When I was a kid, I must have been told a thousand times that I needed to wait at least 30 minutes after eating before I could go swimming. It was, without fail, 30 minutes of pure torture. Little did I know that the wait was totally unnecessary.
Myth: Swimming right after eating disrupts the digestion process and possibly causes muscle cramps and stomach aches.
Bust: The body does divert an important blood flow from the muscles to the gastrointestinal system to help digestion—that’s why we often feel sleepy or cold after eating—but not in amounts that will diminish proper muscle function. Moreover, professional swimmers eat before big races and practice sessions in order to get the energy they need to prevent fatigue.
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Still, if you’ve eaten a large meal and had a few drinks it might not be advisable to go swimming right afterwards, as you might get dizzy and even feel nauseous. Just use your common sense, listen to your body, and swim when you are comfortable, with absolutely no need to check your watch before entering the water. And let those kids go swimming!