Clear Liquid Diet

A clear liquid diet consists of liquids which are transparent (you can see through them when held up to the light) and are liquid at body temperature. A clear liquid diet is easily digested and leaves no undigested residue in your intestinal tract. This type of diet is usually prescribed before certain medical procedures (such as a colonoscopy) or certain digestive problems (such as nausea, vomiting or diarrhea) or after certain types of surgery. It should be used only for a few days as it does not provide adequate calories and nutrients.

If your doctor prescribes a clear liquid diet before a medical test, be sure to follow the diet instructions exactly. If you don't follow the diet, you risk an inaccurate test or procedure results and may have to reschedule the test or procedure for another time.

Foods and liquids allowed on the clear liquid diet include popsicles, clear juice without pulp, plain gelatin, ice chips, water, sweetened tea or coffee (no creamer), clear broths, carbonated beverages, and flavored water. It is important you do not consume any liquids with red dye or coloring as it may give misleading test or procedure results.

Specific liquids or foods allowed are:

  • Water, plain or flavored. Standard or sparkling. 
  • Drinks made from powdered drink mixes (such as Kool Aid and Crystal Light - no red)
  • Fruit juices – apple or grape
  • Lemonade - no pulp
  • Broth (bouillon or consommé) – beef, chicken or vegetable
  • Carbonated beverages without red dye
  • Plain gelatin – lemon or lime
  • Sports drinks without red dye
  • Popsicles without fruit pulp – banana, lemon or lime (No red)
  • Tea or coffee without creamer
  • Sugar or sugar substitute
  • Honey