Honestly, I never believed you should wait to swim an hour after eating. That’s probably because I swam on a full stomach more than once without consequence. I grew up close to Lake Ontario. Swimming was my favorite summer pastime. Should you wait to swim until an hour after eating? My answer was always, “Heck no, I’m getting in the water right now!”. Still, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m just immune to stomach cramps or whatever ill fate is supposed to befall those who don’t wait an hour after eating to go swimming. Let’s find out.
What Time is It?
The first indication that something is amiss with this old wives tale is that the time changes depending on who you ask. Some say, wait a half hour, some say an hour, some say wait two hours after eating to swim. Why should you wait to swim for an hour after eating, anyway? What is this theory and where did it come from?
What’s the Theory?
Why do people say you should wait for an hour after eating to go swimming? What’s so bad about swimming after eating? The theory is that blood flow to the stomach used for digestion is diverted away from the muscles used for swimming, which leads to cramping. The cramps, old wives fear, may increase your chances of drowning.
Is it True?
The answer is no, it’s not necessary to wait to swim for any length of time after eating. This makes a lot of sense. Wouldn’t you have to eat an awful lot of food to have cramps so bad it would increase your drowning risk? I don’t remember ever having leg cramps from eating, either while swimming or on dry land. Do you?
When Should You Wait to Swim?
You may want to wait to swim until long after drinking alcohol. Just like drinking and driving, drinking and swimming is extremely dangerous and hazardous to your health. If you’re too drunk to drive, chances are, you’re too drunk to swim. Your chances of drowning do increase when inebriated. You just don’t have the physical coordination needed to stay afloat.