Your mother may have warned you against swimming within an hour after eating. But your mother was wrong.
The myth goes like this: You need to wait at least a half hour or an hour after eating because the food in your stomach can cause cramping. And if you suffer cramps while you in the water you can drown.
But it turns out not to be true.
Hollywood Pool Service — How Digestion Works
When you eat, blood flows to the stomach and the rest of the digestive tract in order to help break down the food into the nutrients your body needs.
At one time, it was believed that because there was more blood in the stomach and guts, there would be less blood in other areas of the body, such as the extremities, which could increase the risk of cramping.
By waiting at least 30 minutes or an hour (or three hours, as children in Cuba are told) after eating, it gives the body enough time to digest the food so blood volumes in the rest of the body can be restored to normal levels.
Hollywood Pool Service — Theory Not Supported by Facts
While that theory may sound good on paper, in reality there is no factual basis behind it. In fact, it’s just plain wrong.
For one thing, there have been no reported instances of people drowning as a result of eating right before swimming.
Furthermore, cramps can occur at any time, not just after eating. And even if you do suffer a cramp while swimming, they typically don’t last very long and as long as you don’t panic, you have little fear of drowning. After all, the human body naturally floats. So if you have a cramp, just try to relax and wait a few moments for it to pass.