6 Things That Happen When You Drink Something Cold On An Empty Stomach

Consuming cold drinks on an empty stomach is a common habit, but it can have various effects on your body, some of which might be surprising.

Below is an exploration of what happens when you drink something cold without having eaten anything:

1. Gastric shock

When a cold beverage enters the stomach, the sudden temperature change can cause what is sometimes referred to as “gastric shock.”

This occurs because the cold temperatures cause the stomach muscles to contract, which can lead to discomfort or sharp pain. This is particularly noticeable when you consume very cold drinks.

2. Slower digestion

Drinking cold beverages on an empty stomach can slow down the body’s digestion process.

This happens because the cold temperature temporarily numbs the enzymes and muscles in the stomach that are responsible for breaking down food. As a result, the digestion process becomes less efficient.

3. Decreased heart rate

Cold drinks can also cause a slight decrease in heart rate. This phenomenon is linked to the “diving reflex,” which is triggered by the sudden cooling of the vagus nerve that runs along the back of the throat.

The diving reflex is more commonly triggered by cold water on the face but can also be induced by cold temperatures ingested.

4. Impact on blood sugar levels

Consuming sugary cold drinks on an empty stomach can cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels. The body absorbs the sugar more quickly because there is no food to slow the process down.

This can lead to an initial burst of energy followed by a quick drop, which might make you feel tired or irritable.

5. Aggravation of acid reflux

For individuals with sensitive stomachs or conditions like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), drinking cold beverages on an empty stomach can exacerbate symptoms.

Cold drinks can increase stomach contractions, which may push stomach acids up into the esophagus, causing discomfort and heartburn.

6. Hydration

On a positive note, drinking any fluid on an empty stomach can help hydrate the body. However, cold water is absorbed slightly quicker than warm water.

So, if you’re looking to hydrate quickly, a cold drink might do the trick, although the benefits must be weighed against the possible discomforts.

While it’s generally safe to drink cold beverages, doing so on an empty stomach can lead to various physical reactions.

If you experience discomfort from this habit, it may be beneficial to try consuming less cold or room-temperature beverages, particularly if your stomach is empty.

As always, paying attention to how your body reacts and making adjustments based on your personal health needs is crucial.


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