Wait For It

The food and liquids (water, juice, milk, soda and sports drinks) we put into our bodies feed and fuel the body to keep it going and to help it grow.

Our bodies also take the protein, vitamins, minerals and fat from the foods we eat and the liquids we drink. These things are used to make our bodies grow, keep us healthy, keep our bones strong and give our brains energy to think and make decisions.

Once the body has taken everything it needs from what we eat and drink, everything left over is called waste. Waste is what we get rid of when we use the bathroom.

Some foods are healthier than others. Healthy foods don’t have much waste. Unhealthy foods have more waste (sugar, dyes, preservatives, fat)

Unhealthy foods = More waste
Healthy foods = Less waste

Let’s use this formula to conduct an experiment to see how long it takes our body to take what it needs from what we eat and drink.

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  • 16 oz. Cup of water
  • 16 oz. Cup of soda
  • 16 oz. Cup of milk
  • 16 oz. Paper and pen
  • 16 oz. Clock


    • FYI: This experiment is done in stages.
    • Write down what time it is and drink the cup of water.
    • Do whatever it is you would do on a normal day at this time. EXAMPLES: play, read, watch TV, do homework or chores.
    • When you have to urinate (use the bathroom), write down what time it is.
    • Figure out how much time passed between drinking the water and needing to use the bathroom. Write this number down.
    • Repeat the process with the soda.
    • Repeat the process with the milk.
    • Look at the amount of time it took for each liquid to travel through your body.
    • Write down which liquid left your body in the quickest amount of time. Second quickest. Third quickest.


In this experiment you are learning that it takes time for the body to process and break down everything we eat in and drink.

The experiment shows you why liquids pass through the body at different lengths of time. Let’s look at what you learned…

As you look at your time chart you will see that the water passed through your body fastest. The reason the water passed through your body first is because water is simple. There is nothing in water for your body to break down.

The soda will pass through next. This is because there are no vitamins, minerals or proteins in the soda for the body to take and use. But the reason it takes longer than water is because the sugar in soda has to be broken down by the body.

Milk will take the longest because it has vitamins, minerals, protein, and fat for the body to break down. The body then takes these things and sends them where they need to be.


FYI: Because this experiment is done in stages, you can make the following changes and redo the experiment on different days.

Do the experiment using the same fluids, but after drinking each one, run and walk for ten minutes. Does the change in activity change the time it takes for the fluids to leave your body? How does it change?

Do the experiment using water, fruit juice and sports drinks. Was the amount of time it took for the juice and sports drink to leave your body more or less than for the soda and milk?

Do the original experiment. After drinking each fluid, remain quiet for ten to fifteen minutes. If you do not have to use the bathroom, run and walk for five minutes. How does this change in activity change the time it takes for each fluid to leave your body?


  • The body breaks down everything we put into it
  • Not everything we put into our bodies is helpful or healthy
  • Water is simple and easy for the body to break down and use
  • Fluid with a lot of nutritional value takes the longest amount of time to pass through the body
  • Activity helps our body process what we put into it
  • Calories are the fuel our body takes from what we eat and drink
  • Healthy foods have less waste
  • Unhealthy liquids pass through our body quicker than healthy liquids