You Should Never Have Orange Juice With Your Cereal. Here's Why

Did you read the title of this post as "don't have a glass of orange juice with your morning bowl of cereal," or as an attack on your favorite breakfast combination: cereal mixed with orange juice? Before you scoff in disbelief, this is apparently a much more popular combination than you might think. Seriously, according to Vice, one fifth of Americans uses orange juice in their cereal instead of milk! 

Regardless of of where you put your OJ in the morning, this is a friendly warning that eating cereal and orange juice in the same meal at all might be a bad decision — and not just because most orange juice is just glorified sugar water, and mixing it with cereal could lead to mockery on social media (via Thrillist). In fact, it has everything to do with your digestion. 

Combining orange juice and cereal will cause digestive distress

First, let's talk about how a glass of orange juice in the morning and a hearty bowl of cereal were marketed as parts of a "balanced breakfast" for so long, despite potential negative effects (via Eater). Sure, cereal is yummy and quick on a busy morning, and depending on which you pick, may offer fiber and various minerals, and orange juice has essential vitamin C, however the combination could be causing digestive distress. This is because the digestive enzyme needed to break down starchy carbohydrates, like those found in cereal, is destroyed by the acid in some citrus fruits, including oranges (via LiveStrong).

The results? Bacteria in your large intestine will start to ferment, causing bloating, gas, and diarrhea. If you experience any digestive discomfort after a breakfast of cereal and orange juice, it might be worth trying a different morning beverage like a smoothie, which will have the added benefit of fiber, plus you can sneak in some healthy veggies like kale or spinach (via Healthline). 

Orange juice will make cereal soggier

Are you one of the people who love orange juice in your cereal cereal? There's a reason it might not be the best breakfast choice, especially if you like your cereal to stay crunchy to the last bite. When cereal was first invented it was filling but also difficult to chew, sometimes referred to as "wheat rocks" by consumers, according to Mental Floss. To combat this, the inventors advocated soaking it in milk or warm water overnight (via The New York Times). This tradition stuck around, hence milk in cereal, but now it poses a new problem: sogginess. And if you hate soggy cereal, don't mix it with orange juice.

Most orange juice comes from concentrate, meaning it's essentially just sugar water and according to a study by Santiago's Pontificia University Católica, low-fat liquids like orange juice will cause cereal to turn soggy at a much faster rate than a fattier liquid, like milk, would (via Vice). So, unless you want a soggy bowl of cereal, it might be worth trying some different combinations.

Of course, you don't have to choose dairy milk. Luckily there are a ton of possible liquids you could go for, like nut milk, oat milk, water, coffee, or even a different, non-citrus juice like mango, papaya, or pineapple — which might aid in digestion, unlike orange juice (via Healthline). When it comes to food combinations that are terrible for your health, knowledge is power.