Swimming on a Full Stomach… Dangerous or Not?

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.








2 thoughts on “Swimming on a Full Stomach… Dangerous or Not?

  1. trr5223

    When I was younger I always used to get yelled at whenever I would jump into the pool after eating because I needed to “digest.” I knew for a fact it had to be a myth since there were times when I jumped in exactly right after eating and I felt fine!! I mean I know that didn’t prove it exactly but I noticed that I never heard about a time when someone felt sick after jumping in after food intake.

  2. Audra Wren Laskey

    We have all definatly heard this myth as a child that you shouldn’t swim after eating within 20-30 minutes. It seemed believable, but definatly a myth. Since swimming is a strenuous, whole body workout, athletes have to make sure what they are eating is proper and will help them in the pool. http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/what-eat-swim this article list suggestions on what people should eat before swimming to swim to the best of your abilities.

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