Nugget of Knowledge: Swimming after eating

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For generations, parents have warned their kids against swimming for an hour after eating

(WYTV) – Do you really have to wait a half hour or an hour after eating before going swimming?

For generations, parents have warned their kids against swimming for an hour after eating.

The common explanation was that your stomach can’t cope with digesting food and the exertion of swimming at the same time, so you’re going to get stomach cramps then you struggle in the water.

It sounds reasonable and in the 1960’s the American Red Cross advised against swimming right after eating. However, even then, some physicians suspected this was nonsense.

In the late 1960’s, there were several studies in which swimmers ate a meal at different times before going swimming.

Researchers found no evidence of cramps. A few swimmers said they were a bit nauseous, but it was nothing life-threatening.

In 2005, researchers in Australia found evidence that swimmers may feel some pain in their sides, but there was no evidence of a major threat to health.

Finally, in 2011, the American Red Cross looked at all the scientific evidence it could find and decided there is nothing to suggest that eating before swimming could put you at risk of drowning and concluded it was a myth.

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