Killer Cookouts: Should You Really Wait 30 minutes After Eating to Jump Back in the Pool?

Have you ever been told that you must wait at least thirty minutes after eating to take a plunge back into the swimming pool or else you could cramp up and drown?

Since we were children this little piece of knowledge has been passed down to us a universally held truth. Where did this idea come from? And have we ever stopped to figure out if this “truth” that is taking away from some valuable swimming pool time is actually true? Here’s what we’ve discovered in our quest for truth.


The Truth

People commonly believe that the blood going to your digestive tract after eating steals the blood that your arms and leg muscles needed during swimming. This theory is actually baseless. The body does supply some extra blood to help your body digest food, but not nearly enough blood to keep your arm and leg muscles to just completely stop functioning. The biggest danger that you could possibly be facing related to eating and swimming is probably a minor cramp at the most.

The American Red Cross doesn’t recommend waiting for a specific amount of time after eating to jump in the pool. Sometimes people do suffer stomach cramps while swimming, but in a controlled swimming area, it’s often easy to exit the pool if necessary. As with any exercise after consuming food, swimming right after having a large meal might be uncomfortable, but it won’t cause you to drown.

Our conclusion for the day…

Full-stomach Swimming pool = Not the most comfortable, but safe to pursue should you choose so.