We’ve always heard the saying that you should wait a half hour after eating to go swimming. When we were little we just accepted this idea, even though as toddlers we would get annoyed that we couldn’t jump right back into the water. However, they were no questions asked how these two things were even correlated. Now being older, I’ll eat a chipotle burrito and go right back in the water with no second thought. But, I was interested in seeing where this saying came from and if there is any actual truth behind it or not.
Where did this idea come from?
This article talks about the origins of this story. David Mikkelson, the author, parallels this story with that one the boogieman. It was basically made up as a tall tale to scare kids from eating on a full stomach. The idea of doing this was said to lead to cramps, according to this article. If you ask me, parents made up this myth so they wouldn’t have to deal with their kids in the pool. I worked at a camp this summer and had to watch second grade girls in a pool for one hour a week. Even though this doesn’t sound like a long time, it felt like eternity. As a parent, I would most definitely make something up to keep my young child out of the water.
Is it really a myth?
HERE is a New York Times article that looks into this claim and the truth behind it. The article shows that the claim is that the cramps that come from eating then going in the pool, can increase the risk of drowning. Dr. Roshini Rajapaska that explains that these cramps are possible, but there is no statistic that show you are more at risk of drowning if you go in the water after eating. He explains that these statistics could change if alcoholic beverages are involved, but for the most part this myth is just that. A myth.