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​The Science Behind Lining Your Stomach Before Drinking

Jess Hardiman

Published 

​The Science Behind Lining Your Stomach Before Drinking

All too many of us have been caught out after heading to the pub straight from work, only to find that the solitary packet of peanuts we ended up eating for dinner didn't quite do the trick.

Nursing the hangover from hell the next morning, you'll turn to your partner and say morosely: "I forgot to eat any dinner again..."

But is there actually any truth to the idea of lining your stomach before a big sesh, or is it just an urban myth?

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

According to experts at online doctor website Zava, drinking on an empty tum probably isn't the best idea, as it wreaks havoc with your blood-alcohol levels.

Dr Simran Deo, a doctor at Zava, told LADbible: "Some studies have found the blood alcohol levels achieved on drinking on an empty stomach can be up to 4 times higher than after eating."

Deo explained: "On an empty stomach the blood alcohol levels tend to reach their highest about one hour after drinking and this then reduces over the next 4 hours.

"When food is present in the stomach it reduces the absorption of alcohol by slowing down the processes used in emptying it."

Good to know.

In fact, eating a meal before drinking may even help with the severity of your hangover the next day.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Dr Kathryn Basford, also an online doctor at Zava, added: "Food slows down the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream, and also speeds up how quickly your body starts to break down alcohol and remove it.

"This means that blood alcohol levels will be higher and will increase faster if you drink on an empty stomach.

"So you're more likely to feel drunk faster if you don't eat before, and also more likely to experience the negative effects of alcohol - feeling flushed, nauseous, headaches, etc."

As for what's the best type of food to eat before a big night out, Basford believes something vitamin-rich might help you in the long run - but that it's better to eat anything than nothing.

She said: "The type of food that's eaten, for example fats, carbohydrates or proteins, doesn't appear to affect the breakdown of alcohol.

"So as long as you eat a meal before drinking, it will help with the effects of the alcohol, and a subsequent hangover.

"However, foods with plenty of vitamins and water content may help - so fruits and vegetables rather than fatty foods - may be better.

"So if you're eyeing up a burger, perhaps have a salad on the side."

Useful advice for us all.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: World News, News, Alcohol, Drinking, Hangover, Health

Jess Hardiman
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