Clear Liquid Diet
What is a clear liquid diet?
A clear liquid diet is made up of clear liquids and foods that are liquid at room temperature.
The clear liquid diet does not provide all the nutrients, vitamins, minerals, or calories that your body
needs. The goal of this diet is to provide liquids and part of the calories you need until you can eat solid
food. Clear liquids are easily digested (broken down) and do not put a strain on your stomach or
intestines. Following a clear liquid diet may help you feel better until you are able to eat solid food. Your
healthcare provider will tell you how much liquid you may have each day.
Healthcare providers will tell you when you can start to eat regular foods. You should not stay on the
clear liquid diet for more than two or three days, unless your caregiver has told you to. Ask your
caregiver, a dietitian, or a nutritionist any questions you may have about your diet plan.
What can I eat and drink while on a clear liquid diet?
ξ Clear juices (such as apple, cranberry, or grape), strained citrus juices or fruit punch
ξ Mild tea (without cream or milk)
ξ Mineral, bubbly, or plain water
ξ Clear soft drinks like ginger ale, lemon-lime soda, or club soda. (No cola or root beer)
ξ Clear sports drinks
ξ Iced tea
ξ Coffee (without cream or milk)
ξ Clear broth or bouillon
ξ Plain popsicles. Avoid popsicles with pureed fruit or fiber in them
ξ Hard candy
ξ Flavored gelatin, such as Jell-O® without fruit
ξ Italian Ice
Sample menu for a clear liquid diet:
ξ Breakfast: One cup of juice, three fourths of a cup of clear broth,
one popsicle and one cup of herbal tea
ξ Morning snack: One cup of a clear sports drink
ξ Lunch: One-half of a cup of juice, three-fourths of a cup of clear broth, three-fourths of a cup of
lemon-lime soda, one-half of a cup of flavored gelatin, and one cup of herbal tea
ξ Afternoon snack: One cup of flavored gelatin
ξ Evening meal: One-half of a cup of juice, three-fourths of a cup of clear broth, three-fourths of a
cup of ginger ale, and one-half of a cup of flavored gelatin
ξ Evening snack: One popsicle
What should I avoid eating and drinking while on a clear liquid diet?
ξ Any beverage that you cannot see through.
ξ Beverages containing alcohol.
ξ Dairy products such as milk, hot cocoa, buttermilk, and cream.
ξ Fruit smoothies, nectars, fruit juices with pulp and prune juice.
What is the most important thing you learned from this handout?
What changes will you make in your diet/lifestyle, based on what you learned today?
If you are a UW Health patient and have more questions please contact UW Health at one of the phone
numbers listed below. You can also visit our website at www.uwhealth.org/nutrition.
Nutrition clinics for UW Hospital and Clinics (UWHC) and American Family Children’s
Hospital (AFCH) can be reached at: (608) 890-5500. Nutrition clinics for UW Medical Foundation
(UWMF) can be reached at: (608) 287-2770.
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you have any
questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This is not medical advice.
This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each person’s health needs are different,
you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using this information. If you have an emergency,
please call 911. Copyright © 10/2015 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by
the Clinical Nutrition Services Department and the Department of Nursing. HF#593