Q&A: Nausea After Drinking Water On An Empty Stomach? (Causes)


The usual occurrence of nausea after drinking water on an empty stomach affects lots of people. However, why does it occur? Is there any risk? What steps can be taken to stop it? Experts speculate that this sensation may be caused by the digestive system's response to abrupt changes in fluid levels, yet the specific explanation of this sensation is still unknown. In order to prevent any potential health problems, it is crucial to learn the facts concerning this occurrence. Continue reading to discover the causes of and remedies for nausea that follows drinking water on an empty stomach.


Drinking water on an empty stomach can cause nausea and other digestive issues.

  • The body is unable to process the large amount of water quickly, leading to an upset stomach.
  • Drinking too much water on an empty stomach can lead to electrolyte imbalances in the body.
  • Consuming small amounts of food before drinking water can help reduce the risk of nausea.

By understanding how drinking water on an empty stomach affects your body, you can make sure to stay hydrated without experiencing any negative side effects!

Do you have nausea when you drink water on an empty stomach?

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Are you worried about this condition?

Is there anything you can do about it?

If you deal with this feeling, you’re not the only one. Many people find themselves feeling nauseated from water, and this problem is not generally a sign of anything too serious.

What does it feel like to have nausea after drinking water on an empty stomach? It feels like a burning sensation for some people and a need to vomit for others. Whatever this practice does to your stomach, you can find ways to avoid it by paying attention to our tips below.

We will give you a quick rundown of potential risks that may be contributing to your nausea so you can easily pinpoint the problem and work to get on with your daily routine in no time. Read on to learn more.

Nausea and Water on an Empty Stomach

Here are some facts about the relationship between drinking water on an empty stomach and feeling nauseated. Read up on these to get a better understanding of this connection in your own life. By keeping this information in mind, you should be better able to deal with water-related nausea when it hits you, and you may also start to understand how to avoid this type of problem, too.

nausea after drinking water

1. Nausea due to aggravated digestive disorders

  • Drinking water on an empty stomach may aggravate digestive disorders or heartburn. Many people who suffer from heartburn and indigestion report it getting much worse after having water on an empty stomach. As we just went over, drinking water on an empty stomach can and often does affect the acids in your stomach. If you are the kind of person who already suffers from issues related to your stomach acid—like acid reflux—then you’re going to notice a significant change for the worse when you have water and don’t have anything else in your stomach yet. You may notice some severe painful belching and burping as well as bloating and stomach pain.

2. Nausea due to your body processing the water you just drank

  • When your body takes energy to process water in your empty stomach, it doesn’t have food to use for that energy, so it must take it from elsewhere. the energy your body needs to get the water to all the right places has to come from somewhere, but if you haven’t had any food yet during the day, it can’t come from calories or nutrients in anything you’re eating. Therefore, your body has to reroute some of that energy from other parts of the body. This may make you feel dizzy, lightheaded, or even confused, and it can also make you feel a lot weaker overall. And, of course, this can also contribute to a feeling of nausea as well.

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3. Nausea due to diluted stomach acid

  • ​Drinking water on an empty stomach can dilute the acids in your stomach and make digestion worse. The acids in your stomach are there for a reason. They help your body break down the food you eat and the liquids you drink so that they can be more easily digested. However, if you have a lot of water on an empty stomach, those acids are not going to be able to do their job as well. They’ll become weakened due to all the water that’s in your stomach, and in turn, they won’t have the ability to break down your food normally. This can easily cause you to feel nauseated due to the food not agreeing well with your digestive system.

4. Nausea due to a lack of energy

  • When you have something in your stomach, your body needs energy to process it. No matter what’s in your stomach, even if it’s just water, your body has to process it—otherwise it would just sit in your stomach forever, and no one wants that! However, if you have an empty stomach, this may mean you notice it a lot more when your body expends that energy. And if you’ve just woken up and started your day, it’s even more likely you’re going to notice the negative side effects of your body’s overuse of energy on processing the water you just drank. In other words, because your body is using a lot of energy with not a lot of gain, you may notice nausea related to this process.

5. Nausea due to... something else, perhaps?

  • ​If you’ve looked through the list of suggestions above and you still don’t think you’ve found the solution for what’s causing you to feel nauseated after you drink a glass of water on an empty stomach, remember that there’s always a chance you’ve just forgotten something that may not be sitting well today. If you ate a big, greasy meal covered in cheese last night and now you’re feeling nauseated, there’s a good chance the nausea isn’t coming from the water you’ve just had to drink. If you think this might be the case, try taking an antacid and see if that helps things settle down a little bit.


drinking water on empty stomach causes nausea

As you can see, there are many potential causes associated with the feeling of nausea after drinking water on an empty stomach. This is something that happens to a lot of people, so if you find that it’s happening to you, don’t worry—you’re not alone, and it’s not usually anything too serious to be concerned about. However, you should still understand what the causes might be so you can avoid these situations in the future.

Can you do anything to stop this problem other than avoid the risks, however? You can, but the best way to combat the issue is to make sure you have a little food in your stomach when you drink water. This way, you just won’t have to worry about this potentially happening to you at all.

If, however, you find that this isn’t going to work for you, make sure you have over-the-counter antacids and nausea medication on hand just in case it gets too bad. Otherwise, try drinking lukewarm water instead of very cold water, as this has been shown to aid in digestion in some people. Be sure you’re sipping your water slowly rather than drinking it in big gulps, especially if you notice bloating along with your nausea. And if all else fails, try your water with some lemon in it, as this can help settle an unhappy stomach, too.

It may take a little trial and error to figure out the best way to drink water on an empty stomach without getting nauseated, but with time, you’ll be able to enjoy it with no trouble.

Additional Research:



5 Tips to Avoid Nausea After Drinking Water on an Empty Stomach

  1. Drink small sips of water slowly, rather than gulping it down.
  2. Eat a light snack before drinking water on an empty stomach.
  3. Avoid drinking cold water as it can cause the stomach to contract and lead to nausea.
  4. Drink warm or room temperature water instead of cold water.
  5. If you experience nausea after drinking water, try adding a pinch of salt or sugar to the glass.

ALSO: Try adding some lemon juice or ginger juice to your glass of warm water for added benefits!</p

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About The Author

Joseph Bartley
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Joseph Bartley, also known as the WaterFilterFanatic, is a seasoned content writer who specializes in water filtration and water quality topics. On AllAboutWaterFilters, he has written a range of water filtration system reviews, water health and quality articles, swimming pool, hot tub and aquarium filtration guides, DIY methods to assist people clean their drinking water, and much more. Joseph enjoys spending his time working with the #AllAboutWaterFilters Editorial Team to provide some of the best quality water filtration content available on the web.

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