Should You Wait For Up To Two Hours After Eating Before Swimming?

May 31, 2019

© Roberto Maggioni | Dreamstime

You grandmother told you, your mom told you and chances are you are telling your kids to wait for a few minutes after eating before jumping into a pool or the ocean. But do you really need to keep kids out of the water for a full hour? Is half an hour okay? Ten minutes? The short answer is no! Modern scientists agree that there is no reason to think meals increase the risk of cramping, drowning or other swimming-related risks. Food won’t give you stomach cramps and cramps won’t kill you while swimming.  You may find it hard to believe but that advice of waiting up to an hour after eating came from a book, "How To Swim," published in 1918! In it a passage states that a period of at least two hours should elapse between eating and entering the water, in order to give the digestive processes time to get their work well under way. If the water is entered too soon after eating, especially when it is at a low temperature, the digestive process is immediately arrested, and this in itself is likely to produce a severe case of cramps, and perhaps result in acute indigestion which may prove serious. No research has been able to confirm this and its outdatedness is evident that competitive swimmers eat before and even during long distance swims. Of course, it comes down to your personal preferences and helping the kiddos learn theirs as well.  After all, you wouldn't want to head off on a long run immediately after eating a big meal.  But like with swimming, having a belly full of food won't cause any life-threatening harm. 

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SOURCE: Lifehacker

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