How Long Should You Really Wait After Eating to Swim? And Other Myths Busted

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We’ve all been told at one point that we shouldn’t swim on a full stomach or that a friend thinks they can’t float because they’re too heavy. But are any of these old wives’ tales true or are they simply myths?

Let’s find out:

Myth #1: You Have to Wait an Hour After Eating Before Swimming

 

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There is one main theory behind this tale, that when we eat, blood flows to our stomachs to help with the digestive process. As a result blood flow is reduced elsewhere in the body and we would feel too weak to swim or could get cramp.

However, although blood flows to this area, we have plenty in our body to maintain regular movement and, therefore, there is no medical evidence to support this myth.

Myth #2: If You’re Heavy You Won’t Float

Put simply, fat floats and muscle sinks, because muscle weighs more than fat. So, if you are overweight and unfit you will be able to float, however, if you are heavy and have a low body fat percentage, (like many rugby players) you may find it hard to maintain balance on the water’s surface.

This weight issue is also why you may find your legs are the first part of your body to sink, whereas your stomach, with help from your air-filled lungs, will sink last. Your legs get a lot of exercise, simply from walking around, and as a result are much more toned than any other part of your body.

So, if you want to be able to float in your swimming pool, eat a burger! And don’t worry, you won’t have to wait before you can swim.

Myth #3: You Have to Hold Your Breath Underwater

This is completely wrong. Holding your breath causes carbon dioxide to build-up and can cause you to gasp for oxygen or splutter. If you will be swimming or diving underwater, slowly release a flow of bubbles instead.

Myth #4: If You Pee in a Pool the Water Will Turn Pink

We’re experts in pool chemicals and we’re sorry to tell you there is no such thing as a swimming pool chemical that does this. We think this is just a story adults tell children in order to scare them from urinating in a public pool.

Myth #5: A Pool is Clean When You Can Smell the Chlorine

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Nope, this one is wrong too. It’s actually the opposite. Clean pools shouldn’t smell at all.

Some public swimming pools, however, smell strongly because of the chloramines, a by-product of the reaction between chlorine and whatever has contaminated the water. These contaminants could be anything from perspiration or cosmetics left on swimmers’ skin.

So, if you can smell a swimming pool, it may be time to give it a shock treatment.

Myth #6: Chlorine Gives You Red Eyes

Have you got out of the pool before with red or itchy eyes? Well, this isn’t chlorine’s fault, it is again caused by those pesky chloramines. So give that pool a clean!

So now you know the truth. And if you’re well-acquainted with the last two tales it may be time to do some shopping. We have a vast array of online pool chemicals so take a look today!

If you need any help or advice on what products you need, check out our other blog posts or give us a call on 01495 791726.