9 Ways to Drink Colonoscopy Prep Without Throwing Up

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Struggling with nausea while trying to get through colonoscopy prep? This article delivers practical strategies for drinking colonoscopy prep without throwing up. Say goodbye to hours of discomfort and anxiety.

Key Takeaways
❶ Choose the right prep solution for you.
❷ Split the doses for easier consumption.
❸ Stay hydrated with clear, electrolyte-rich liquids.
❹ Drink the prep slowly to avoid nausea.
❺ Improve the taste by adding flavors or chilling.
❻ Use antiemetics for nausea.
❼ Stay mildly active to reduce bloating.
❽ Seek medical help for severe side effects
❾ Always consult your doctor.

What is Colonoscopy?

  • Definition: A colonoscopy is a medical test.
  • Instrument Used: A flexible fiber-optic instrument with a camera at the end.
  • Purpose: To see inside your colon or large intestine. Additionally, if abnormalities are seen during the colonoscopy, a biopsy may be performed.

Why a Colonoscopy is Important for Colorectal Cancer Detection?

  • Diagnosing Conditions: Essential for identifying issues like polyps and inflamed tissues.
  • Cancer Detection: Useful for early detection of colon cancer.

How is a Colonoscopy Performed?

  • As preparation, patients need to consume a colonoscopy prep laxative or other cleansing solution as prescribed by their doctor. This clears out the colon before the procedure.
  • During the colonoscopy, the patient lies on their side while the doctor inserts a lubricated, flexible tube with a tiny camera on one end called a colonoscope.
  • The colonoscope is carefully inserted through the rectum and into the colon. The doctor can pump air or water through the colonoscope to better visualize the intestinal lining on a video monitor.
  • If any abnormal tissue is seen, the doctor can pass tiny tools through the colonoscope to painlessly collect samples (biopsies) which are later tested.
  • After a thorough examination, the colonoscope is slowly withdrawn.

The Need for Bowel Prep Before a Colonoscopy

Colonoscopy prep is necessary for adults to ensure your intestines have no stool inside as that would block a clear view of your colon.

  • Why is it Necessary? If the doctor can’t see any growth or polyps in your colon, the test results won’t be accurate, and worse, you’ll need to do the procedure again.
  • Purpose of Prep: The reason for the strict prep regimen is to provide the clearest possible view for an accurate diagnosis using solutions like Miralax or a Suprep bowel prep kit.

The bowel prep will help you induce bowel movements to clear your bowels before you go for the colonoscopy.

  • What Does Bowel Prep Do? Helps induce bowel movements to clear your bowels.
  • Importance of Colon Health: Taking your colon health seriously is crucial.
  • Goal: Ensures the doctor gets a proper view of your intestine for an accurate diagnosis using the colonoscopy prep laxative solution.
CriteriaColon with Proper PrepColon Without Proper Prep
Visibility of PolypsClear view allows for easy identificationStool and debris can obscure view
Accuracy of Test ResultsEnables accurate diagnosisMay lead to inaccurate results
Need for RedoAccurate results reduce the need for a redoInaccurate results may require a redo
Doctor’s Ease of ExaminationClear view facilitates the procedureObstructions can complicate the procedure

🔬Types of Colonoscopy Prep

Prescription-Based Preparations

NameIngredientsVolumeFormFlavorsSpecial Notes
GoLYTELYPolyethylene glycol, Electrolytes4 litersLiquidNoneDifficult for some due to volume
NuLYTELYPolyethylene glycol, Electrolytes4 litersLiquidLemon-lime, CherryCheck for dye allergies
MoviprepPolyethylene glycol, Electrolytes, Ascorbic acid2 litersLiquidNoneSplit dosage
PLENVUPolyethylene glycol, Electrolytes2 litersLiquidOrange, Blackcurrant
OsmoPrepSodium Phosphate32 tabletsTabletNoneMust drink plenty of water
SuprepSulfate-based solution2 bottlesLiquidBerry
SUTABMagnesium Oxide, Citric Acid24 tabletsTabletNoneTaken in two doses
CLENPIQSodium Picosulfate, Magnesium Oxide, Citric Acid2 dosesLiquidLemon
GaviLytePolyethylene glycol, Electrolytes4 litersLiquidLemon, LimeSimilar to GoLYTELY
VisicolSodium Phosphate40 tabletsTabletNone

GoLYTELY: This option involves drinking four liters of polyethylene glycol and electrolytes solution. Mixing water with a powder creates the solution. The sheer volume can make consumption difficult for some individuals.

