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snopes
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Comment: My brother-in-law just told me that he never drinks alcohol
following a meal, because it will sit with the food and ferment it. Ever
heard of that?

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Midgard_Dragon
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I've always been told (and experienced) the opposite. One absolutely must not drink alcohol on an empty stomach. It's a bad, bad idea.

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surfcitydogdad
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Never. Sounds like one of the "old wives' tales" you debunk at Snopes, Mr. Dave. The body begins to break down the alcohol almost immediately after ingestion, no?

Some people say not to drink water with meals; also ridiculous. DO drink water with meals (and plenty the rest of the time), and if you're going to imbibe alcohol, DO drink it with food (or after meals), as Midgard cautions.

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Richard W
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Sugar and yeast ferment, anyway - alcohol is a by-product; it doesn't cause fermentation.
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Finite Fourier Alchemy
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Fermentation is the process where microorginisms such as yeast consume the sugar in food, producing carbon dioxide and alcohol, as well as other oxygenated byproducts and acids.

Won't happen (much) in the stomach because:

-Unless the food is already spoiled, it's not likely anyone is going to be able to load the stomach with significant quantities of yeast

-Even if that happened, the stomach not very hospitable for the yeast. Stomach fluids have a pH of around 2-4 which is at the low edge of the active range for many yeasts. The yeast would not be working very fast, if at all.

-Even if fermentation was possible, it would proceed very slowly, all while free sugars are being quickly adsorbed into the bloodstream.

And even without all the above, adding alcohol to sugar will not promote fermentation. In fact, alcohol production is what renders yeast inactive - this is the reason undistilled alcohols can't get much higher than 12-15% alcohol - at that concentration, the yeast stops.

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CitizenAim
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quote:
Originally posted by Midgard_Dragon:
I've always been told (and experienced) the opposite. One absolutely must not drink alcohol on an empty stomach. It's a bad, bad idea.

I've been told this as well, by a doctor. A year and a half ago, I discovered alcohol and had quite a bit of it in the course of a week, to the point where I was getting excruciating abdominal pain. When I went to the doctor, one of the very first questions she asked me was if I had had anything to eat prior to drinking (I hadn't). Most of her feedback was that while drinking a lot can tear your stomach up (she said this in more evolved medical langauge than I can come up with), drinking it on an empty stomach is just asking for all sorts of trouble, from stomachaches to ulcers.

Because when you have nothing in there, your stomach lining is most exposed to the acidic content of alcohol. I think this is also why people say you're not supposed to drink soda when you first wake up, although I've never had anyone suggest not drinking orange juice, which has even higher acidity, so it doesn't really piece together well for me.

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Richard W
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quote:
CitizenAim said:
Because when you have nothing in there, your stomach lining is most exposed to the acidic content of alcohol.

Er... the stomach is full of hydrochloric acid anyway (pH 2 - 4 according to Finite Fourier Alchemy above), and well able to withstand this. Alcohol (ethanol) is in fact slightly alkaline (pH 9.8 according to this page) so it's not going to do much to the stomach lining by any sort of direct corrosive action, I don't think.

The main reason that people are advised not to drink on an empty stomach is that it's easier to get drunk by mistake, because the alcohol is absorbed more quickly if that's all that your digestive system has to work on...

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rsamboragal
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mmmmmmm......beer.....

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lioness
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It's best to have alcohol with food, or after a meal, never on an empty stomach. Water is also essential, especially when you're enjoying alcohol, to prevent dehydration.
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Towknie
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quote:
Originally posted by lioness:
It's best to have alcohol with food, or after a meal, never on an empty stomach. Water is also essential, especially when you're enjoying alcohol, to prevent dehydration.

But what about Guiness? Isn't that pretty much a meal and a beer all wrapped up in one convenient beverage?

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Troberg
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Don't drink on an empty stomach, as the alcohol gets into the blood faster and is easy to get too much.

On the other hand, don't eat very fat food before you drink a lot. It forms a layer that stops the alcohol for a while, allowing you to drink a lot without feeling it. Then the alcohol eats through the fat layer and hits you like a sledge hammer. A student died because of that trick in a drinking contest in Gothenburg 10-15 years ago.

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/Troberg

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jw
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quote:
Originally posted by Midgard_Dragon:
One absolutely must not drink alcohol on an empty stomach. It's a bad, bad idea.

Not a bad idea if you want to get 'hammered' [Wink]

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franjava
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My grandfather said never to drink milk when eating fish. Don't know why (and I do it anyway) but that was his weird thing.

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Brad from Georgia
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Franjava, my mom used to tell us the same thing--milk with fish is deadly, as is milk with watermelon. I don't know how that got started.

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"No hard feelin's and HOPpy New Year!"--Walt Kelly
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Canuckistan
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quote:
Originally posted by Brad from Georgia:
Franjava, my mom used to tell us the same thing--milk with fish is deadly, as is milk with watermelon. I don't know how that got started.

Probably because the thought of either is quite repulsive, IMO. Ewww!

As for the OP: never heard anything like that.

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People need to stop appropriating Jesus as their reason for behaving badly. It's so irritating. (Avril)

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The Pikey Snow Queen
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Fish poached in milk is lovely! No, really.

I was always told not to drink milk with alcohol as it will curdle.

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Tarquin Farquart
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by Pikey Queen:
I was always told not to drink milk with alcohol as it will curdle.

What about a
White Russian?

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I shall baffle you with cabbages and rhinoceroses in the kitchen and incessant quotations from "Now We Are Six" through the mouthpiece of Lord Snooty's giant poisoned electric head. So there!

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The Pikey Snow Queen
The First USA Noel


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Vodka doesn't count. It's special

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Brosandi. Hendumst hringi
Hldumst hendur
Allur heimurinn skr
Nema stendur

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Brad from Georgia
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I know after a little vodka I can't count. Or stand up, for that matter.

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"No hard feelin's and HOPpy New Year!"--Walt Kelly
Hear what you're missing: ARTC podcasts! http://artcpodcast.org/

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The Pikey Snow Queen
The First USA Noel


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Counting and standing are overrated IMO [Wink]

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Brosandi. Hendumst hringi
Hldumst hendur
Allur heimurinn skr
Nema stendur

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Canuckistan
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quote:
Originally posted by Tarquin Farquart:
What about a
White Russian?

Now you're bringing back memories of one of my barhops through London some years back. One of the bars gave up pitchers of the stuff.

Yeah, we couldn't count or stand at the end of that night, either. But boy, did we think we were special!

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People need to stop appropriating Jesus as their reason for behaving badly. It's so irritating. (Avril)

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Nick Theodorakis
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by Brad from Georgia:
Franjava, my mom used to tell us the same thing--milk with fish is deadly, as is milk with watermelon. I don't know how that got started.

My Dad said my great-grandmother (whom I didn't know) said the same thing about milk with fish or watermelon.

Nick

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queen of the bah-caramels
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quote:
Originally posted by Towknie:
quote:
Originally posted by lioness:
It's best to have alcohol with food, or after a meal, never on an empty stomach. Water is also essential, especially when you're enjoying alcohol, to prevent dehydration.

But what about Guiness? Isn't that pretty much a meal and a beer all wrapped up in one convenient beverage?
look at the beers produced by Belgium/Dutch trappists. Beers of ABV 10-12% are still fairly stanadrd for the monestaries usage.

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