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How to Survive a Clear Liquid Diet

by GetHealthyShape
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How to Survive a Clear Liquid Diet

How to Survive a Clear Liquid Diet

A clear liquid diet is pretty much what the name sounds like. This is a diet that entirely and exclusively consists of clear liquids. Such liquids include water, plain gelatin, broth, juices without pulp. If a liquid is colored with red, purple, or any shade, the liquid is set aside and not used in the diet. 

How does a clear liquid diet work?

The goal of engaging or subscribing to a clear liquid diet is to keep the body nourished with necessary vitamins and minerals for energy while waiting for a medical procedure. In other words, a clear liquid diet is prescribed by doctors before performing specific medical procedures involving the digestive system, such as colonoscopy. 

Moreover, this kind of dieting can also b prescribed when the patient has Crohn’s disease, diarrhea, and diverticulitis to alleviate intestinal distress. 

A physician may also prescribe a clear liquid diet before undergoing some surgery. This is because clear fluids are easily digested and help clean out the body’s intestinal tract. 

Clear liquids allowed in the diet include;

  1. clear nutritional drinks, clear soups
  2. lemonade without pulp
  3. plain gelatine (Jell-O)
  4. tea without milk or cream
  5. coffee without milk or cream
  6. sports drinks such as Gatorade, Powerade, Vitamin Water
  7. strained tomato or vegetable juice
  8. Water (plain, carbonated, or flavored)
  9. Fruit juices without pulp, such as apple or white grape juice
  10. Fruit-flavored beverages, such as fruit punch or lemonade
  11. Carbonated drinks, including dark sodas (cola and root beer)
  12. Strained tomato or vegetable juice
  13. Clear, fat-free broth (bouillon or consommé)
  14. Honey or sugar
  15. Hard candy, such as lemon drops or peppermint rounds
  16. Ice pops without milk, bits of fruit, seeds, or nuts

Is coffee a clear liquid? If it isn’t clear that one can see through, you would be asking yourself if it should be on the list? The short, straightforward answer is that it is one of the few unclear drinks allowed on the list. The only form of coffee or tea excluded from the list is creamed or has milk. 

What foods or beverages do you avoid on a clear liquid diet?

Firstlyall solid or semi-solid foods are not allowed. Secondly, all colored liquids are not allowed. For instance, alcohol or wine and many other colored juices. Here are a few to consider:

  • Dairy products such as milk and yogurt
  • Tomato and vegetable juices (unstrained)
  • Fruit juice with pulp
  • Fruit nectars
  • Alcoholic drinks, etc.
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Below is an example of a typical day on a clear liquid diet: –


  • One glass pulp-free apple juice
  • one cup gelatine
  • 1 cup of coffee or tea with lemon (no pulp, with sugar or honey, if desired)


  • One glass pulp-free grape juice
  • One bowl gelatine


  • One glass pulp-free cranberry juice
  • One glass of pure water
  • one cup fat-free broth (not chicken)
  • One bowl gelatine


  • 1 cup pulp-free fruit ice
  • 1 cup coffee or tea with lemon (no pulp, with sugar or honey)


  • 1 cup pulp-free juice (apple, cranberry, or grape) or pure water
  • 1 cup fat-free broth
  • one bowl gelatine
  • 1 cup coffee or tea with lemon (no pulp, with sugar or honey)

Clear liquid diet ideas for colonoscopy

In medical procedures such as colonoscopy, preparations are above all the most critical aspects. It is almost entirely the patient’s prerogative. For the process to go on, the patient has to observe this diet for up to 3 to 5 days – to clean up the digestive tract altogether. 

Alcohol users may not be so patient with this arrangement. This is always the risk with other people with eating disorders or those on strict dietary provisions. Failure to observe a clear liquid diet as instructed by the physician may lead to the procedure being rescheduled. In other cases, if you don’t prepare the bowel properly, it may lead to an increased risk of complications after the procedure. This shows that, among others, this procedure is pegged on your ability to follow a clear liquid diet.

You can succeed provided you come up with a way to clean up your gut without having to miss your routine diet for extended periods.

Here’s how: –
  1. Instead of going through the whole period on clear liquids, you can eat low-fiber meals as long as you discontinue this at least a day before the colonoscopy appointment. Essentially, your food should not contain the following; grains, nuts, seeds, and dried and raw fruits. 
  2. Switch to a clear liquid diet the day before the procedure.
  3. Strictly follow the diet on the day of the procedure, avoiding any food or drink at least 2 hours before the procedure. 

Pros and cons of the diet


  1. This is an effective way to prepare your bowel for a medical test or surgery.
  2. The medical diet prescribed is suitable for fast surgery recovery
  3. You can use the clear liquid diet for short term weight loss
  4. It improves digestion and prevents nausea and vomiting
  5. It keeps you properly hydrated and nourished
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  1. Nutrients and essential calories are critically deficient in this diet. You may therefore feel exhausted and constantly hungry.
  2. It is a considerable challenge following this diet for more than a day, given it lacks solid foods. 
  3. You may experience side effects

Risks involved in a clear liquid diet

As enumerated above, the diet lacks sufficient nutrients. Due to its inability to give the body the necessary vitamins and minerals, the patient may develop malnourishment-related conditions if observed for extended times. This is why this diet is only recommended between 3 and 5 days. 

Furthermore, a specific group of individuals cannot participate in this diet. Such groups are;

  1. Those with eating disorders
  2. Diabetic
  3. Those suffering from endocrine-related complications, 
  4. And those who suffer from nutritional or electrolytic imbalances in their bodies. 

Here are tips on how to survive a clear liquid diet

With constant hunger and craving from all quarters, it is challenging to keep up with the food schedule provided in the clear liquid diet. This dietary plan does not provide all the essential nutrients for your body. This develops intense cravings for food, making it even more challenging to survive on the same diet for a day. Here are some ideas on how to feel full on a clear liquid diet:

  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated during the day and suppress hunger pangs
  • Incorporate a variety of drinks and flavors such as sweet gelatine and salty electrolyte drinks
  • Drink the foods allowed on the clear liquid diet more frequently than you would eat regular solid food. 
  • Seek your doctor’s approval to consume nutritional supplements
  • Drink electrolyte drinks

In Conclusion

A clear liquid diet is essentially one without fiber. This diet consists of liquids only, which, technically, one can see through them. This diet, as we have discussed above, is used for medical interventions only. Doctors may prescribe this diet in preparation for a surgery procedure, colonoscopy, or any other digestive tract condition. 

Additionally, it may be recommended to alleviate pains and heal your gut after surgery or treatment of conditions such as diverticulitis. A person suffering from diverticulitis experiences pain from the inflamed intestines and may even pass fecal matter laced with blood. To give your intestines a break, your physician may recommend a clear liquid diet. 

However, some people may be misled into subscribing to this diet for their own goals, such as weight loss. However, you are advised against such missteps as this diet causes critical malnourishment conditions if one engages in it for extended periods. Besides, you will only lose the weight temporarily and gain back the weight once you revert to regular eating. 

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