I've always been told that eating oranges at night is bad for you.
In fact there is a saying that suggests that you might die if you eat them at night:
"Oranges in the morning are gold, afternoon silver and at night they kill!" (Translated from Portuguese where it rhymes so it sounds good)

Is there any truth to this saying and if not where could this myth come from?

  • 6
    The worst I've had happen to me is a case of 2AM diarrhea. Diarrhea kills thousands of people every day.
    – It Grunt
    Mar 22, 2011 at 23:14
  • What I've eared that It can cause damage, over a long term period, if you eat orange systematically with an "empty stomach". This is caused by the fact that this is quite acid. This advice will certainly be valid for lemon too, etc.
    – Rabskatran
    Mar 23, 2011 at 9:52
  • Do you have any idea whether acid should harm the stomach, sugar should kept you from sleeping (this would fit to bananas, apples and such as well) or maybe the acid harm your teeth? Mar 23, 2011 at 10:57
  • I had 1/2 sour ornages an hour before going to bed, two times in this week. Both times, i did not have full sleep. It seemed that i had less urine both times. I am wondering, what could be the reason.
    – user1704
    Apr 8, 2011 at 5:38
  • 1
    This question has been attracting more than its fair share of unreferenced answers. Please remember that our community standards require your claims to be cited.
    – Oddthinking
    Mar 3, 2012 at 5:47

1 Answer 1


Recently, I came across some news that reminded me of this question I posed.

This news report is from a Portuguese TV channel and it does confirm that this saying is a myth, the origin of which seems to be rooted around the fact that in the past people used to steal oranges during the night. The saying was designed to discourage this.

Comer laranja à noite não faz mal

The news report also mentions studies that have been made that confirm this as a myth although it doesn't say which studies specifically. The dietitian on this report does mention that the orange can have a stimulant effect that could raise blood pressure slightly.

I have since found other posts that also confirm this saying as a myth:

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