You Shouldn't Drink This Before Getting A Colonoscopy

Medical experts, national health organizations, and federal agencies such as the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, American Cancer Society, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) all recommend that regular screenings for colorectal cancer should now begin at age 45 rather than 50. This means that more Americans will be joining the ranks of those eligible to schedule a colonoscopy.

While the thought of having to endure the distasteful preparation ahead of the screening is probably a turnoff for most, getting a colonoscopy is vital, as this method of early detection can lower your risk of getting colon cancer. Colorectal cancer is far more common than you may think. "If you've got a colon, you're at risk," gastroenterologist and colon cancer expert Carol Burke, M.D. tells the Cleveland Clinic.

The actual procedure is not as bad as most people think. Preparing for a colonoscopy correctly is essential though, so your gastroenterologist has an unobstructed view to uncover and remove any polyps that could potentially become cancerous (via Norton Healthcare).

While liquid prep is important, you'll understandably want to make the preparation for a colonoscopy more tolerable by drinking a beverage that you actually enjoy. However, there are definitely drinks you need to avoid.

Avoid these drinks before getting a colonoscopy

Most importantly, stay away from anything overly saturated in color such as red, blue, or purple sports drinks. You should also avoid any liquids that are opaque, such as milk or orange juice. The clearer the liquids the better. Additionally, be sure to halt drinking all liquids anywhere from between two to four hours before your screening. (via WebMD).

As far as alcohol, while you may think a clear alcoholic liquid like vodka or beer is a good way to manage anxiety ahead of the procedure, drinking alcohol before getting a colonoscopy is not the best idea. Alcohol causes dehydration, which means you'll be spending more time in the bathroom. Drinking alcohol may also cause other possible side effects such as vomiting, sweating, and diarrhea, all of which could interfere with the procedure (via LiveStrong).

If you're 45 or over, and have been avoiding getting a colonoscopy because of fear surrounding the preparation, it's time to ease those anxieties once and for all. The peace of mind you'll have after your gastroenterologist gives you a clean bill of health will be well worth the one to two days of inconvenience.