Do you remember that pool party as a kid when, after eating just one piece of cake, your mom didn’t allow you to get back in the pool for 30 minutes because you needed to digest first? Most of us have that exact memory or one very similar. Even today at the pool the 30 minute rule is still held as a commonplace. But is this just an old wives’ tale or is eating and swimming within 30 minutes a real danger?
According to Dr. Richard Fedorak, head of gastroenterology at the University of Alberta Hospital, this is completely a myth. The myth suggests that the process of digestion will take oxygen away from the body, causing the muscles to cramp, and the swimmer to drown. The reality is the body has more than enough oxygen and food consumption does not prevent muscles from working.
The real danger, however, is not eating, but drinking. Learn more about alcohol and water safety.