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Colonoscopy Prep Hacks

Anyone who has had a colonoscopy will tell you the worst part is the preparation, or prep, which involves drinking a “bowel cleansing agent.” This causes you to empty your colon in a matter of a few hours. This is important so the doctor can get an unobstructed view of the inside of your colon. If there is residual stool in the colon then polyps can be missed.

The taste and consistency of bowel cleansing liquids have come a long way but can still be unpleasant. There are a few things you can do to make consumption more comfortable. (Please make note you should not consume ANYTHING for two hours before your procedure.)


Chill it.
The prep beverage tastes a little better if it’s cold.

Suck on menthol candy.
Sucking on menthol candy (like a cough suppressant) while you ingest the bowel cleansing liquid has been shown to improve the taste.

Use a straw.
Place the straw as far back on your tongue as you can without gagging. When you consume the drink will taste less bitter.

Eat a gummy bear.
Gummy bears dissolve at body temperature to a clear liquid, so they are safe to take with the prep (though it’s best to avoid the red ones). This gives you something to eat that can counteract the taste of the bowel cleansing agent.

Embrace citrus.
If the prep is not flavored, add some lemon or lime juice to it. Some people swear by sucking on a lemon slice after finishing each glass, but that depends upon how bad the prep tastes and how much you like lemon!