General Question

Trance24's avatar

Half hour wait to swim after eating?

Asked by Trance24 (3311points) May 26th, 2008

Why did your parents always tell you this? I have never found it to be true. I never listened, and never had the stomach ache they were warning me about.

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13 Answers

jlm11f's avatar

it is bad for your digestion to exercise right after eating. stomach ache or not, there is an internal effect.

Bri_L's avatar

I have read and been told that this is false. I was a life guard for 4 years and trained in life saving and we were told this was a myth. It’s possible, as it would be with any heavy activity after a heavy meal, it could effect you poorly but not such that you cramp up as a direct result of the meal and a 30 sec. time frame.

That being said, it is never a great idea to go out and go nuts after a meal.

arnbev959's avatar

I think it is true to some extent. After eating it’s a good idea to wait around before exercising. You could get the same kind of cramp you get if you go running right after eating.

An Olympic swimmer would have to be careful, but if you’re just splashing around in the pool, it doesn’t matter.

gailcalled's avatar

Half hour? When my sibs and I were growing up, it was 60 minutes by the stop watch. I am sure it was a form of ludicrous parental control and I was always furious.

Fallstand's avatar

I read an article very recently that this was a false fact.. I’ll see if I can dig it up

amandaafoote's avatar

I think it’s only if you would be swimming long distances?

Cooldil17's avatar

No, in fact in most cases professional swimmers eat a lot before swimming. This is just an old wives tail.

marinelife's avatar

@Coodil17 Would that be a mermaid’s tail in this case?

Mtl_zack's avatar

i think it has something to do with the fact that you’re using most of your body’s muscles at the same time, and that you need to store the energy first, and then release it to all parts of the body. if you only gain the energy in one part, the other parts will fail and that sends a signal to your other organs that something is wrong, hence the puke/stomache ache/headache.

Magnus's avatar

This is an urban myth that is backed by no scientific evidence at all.

jlm11f's avatar

support for my answer – “Well, it is safe in the sense that nothing bad will happen, but it isn’t optimal. Having food in your stomach while exercising may make you feel uncomfortable, especially if you are running. It also makes it harder for your body to digest.” source

But I believe Dr. Mirkin said it best “Food stays in your stomach for a while after you eat because it can’t leave until it’s turned into liquid. As long as food is in the stomach, your stomach muscle must squeeze to turn it into a liquid soup. Active muscles need huge amounts of oxygen from the blood that flows to them.

When food is in your stomach during exercise, your heart has to pump blood to both the exercising muscles and those in the stomach. If your heart is not strong enough to supply blood to both, it stops pumping blood to the stomach muscles, which lack oxygen, accumulate lactic acid and start to hurt. ”

Trance24's avatar

@PnL very helpful indeed thank you.

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