I Was Told to Fast—So What Makes Drinking ClearFast Before Surgery Safe?

I Was Told to Fast—So What Makes Drinking ClearFast Before Surgery Safe?

We can’t lie—we’re pretty excited for today’s topic. It’s a question we get asked all of the time: My doctor told me to fast, so what makes drinking ClearFast before surgery safe? Today, we’re answering that all-too-common question and so much more. We’ll cover:

  • Why you were told to fast before surgery
  • What you can’t have before surgery
  • What you can have before surgery
  • What makes drinking ClearFast before surgery safe
  • How drinking ClearFast before surgery makes for easier, less stressful procedures

Now, let’s dig in…

Why was I told to fast before surgery?

Fasting before surgery is a non-evidence based practice that dates back over 150 years. It comes from the fact that having food in your stomach during surgery can cause you to aspirate (aspiration is the entry of your stomach contents/food into the lower respiratory tract and lungs, which can be very dangerous during surgery). Because of this, medical professionals implemented the sweeping “no food or drink after midnight” rule.

Because of this, you can’t have the following before surgery:  

  • Solid Foods
  • Colored Dyes
  • Fats or Proteins

Is fasting before surgery still practiced?

The answer is both yes and no (sorry, folks). While you’re not allowed to have any of the things we previously listed (solid foods, colored dyes, and fats/proteins), more and more modern medical research has proven that patients should have a complex-carb-rich clear fluid before surgery in place of forgoing all food and drink. There are a few reasons for this shift:

  • Patients who drink clear fluid before surgery actually have a reduced risk of aspiration as they have emptier stomachs than those who don’t eat or drink anything. (When you don’t eat or drink anything, it can cause a build-up of gastric acids in your stomach.)
  • Surgery is extremely physically taxing on your body. To enter anesthesia completely starved and dehydrated is akin to running a marathon completely starved and dehydrated. It just doesn’t set you up for success.  

In short, more medical professionals are advising patients follow a carbohydrate fluid fast by drinking ClearFast before surgery as opposed to following the old-school, outdated fast of “nothing after midnight.”

What makes drinking ClearFast before surgery safe?

Modern medical research points to the fact that patients can have certain liquids up to two hours before their surgery. The liquid should be rich in complex carbs (as opposed to simple sugars like you’ll find in Gatorade and other sports drinks) and it must be absolutely clear (as having colored dyes in your system can interfere with the safety of your procedure).

ClearFast is safe for surgery because it:

  • Is not a solid food
  • Is completely clear and colorless
  • Contains NO fats or proteins

What benefits will I receive from drinking ClearFast before surgery?

Drinking ClearFast before surgery offers a number benefits that ultimately lead to safer, less stressful procedures and enhanced recovery, including:

  • Hydration and Nutrition: Dehydration and the electrolyte imbalance it can cause are things you want to avoid in general—but certainly before anesthesia. Sending your body into surgery is essentially like sending it to battle: it needs proper nutrition and hydration in order to best prepare for the inevitable stress of anesthesia.
  • Easier IV “Sticks”: Dehydration leads to reduced blood flow, which can mean multiple painful IV sticks. Many ClearFast customers report easier, pain-free and one-time-only needle sticks as a result of working the ClearFast preop drink into their surgery prep routine.
  • Reduced Post-Op Nausea and Vomiting: Traditional fasting from midnight is largely responsible for the nausea and vomiting many patients experience after undergoing anesthesia. Time and time again, ClearFast customers who, in the past experienced nausea and vomiting upon waking from surgery, report that drinking the ClearFast preop drink completely eliminated this problem.
  • Reduced Anxiety and Emotional Stress: Heading into surgery is never fun—especially when you’re tired, starved and thirsty. ClearFast works to reduce the stress and anxiety that often accompany going under. In fact, in a large controlled study, patients in the pre-op area who drank ClearFast were 5.5-6.5 times more likely to describe themselves as “comfortable” than their cohorts who underwent traditional fasting from midnight.

What if my doctor still says no food or drink after midnight?

Overall, more and more research is pointing to the fact that doctors should stop following the old-school “no food or drink after midnight” rule and, instead, should prep patients for surgery with a safe, clear, complex-carb rich liquid like ClearFast. Keep in mind, though, that you should always follow your physician’s specific instructions before surgery. If your doctor advises you to avoid all liquids after midnight, be sure to ask her about ClearFast (you can read more about talking to your doctor about ClearFast here). If she any questions about our preop drink  at all, you can direct her to the medical pros section of the ClearFast site.


Ready to set yourself up for surgery success? Order your ClearFast Preop Drink here! And, as always, don’t hesitate to reach out to the ClearFast team at support@drinkcf.com if you have any questions about our preop drink at all.

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