Should you really wait 1 hour to swim after eating?

We’ve all heard of medical myths like “If you swallow gum, it will stay in your stomach for seven years,” or “If you go outside with wet hair, you’ll get a cold.”

But what about this one we recently received from a viewer:

Hey Dr. Manny,
Is it true that you should wait an hour after eating before you go swimming?
James in N.Y.

Caution is a good thing when it comes to kids because drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for infants and children nationwide. But while there is some truth to the theory behind this urban legend, the 60-minute wait time may not be necessary.

The digestive process does divert your blood flow towards your stomach and away from your muscles, however during physical activity, the heart pumps blood to the muscles, so the flow to the stomach may be reduced.

The theory behind the 60-minute wait time is that without sufficient blood supply, the stomach muscles can cramp due to lack of oxygen, causing a person to drown.

But the good news is there have never been any documented deaths attributed to swimming on a full stomach. In fact, you may be at more risk for a bellyache!

If it happens, get out of the water and rest for a bit!

Do you have a health question? Tweet it to @DrMannyonFox.