Clear Liquid Diet for Endoscopy Procedures

Purpose:

A clear liquid diet consists of clear liquids that are easily digested and leave no undigested residue in your intestinal tract. This is why a clear liquid diet must be followed before an Endoscopy procedure. Not following the diet correctly can affect the prep results and the ability to view your intestinal tract.

Definition:

Clear liquids are those that one can see through with no solids or pulp. When a clear liquid is in a container such as a bowl or glass, the container is visible through the substance. Although not “clear”, black coffee/tea and sodas like Coke are ok on a clear liquid diet.

Clear liquids and foods (gelatin) may be colored so long as you are able to see through them. Avoid anything that is colored RED or PURPLE. Look for CLEAR, YELLOW, BLUE, GREEN OR ORANGE flavors (PINK is OK, too); examples: lemon, lime, orange, apple, white grape, peach, banana, blue raspberry. (The only exception is the clear protein drinks, as described in the Examples below.)

Tips when following a clear liquid diet:

  • You need to stay hydrated, especially if taking a colonoscopy prep! Drink lots of water!
  • Buy lots of different options so you can have a variety to choose from.
  • Drink frequently throughout the day to keep from getting too hungry.
  • Drinking high protein options are especially important.
  • You need calories, so having some options that are not sugar-free are important, even for diabetics.
  • ABSOLUTELY NO ALCOHOL!

Examples/Shopping List:

  • Clear vegetable, chicken, and beef broth/bouillon, or consommé. [High protein options]
  • Clear protein drinks (Ex: Atkins Lift Protein Drinks, Ensure Active Clear, Clear Boost Breeze)
    • Available at many grocery and drug stores and online.
    • NOTE: If you can only locate red or purple options, it is okay to drink a limited amount but no more than two bottles or containers per 24 hours, preferably diluted with other clear fluids, like club soda, Sprite/7-Up, sparkling water, etc.
  • Flavored gelatin/Jell-O (without fruit) and gummy bears
  • Clear sports drinks (Gatorade, Powerade, Propel, etc.)
  • Pedialyte
  • Clear juices (such as apple or white grape)
  • Coffee or tea (without cream or milk)
  • Water (plain, seltzer, sparkling, or flavored)
  • Coconut water (no pulp or mixtures with non-clear juices)
  • Soft drinks (soda/pop)
  • Crystal Light (can also be used to flavor your prep)
  • Italian ice, plain popsicles/ice pops (no pureed fruit or fiber, no sherbet or gelato)
  • Hard candies, lollipops, menthol cough drops (Tip: these are helpful to use between glasses of prep!)