There are not many foods that can be eaten on a clear liquid diet, but three options are water, broth and clear gelatin. For a clear liquid diet, the food must be easily digested so that it does not leave any undigested residue in the intestinal tract.
Doctors usually prescribe clear liquid diets before procedures, tests and surgeries that require for there to be no food in the stomach or intestines. Clear liquid diets can also be prescribed for those suffering from digestive problems, such as nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. A clear liquid diet also helps a person maintain adequate hydration and may increase the person's energy. A clear liquid diet can also provide electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium. Doctors may have specific instructions, such as avoiding liquids and gelatins with red food coloring, for patients going through certain tests such as a colonoscopy.
Examples of food that a person can eat during a clear liquid diet are plain, carbonated or flavored water, sports drinks, fruit juices without pulp, plain tea or coffee, fruit-flavored beverages or carbonated drinks including soda. Honey, sugar, strained tomato or vegetable juice, plain ice pops and hard candy such as lemon drops and peppermints are also permitted.