having any food prior do not only reduce the effectiveness of these medications but also contribute to a series of stomach issues, such as gastric bleeding, vomiting and indigestion, among others. It is strongly encouraged to consume these anti-inflammatories with food, juice or milk to minimise the possibilities of stomach irritation or ulcers. If you do not have any of these on hand, your next best solution would be to wash down the drug with a bucket load of water.
3. Drinking Coffee
Any form of coffee, regardless of the one whipped up by your favourite coffee shop uncle in his sleeveless white Crocodile tank top or your fancy decaffeinated ones from Starbucks, triggers the production of a natural acid that may result in heartburn and other digestive tract issues if you slurp it on an empty stomach. Failing to complement your coffee with some breakfast, or at least a few small bites, may cause your body to experience a serotonin deficiency and affect your mood negatively for the rest of the day. If you need to have your morning dose of coffee every morning to kickstart your day, then enjoy it with a touch of milk or cream — the milk fat can effectively lower the damaging effects of coffee.
4. Chew on Gum
Ever had a tummy discomfort as a result of chewing on gum for too long? That is because the digestive acid produced when you are chewing on gum actually destroys the lining of an empty stomach and prolonged chewing on your favourite flavoured gum has been proven to lead to gastritis. Several clinical studies have also shown that chewing on gum may lead to unhealthy eating patterns as the report indicated that majority of the gum-lovers have a sweet tooth, preferring candy and other junk food to fruits and vegetables.
A hungry man is an angry man. And that applies for us women too. It does not take rocket science to discover that hunger makes us less composed. Self-control requires energy, and when your stomach is empty, you lack the adequate supply. This is exactly why business lunches or dinners are always a great idea — it keeps both yourself and your counterpart happy and allows for the discussion that follows to be more cordial.
The Guaranteed Bonuses
By now, you may be thinking that the best way to get through your day without a big fuss is none other than by eating. While that may sound like music to some ears out there, there are a couple of guaranteed bonuses you can look forward to for some of the less obvious tasks that are best executed on an empty stomach.
For one, your mental proficiency and ability to focus becomes more acute when you are famished. Early studies have discovered that this unique trait derived from our ancient forefathers who had to maintain a high concentration and attentiveness level to hunt for food and feed the empty stomachs that were eagerly waiting back home. Modern-day scientists, however, have ascertained a rational scientific explanation for this hunger effect — when the human body is hungry, it produces a hormone called ghrelin, which essentially aid multiple bodily tasks that include the stimulation of cognitive performance.
In addition, recent studies have also claimed that hunger can influence individuals into making a more successful, but somewhat impulsive, decisions. So, if you are the type that cannot seem to decide on that vivid red dress or that off-shoulder black top with a flared skirt, try making your wardrobe selection on an empty stomach the next time around. Of course, we do not encourage you to implement this method when it comes to highly pertinent matters, such as your finances or choosing among your many dates to be your lifetime partner.