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Myth of the Month: Eating Before Swimming

You're itching to cool off in the pool, but
you've just chowed down-now what? If you
feel up to it, dive right in! "Swimming on a full
stomach won't make you more likely to
drown,"
says Christine Keating, M.D., a physical
rehabilitation specialist at the Ochsner Health
System in New Orleans. The reasoning behind
that misconception is that digestion routes blood
to your stomach, thereby robbing your muscles
of oxygen, which can trigger a side or leg cramp.
"But during exercise, your body produces
adrenaline that actually boosts your circulation,
supplying your muscles with oxygen," says
Keating. In fact, you shouldn't swim on an empty
stomach. Before you take the plunge, Keating
recommends drinking water and eating a
100- to 200-calorie snack.

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