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Effects of Drinking alcohol on an Empty Stomach

by Thomasina Oseye
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Effects of Drinking alcohol on an Empty Stomach

It is a well-known rule that you should never drink on an empty stomach. Health professionals always emphasize the importance of filling up on food before consuming alcohol. But what happens if you don’t?

Alcohol Absorption in the Body

When you consume an alcoholic drink, the body absorbs the alcohol in three different places. A small percentage is absorbed through the mouth and tongue, 20% through the stomach, and the remaining 75-80% through the small intestine. The rate at which alcohol is absorbed varies based on factors such as body weight, age, gender, and the amount of food consumed.

Impact of Drinking on an Empty Stomach

Binge drinking with little food in your system can lead to faster intoxication, alcohol poisoning, stronger hangovers, and headaches. Without food, you become more prone to the hallmarks of intoxication, such as dizziness, nausea, vomiting, disinhibition, loss of motor skills, and mood swings. Rapidly rising blood alcohol levels can cause these side effects, and reaching a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or above is considered legal intoxication.

While there have been limited studies on the effects of alcohol on an empty stomach, most health professionals agree that it is best to avoid it. If you do end up drinking without eating, it is advisable to choose low-strength drinks, consume them slowly, and consider having some snacks as an accompaniment.

Food Options Before Drinking

There are several food options that can help prepare your body before drinking alcohol:

  • Milk: Milk acts as a stomach liner and helps hydrate the body. It also replaces lost potassium.
  • Bananas: Bananas are 75% water, helping to keep you hydrated. They also contain high levels of potassium, which helps balance electrolytes.
  • Avocado: Avocados slow down the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream and are a good source of potassium.
  • Eggs: High in protein, eggs can keep you fuller for longer and are recommended before drinking alcohol.

While these foods may help mitigate the effects of alcohol on an empty stomach, it is still important to drink responsibly and in moderation.

This article was updated 1 month ago


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