A clear liquid diet is a diet that is made up completely of liquids that are easy to digest and leave little to no material in the digestive tract. It is common for doctors to prescribe clear liquids to their patients prior to medical procedures. This is especially common if the patient has digestive problems or if the procedure has to do with the digestive tract. This kind of diet might also be prescribed to patients who are experiencing nausea or vomiting, or those recovering from certain kinds of medical procedures.
This diet does not offer sufficient nutrients or calories in the long term. For this reason, it is important not to stay on a clear liquid diet for more than a few days unless a doctor indicates otherwise. It can only offer hydration and some electrolytes, and provide a small amount of energy. It is not a sustainable diet.
While maintaining a clear liquid diet, it is important to refrain from liquids that have pulp or are not completely clear. Orange juice and milk, for examples, should not be consumed as a part of this diet. In addition to plain water, there are a number of juices that can be consumed by people who are on a diet of clear liquids. Acceptable juices include apple juice, cranberry juice, pomegranate juice, and grape juice. Lemonade is acceptable, but only if it has been strained to remove any pulp.
In addition to juices, sports drinks and clear sodas such as ginger ale can be consumed as part of a clear liquid diet. Tea and coffee are also acceptable as long as they do not include milk, cream, or powdered creamer. It is acceptable to flavor tea with honey.
Vegetable broth, chicken broth, and beef broth can also be added to a clear liquid diet. Chicken broth and beef broth can be especially important because they are some of the only "clear" liquids that offer protein. There are a very few solid foods that can be consumed as a part of this kind of diet. The most common solid foods that are allowed on clear liquid diets are gelatin and ice pops. The gelatin must be plain, without anything added, and the ice pops must not include fruit bits or fruit pulp.