As children, our mothers always enforced the most dreaded rule of the summer season.
You know, the "no swimming after eating" rule.
Yep, I know you're all familiar with how this swimming struggle goes.
You're having a grand old time in the lake, then Mom would suddenly interrupt your glorious swimming sesh by dragging you ashore to eat lunch.
Then she would commit what might just be the cruelest act of all time: Make you wait an hour (which back then, basically felt an eternity) before allowing you to go back into the water.
This golden swimming rule has been around for over a century, first appearing in a Boy Scout Handbooks that date back to 1908, in which scouts were advised to wait at least 90 minutes after eating to avoid the risk of drowning.
But have you ever wondered if there's actually any merit to this old wives' tale?
Well, I hate to break it to you, but apparently it's a lie.
That's right. Your mother's stupid rule was actually based on nothing at all. You basically spent all of your summers miserably waiting by the water's edge for no reason.
Thanks a lot, Mom.
Apparently, the whole myth about cramps comes from the fact that blood is diverted to the stomach after eating to help digestion. However, the amount of blood that gets diverted isn't enough to give you any cramps.
Elie Ward, a spokeswoman for the New York State American Academy of Pediatrics, told NY Daily News,
"You can wait a few minutes to make sure the last thing you ate went down your gullet. But waiting an hour doesn't do anything."
So I guess we can finally say "sayonara" to that stupid rule once and for all! Rest assured that you can safely stuff your face with food and swim all summer long.