7 Things You Shouldn't Do On An Empty Stomach

by Isadora Baum, CHC

Sure, you can't always have a full belly or time for a snack, but there are certain activities that you should save for when you have some fuel in the tank. There are surprising things you shouldn't do on an empty stomach, as it can lead to a few unwanted consequences, explained health expert David Wolfe on his website. For instance, you might start to become ravenous (never a fun feeling), lose stamina and energy in whatever you're doing, or make some impulse purchases or decisions out of hunger. Either way, you might regret attempting the task on empty.

As a certified health coach, I work with clients on getting a handle on their lifestyles, meaning that they're composed and in control of their thoughts and actions. Feeling desperate for food or low in fuel can certainly interfere with the ability to be productive or follow through on whatever you're set to do, with your best performance possible. Plus, sometimes doing particular activities on an empty stomach can totally backfire and make people feel guilty or resentful for whatever decisions they made. Here are 7 things you shouldn't ever do when you haven't eaten in a while and could possibly not be in a preferred mindset to think or act rationally.

1. Go Grocery Shopping

"You should never go grocery shopping on an empty stomach. This will cause you to buy a lot of sweet/high carb items that you're most likely craving for at that moment," says fitness expert and coach at Chains to Gains, Sterling Graham, over email with Bustle. Instead, eat a snack before shopping to avoid impulse buys and excess sampling.

2. Drink Coffee Or Tea

Wolfe recommended not drinking coffee or tea on an empty stomach, as it can lead to digestive discomfort by creating excess acidic levels in the body. This can unfortunately lead to vomiting or constipation, Wolfe added. Instead, eat a quick bite with it.

3. Take Certain Meds

Wolfe also recommended not taking certain medications, as it can hurt the stomach lining or result in nausea. However, most medications will say on the label whether or not there's a food suggestion, and you can always ask your primary care doctor or pharmacist, as well.

4. Work Out

A study published in the Journal of Science and Medicine In Sport explained that working out on empty (in a fasted state) might limit performance and your potential in reaching (or even beating) a personal best. Plus, go with how you feel. If your body feels depleted in energy when working out on empty, eat something next time. You'll need the endurance to power through.

5. Eat Spicy Food

According to Lisa Ganjhu, MD, a gastroenterologist at NYU Langone Medical Center over interview with Huffington Post, eating spicy food when hungry can be really problematic on the stomach lining and can lead to upset. Your body needs something in the belly to mix with the spices to avoid irritation.

6. Drink Alcohol

When you're drinking on an empty stomach, the alcohol will hit you faster, and it'll a) make you drunk and b) cause you to get super hungry (and maybe binge on everything in sight later). Either way, bad choices will be made. What's more, according to a study in Alcohol and Alcoholism there's a 30 percent decrease in levels of leptin (the hunger suppressing hormone) after having three drinks.

7. Fight With Your Partner

If you're hungry, don't make time to bicker with anyone: It won't end well. Instead, take time to yourself to cool off, grab a snack, and then approach the situation with a clear head and full belly. According to Brad J. Bushman, PhD, an anger researcher, over interview with The Good Life, Dr. Oz’s magazine, the brain needs fuel to exude self-control and rational thinking. Get those calories, and steer clear of disagreements until then.

If you're in need of a snack, you might want to hold off on doing any of these things. Once you've quieted your belly, you'll be able to approach the situation with clearer thinking and not let that hangry come out.