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Procedure Eating Restrictions

Clear Liquid Diet

The consumption of only clear liquids is often recommended before tests, procedures or surgeries that require no food in your stomach or intestines, such as before colonoscopy. It may also be recommended as a short-term diet if you have certain digestive problems, such as nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, or after certain types of procedures.​


The prior purpose of a clear liquid diet is to maintin adequate hydration, provide important electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium, and energy at a time when your normal diet isn't possible or recommended.

The following foods are generally allowed in a clear liquid diet:

  • Water (plain, carbonated or flavored)

  • Fruit juices without pulp, such as apple or white grape juice

  • Fruit-flavored beverages, such as fruit punch or lemonade

  • Carbonated drink clear, such as plain seltzer

  • Gelatin

  • Tea or coffee without milk or cream

  • Clear, fat-free broth (bouillon or consomme)


Depending on your medical condition, your physician may customize this list. For certain tests, such as colon exams, we may ask you to avoid liquids or gelatin with red coloring. Any foods not on the above list should be avoided.


An Important Message for Diabetics


If you have diabetes, speak with your physician as to special precautions that may beed to be taken as related to managing your blood sugar levels on a clear liquid diet. . Blood sugar levels should be monitored and the transition to solid foods should be done as quickly as possible.

Always Follow the Diet as Prescribed

Due to the lack of adequate calories and nutrients, a clear liquid diet should be followed for only a few days or as directed by your doctor.

As related to preparation for a medical procedure, only follow the diet instructions exactly as prescribed. Failure to follow the diet as prescribed can  risk an inaccurate test and you may have to reschedule the procedure for another time.

A typical menu on the clear liquid diet may look like this.


  • 1 glass pulp-free fruit juice, color less 

  • 1 bowl gelatin, color less 

  • 1 cup of coffee or tea, without dairy products

  • Sugar or honey, if desired


  • 1 glass fruit juice (pulp-free)

  • 1 bowl plain gelatin (no color)

  • 1 pulp-free ice pop

  • 1 cup coffee or tea, without dairy products, or a soft drink

  • Sugar or honey if desired


  • 1 glass pulp-free fruit juice, clear

  • 1 glass water

  • 1 cup broth

  • 1 bowl gelatin


  • 1 cup pulp-free clear juice or water

  • 1 cup broth

  • 1 bowl gelatin (plain no color)

  • 1 cup coffee or tea, without dairy products

  • Sugar or honey, if desired

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