Does Clear Liquid Diet Actually Work ? 

clear liquid diet

By the name of this diet ‘Clear Liquid diet,’ you might have got an idea of what this diet consists of – liquid.  But what type of drinks are included in it exactly?  The clear liquid does not mean that they should be colorless. It means that we should be able to see through them (strained). In addition, they should be at room temperature only.

Well, the clear liquid diet allows you to have only these liquids: fresh fruit juices like apple, orange, watermelon, grapes, mango juice, etc. (with no pulp), water, fruit-flavored beverages, for example, lemonade, etc., tea and coffee ( without milk and cream but sugar can be added ), sports drink, clear fat-free vegetable soup, ice pops ( dairy-free), carbonated drinks, vegetable juices like cucumber, beetroot, tomato, celery, carrot juice and so on. Any solid food is restricted to have during this diet. A clear liquid diet is also known as a surgical liquid diet due to its perioperative uses.


If you want to start this diet, you can follow this diet plan as an example:



  • Water before meal
  • A cup of coffee or tea without dairy in it
  • A glass of fruit juice (without pulp)
  • A glass of vegetable juice


Brunch :


  • Water before meal
  • A glass of fruit juice
  • A glass of vegetable juice


Lunch :


  • Water before meal
  • A glass of fruit juice
  • A bowl of clear vegetable soup (salt can be added)



Supper : 


  • Water before meal
  • Popsicle
  • 1 cup coffee or tea without dairy
  • Fruit juice


Dinner : 


  • Water before meal
  • Fruit juice
  • Vegetable soup


This diet consists of about 1000 calories (which is less than our regular calories requirement)

Food items not allowed on this diet:

  • Dairy products for example milk, cream, butter, ice cream, etc
  • Juices with pulp, for example, orange, pineapple, tomato, grapefruit, apricot, lemonade, etc
  • Soups, for example, chicken noodle soup or soups containing vegetables, noodles, pasta. It should be clear.
  • Oatmeal


There are two types of clear liquid diets:

  • Clear liquids that contain sugar such as sodas, popsicles, regular Jell-O, Gatorade G1, 2, 3, fruit juices, etc.
  • Clear liquids that do not contain sugar, for example, Green tea, black tea, and black coffee without sugar,  water, diet sodas, sugar-free Jell-O, Vitamin water (Vitamin water contains a negligible amount of sugar) and so on

Things we should know before beginning a clear liquid diet:

– When people do this diet, they tend to take in more sugar than they would usually, so this should be taken into consideration that a limited amount of sugar should be consumed.

Sodas that are high in sugar should be avoided as excess sugar intake can worsen Crohn’s disease instead of reducing its symptoms.

 – As this clear liquid diet doesn’t ultimately provide you with every essential nutrient and calories required, it is recommended not to do it for an extended period of time. This is usually prescribed to patients by doctors before any medical procedure for the digestive system, so consult your doctor before beginning it.

– If before getting done tests like colonoscopy, you are opting to do this diet; it is advised to avoid red and purple color liquids as they tend to interfere with the test imaging process by hiding polyps or changing the actual color of the colon mucosa. For more details, ask your doctor.

– If you are a diabetes patient, ensure to get at least 0.2 kilograms of carbohydrates to maintain a right blood sugar level. Get back to a regular diet as soon as possible. Ensure to talk to your doctor before starting this clear liquid diet.

– This diet should not be done for many days if you are already healthy. The suggested time period to do this diet for healthy people is for a maximum of 5 days. If continued for more than five days, vitamin supplements would be required, as this can cause a deficiency of nutrients.

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Important Points:

– If you are underweight, have eating disorders, an endocrine disorder, or are suffering from malnourishment. A clear liquid diet is a big NO for you.

– A lot of people have this misconception that a clear liquid diet leads to weight loss. However, it is not a good option because during this diet, a few pounds will be shed, but as soon as you start your regular diet, all those pounds are going to be gained by you again.

– If a clear liquid diet is prescribed to you by your doctor, ensure to follow the instructions accurately; otherwise it can lead to unreliable test results and problems during the procedure.

– Drink various clear liquids instead of one type of liquid. Drink a glass of water every hour. You should consume at least 48–64 ounces of fluids in a day. It is a good idea to dilute fruit juices first in order to prevent nausea or diarrhea. Moreover, do not drink extreme temperature liquids. They should be neither too hot nor too cold. Room temperature liquids are best.

Why should we do a Clear Liquid Diet?

Some patients who underwent stomach or intestinal surgery are sometimes prescribed to do a clear liquid diet.

People with health problems like diarrhea, nausea, stomach issues are also recommended to do this diet.

Suppose you undergo any dental procedure or have an oral injury so you cannot eat any solid food. This will help in healing and prevent oral infection.

