Although the clear liquid diet may not be very exciting, it does fulfill its purpose. It's designed to keep your stomach and intestines clear and to limit strain to your digestive system, while keeping your body hydrated as you prepare for or recover from a medical procedure.
Because a clear liquid diet can't provide you with adequate calories and nutrients, it shouldn't be used for more than a few days. Only use the clear liquid diet as directed by your doctor.
If your doctor prescribes a clear liquid diet before a medical test, be sure to follow the diet instructions exactly. If you don't follow the diet exactly, you risk an inaccurate test and may have to reschedule the procedure for another time.
If you have diabetes, talk with your doctor, dietitian or diabetes educator. A clear liquid diet should consist of clear liquids that provide approximately 200 grams of carbohydrate spread equally throughout the day to help manage blood sugar (blood glucose). Blood sugar levels should be monitored and the transition to solid foods should be done as quickly as possible.
July 31, 2014
See more In-depth
- Clear liquids. Nutrition Care Manual. American Dietetic Association. http://nutritioncaremanual.org/index.cfm. Accessed May 20, 2014.
- Eating hints: Before, during, and after cancer treatment. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/coping/eatinghints/page7#list1. Accessed May 7, 2014.
- Barbara Woodward Lips Patient Education Center. Types of diets. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2012.
- Clear liquid diet. ExitCare. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2012. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed May 7, 2014.
- Nelson JK (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 27, 2014.