Learning About Clear Liquid Diets


Sometimes you have to stop eating solid food for a while. This may be because you're preparing for a medical procedure or recovering from one. Or solid food might irritate your digestive tract because of illness. But even when you can't eat solid food, your body still needs liquids and energy.

A clear liquid diet gives your body basic nutrition until you can go back to eating solid food. Your body digests these foods easily, and these foods don't leave behind any solids as they pass through your system. The clear liquid diet helps reduce the nausea and diarrhea you may have while you're ill.

A clear liquid diet isn't very satisfying. And it doesn't supply all the nutrients you need over the long term. But you will be on this diet for just a day or two. After that, you will probably start eating bland foods. Soon you'll be able to return to your regular diet.


A clear liquid diet may include:

  • Clear, fat-free broth and bouillon.
  • Water, ice chips, and flavoured ice pops.
  • Strained fruit juices and flavoured fruit drinks.
  • Fruit-flavoured gelatin, like Jell-O.
  • Soft drinks like lemon-lime soda and ginger ale.
  • Sweetened coffee or tea without cream.

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.

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