NuLYTELY: Similar to GoLYTELY, NuLYTELY adds flavor packs to improve taste. Choices include lemon-lime and cherry, among others. If you have allergies to certain dyes, check the flavor packs’ ingredients before use.

Moviprep: This regimen requires two liters of a solution containing polyethylene glycol, electrolytes, and ascorbic acid. Consumption is split into the evening before and the morning of the procedure.

PLENVU: Another two-liter option, PLENVU, comes in flavors like orange and blackcurrant.

OsmoPrep: Unlike liquid-based preps, OsmoPrep uses sodium phosphate tablets. A total of 32 tablets are consumed with plenty of water.

Suprep: This option involves two bottles of a sulfate-based solution. A berry flavor aims to make the liquid more enjoyable.

SUTAB: This tablet-based option contains magnesium oxide and citric acid. A total of 24 tablets are taken in two doses.

CLENPIQ: This solution includes sodium picosulfate, magnesium oxide, and citric acid. Two doses are required, and a lemon flavor is included.

GaviLyte: Similar to GoLYTELY, this formula requires drinking four liters. Various flavors like lemon and lime are available.

Visicol: This regimen also uses sodium phosphate tablets, but the total count is 40 tablets.

Over-the-Counter Options

Dulcolax: This option involves bisacodyl tablets taken the evening before the procedure.

MiraLAX: A polyethylene glycol-based option, MiraLAX requires drinking four liters of the solution. Various flavors like orange and lemon are available.

Making an informed choice involves considering factors like volume, form (liquid or tablet), and potential side effects.

Consult your healthcare provider for personalized advice. For more in-depth information, click here.

Preparation Timeline⏳: A Week-by-Week Guide

One Week Before Colonoscopy

A week before your colonoscopy, specific preparations are essential for a successful procedure. Here’s a breakdown in bullet points for easy reading:

Remember to Adjust Your Diet

Start thinking about what to eat before a colonoscopy. Choosing the right foods can make a significant difference in the preparation process.

Arrange a Ride Home

Remember to secure someone to drive you home after the procedure for safety.

Discuss Medications with Your Doctor

It’s critical to ask your doctor about medications you should stop or adjust. Blood thinners and diabetes medications may need dosage changes. Choose a comfortable place in your home to easily access the bathroom for the bowel preparation phase. Provide your medical history for accurate guidance.

Stock Up on Supplies

Prepare for frequent bowel movements during bowel preparation. Buy essentials like toilet paper, a clear sports drink, Vaseline, a straw, and your prep kit.

Vaseline for Comfort

Vaseline can relieve soreness around the anus during frequent bowel movements.

Three Days Before Colonoscopy

Final preparations are crucial as you approach the 72-hour mark before your colonoscopy. Here’s what you need to know, broken down into bullet points:

Switch to a Low-Fiber, Low-Residue Diet

  • Adopt a low-fiber, low-residue diet to ensure a clean colon.
  • A clean colon helps in effective screening for colon cancer and polyps.

Reconfirm Medication Plans

  • Often revisit your medication plan based on your doctor’s advice.
  • Make any last-minute adjustments to dosages as needed.

Prepare Your Space

  • Make sure the bathroom is easily accessible.
  • Keep essentials like toilet paper and Vaseline within reach.
  • Make sure to get a good night’s sleep.

Stock Up on Clear Liquids

  • Have clear sports drinks and water available.
  • These help in maintaining hydration during bowel preparation. Incorporate clear liquids such as chicken broth and bone broth into your diet.
  • These are not only comforting but also provide nutrients without disrupting your prep.

What to Eat Before a Colonoscopy

Focus on clear liquids, chicken broth, and bone broth. These choices are essential to ensure a successful procedure by keeping your colon clear.

Making Colonoscopy Prep Easier: Tips and Tricks🌟

Flavor Enhancers for Colonoscopy Prep

  • Add a splash of lemon or lime juice to your prep solution for a citrus twist.
  • In addition, use flavor packs with specific prep solutions like NuLYTELY.
  • Chill the prep solution in the fridge for a more refreshing taste.
  • If you prefer a citrusy flavor, consider adding lemonade to your prep solution for a different taste experience.
  • Alternatively, add apple juice to your prep solution to give it a sweeter flavor while making it easier to drink.
  • Use a straw to consume your prep solution. In fact, a straw can help bypass some taste buds, making the solution more palatable.

