Created By: mr3urious on August 16, 2012

Don't Eat and Swim

Wait a while to go swimming after eating, or else you'll drown!

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Let's say you're going swimming at the beach or pool, when all of a sudden, hunger strikes. After eating, you jump in the water, only to experience a stomach or muscle cramp, causing you to struggle to stay afloat. If you're really unlucky, you might drown.

Looks like you should have waited at least 30 minutes or an hour after eating!

This is an old wives' tale that has long been debunked. While swimming cramps are not uncommon, and stomach cramps caused by the direction of oxygen away from the stomach muscles are debatable, there have been no reported cases of drownings or near-drownings from them. The best thing to do in the event of a cramp is relax and tense the affected muscle, or stay afloat until help arrives. Otherwise, feel free to satisfy your cravings by the water.


  • A Slim Jim commercial featured a man eating the product, then jumping into the pool. The personification of the Slim Jim (now in his stomach) tells the swimmer that he should have waited it out, causing both to suffer the consequences.

Live-Action TV
  • Adam and Jamie on Mythbusters debunked this, as well.

Newspaper Comics
  • The Far Side had a young snake with a large lump in his belly attempt to go swimming at the beach. His mother tells him to wait a whole week.

Western Animation
  • On Tiny Toon Adventures, Calamity Coyote works as a lifeguard at a pool. After he sees Hamton eat something and try to get in, Calamity warns him (with a sign) to wait 30 minutes. Hamton shrugs it off, and as soon as he dips his toe in the pool, he gets cramps all over and falls in.

Community Feedback Replies: 3
  • August 16, 2012
    • A Series Of Unfortunate Events: Aunt Josephine tells the Baudelaries that they must wait one hour after eating before swimming in Lake Lachrymose. Klaus initially assumes it's because of cramps, but Josephine informs him that it's actually because of the lake's carnivorous leeches.
  • August 16, 2012
    In the Goofy cartoon "How To Swim", Goofy's changing cabin falls into the water while he's inside and ends up walking out, setting up a picnic area and eating a full meal without being aware that he's underwater. The narrator points out the rule of waiting before eating and warning about cramps, which appear as knots all over Goofy's limbs and body.
  • August 16, 2012
    Penn And Teller Bullshit have debunked this myth.