Myth or Fact? #22 - You have to wait an hour to swim after eating + SteemFest2!

in science •  3 years ago  (edited)

You lie on the beach, feel the sun on your face, warmth on your skin and hear the ocean - it is summer time! Many people (including me) flee from the unbearable heat to the water and go swim. This is how I like to enjoy my summer days: cooling seawater and warm sandy beaches. Getting hungry my stomach starts rumbling and I could tuck away anything! After having lunch I decide to swim another kilometer.
All of a sudden I hear a lifeguard yelling at me, ”Do not dare to swim after eating, you will drown!”. I heard that many times though I didn’t know the reasons behind it. Did the lifeguard do his job right and saved my life?

Let’s bring some light into the dark!

Threat of drowning from a full stomach?

Here’s the theory: Right after eating your stomach must digest food. This is a vigorously complex process. How the human body digests food exactly will not be covered in this post, however if you wish to know more let me know and I will write you an article. The digestive system needs blood which is supplied by the celiac artery. It supplies the organs with oxygenated blood which is essential for the process of digestion. The nutrients that are released get absorbed into the bloodstream and transported to their targets. The idea is that when you swim right after you ate, the rest of your body e.g. your limbs will suffer from oxygen-deprivation and you won’t be able to keep your head above water. Furthermore your body has additional weight which makes the whole even more difficult. The list doesn’t end here, people assume that muscle cramping, stitches and drowning from a swimming of a full stomach are related. Makes sense! A full stomach does divert and will give you a hard time.

Fig.1 Blood supply of the human stomach. Source

No evidence – statics speak against

In the year 1968 Robert Singer from the Manuato State College and Robert Neeve from the Illinois State University performed an experiment to determine whether there was a link between drowning and a full stomach. They let 12 college male swimmers swim 200 yards, every day once for a total of 16 days. Before the swimming exercise they were given a large meal. They let the swimmers wait 30 min, 1 hour, 2 hours or at least 3 hours before swimming. The conclusion of this experiment was that their swimming performance was not affected and no stomach cramps were reported. Nausea was solely reported by the group that had only 30 minutes to wait. [1] The head of the sports medicine department of the Chartité Berlin, Bernd Wolfarth, said there is no link between stomach cramps and swimming with a full stomach. [2]

It is unlikely that you will drown simply by swimming with a full stomach but you will feel uncomfortable. Stitches can occur because the food builds pressure inside your gut and finally puts pressure on the parietal peritoneum, a very sensitive area that will leave you with a feeling of a stich.
Professional swimmers even eat right before their competition to support their body with enough energy since food is our source of energy. It’s safe to say this myth is an old wives’ tale.
Here are more statistics to back this: the WHO wrote in an article from 2014, that drowning claims the lives of over 372 000 people a year. It is the second leading cause of death of children in the age between 5 to 14 and the fourth leading cause of death of young people between 15 and 29. Furthermore it is given that the drowning rate is eight times higher in low- to middle-income countries. Mentioned risk factors for young children are lack of barriers to pools etc., lack of supervision and lack of swimming skills. The risk factors for adults are low awareness of water dangerous and alcohol consumption. [3]

Don't be afraid of swimming with a full stomach but keep in mind you might feel nauseous. Better take a little rest and book your flight to Lissabon! @roelandp just announced the SteemFest 2 and you better show up my dear Steemians! Save the date and let's have a great time together.

More information: SteemFest 2

I have a special announcement to make soon.



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After eating like we do here in Italy, you'll have to wait until tomorrow hahah

Haha....the same goes for if you visit my grandmother. She cooks enough for an army and the first thing she asks when you get there is "what can I make you to eat" !

Its always the same with all grandmothers Hahahaha

Same here!

Chipotle sponsored my high school water polo team wich turned out to be a blessing and a curse.

Next, to the wave waterpark where the team practiced every day, we would head to Chipotle eat and monster burrito right before swim practice. As we were swimming I would find rice and corn in the pools for the swimmer burping up their food as they swam.

I would wait to not have to go that again but anyone who has had one of those burritos knows how good they are.

Chipotle burritos are awesome. Bits of Chipotle burritos regurgitated into a swimming pool...not quite as awesome haha

@adventureevryday, I only like to eat my food once.
This week I was at the San Diego Wild Animal Park and learned that the antelope will regurgitate food stored in one of there several stomachs chew on it more to break it down to get more value and nutrition out of previously digested food.

Talk about getting your money's worth.

Hahah who knew antelopes were such bargain hunters?? Now I wonder what happens if you feed one a burrito? Theyd be chewing that cud for a week I bet.

Ruminant animals are great though - best way to turn grass into food for humans!

Breakfast Burrito, Lunch burrito, and Dinner Burrito all in one. combo meal.

Slam dunk!

You should ask @pfunk! He knows the best burritos :)

Hello @pfunk,
I was just referred to you by @timsaid to find the most legendary burritos.

I believe that in order to do this accurately we need to account for several factors.

Cost: $3.50-8.00
Location: USA, Mexico, Etc...
After effects: Bad Gas, how filling, Etc...

