Medically the review by Saurabh Sethi, M.D., MPH — created by Jill Seladi-Schulman, phd on respectable 10, 2020

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Your digestive device is crucial for helping to fuel her body v the nutrient it extracts from the foods you eat.

During digestion, food that you’ve eaten moves through your cradle (GI) tract, wherein it’s gradually damaged down, allowing nutrients to it is in absorbed.

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Each part of your GI tract is devoted for a different element of digestion. For example, your stomach supplies both mechanical and chemical approaches to failure your food. It climate empties its contents into your small intestine, where nutrient absorb takes place.

Although it have the right to vary, there are estimates concerning the typical time that takes because that food to relocate through her stomach and other components of your GI tract.

Let’s obtain into the details of how this works and also how long it takes.

How long after you’ve eaten does food leave her stomach?

Generally speaking, it takes around 2 come 4 hours for food to move from her stomach to your little intestine.

The precise amount of time can depend on several factors, such as the composition and size of your meal, her hormones, and your sex. Women have tendency to digest food much more slowly 보다 men.

The adhering to happens once food enters your stomach:

Relaxation. The upper section of your stomach relaxes in order come accommodate the food you’ve eaten. This is why her abdomen can look slightly distended after ~ a meal.

After leaving your stomach, food then moves v your intestines:

Small intestine. In your little intestine, food mixes with added digestive fluids. This is where many of the nutrient absorb takes place. Food can spend between 2 to 6 hrs in your tiny intestine.Large intestine. In your big intestine (colon), water is absorbed, and what’s left over from digestion is turned right into stool. The waste assets from her food spend around 36 hours in your huge intestine.

In total, it can take between 2 come 5 days because that food to move through your whole GI tract.

Can some foods move v your stomach in ~ a slow or quicker pace?

Food composition can play a large role in how long it takes for her food come leave her stomach.

Let’s study some necessary food-related components that can influence how long that takes for your stomach to empty.


Liquids commonly leave her stomach quickly. Because that example, after girlfriend drink a glass that water, it’s approximated that just 50 percent the it will certainly be left in your stomach after 10 minutes.

Solid foods often should be damaged down and liquified further, which method they usually take much longer to leave her stomach. In fact, it usually takes around 20 to 30 minutes before solid foods begin to leave your stomach.

Calorie content

Regardless the consistency, foods and also drinks that have a reduced calorie content usually leave her stomach at a much faster rate. Higher calorie foods and also drinks will take longer.

For example, while water pipeline your stomach at a rapid rate, a greater calorie liquid such together a glass the fruit juice or a milkshake will exit much more slowly.

Nutrient content

Foods and also beverages affluent in carbohydrates and proteins are broken down more easily in her stomach and, as a result, leave your stomach faster.

However, foodstuffs high in fat and fiber invest a much longer amount of time in her stomach. It is why you may feel complete for much longer when you eat foodstuffs that space high in fat or fiber.


The dimension of her meal can affect the rate at which food pipeline your stomach. This appears to be true for both liquids and solids.

It’s crucial to keep in mind that hard meals will frequently have a lag period before stomach emptying begins. However, larger meals north at a faster rate than smaller meals when this lag duration has passed.

Some drugs need come be tackled an empty stomach. There space a couple of factors for this.

First, oral medications are soaked up into your bloodstream through the lining of your GI tract. Since of this, having food in your stomach can potentially slow-moving a drug’s absorption, do it less effective.

Second, there space some foodstuffs that have the right to interfere with the task of specific species of drugs. This have the right to potentially increase or decrease the level of a medicine in her system. This kind of communication is called a food-drug interaction.

Some instances of food-drug interaction include:

If food usage has the potential to influence a drug, your prescription will certainly say to take it it top top an north stomach.

A good guideline come follow for these types of medications is to take them one of two people 1 hour before eating or 2 hrs after eating.

Sometimes you might be prescribed a medication that tells girlfriend to take it with food. There room a few reasons for this:

It helps v a condition. Some health and wellness conditions, prefer diabetes or heartburn, are impacted by food intake. That’s why it’s necessary to take medication for these kinds of problems with food.

If you have actually a medication the you have to take through food, shot to coordinate taking your medication v your mealtime.

Always monitor the indict on the prescription packaging, and contact your doctor or pharmacist with any type of questions.

Some types of tests or procedures may require you to fast beforehand. Once you fast, she refraining native eating for a specified amount the time. For example, you may have to fast before:

testing for food allergy or intolerances

If you fasting, you may not have the ability to eat anything because that 6 come 8 hours prior to the check or procedure.

For example, if you’re having a procedure in the morning, you’ll have your last complete meal the evening before and also not eat anything till after her procedure.

There may be added guidelines concerned what species of drinks you deserve to have. This often entails only drinking a tiny amount that water during your fasting period.

The details guidelines because that food and also water intake have the right to depend on the test or procedure that’s gift performed. Constantly carefully follow your doctor’s guidelines, and also don’t hesitate come ask questions if something no clear.

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After girlfriend eat, food generally spends 2 to 4 hrs in her stomach. However, this have the right to vary based on the form of food did you do it eaten, exactly how much, and other factors.

Liquids normally leave your stomach quickly, while solid foods frequently take longer. Other food-related determinants that can lead come a longer stomach retention time include:

high fat foodshigh fiber foodshigh calorie foods

Whether your stomach is full or empty can impact things choose taking drugs or fasting prior to a check or procedure.

In this situations, it’s constantly important to closely follow her doctor’s instructions regarding food and drink intake.