Clear Liquid Diet: Purpose and Risks

The clear liquid diet is composed of clear liquids. These clear liquids are easy to digest and light in the stomach. Plus, they leave no traces of undigested residue in your intestinal tract.

Clear Liquid Diet

This diet is composed of transparent liquids. Examples of clear liquids are water, broth, plain gelatin, and so on and so forth. These clear liquids are easy to digest, light in the stomach and leaves no signs of solid chunks in your digestive tracts. If a person has any digestive problems or if you will undergo a certain procedure, a doctor would typically suggest this diet to you. Clear liquid can only do so much but it cannot give you the nourishment that you need. It should be done in just days and no more longer than that.

Liquids and food are called clear liquid even if they have a color as long as they are transparent like a prism. Food is also categorized as clear liquid if they are partially or melting. While on a clear liquid diet, you can not eat solid, colored food.



Now, what is the purpose of a clear liquid diet?

We already knew as mentioned above that these kinds of diets are recommended the diet for patients who will undergo a procedure or for patients with digestive problems. A clear liquid diet is done before the operation because you do not want to have bits and bits of food mixing with your operation. The operation also requires the neutrality of chemical processes in your whole body. The act of digesting food requires a strong gastrointestinal acid to break down your food. That does not sound a balanced chemical at all. Though some procedure may allow you to eat solid food before you eat. Some procedure like a colonoscopy needs you to not eat a portion of solid food. This type of diet can also be recommended if you are having digestive problems like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and so on.


Details of the Diet

This diet is good for maintaining adequate hydration. Though it does not complete your calorie and nutrient intake. It can also give a bit of energy for a short period of time if you are restricted into having a fully solid diet.

These are the commonly allowed food during this diet:

  1. Water
  2. Juices without pulps
  3. Fruit-flavored beverages
  4. Carbonated drinks (cola, root beer and so on and so forth)
  5. Gelatin (colored or plain)
  6. Tea and coffee without dairy products
  7. Veggie juice
  8. Sports drinks (Gatorade brand, Pocari Sweat brand, and so on and so forth)
  9. Clear and no fat soups (no chunks)
  10. Honey and sugar

Your doctor or dietitian has the knowledge to alter the foods and drinks mentioned above. This alteration will be based on your present condition and the kind of surgery you will be having. There are kinds of medical tests in which your doctor will recommend to not eat colored clear liquid fruits (like red colored gelatin).


Common Menu for People Who are on This Diet

For Breakfast:

  • Fruit juice without pulp in it
  • Gelatin (colored or plain; flavored or plain)
  • A mug of coffee or tea, without milk or cream or any dairy products
  • Sugar or honey, if desired as long as there are no chunks of solid food in it

For Snack:

  • Fruit juice (again, should be clear of pulps)
  • bowl gelatin (colored or plain; flavored or plain)


  • Pulp-free fruit juice
  • Clear Water (carbonated or flavored is fine)
  • Broth (Clear, not too much sodium on it chunk-free and fat-free)
  • Gelatin (colored or plain; flavored or plain)


  • Ice pop (no pulp or any solid food stuck to it)
  • Coffee or tea, without cream, or milk;
  • Soft drink (colas, root beer, and so on and so forth;
  • Sparkling water that is light and not too strong;
  • Honey with no chunks on them.


  • Pulp-free juice;
  • Clear Water (can be carbonated, flavored or plain);
  • Broth (clear, chunk-free and fat-free);
  • Gelatin (colored or plain; flavored or plain);
  • Coffee or any hot drink without cream or milk;
  • Honey



Lacks Calories and Nutrients

This diet does not give you solid nourishment for your body needs in order for it to survive. That is why these types of diets should not be done in a longer timeline. It should only go on for days or as recommended by your dietitian.

Observe strictly your doctor’s instructions regarding the strict clear liquid diet he prescribes you to have. If you do not do so, there might be possible risks of your tests being not successful or inaccurate. Worse, your doctor might be forced to reschedule you again. Which is truly a waste of an experts’ time and your money.


People with diabetes are quite tricky to handle if ever they are going to undergo a clear liquid diet. This kind of condition it is important that you disclose this information to your doctor or dietitian. A clear liquid diet should only approximately distribute a total of 210 grams of carbohydrate distributed evenly all throughout the day. This will help in blood sugar management. While immersing yourself in this diet, your blood sugar levels should be monitored. Then when it is time for you to transition from a clear liquid diet to solid food, do it immediately and in a slow and careful manner.

You might find clear liquid diets as not fun at all but in the long run, you might appreciate its purpose. It is specifically designed to keep your intestines and stomach as clear as possible for certain operations and tests. It also helps in the clearance if you have any digestive tract problems while keeping you well hydrated.


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