Medically reviewed by Saurabh Sethi, M.D., MPH — written by Jill Seladi-Schulman, doctor on respectable 10, 2020

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Your digestive device is an essential for help to fuel her body v the nutrients it extracts from the foods items you eat.

During digestion, food the you’ve consumed moves through your cradle (GI) tract, where it’s gradually broken down, enabling nutrients to be absorbed.

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Each part of her GI street is dedicated for a different aspect of digestion. Because that example, her stomach offers both mechanical and also chemical approaches to break down your food. It then empties its components into your tiny intestine, where nutrient absorb takes place.

Although it deserve to vary, there room estimates regarding the median time the takes for food to move through her stomach and other parts of her GI tract.

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

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

Generally speaking, it takes around 2 come 4 hours for food to relocate from your stomach to your tiny intestine.

The specific amount of time deserve to depend on several factors, such as the composition and size of your meal, your hormones, and your sex. Women often tend to digest food more slowly 보다 men.

The following happens when food enters her stomach:

Relaxation. The upper part of your stomach relaxes in order come accommodate the food did you do it eaten. This is why her abdomen have the right to look contempt distended ~ a meal.

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

Small intestine. In your tiny intestine, food mixes with additional digestive fluids. This is where many of the nutrient absorption takes place. Food have the right to spend in between 2 come 6 hours in your small intestine.Large intestine. In your large intestine (colon), water is absorbed, and also what’s left end from digestion is turned right into stool. The waste assets from your food spend around 36 hours in your large intestine.

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

Can some foods move through your stomach at a slower or faster pace?

Food composition deserve to play a huge role in how long the takes for your food to leave your stomach.

Let’s study some important food-related components that deserve to influence how long the takes for her stomach to empty.


Liquids generally leave your stomach quickly. Because that example, after friend drink a glass of water, it’s estimated that just 50 percent that it will certainly be left in her stomach ~ 10 minutes.

Solid foods items often must be broken down and also liquified further, which way they generally take longer to leave her stomach. In fact, it typically takes about 20 come 30 minutes prior to solid foods begin to leave her stomach.

Calorie content

Regardless the consistency, foods and drinks that have actually a reduced calorie content typically leave your stomach at a quicker rate. Greater calorie foods and drinks will certainly take longer.

For example, while water leaves your stomach at a quick rate, a higher calorie fluid such together a glass that fruit juice or a milkshake will certainly exit more slowly.

Nutrient content

Foods and beverages wealthy in carbohydrates and proteins are broken down an ext easily in your stomach and, as a result, leave your stomach faster.

However, foods items high in fat and fiber spend a much longer amount the time in your stomach. It is why you might feel full for much longer when girlfriend eat foodstuffs that space high in fat or fiber.


The dimension of your meal can influence the rate at i m sorry food leaves your stomach. This appears to it is in true for both liquids and solids.

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

Some medications need to be handled an north stomach. There are a couple of factors for this.

First, oral medicines are soaked up into your bloodstream through the lining of your GI tract. Because of this, having actually food in your stomach can potentially sluggish a drug’s absorption, do it much less effective.

Second, there space some foodstuffs that deserve to interfere with the task of specific types of drugs. This have the right to potentially boost or to decrease the level that a drug in your system. This type of interaction is dubbed a food-drug interaction.

Some examples of food-drug interactions include:

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

A good guideline come follow for these varieties of drugs is to take them one of two people 1 hour before eating or 2 hours after eating.

Sometimes you may be prescribed a medication that tells friend to take it with food. There are a few reasons because that this:

It helps v a condition. Some health conditions, prefer diabetes or heartburn, are influenced by food intake. It is why it’s necessary to take medication because that these kinds of conditions with food.

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

Always monitor the instructions on the prescription packaging, and contact your medical professional or pharmacist with any questions.

Some types of test or procedures might require you to quick beforehand. Once you fast, you refraining native eating for a specified amount the time. Because that example, girlfriend may have actually to fast before:

testing for food allergy or intolerances

If she fasting, you may not have the ability to eat anything because that 6 to 8 hours before the test or procedure.

For example, if you’re having a procedure in the morning, you’ll have actually your last full meal the evening before and not eat anything until after your procedure.

There might be added guidelines concerned what types of drinks you deserve to have. This often involves only drink a small amount of water throughout your fasting period.

The particular guidelines for food and water intake have the right to depend ~ above the test or procedure that’s gift performed. Always carefully follow your doctor’s guidelines, and also don’t hesitate come ask inquiries if something no clear.

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

Liquids normally leave your stomach quickly, while solid foods commonly take longer. Other food-related components that have the right to lead come a much longer stomach retention time include:

high fat foodshigh fiber foodshigh calorie foods

Whether her stomach is full or empty can affect things prefer taking medicines or fasting before a test or procedure.

In these situations, it’s always important to carefully follow her doctor’s instructions regarding food and also drink intake.