5 Tips to Sail through your First Colonoscopy


I promise this post won’t be very graphic, but if it’s still TMI for you, feel free to just skip it — I’ll understand! 


I’m linking up with My First 5K and MoreRunning With Attitude, Runs with PugsZenaida and Run Laugh Eat Pie for Fit Five Friday. Today I’m sharing 5 tips to make that first Colonoscopy Prep easier.

Soups allowed me to eat some veggies & feel fuller

1: Soups are your friend
Liquids tend to take up more room in our stomach, making us feel fuller, and like smoothies, the blending of the soup makes it easier to digest. I made some simple carrot soup — a bag of baby carrots, 32 oz of veggie broth, 2 tbsp of ghee or butter (I used ghee), and some spices (ginger, ).

I often had this carrot soup before a meal. It helped a lot! I happen to enjoy it too.

It wouldn’t work for me on a cold day but it hit the spot after a long run in the summer!

2: What about a post run snack?
I often like to time a run before a meal, but that’s harder to do in Summer. If I drive to run, I really do like to have a small snack right after my run. I couldn’t eat any of the protein bars I usually do — instead I made a smoothie and used one of my pack it bags (Amazon Affiliate link here) to keep it cold — it was a cooler day, but still Summer — although I wasn’t running that long.

This worked perfectly! I made a really simple smoothie using frozen banana, spinach, cottage cheese, and a little water and honey. Blending helps to begin the break down of the fiber in the fruit and veggies.

Cottage cheese tends to be higher in sodium, so I don’t usually eat that much of it, but a little extra sodium after a warm/hot long run is a good thing. I had gotten away from recovery smoothies, for various reasons, but the truth is they’re so much healthier than protein bars.

I suppose jello would have worked well too, actually, but I hadn’t made any yet.

3: Hydrate well all week
Just consider it a long distance race, LOL! You know it’s not the day before that you have to hydrate well, what really matters is the entire week, right? You do not want to be dehydrated on procedure day, although you will be consuming a lot of liquids the day before. Like, a lot. You’ll also be losing a lot of liquids, hence hydrating well all week long.

4: Jello is a clear liquid
Well obviously jello isn’t a liquid, but apparently it’s okay to have on clear liquid day. Or any time during the week before. I had jello for breakfast clear liquid day morning. I was never hungry — it served me well. That was the only thing “solid” I ate that day. Popsicles are okay, too, but I’m not a popsicle person. You can also have hard candies, and I like these honey drops — all the flavors, actually (Amazon Affiliate link here), so I did have a few of those on clear liquid day too.

5: Try to eat lighter the week before
The less you have in your digestive system, the less you have to get rid, and the easier the prep will be. It’s not easy though. I admit to being somewhat hungry because of the low fiber diet. Not all doctors require you to be on the low fiber diet as long as I was (starting a week before your procedure) — but that’s what my doctor had me do.

Especially try to eat lighter the day before clear liquid day, again to make the prep go easily, so to speak.

Now this doesn’t look scary, now does it?

Bonus Tip: You don’t have to use Gatorade with the prep
One tip I’d read was to mix the prep mixture, which so many people complain about, with cold apple juice instead of the suggested Gatorade. This worked great for me — truly, I just felt like I was drinking cold apple juice and I had no trouble drinking it at all (thank goodness it was summer, but I still felt cold because you’re drinking a lot of it!).

Mr. Judy used powdered lemonade mix, and he didn’t have problems with it either. You can, of course, use the Gatorade if you want to. It’s a really good idea to have some electrolytes because you’re basically not eating for 24+ hours. You can also use Nuun — I did drink a lot of Nuun on clear liquid day (lemon lime, if you’re curious, which you can buy at this Amazon Affiliate link here — no reds, oranges, or blues). 

I did end up buying way too much Nuun, because I got worried I wouldn’t have enough. It’s not my favorite flavor, but it’ll get used, don’t worry. I think 2 tubes for clear liquid day would be more than enough!

I chose the apple juice rather than the Nuun for the prep mix because I don’t like Nuun really cold.

Final Thoughts
Of course this is my experience, and not everyone has the same experience. I can tell you for sure that while the prep wasn’t fun, it wasn’t nearly as bad as it’s made out to be, at least not for me or Mr. Judy.

I debated on whether or not to write about the experience, but I read a lot of blog posts on it prior and found useful tips in them, so I thought someone might get some use out of these tips too.

I actually do plan to write a separate post about the experience, again not overly graphic — but people often just don’t really talk about it and that makes it scarier than it has to be. I had a cousin who had colon cancer, thankfully caught early, but he did have to do chemo. No one wants to do that!

Have you had colonoscopies already?

Any other tips to add?

21 thoughts on “5 Tips to Sail through your First Colonoscopy

  1. I am in the process of trying to set up mine now. Apparently, there is a long wait bc so many were postponed last year. I am more worried about the prep bc it is the exact opposite of how I eat but I will get it done. thanks for sharing and I do appreciate reading about your experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have a more detailed (but still not graphic) post coming — and one about after — gotta use my experiences, LOL!

      It’s totally the opposite of how I eat, too, but I survived.

      It took months to get the scheduling call for me, so I figured it would be months after that until I was scheduled— nope!


  2. i have one more suggestion- adopt a kitten on the day you have the procedure done. Just kidding- I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that but that’s what I did. Not on purpose- we were in the process of adopting a kitten and the only day the woman could bring her over was on the day of my colonoscopy, between drinking the final prep drink and actually leaving for the procedure. Ha ha… it could have been awkward, but it worked out fine.
    Great post- yes, I agree it’s important to spread the word. My sister had colon cancer, also caught early enough but she had to have surgery and chemo. UGH. Colonoscopies really aren’t that bad!!! There’s no reason to be scared of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m glad you shared this Judy. Like Deborah mentioned, I’m also trying to get mine scheduled but have hit a bit of a delay as there is a backlog for appointments. I’ve always dreaded the prep more than the procedure itself because I’ve heard so many horror stories. Glad yours was relatively easy.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have had two or three, can’t remember. The prep last day of prep is the worst part and then it is over with. I figure I can handle sitting in the bathroom for hours to potentially save my life. I finally talked my dad into his first one about 10 years ago. He had some precancerous polyps that were caught just before they were too deep to get during the colonoscopy. Had he waited, the results would not have been good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m 59 so obviously I was supposed to have started a long time ago. I was between doctors, though, and then didn’t really want to get my first during COVID — of course I still did, but at least now I’m vaccinated.

      There is a great deal of cancer in my family, although not colorectal. Good to know right now all is well there.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I think I’m not scheduled for this for another couple of years. Here in NL we start at 55 I think? Not 100% sure. Not really looking forward to it but really appreciate having honest and open friends who are willing to talk about it! We need to talk about these things! So thank you for this post Judy!

    Liked by 1 person

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