Medical Myth "Should you wait 30 minutes after eating to go swim - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Medical Myth "Should you wait 30 minutes after eating to go swimming"

Medical Myth "Should you wait 30 minutes after eating to go swimming"

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CHARLESTON, SC -

"Wait a half hour after eating before you can safely go swimming." That seem to be the  universal rule for children wanting to swim after eating a meal.  Dr. Keith Borg,. an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina says the myth involves the possibility of suffering severe muscle cramping and drowning from swimming on a full stomach.

"It depends on how much you eat. You can eat a full meal and it can be in your stomach for hours and hours and that's why the thirty minutes is really a myth." Dr. Borg says.

Aan episode of drowning caused by swimming on a full stomach has never been documented. Neither the American Academy of Pediatrics nor the American Red Cross makes any specific recommendations about waiting any amount of time after eating before taking a swim.  Dr. Borg says remember when you are swimming you are exercising.  The same rules apply.

"You wouldn't eat a big meal and go out for a run so you have to realize that when you're in the water you're exercising."

There's a theoretical possibility that one could develop a cramp while swimming with a full stomach, but a person swimming in a pool or controlled swimming area could easily exit the water if this happens. As with any exercise after eating, swimming right after a big meal might be uncomfortable, but it won't cause you to drown.

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