What is allowed on a clear liquid diet?

Preparing for a colonoscopy includes following a clear liquid diet the day or two before your procedure. The purpose of a clear liquid diet is to provide rest on your gastrointestinal tract prior to the colonoscopy and ensure adequate visibility during the procedure. The goal of the clear liquid diet is to keep you hydrated, provide vitamins and minerals for energy, and allow your stomach and intestines to rest.

A clear liquid diet consists exclusively of liquids that are transparent at room temperature. That doesn’t mean the fluids need to be entirely clear, but you should be able to see through them.

To help you determine which liquids you can have during this clear liquid diet, we’ve put together a list of fluids and foods that are allowed during this prepping period.

  • Water
  • Ice chips
  • Plain, clear gelatin without fruit pieces (except red gelatin)
  • Black coffee
  • Chicken or beef broth
  • Tea without cream or sugar
  • Clear soda (Sprite, ginger ale, and 7-Up)
  • Popsicles without fruit pieces or cream
  • Clear, hard candies
  • Ice pops

Although the following are liquids, they are not allowed during a clear liquid diet.

  • Fruit juices
  • Creamy soups
  • Milk
  • Cream
  • Milkshakes
  • Orange juice
  • Applesauce
  • Red Jell-O

A typical menu on the clear liquid diet could look like this:

Breakfast:

  • 1 cup of coffee or tea without dairy products
  • 1 glass of water
  • 1 cup of broth
  • 1 bowl of gelatin

Mid-morning snack:

  • 1 cup of tea
  • 1 glass of water
  • 1 bowl of gelatin

Lunch:

  • 1 glass of clear soda
  • 1 glass of water
  • 1 cup of broth
  • 1 bowl of gelatin

Afternoon snack:

  • 1 ice pop
  • 1 cup of coffee or tea or a glass of ginger ale, Sprite, or 7-Up

Dinner:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of broth
  • 1 bowl of gelatin
  • 1 cup of coffee or tea
  • 1 ice pop

Sticking to a clear liquid diet before a colonoscopy may seem challenging, but it serves a purpose since an improper colonoscopy preparation may require repeating the entire procedure.

Do you have more questions about following a clear liquid diet before a colonoscopy? Contact our professional, highly trained staff at Gastrointestinal Specialists, Inc.