Clear Liquid Diet

This information will help you follow a clear liquid diet. Keep this resource in your kitchen so you can easily see what you can and can’t eat or drink while on a clear liquid diet.

About a Clear Liquid Diet

A clear liquid diet consists of clear liquids that are easily digested and leave no residue in your intestinal tract. Your doctor may prescribe a clear liquid diet before surgery or a procedure, for the first few meals after surgery or a procedure, or if you have certain digestive problems. Clear liquids don’t have a lot of calories or nutrients, so you shouldn’t stay on a clear liquid diet for longer than recommended by your doctor or nurse.

A clear liquid diet includes only liquids you can see through. Examples are listed in the table below. Don’t eat any solid foods while on a clear liquid diet.

If you’re having a surgery or a procedure, your doctor may tell you to avoid anything red, orange, or purple, including liquids, gelatin, and hard candies. If you have any questions, talk with your nurse.

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Examples of Clear Liquids

Food/Beverage Drink Do Not Drink
  • Clear broth or bouillon
  • Clear consommé
  • Packaged vegetable, chicken, or beef broth
Any products with any particles of dried food or seasoning
  • Gelatin, such as Jell-O®
  • Flavored ices
  • Hard candies, such as Lifesavers®
All others
  • Water
  • Clear fruit juices, such as white cranberry, white grape, and apple
  • Soda, such as 7-Up®, Sprite®, ginger ale, seltzer, and Gatorade®
  • Black coffee (no cream)
  • Tea
  • Juices with pulp
  • Nectars
  • Milk or cream
  • Alcoholic beverages

*If you’re allowed to have red, orange, or purple beverages, you may also include Boost® Breeze, Ensure Clear™, or Diabetishield® nutritional drinks for additional calories and protein.

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