Photo from Clear Choice Pool
As summer rolls around, many of us have been warned about not swimming immediately after eating. This is based on the idea that blood will divert from the arms and legs and flow toward the digestive tract after consuming a large meal. We are told that our stomach might cramp and we might drown. One might also hear that the limbs might not be supplied with enough blood flow to function. For most children, taking a break from swimming after a big lunch can feel like an eternity.
There are so many people who are concerned about the risks of swimming after eating that the American Red Cross presented a scientific advisory statement in the International Journal of Aquatic Research and Education that stated, “currently available information suggests that eating before swimming is not a contributing risk for drowning and can be dismissed as a myth.” Our bodies have enough blood to keep all of our body parts going after eating a large meal. This is exciting news for children who love the pool, lake, beach etc. They don’t have to listen to their parent’s advice… just this once. Saved by science.