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.  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. 
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. 
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 2I have a special announcement to make soon.