AUSTIN - While growing up, you probably heard your parents say, "you have to wait 30 minutes after you eat -- before you can swim." So, is it truly risky to break that rule?
The theory behind this is based on the idea that after a big meal, blood will be diverted away from your arms and legs, towards your stomach's digestive tract, said Sujit Iyer, MD, assistant medical director of emergency at Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas. And if your limbs don't get enough blood flow to function, you're at risk of drowning.
However, according to Iyer, that theory doesn't hold any weight.
Iyer said the body does supply extra blood to aid in digestion, but not enough blood to keep your arm and leg muscles from functioning properly.
The biggest danger related to eating and swimming is probably a minor cramp, health officials said.
In fact, it's more important that you have enough energy if you're swimming -- so be sure to eat a couple of hours before you head to the pool, bring a snack and hydrate properly.
Officials said it's more crucial that people go swimming with a buddy than worrying about eating before swimming.