Supplies You’ll Need

  • Toilet paper: Stock up on soft, high-quality toilet paper products.
  • Clear sports drinks: These help maintain electrolyte balance.
  • Vaseline: Useful for alleviating soreness around the anus.
  • A timer or smartphone: To track when to take the following doses of your prep solution.
  • A straw: So you can consume your prep solution more easily and comfortably.

📚Step-by-Step Guide to Drinking Colonoscopy Prep

Navigating colonoscopy prep can be challenging. This guide offers a step-by-step approach to drinking the laxative for a morning procedure.

Timing Matters

  • Plan to wake up earlier than usual.
  • Aim to finish the laxative 4 to 5 hours before leaving for the procedure.
  • This timing is crucial for those asking, “What is the best way to drink the prep for a colonoscopy?”

Laxative Intake

When drinking GoLYTELY, be prepared for the volume; it requires consuming four liters of solution. To make this easier, use a straw to consume the solution, as this can help make the process more tolerable.

  • Drink an 8-ounce bottle every 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Use the same drinking pace as the previous evening.
  • If you’re concerned, “Will I be up all night with colonoscopy prep?” it’s possible but following the recommended pace can help manage the process.

Final Beverage Cut-off

  • Stop all other beverages at least 2 hours before the appointment.
  • Plan your wake-up time accordingly to fit this schedule.
  • For those wondering, “How long before a colonoscopy should I stop drinking water?” and “Can I drink water 1 hour before colonoscopy?” The guideline is no drinking at least 2 hours before the procedure.

Allowed Liquids

  • Stick to clear liquids similar to those consumed the day before,  including water, tea, clear juices, clear broths (like chicken or bone broth), and electrolyte drinks.
  • Consult a clear liquid chart for options that are safe to consume, focusing on clear liquid, chicken broth, and bone broth, which are part of what to eat before a colonoscopy.

Pre-Procedure Rules

  • No drinking at least 2 hours before the procedure.
  • Arrange someone to drive you home and stay with you for at least two hours.

What to Avoid

  • No alcohol, marijuana, or substances that impair thought.
  • No driving or signing legal documents until the day after the procedure.

How to Drink Colonoscopy Prep Without Nausea

how to drink colonoscopy prep without throwing up

Vomiting during colonoscopy prep is common but uncomfortable. Throwing up colonoscopy prep means you have to drink more of the gross stuff, and nobody wants that. It also creates a mess you must clean up while already weak and exhausted.

These steps will help you avoid throwing up your colonoscopy prep medication and prevent dehydration the night before your procedure. Learn more about the list of foods to eat after colonoscopy.

01 Know the Types of Colonoscopy Prep Solutions

Different types of colonoscopy prep solutions are available, including isotonic solutions that might be easier on the stomach. Ask your doctor about options and read reviews to see what might work best for you.

02 Timing Matters

The timing of your colonoscopy prep can impact its effectiveness and your comfort. For example, some people find that splitting the dose makes it more tolerable. Consult your doctor for a schedule that might work best for you.

03 Start with Less

Most people can’t drink colonoscopy prep without gagging. The stuff tastes terrible, so start by drinking a small amount glass of the medicine at room temperature. Drinking too much of the prep solution too fast is bound to make you vomit.

04 Drink Slowly

The content of what you drink matters. The answer to ‘colonoscopy prep makes me vomit’ is simple. Don’t drink the medicine all in one go. Listen to your gut and take it slow.

05 Take a Break if You Feel Nauseous

MiraLAX colonoscopy prep side effects include nausea. This is amplified by the fact that it tastes gross, and you need to drink a gallon of it. If you feel nauseous, stop drinking the medicine.

06 Don’t Move Around Too Much

There’s a good chance that you aren’t going to work out the night before your colonoscopy or while you wait for the laxatives to take effect. However, it would help if you also avoided things like walking or jogging, bending over, and even housework.

07 Chill the Medication

One way to make your medicine stay down easier is by chilling it in the fridge for an hour. Consider adding some flavoring or grains to improve the taste.

08 Take Over the Counter Antiemetics

Taking simple medication is also a great option, so ask your doctor which ones you can take. Most studies suggest Dimenhydrinate (Dramamine) or Meclizine (Dramamine Less Drowsy) as safe options to prevent vomiting and feelings of nausea.

09 Does Drinking Extra Water Help Colonoscopy Prep?

Yes, consuming extra water can help with colonoscopy prep by keeping you hydrated and potentially diluting the prep solution, making it easier to tolerate.

09 Talk to Your Doctor

If you feel incredibly nauseous and the steps mentioned above don’t work, call your physician and ask them what to do. Keep updated with the latest news on colonoscopy prep.

