We have all heard the saying to wait at least half an hour after eating before swimming – but just how true is this?
The reasoning behind the saying is based on the idea that after you have eaten a large meal, blood will be diverted from the arms and legs, towards your stomach’s digestive tract. Then, if your arms and legs are unable to get enough blood flow to function, you will be at risk of drowning.
Simply, it is true that digestion does redirect some of the blood from the muscles towards the digestive process. This reduced blood flow can mean there is potentially less oxygen available for the working muscle and stomach, therefore causing potential cramps.
However, this is also another theory some researchers tend to argue against. According to the experts at House Call Doctor, as cramps are involuntary, spasmodic contractions of muscle, they can occur at any time during or after exercise.
As well as this, there can be a number of contributions including dehydration, fatigue and electrolyte imbalance, therefore it cannot be confirmed whether swimming after a big meal really is the cause of cramping.
Truthfully, if you do choose to swim after a big meal, your body will have enough blood to keep all body parts functioning. Although it may be also be uncomfortable.
Try waiting for your stomach to settle before swimming to avoid any discomfort.