Should You Swim after You Eat?

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At any lake, pool, or beach gathering, you may have heard that it's bad to swim right after you eat. Is there any truth to the saying? We at ABC Swimming Pools have explained what the fuss is all about.

The Myth

The myth behind the saying is that blood rushes to your stomach to digest your food and away from your muscles. This combined with the food in your stomach may lead to cramps and even drowning.

The Truth

Modern medicine reveals that blood does indeed rush to your stomach to help you digest after eating. However, it is not severe enough to prevent your muscles from working properly. Swimming is like any other physical activity. You may not want to eat a big meal and then run a mile for fear of cramps. Similarly, vigorous swimming could potentially cause the same cramps, however they are unlikely to cause drowning as a result.

Generally, both children and adults should be fine to swim after a meal, particularly if swimming in a pool. If you feel lethargic after a meal or are swimming in the ocean, then you may want to be a tad more cautious, but the chances of a person developing cramps severe enough to drown are incredibly rare. You would be better cautioned not to drink alcohol and swim afterwards.

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