Clear Diet: What Is It And When Is It Recommended?

A clear fluid diet may be initiated prior to a colonoscopy or intestinal examination to remove impurities and improve the accuracy of diagnosis. But what should you remember?
A clear diet: what is it and when is it recommended?

A clear diet is an aggressive dietary protocol that can be timely implemented to achieve cleansing at the gut level. Its use is not recommended without the supervision of a specialist and without a specific purpose, as it is a nutritional regimen with some intentional nutritional deficiencies.

However, under certain circumstances, such as prior to a bowel examination, implementing this plan may be positive for our health. A clear diet enables the elimination of possible waste in the digestive tract, which facilitates the diagnosis of basic diseases. Would you like to know more about it?

Clear diet – for what purpose?

The main goal of a liquid clear diet is to remove impurities from the intestinal tract. This can be done for two different reasons. Some people decide to use it to simply cleanse the digestive system and detox the body.

Others choose this diet because they are preparing for medical tests, such as a colonoscopy.

Either way, if your intestines are starting to improve or cleanse of toxins, you need to be very careful. As we will see below, it is a type of diet that is poor in many of the nutrients that the human body needs to function properly. Without them, it cannot function optimally for long periods of time.

The woman is eating broth

Liquid clear diet – characteristics

This type of diet focuses primarily on keeping your body hydrated. It guarantees water uptake and electrolyte balance, which is considered essential in terms of health. It should be taken into account that poor hydration can cause changes in blood pressure, according to a study published in the Nephrology study .

Even so, we are talking about a very restrictive diet as only the following foods are allowed:

  • Mineral, sparkling or flavored water.
  • Fruit juices without pulp.
  • Flavored drinks.
  • Carbonated drinks.
  • Tea or coffee.
  • Jelly.
  • Drained vegetable or tomato juice, with no peels and flesh.
  • Isotonic drinks.
  • Skim and drained broth.
  • Honey and sugar
  • Sweets.

Moreover, in some cases, the diet may be more restrictive, as directed by a specialist. Either way, this is a very low calorie and protein approach. For this reason, it is not recommended for use in the medium to long term.

It should be remembered that adequate protein intake is crucial in preventing the development of chronic diseases. In fact, the requirements of these nutrients in nutritional guidelines have increased in recent years, as found in a study published in the Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism .

Sample menu

There are many different menus to fit the Clear Diet protocol. It is important not to include foods other than those recommended. Usually, the doctor determines what each dish should be during the day.


  • Sweetened black coffee.
  • 1 fruit juice.

Second breakfast

  • 1 cup of jelly and a glass of juice.


  • 1 cup of juice.
  • Skim chicken broth.
  • 1 cup of jelly.
  • Water.


  • Black coffee with sugar.


  • 1 cup of skimmed fish broth.
  • 1 cup of jelly.
  • Infusion with sugar.

When is it recommended to follow this diet?

As we mentioned, you shouldn’t plan this diet to lose weight or use it for long periods of time. It can be used for colon cleansing prior to colonoscopy or for any other diagnostic examination of the gastrointestinal tract.

Even in the case of very severe dysbiosis, i.e. disturbance of the natural balance in the intestines, it can be used, but starting with appropriate supplementation. Thus, there is a change in the intestinal flora. Later, you can enrich your diet by gradually restoring the fiber and solids to populate the new gut bacteria.

A clear diet

Clear liquid diet – possible dangers and contraindications

As you can imagine, we are talking about a diet that fails to meet the energy needs of a healthy adult. It also does not meet the demand for the necessary macro- and microelements.

Simply put, if a clear diet takes longer than necessary, there is a risk of acute conditions due to ineffective nutrient supply.

For example, as detailed in a study published in the journal Advances in Food and Nutrition Research , failure to consume optimal amounts of vitamin C leads to scurvy in the short term. In turn, failure to meet the need for iron causes anemia.

Therefore, it is recommended to use this type of dietary treatment only on direct recommendation from a doctor. It is important to follow your healthcare professional’s advice to minimize the risk while consuming the right amount of sugar to avoid hypoglycaemia.

Clear liquid diet, very strict protocol

In short, a clear fluid diet should not be used for weight loss. It is also not recommended to experiment with it at home on your own without consulting a doctor. Its implementation can generate detrimental health effects, especially if not used correctly.

It is a short-term method of feeding that has a very specific purpose and should not be used outside of this framework. In addition, it must be supervised and approved by a healthcare professional to reduce the risks associated with it.

As a general rule, overly restrictive diets should be avoided. They do not generate benefits in the medium term and their effects are not permanent. The only thing that can be achieved with them is the development of diseases caused by ineffective supply of nutrients.

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