On Twitter, the official account of the National Health Service released a recommendation from the Directorate-General for Health to prevent drowning during the bathing season. “After a meal, wait two to three hours before entering the water,” the publication reads.
According to CNN Portugal medical correspondent and Doctor Sofia Baptista, this recommendation is not based on scientific evidence.
“This is one of the very rare cases in which mothers are wrong”, says the doctor ironically. “The belief rooted in generations that one should not swim after eating, and should wait about three hours, is a myth, that is, it is not supported by scientific evidence.”
Sofia Baptista mentions, however, that, “like all myths”, this one “is based on a certain rationale”, with some “reservations to be taken into account”.
In conclusion, the medical correspondent says that “if we are talking about swimming for recreation, there is no problem”. However, “if we are going to do swimming or vigorous exercise, if we are going to go into cold water or if we have a very heavy meal, then it would be better to wait a while, say an hour, because there is a greater risk of discomfort, including muscle cramps.”