The 5 Things You Should Be Doing On An Empty Stomach

Jan 03, 2016 07:33 PM EST | By Florence May P. Jose


It's common knowledge that we need energy in order to function properly, to work and move. We also know that the simple science behind that knowledge is that food gives us the nutrients that our body converts into energy. But did you know there are things that are better done with an empty stomach?

While loading up the carbs and calories is essential for anything, some studies have justified that being hungry has its upsides too. Yahoo Health gathered the 5 things you should do when your stomach is empty.

1) Working Out

Bid goodbye to that myth that says you need to fuel up before exercising and burn it up while you work out. According to a study, exercising in a "fasted state" actually gears up your body to actually burn more fat and read this: potentially prevent weight gain.

Researchers have studied a group of healthy, young men who ate 20 percent more calories and 50 percent fat than their usual for six weeks. Some of the participants remained sedentary, while others started a strenuous, midmorning exercise routine after eating breakfast. A third group performed that same workout routines, but they ate breakfast after exercising. The results concluded that the men from the third group, who exercised first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, "gained practically no weight, retained healthy insulin levels, and burned more fat throughout the day". The study also suggested that optimal fat-burning, weight loss can occur on an earlier time of the day, in an empty stomach.

Note that every man/woman's body is different, so remember that results of this approach may vary, and may not be the best for every one.

Is this applicable to weightlifters? Find out here.

2) Gambling

Did you know that being hungry leads you to better decision making? According to a study published in the journal PLOS One, being "hangry"-or being angry because you're hungry, helps you make better decisions.

The experiment was designed to examine their volunteers' decision making after fasting the night before. The next day, half of the participants were served breakfast and half had none. Then, all of the test subjects took a psychological test called "Iowa Gambling Task" which stimulates real-life decision making.

The results showed that the ones who were not served dinner and breakfast made "more advantageous choices and performed better" on the test than those who were sated. Hungry volunteers tend to be more appreciative of future rewards, even if those rewards will be given with immediate delays.

Science says that when you're hungry, you're in a so called "hot state" where you rely more on emotions, which surprisingly allows for a "better recognition of risks". In other words, you're more capable of making favorable decisions with matters that involve uncertainties.

3) Sleeping

Eating small meals throughout the day helps not only our metabolism, but also improves the quality of sleep. According to a study published on the British Journal of Nutrition, this eating habit is advantageous because it prompts the body to make use of energy from fat stores overnight. Though nutritionists, dietitians and scientists are still debating if late-night eats is the reason for excessive weight gain or if the blame can be put on excessive intake of calories regardless of the time they're consumed. But one thing all can agree on is it's unfavorable to eat the majority of your calories at night, rather than spacing meals regularly out through the day. 

4)  Take ED Meds

You need an empty stomach to experience all the wonders Viagra has to offer. According to the University of California San Francisco, consuming the medication during or immediately after eating a high-fat meal is especially bad because it can "prevent your stomach and intestines from absorbing the medicine", hence making the effects less visible and observable.

Nutrients found on certain food can also interfere with the effectivity of the medicine, cross-cancelling some of the needed chemicals for the pill to take effect. According to the UK National Health Service, certain foods can increase or decrease the amount of medicine in the blood so they become dangerous or ineffective; other foods can neutralize the medication. 

5) Sex 

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, the erectile tissues  in the penis has many tiny pools of blood vessels surrounded by smooth muscles. During arousal, the central nervous system releases chemicals like nitric oxide that causes the erection and making it last, allowing steady blood flow through the veins inside your organ, making the tissues' diameter double in size.

During sexual intercourse, men need as much blood continuously running through the penile veins as you can get to maintain the erection. If you happen to spoil yourself a five-course meal pre-coitus, you're going to have blood traveling the wrong way and working with the organs of your digestive system instead. 

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