The water element is not the habitat of our species, it attracts and frightens at the same time. The pleasure of swimming in water bodies at all times has been associated with the risk of drowning. In the Middle Ages, in some European cities bans on beach activities were introduced. In Russia, folklore was preferred to administrative methods, rich in all kinds of underwater evil spirits, which indulge in, dragging swimmers to the bottom of rivers and lakes.
For several centuries swimming has been one of the popular sports and recreation. Regardless of whether a person is engaged in it professionally, or simply decided to have a pleasant hot summer day, our hero will not climb into the water after eating. It is difficult to attribute this prescription to folk legends, because it can be found in popular science literature on sports and physical education, published in 1918. In those days, they were skeptical about the old beliefs and looked for a new scientific path everywhere.
Looking back at how much has changed in just 100 years, how many medical facts unknown to ancestors have been proven and how many old delusions have been rejected, it is impossible not to ask again about swimming after a hearty dinner. Is it dangerous? To understand – how much, you need to turn to statistics.
The main causes of water accidents
World statistics of accidents on water looks frightening – about 400 thousand people drown every year. In Russia this figure is 10 thousand people. The staggering figure includes not only unlucky fans of dangerous swims, but also those who fell through the ice, victims of shipwrecks, in a word, citizens who fell into the water without wanting to.
What are the reasons for the drowning of those who deliberately climbed into the water?
The most dangerous bathing combinations are:
- Alcoholic intoxication.
- The temperature difference between water and body, well warmed up by the summer sun.
- Unreasonable self-confidence, including working with diving equipment without an instructor and specific knowledge and skills.
For some reason, none of the lists of prohibited activities on the water has an item “eating”. Nagging about food sold on beaches is about quality, but not about the presence in places where people swim en masse. So, drowning, having a snack, will not work. What kind of troubles will the meal turn into for the swimmer?
Swimming with a full stomach
Despite the optimistic attitude of all of the above, you do not even need to try to start sports training in the pool immediately after eating. The coach will not let you in – only after 2 hours! The situation is the same in other sports.
In the middle of the twentieth century, doctors joined the trainers. Studies were carried out, in the course of which students of sports schools were divided into 2 groups: in one group they started training in the old fashioned way – on an empty stomach, and the second – after eating. The results varied, but one important observation was made in each of the experiments.
- Unpleasant sensations in the epigastric region overtook the athletes who ate before the swim and managed to consume during the meal what their bodies did not absorb well.
If the subjects were at rest after eating, then, perhaps, they would not have noticed any trouble. Physical activity requires perfect coordinated work of all organs and systems. Being in an aquatic environment where the risk is higher and well-being is more important – because there is no opportunity to suddenly stop and catch your breath, like on a treadmill – exacerbates the perception of problems.
The effects of swimming with a full stomach
The physical activity of athletes is several times higher than that of an ordinary person who rests by the water. This is only due to the fact that the strength of a beach player is not enough for a record. And the champion’s diet differs from the standard menu – it is an order of magnitude more adequate to the needs of the body, includes fewer harmful products. We stop searching for someone who is easier, we start a conversation in essence.
During swimming in any style and in any body of water, almost all muscle groups work, including the abdominal. Active movement increases the body’s need for oxygen. A full stomach is not your best friend in this situation.
The process of digestion involves the flow of blood to the digestive tract, and swimming requires it in the musculature. And the water is probably not so warm, which increases the need to activate blood circulation in the muscles.
Remembering the centuries of the formation of our species and its life in the wild, we find another non-obvious reason for refusing to swim after eating. Our prehistoric ancestors could have a snack only after serious physical exertion associated with the extraction of this food, then they rested. Our body lives according to biological laws, for it saturation and mobile entertainment are incompatible.
Remember the list of the main causes of death of swimmers? There, the third item is “I miscalculated the strength”. Confident in his skill or desire to have fun in the water, a person who has forgotten about the restrictions imposed by the presence of food in his stomach can easily fall into this category of victims of water bodies.
Fortunately, there were no proven deaths from swimming immediately after a meal. On the other hand, eaters-bathers get other troubles in abundance.
- In addition to abdominal cramps, rapid fatigue and chills, the body of some unfortunate people reacts to a dead end situation by throwing the contents out of the stomach.
Hardly anyone wants to be the hero of such an adventure on the beach.
It is impossible to trust all traditions for no reason. Among them there are also prejudices, sometimes even harmful to health. Only instructions with intelligible arguments are worthy of attention. They must be followed rigorously.
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