No, bathing after eating will not cut your digestion

Read these bullet points if you only have a couple of seconds:

  • It is false that bathing after eating will cut off your digestion and you will drown.
  • Digestion does not always last the same, and food can be in our stomach for up to 5 hours. Also, when digestion stops, it either resumes or you vomit, and nothing else happens. 
  • What must be avoided is a sudden change in body temperature, so it is advisable to get into the water little by little. 

Many of us burned it into our brains when we were little, so much so that even when we are older we are afraid to break the rules of waiting two hours after eating before bathing again so that our digestion does not stop. Well, here is a mixture of misinformation and truth.

There is no scientific evidence that bathing after eating will cut off your digestion and you will drown. A review on the subject published in 2011 in the International Journal of Aquatic Research and Education already indicated that there had been no recorded cases in which eating before swimming had caused or contributed to fatal or non-fatal drowning.

The first thing to keep in mind is that digestion does not always last the same. As the Colorado State University indicates, food can be in our stomachs for up to 4 or 5 hours, so that 2-hour moratorium period for baths is somewhat arbitrary.

In addition, although digestion can be interrupted by a shock, usually afterwards, it either resumes and nothing happens, or vomits (which is unpleasant, but not serious), and nothing else happens.

“Digestion interruption by immersion in water, understood as a stoppage of the digestive function, like a washing machine that suddenly stops in the middle of the program and leaves the clothes swaying gently from one side to the other, does not exist”, explains the pharmacist Marián (Apothecary, online) Garcia.

It is advisable to avoid a sudden change in body temperature

Actually, what parents refer to as a “digestion cut” is what is called hydrocution syncope and it is not related to having eaten before, but to a sudden change in body temperature, as sudden change in body temperature, as indicated by a guide to the editorial specialized in scientific content Elsevier: when our body is at high temperature and we jump into cold water. It can happen with a full or empty stomach, after or before eating… In fact , it can also happen without getting into the water, if we are very hot and suddenly drink a lot of liquid.

That’s not to say that bathing right after eating is a great idea. Among other reasons, because these are normally the hours of greatest solar intensity and the risk of sunstroke is very high. If you still think about it, medical recommendations are to enter the water little by little, first wetting your legs, arms and head to reduce thermal shock.

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