Managing Side Effects

Colonoscopy prep can come with side effects. This section offers advice on managing common issues like hemorrhoids, skin irritation, and nausea.

Dealing with Hemorrhoids and Skin Irritation

Being close to a toilet is advised. Try to use Glycoprep C at home. Anal soreness is normal and can cause stress. Boiled or glucose sweets can improve the taste of prep solutions.

If you’re having trouble with severe discomfort, consult your healthcare provider for alternative solutions.

  • Anal soreness is normal. Boiled or glucose sweets can improve the taste of prep solutions.
  • For skin irritation, consider clear fluids to vary taste and relieve discomfort.

What to Do if You Throw Up After Drinking Colonoscopy Prep

  • Ginger ale can help with nausea due to its anti-nausea properties.
  • Besides ginger ale, herbal remedies like Ginger and peppermint can also effectively combat nausea.
  • Feeling dehydrated? Opt for more fluids like Powerade.
  • If bloated, a short walk around the house or garden may help.

Additional Tips

If you feel cold, wrap up warmly to stay comfortable. If you’ve vomited the prep, it’s crucial to consult your healthcare provider for further guidance.

If you have kidney disease, speak to your healthcare provider before starting colonoscopy prep, as some preparations may not suit you.

💧Preventing Dehydration During Colonoscopy Prep

Between nausea and your semi-permanent position on the porcelain throne, dehydration is a genuine possibility. With a colonoscopy prep, how long diarrhea will last is a gamble and will differ for everyone. Some people have to spend a couple of hours in the bathroom.

These tips will prevent dehydration and help you replenish the large volume of fluids lost during the preparation stage.

  • During the day, drink 8 glasses of water or other fluids. This will give your body a head-start and go a long way in avoiding dehydration. 

Staying hydrated also prevents no bowel movement after colonoscopy prep problems in some people.

  • During your prep, keep sipping on chilled water Pedialyte or Gatorade. You can also suck on ice cubes, which will help soothe nausea.
  • Drink water until 2-3 hours before the procedure to prevent dehydration.
  • Stop consuming hard-to-digest foods like seeds, nuts, and popcorn three days before your procedure. 

Instead, stick to clear fluids such as:

  • Gatorade
  • Pedialyte
  • Clear broth or stock
  • Coffee and tea without milk or creamers
  • Popsicles
  • Jell-O
  • Clear juices like apple or white grape
  • Carbonated beverages

Foods and Diet Recommendations for Colonoscopy Prep

You might be wondering about the foods you should avoid before your colonoscopy. The right diet can also prevent nausea after colonoscopy and reduce the chances of complications during the prep and procedure.

You should avoid all solids for 24 hours before your colonoscopy procedure and stick to the abovementioned fluids.

food, fruit
eating after colonoscopy

🍴 Foods to Eat Before

Lean meats like beef, lamb, and poultry are good options. If you’re wondering what “I eat before” my colonoscopy, lean meats are a safe choice.

Before starting the colonoscopy prep, your last meal should be light and easy to digest. Fish, shellfish, and white rice are also allowed.

Lean meats like beef, lamb, and poultry are good options.

  • Fish, shellfish, and white rice are also allowed.
  • Cornflakes and crisped rice cereal, but avoid bran.
  • White bread, toast, and plain biscuits are safe.
  • Boiled or poached eggs can be included.
  • Dairy like butter, margarine, milk, and cheese are okay.
  • Boiled, mashed, or creamed potatoes without skins.
  • Soya and tofu are acceptable.
  • Clear jelly, sugar, or sweeteners can be added.
  • Fluids like water, cordial, and clear strained soup are good.

🚫 Foods to Avoid Before

  • All fruits, whether fresh, dried, or canned, should be avoided.
  • High-fiber foods like brown rice, brown pasta, and lentils.
  • Avoid whole grain food, as they are high in fiber and can interfere with the colonoscopy prep.
  • Multi-seeded, 50/50, or wholemeal bread are not recommended.
  • Vegetables, nuts, and seeds should be skipped.
  • Avoid roasted or deep-fried potatoes, including chips.
  • Alcohol, jam, red jelly, and red cordial are also off-limits.

What To Eat After Colonoscopy

During the colonoscopy prep, you had to drink the bowel prep solution to induce bowel movements that got rid of almost all the fluids from your body. Your solid diet was also restricted to a large extent.

Now that the procedure is over, you need to take it easy as your digestive system won’t be ready yet to accept greasy or rich foods.

