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Should You Swim After Eating?

how long after eating can you swim

"How long after eating can you swim?" You've probably heard (and thought) this question more times than you can count on both hands and feet.

Many people say you should wait 30 minutes to an hour after eating before you start swimming, but is there any truth to this utterance?

The answer is no! Swimming after you have eaten is not dangerous and won't harm you in the slightest. So, to answer your burning "can you swim after eating" question; yes, yes you can. 

Where the Myth Came From

Surprisingly, this little myth about how long should you wait after eating before swimming has been around since 1908 when it was written in a handbook made for Boy Scouts. 

The book gave a warning about why you should not eat before swimming. It stated that if you swam after you had eaten and not waited for a full 90 minutes, then you would drown.

Where the author of the Boy Scouts' book got this idea from is completely unknown, but it is entirely inaccurate! 

So, How Long Should You Wait After Eating?

 how long should you wait after eating before swimming

There isn't an answer to this question simply because there doesn't need to be!

As we have established, you won't damage yourself if you choose to swim straight after you have eaten. Quite frankly, it is probably best that you do eat pre-swim as this will provide you with the energy needed to stay afloat. 

Having said this, the reason why "how long should wait to swim after eating" is even a question comes from the fact that many people have been told that it will cause stitches or cramps, which will lead to you drowning.

Do not fret — there is zero evidence to suggest that this is true! As we're sure you know, eating and then doing any sort of vigorous exercise can give you cramps, but this is largely based on athletes who undertake insanely high-impact workouts.

Best Foods to Eat Before Swimming

If you are a keen swimmer or are looking to start your swim journey, you should be aware of the right swimming diet for before and after the exercise. 

Before you swim, you'll need to ingest something that will provide you with continuous energy. This encompasses all nutritious, slow-release carbohydrates like porridge, wholegrain pasta, sweet potatoes, bananas and unsalted nuts. 

Afterwards, you need to eat food that will help to repair your body. There are plenty of foods out there that will do this such as lean chicken, oily fish, Quorn, low-fat milk, brown rice and peanut butter. 

 best food to eat before swimming

Make sure that you include fruits and vegetables into your diet along with the suggested foods here. If you don't, you will end up being very deficient in various nutrients and won't have the energy to go about your day, let alone swim. 

Hopefully, we have been able to answer your burning "how long after eating can you swim" question so you can go forth and conquer the water without any worries.