Looking forward to your feedback

Ps- May the most honorable burrito win

Well there's this Vietnamese place that makes burrito-sized egg rolls...

Yup, I always eat before I swim.

Love this, always been told this as a kid that you should never swim on after eating.

I had a friend how was a lifeguard and went swimming in a river and had a cramp he lived 4 day in ICU and then lost his live
So I think it it True

I am very sorry for your friend @writemore. May he rest in peace. However there is no evidence of drowning because of a full stomach

sometimes action can make you believe diffrently

Great article. I really loved your myth or fact segment posts @timsaid.. very informative. Cant wait for the next one :-) upvoted


the next post about actually myth nor fact!!!

Finally, some cold hard evidence as to why I have to continue reading my book.

Reading is good for you.

A good advice))) I don’t feel like swimming after meals, pretty uncomfortable feeling. Before it’s much better, you can get hungry and eat a lot with pleasure)))

Great article, I always had to wait for at least 30 minutes before swimming when I was a kid. I would love to read your article about the human digestion, please write!

  ·  3 years ago (edited)

It can cause hiatal hernia, which longterm can cause many complications including death.
It is not so much the one time thing but making it a habit.

Great article! I really look forward to your Myth or Fact writeups. They are a really fun read. Keep up the good work!!

I see your diagram features a spleen prominently. I dont have a spleen. Does that help or hurt my chances of getting cramps from swimming on a full stomach?

Maybe seek a doc :')

Im seeking a @timsaid follow up research article ;-)

Let's do a competition ... we go to an all you can eat and after that we will go swimming 🏊 😅

First one to drown is out??

I'm in!

Drink Beer Save Water :)

I was told it was about half an hour wait. But yeah, it's not comfortable swimming on a full stomach.

Also, really stoked for steemfest! See you in Lisbon bro!

I don't come! I will come!

I don't believe it matters much. I would eat before swimming....or if at home in the pool, possibly while swimming! I haven't drown yet ;p

We always went by this rule as a kid...had to wait 30 minutes after eating. I don't really hear much about it these days, though. Always wondered if it was something that just my parents believed!

Haha! I want him to save my life

Great read as a kid my parents would always tell me to wait 30 min! I like your series its very enjoyable :)

very nice post your work is very good

Former swimmer and athlete here, and it depends on how fast your metabolism is. In middle school and highschool I could eat and within 15-20 minutes I would jump in the pool and start swimming. After about 15 minutes of warm-up, I'd be good to really train and pick up the pace. Now that i'm older, I'm still active, lift, run, and sometimes swim but my metabolism is nowhere as fast (i'm 30). I need a good 4 hours after a big meal to even consider aerobic work out. If it's a light meal, probably 2 hours. If went back to working out competitively I think my metabolism would increase significantly but probably not as fast as it used to be when I was still in my teens.

That's horse-puckey!

I have never bothered to wait after a meal before getting in the water, and I'm still here.

.resteem and upvote for your...

Great Article!! Very good advice !! Thanks for sharing !!
Upvoted :)

Thanks buddy!

I always eat before swimming, I didn't even know this myth existed! LOL

My mother also warned us not to swim before 2 hours after eating. As children we tested the theory, nevertheless, nobody drowned and we are still alive and kicking!!

Always follow myth and fact. Very nice information. Additional knowledge for me

I recall my mother always saying this to me and my brother. As of being a father myself now, I (without any research) tell this also to my little kid.

Great Post

interesante me gusta mucho todo lo que usted publica :)

todas las abuelas son consetidoras, con los nietos todas las comidas que se nos antoje y para ellas siempre tenemos hambre. excelente post

As kids, we were not allowed to swim after eating. My children? We had our own private pool and my children are alive and well - I can't remember ever telling them not to swim with full stomachs.

Great post @timsaid. Thanks for sharing.

Thanks for busting this myth.

I remember my mom always sayin you just eat dont go to the water dont dare you! lol.

Nice post, waiting for more

I think you have to wait because of the leeches. That what aunt Josephine says.

My parents wouldn't let us kids swim until 30 min. after eating as they were afraid we would get leg cramps!

you have to wait until your stomach settles, before you do any kind of exercise,don't know if its a full hour ill take a guess and say fact.

I would say a fact? that's my guess

Very well explained.
Upvoted! :)

What about eating while swimming? You might want to cover that next time ;)

Unless you're eating taco bell, go ahead and jump right in. Otherwise you might regret it.

I remember many times my grandma screaming at me, do not take a shower you just ate.... !!!! Don't go swimming wait at least an hour..... Lol ...

i don't know if it's true but i know that the oceans are full of plastic, let's make a change with the steemit community

Ohoho I never investigated that myth that I thought to be true... :)

Next Myth or Fact for you: was Nicola Tesla right :D

It depends on what :D

You better wait 30 minutes or else

But will a watermelon grow in your stomach if you swallow a seed? These are important myths to verify. Thanks for sharing.

After a hearty lunch, I would rather prefer sleeping, than go for swimming!!! ;)