It’s best to eat very little or not at all for a few hours after the procedure. Your doctor will most likely advise you to be on a fluid-based diet or a low fiber diet that consists of foods that are easy to digest.

9 Ways to Drink Colonoscopy Prep Without Throwing Up 1

🍴Here’s a list of what to eat after colonoscopy:

  • Drinks that contain electrolytes like Gatorade
  • Water
  • Vegetable juice
  • Fruit juice
  • Herbal tea
  • Soup
  • Clear broth
  • Graham crackers
  • Saltine crackers
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Tofu (if you’re not allergic to soy)
  • Baked or mashed potato
  • Soft, cooked vegetables
  • Yogurt
  • Popsicles
  • Jell-O
  • Canned peaches and other tender fruit
  • Pudding
  • Soft white fish
  • White bread without seeds
  • Smooth nut butter
  • Apple butter

🚫What NOT To Eat After Colonoscopy

Here’s what you should NOT eat after colonoscopy.

  • Nuts
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Fried food
  • Steak or any tough meat
  • Seeded bread or whole grain bread
  • Chunky nut butter
  • Seeded or whole-grain crackers
  • Coconut
  • Corn
  • Brown rice
  • Spicy and seasoned foods
  • Raw veggies
  • Legumes
  • Popcorn
  • Raisins and other types of dried fruit
  • Unpeeled fresh fruit

FAQs: Common Concerns and Solutions

Here, you will find answers to people’s issues about their colonoscopy prep.

Is it OK to throw up during colonoscopy prep?

Throwing up occasionally during the colonoscopy prep is fairly common and not necessarily a major concern. However, if you throw up repeatedly or cannot keep any fluids down at all, call your doctor right away, as you may be at risk for dehydration. They can provide anti-nausea medications and guidance to help you properly clean out your bowels.

Is It Normal to Vomit During Colonoscopy Prep?

Some vomiting is normal during a colonoscopy prep; however, avoiding it altogether is a better option.

Can I Mix My Colonoscopy Prep with Sprite?

Yes, many doctors allow mixing your prep solution with clear sodas like Sprite. The bubbles and lemon-lime flavor can make the medication easier to tolerate. Check with your physician to confirm Sprite or other mixers are OK for your specific bowel prep.

What If I Vomit after Taking Suprep?

Give yourself a break and take the prep in two doses.

Why is Gatorade Good for Colonoscopy Prep?

Gatorade contains many electrolytes and makes up for the ones you lose during the prep.

How Long Are You Asleep for a Colonoscopy?

You are generally sedated for an hour during the procedure. A colonoscopy takes 20 to 30 minutes, and it takes you another 30 minutes to wake up in the recovery room.

What Should I Do If I am Still Having Diarrhea Morning of Colonoscopy?

If your colonoscopy prep diarrhea won’t stop, contact your doctor and ask them what to do next in case you need to reschedule the procedure.

When Does Diarrhea Stop During Colonoscopy Prep?

This depends from person to person, but it usually does last for a couple of hours.

Can I Start Colonoscopy Prep Early in the Evening?

You can start your prep earlier if you plan on splitting the prep into two doses.

What happens if you can’t drink all the water for colonoscopy prep?

Consuming the full prep is very important to properly clear out stools for your colonoscopy procedure. If you are struggling to get it all down, take small sips frequently instead of gulping it. Alert your doctor so they can decide if your prep level is still adequate or if additional laxatives or rescheduling is needed.

Does it matter how quickly you drink colonoscopy prep?

Most preps have a timeline recommending how much solution to drink every 10-15 minutes instead of drinking it too quickly. This pacing improves tolerance and ensures adequate bowel movements. Go slowly rather than rushing to avoid nausea, bloating or vomiting up your colon cleanse.

How fast should you drink colonoscopy prep?

For most preps, experts recommend drinking 8 ounces slowly over 10-15 minutes. This controlled pace is unlikely to cause discomfort, allows time for the laxative to start working before the next dose, and promotes completion as the flavor becomes difficult to handle over time. Stay calm and go slowly. Check your prep instructions for the ideal rate.


The process of cleaning out your colon is painful, gross, and drawn out. However, you need to ensure your colon is completely cleaned out so the doctors can see what is happening inside.

Knowing how to drink colonoscopy prep without throwing up can make the whole process easier. Without any extra nausea and puking, you’ll feel much better and more in control. 

So if you have a colonoscopy scheduled, stock up on the Gatorade and strap in for a long night─ you’ve got this.

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