Clear Liquid Diet

A clear liquid diet consists of liquids that you can see through at room temperature. This diet provides energy and hydration (fluids) in a simple form. It also prevents overstimulation of your gastrointestinal (GI) tract and the organs that help digest your food. On its own, this diet does not provide the calories and nutrients that you need for optimal nutrition, so you should not follow it for more than a few days, unless your doctor has prescribed it for you. Your doctor may order a clear liquid diet for any of the following reasons:

  • In preparation for a medical procedure such as bowel surgery, or a diagnostic test involving your GI tract, like a colonoscopy

  • While you are recovering from abdominal or other surgical procedures

  • If you are having digestive problems, such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea

What is a “Clear Liquid”?

Liquids that you can see through at room temperature are considered clear liquids.

What Can I Eat?

  • Clear Soft Drinks (ginger ale, lemon/lime, etc.)

  • Gatorade, Kool-Aid, flavored waters that you can see through

  • Strained fruit juice without pulp (apple, white grape, lemonade)

  • Water

  • Tea or coffee (may add sugar or honey but NO milk or creamers)

  • Chicken, Beef, Vegetable Broth or Bouillon - no added solids (e.g. no meats, noodles, rice, legumes, or vegetables).

  • Hard candy

  • Jell-O (no fruit toppings, whipped cream, or nondairy topping such as Cool Whip)

  • Popsicles or lemon ice (no sherbets, sorbets, fruit bars or anything that contains pieces of fruit)


Please note that for certain tests, your doctor may ask you to avoid any liquids that are red or purple in color.