What does green juice on an empty stomach do?

Green juice has become a popular health drink due to its dense nutrient profile and potential health benefits. Some proponents of juicing claim that drinking green juice on an empty stomach maximizes nutrient absorption and gives an extra kick to your system first thing in the morning.

But what does science have to say about drinking green juice on an empty stomach? And are there any side effects to be aware of?

The Potential Benefits

Here are some of the proposed benefits of drinking green juice on an empty stomach:

May Increase Nutrient Absorption

Drinking green juice before eating anything else means there is nothing in your stomach competing for absorption. This may allow the nutrients from the juice to be more readily absorbed into your bloodstream.

In particular, drinking green juice on an empty stomach may increase absorption of:

  • Vitamin C
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium

However, more research is needed on how much impact this has on overall nutrient levels in the body.

Provides an Immediate Nutrient Boost

Green juice packs a concentrated dose of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Drinking it first thing in the morning can flood your system with nutrients and energize you for the day ahead.

Some of the nutrients found in green juice, such as vitamin B12 and vitamin C, play a role in energy production and exercise performance. Drinking green juice on an empty stomach may help maximize these energizing effects.

May Aid Digestion

Some alternative medicine practitioners claim that drinking green juice on an empty stomach may support digestion. It introduces nutrients and enzymes that help “wake up” your digestive system and stimulate gastric juices.

However, there is limited scientific evidence to support this. More research is needed.

Lightens the Load of Digestion

When you drink green juice on an empty stomach, your body can focus its energy on absorbing the nutrients rather than on digesting a meal. This may help start your day feeling light rather than bloated.

Potential Side Effects and Precautions

Drinking green juice on an empty stomach is likely safe for most people. However, there are some potential side effects and precautions to be aware of:

Blood Sugar Effects

Green juices made entirely from veggies are low glycemic and unlikely to spike blood sugar. However, some green juices also contain fruits, which raise blood sugar more rapidly when consumed on an empty stomach.

This may be a concern for people with diabetes or prediabetes. It’s best to avoid adding high glycemic fruits like oranges, pineapple, mango, and apple to green juice you’ll be drinking first thing in the morning.

Gas and Bloating

Drinking green juice on an empty stomach could potentially cause gas, bloating, or abdominal discomfort. This seems more likely when juices contain cruciferous vegetables like kale, broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts.

If you experience this, try reducing the amount of cruciferous veggies or switching to lower-fiber greens like spinach and cucumber.


The combination of drinking a large volume of liquid on an empty stomach can lead some people to feel nauseated. This may be exacerbated by strong or bitter flavors in the green juice.

If this occurs, try sipping the juice slowly. You can also add lemon, ginger, mint or fruit to help cut the bitter taste.


In rare cases, drinking green juice on an empty stomach may cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) in people who are sensitive to insulin fluctuations. Symptoms include shakiness, anxiety, confusion, and fatigue.

To be safe, people with a history of hypoglycemia should include some protein or healthy fat when drinking green juice first thing in the morning, such as nut butter or seeds.

How Long Should You Wait After Drinking It to Eat?

There is no exact scientific answer for how long you should wait after drinking green juice to eat a proper meal.

Some nutritionists recommend waiting at least 15-30 minutes. This allows your body time to absorb some of the nutrients without food competing for absorption.

However, if you feel hungry or experience symptoms like nausea, lightheadedness, or shakes after drinking green juice, it’s fine to eat sooner. Pay attention to the signals from your body.

Should You Drink Green Juice Before or After a Workout?

Here is a look at the pros and cons of drinking green juice before or after exercise:

Before Workout

Potential benefits:

  • May provide an energizing boost from nutrients like vitamin C and iron
  • Aids hydration and electrolyte replenishment
  • Liquid is easier to digest before physical activity


  • Blood sugar spike if fruit-heavy juice
  • Some may experience GI distress when exercising on full stomach

After Workout

Potential benefits:

  • Helps rebuild muscles with protein and anti-inflammatory nutrients
  • Rehydrates without diluting electrolytes like plain water may do
  • Satisfies cravings and replenishes energy after a workout


  • Nutrients may compete with food-based meal eaten post-workout
  • Fiber can temporarily slow digestion

Overall, drinking green juice either before or after a workout can be beneficial. Pay attention to your body and how you feel when trying different timings.

Tips for Drinking Green Juice on an Empty Stomach

Here are some tips to get the most out of drinking green juice first thing in the morning while minimizing side effects:

  • Avoid adding high glycemic fruits like pineapple and mango
  • Reduce or nix cruciferous veggies if you experience gas
  • Add ginger or lemon to help cut bitter flavors
  • Drink slowly rather than gulping it down
  • Consider adding protein powder or nut butter
  • Wait 15-30 minutes before eating a full meal

Sample Green Juice Recipes to Try

Here are a few balanced green juice recipes you can try on an empty stomach:

Green Reviver Juice

  • 1 cucumber
  • 5 stalks celery
  • 1 green apple
  • 1⁄2 lemon
  • 1 inch ginger
  • Large handful of spinach

Green Goodness Juice

  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 green apple
  • 1 cup pineapple
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 1⁄2 lemon
  • Handful of kale or spinach

Green Morning Juice

  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 apple
  • 1 pear
  • 1 inch ginger
  • Handful of parsley
  • Handful of spinach

The Bottom Line

Drinking green juice on an empty stomach may provide an energizing nutrient boost and prime your body to absorb key vitamins and minerals. However, it may not be well tolerated by everyone.

Pay attention to your body’s signals. Drink your green juice slowly and pair it with protein or healthy fats if you experience symptoms like nausea, shakes, or dizziness. This juice can be beneficial before or after a workout for most people.

Overall, green juice is a healthy beverage packed with key nutrients. Drinking it first thing in the morning may give you noticeable benefits – as long as you find a recipe and routine that works for your body.

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