Alcohol and food intake induce changes in LV performance which can be evaluated by radionuclide cardiographic methods. Alcohol probably exerts its effects by a direct action of ethanol in the blood on the myocardium, while the postprandial hemodynamic changes are related to the effects of food in the intestine. Alcohol intoxication causes a dose-dependent impairment of LV emptying at rest, whereas compensatory mechanisms other than an increased sympathetic nervous activity counterbalance this effect during exercise. In patients with coronary artery disease, alcohol induces only small changes in LV volumes at rest, possibly because of a concomitant vasodilation. Food intake seems to have a considerable influence on central hemodynamics leading to an increase in cardiac output both in healthy subjects and in patients with coronary artery disease. In healthy subjects an increase is recorded in the LVEDV and LVESV after a meal. The autonomic nervous system is probably responsible for most of the hemodynamic changes.