When you’re having a medical procedure or imaging exam, your doctor might ask that you not eat or drink anything except clear liquids before the exam. But what foods can you eat on a clear liquid diet, and what should you skip?
Clear Liquid Diet – The Facts
Your doctor or radiologist might need you to have a clear liquid diet hours or a day before your medical imaging exam or procedure. Most people think that “clear liquids” refers to water. And yes, clear liquids include plain water, but you actually have more options than that. Clear liquids can also include things like tea and coffee (without cream), popsicles (without pulp or yogurt), and cranberry juice.
“Clear” refers to the fact that the liquids do not have added substances like milk or solid foods. The reasons for the “clear liquids” restriction vary depending on what kind of test you are having. Sometimes, the restriction is there so there is nothing in your system that would interfere with any contrast agents, whereas other times it’s to prevent you from becoming nauseous.
No matter the reason, the quality of your exam or procedure depends in part on you following the instructions provided. If you don’t follow the instructions correctly, your exam might need to be rescheduled or redone.
Clear Liquid Diet – A Visual Guide
Use this visual guide to help you decide what you can and cannot drink to be best prepared for your exam or procedure:
Eat These Foods:
Water, sports drinks
Apple juice and other juices without pulp
Black coffee or tea without cream
Popsicles without fruit or yogurt
Skip These Foods:
Any solid foods
Broth, applesauce, or other soft foods
Orange juice or other juices with pulp
Milk and other dairy products