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.
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 26, 2017
See more In-depth
- Clear liquid diet. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Nutrition Care Manual. https://www.nutritioncaremanual.org/?err=NLI. Accessed June 8, 2017.
- Barbara Woodward Lips Patient Education Center. Clear liquid diet. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2016.
- Feldman M, et al. Nutritional management. In: Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2016. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed June 1, 2017.
- Eating hints: Before, during, and after cancer treatment. National Cancer Institute. https://www.cancer.gov/publications/patient-education/eating-hints#list1. Accessed June 1, 2017.
- Zeratsky KA (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 2, 2017.