A clear liquid diet might seem too difficult or impossible for some people to do. However, the fantastic benefits it to our health offers makes it worth doing:

Lipid peroxidation is decreased, which is the process that leads to damage of cells. Therefore, a clear liquid diet helps to prevent cell damage.

On a clear liquid diet, the production of nitric oxides by cells increases, which is a crucial molecule. It is beneficial for blood vessels by causing them to get wider. This helps to improve blood flow and maintain normal blood pressure.

This diet is skin-friendly. It helps to make your skin glowing and young. Hydration is essential for our body. If a body is well hydrated, the body temperature is maintained correctly, infections are prevented, organs usually work, there will be no sleep and mood issues, and much more. This diet ensures that it provides sufficient hydration. Moreover, it also provides necessary electrolytes, for example, potassium and sodium.

It helps to clear the stomach and intestines and improves the overall digestive system as these liquids are easily digested by our bodies and don’t put any strain on the course. Clear intestines make diagnose of medical problems more convenient.


A clear liquid diet helps to recover from medical procedures. Due to the process such as bariatric surgery, in some cases, the body system changes and becomes unable to digest and absorb food. Thus, this diet helps in its recovery, absorbing food, etc. Afterward, you can add food items gradually to your diet.

Being on a clear liquid diet helps to prevent gastrointestinal distress as liquids involved in this diet make digestion more comfortable and reduces stomach problems such as viruses in the stomach. It also allows you calm after having nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, etc.

This diet decreases lousy cholesterol level ( LDL )

This diet helps to increase hormone growth and reduces triglycerides. Thus, it reduces the risk of getting metabolic diseases such as diabetes.

Research shows that people who do a clear liquid diet have less risk of getting heart diseases. Additionally, they have a lower body mass index.

Research also suggests that being on this diet can improve your gut. This diet leads to a decrease in Firmicutes and Proteobacteria, along with an increase in Cyanobacteria and Bacteroidetes ( good bacteria ).

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This diet is for people suffering from Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.

For Crohn’s disease sufferers, this leads to lesions in the lining of the digestive system. These diseases cause a lot of diarrhea, abdominal cramps, rectal bleeding, and severe constipation. Crohn’s disease is characterized by flare-ups, which shows that symptoms are more severe at certain times than others. During outbreaks, the number of bowel movements should be reduced. Following a clear liquid diet is a perfect way to reduce the amount of bulky solid passing through the gastrointestinal tract.

This diet is for people who suffer from nausea or vomiting, as well as food poisoning, stomach flu, and other various health issues that cause continuous vomiting or feeling of sickness. In such cases, this liquid diet helps to keep the body fully nourished and gain balance.

Along with health benefits, everything in this diet is quite affordable and available in most houses, making it suitable for everyone. In addition, it is less time consuming as you don’t need to cook anything for hours. Instead, you just need to put everything in a blender to make juice, which can be done in a few minutes.

Adverse side effects of clear liquid diet are weakness, nausea, dry skin, hair loss, heart issues, dizziness and so on . . . .

Nowadays, many people are habitual of eating loads of junk food. Hunger is only satisfied when cooked food enters our stomach. This makes a clear liquid diet really difficult to do. It makes a person feel exhausted and hungry all the time as it lacks a lot of crucial nutrients and calories. ( this diet has about 500-1000 calories only ). Furthermore, this diet is too plain, which people find boring.


This is a low-fiber diet as you cannot consume whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, which can cause constipation. It doesn’t provide you with adequate protein required, which can lead to muscle loss.

By reading this article, you must be familiar with both the benefits as well as the risks of being on a clear liquid diet. If you are willing to give it a try, it is highly suggested to take advice from your healthcare professional who will let you know whether your decision is risk-free or wrong.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):-

– Is a clear liquid diet fatal due to a lack of nutrients?

It is true that this diet doesn’t provide us with all the necessary nutrients, which can cause mild problems like feebleness, nausea, dry skin, hair loss, nutrients deficiency, etc.

However, it is absolutely not fatal.

– Does an exact liquid diet help to lose weight?

Once you get back to your regular diet, you will begin gaining weight again.

– Can everyone do this diet?

It will be beneficial for almost everyone except people who are underweight, have eating disorders, suffering from malnourishment, or have endocrine disorders.

– Does this diet lead to frequent visits to the bathroom?

As this diet only consists of liquids, it is natural to pee more often than you would on a regular diet. Through urine, all the dirt will leave your body.
Thus, the detoxifying the whole body.

– For how many days should we do this diet?

You can do it for only 24 hours and still get some benefits or even more days but not more than five days. If you are seeing great results and want to continue for more, consult your doctor to suggest some supplements to cover up nutrients deficiency.

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