According to a new paper from researchers at Princeton University, consuming juice on an empty stomach “overwhelms the digestive system” and wreaks havoc on the “good bacteria” present in your gut.
This is because it’s high in fructose, which can’t be processed by the small intestine following long periods of “fasting” (aka, first thing in the morning). This causes it to “spill over” into the large intestine, liver or colon, where it comes into contact with microbiome that doesn’t agree with sugar.
“The microbiome is designed to never see sugar,” explained Princeton University professor Joshua D. Rabinowitz.
“As soon as you drink the soda or juice, the microbiome is seeing an extremely powerful nutrient that it was never designed to see.”
As a result, the authors of the study recommend keeping sugar intake (including fructose) to a minimum, and only ever after meals.
“There is a fundamental physiological difference in how smaller and larger amounts of sugar are processed in the body,” Rabinowitz added.
The study was first published in the journal Cell Metabolism.