Burping: is it just bad manners?

15th May, 2023

Burping, belching – everybody does it. It’s a common thing our bodies do as part of our tummy’s typical inner workings. In fact, burping around 25 to 30 times every day is thought to be the norm.

But sometimes, those burps can feel non-stop and might become embarrassing. If that’s you, there’s no need to keep putting up with bothersome belching!

Let’s get to know what’s going on inside when those burps bubble up – and what you can do about it.

What actually happens when I burp?

Put simply, burping is our body naturally letting gas escape from our stomach through our mouth. As the gas goes free, it typically makes a sound (some louder than others!) – and may well carry a smelly reminder of what you ate earlier too.

Why do I burp?

During digestion, the twists and turns of your tummy (aka the long tube driving digestion from top to bottom) can trap air, which needs to be let out. It’s totally normal to burp after eating or drinking.

But when there’s too much gas for your tummy to get to grips with, that belching can go overboard.

What can I do about it?

If you feel like your belching is becoming a burden, here are 4 simple strategies to avoid excess air and beat those bothersome burps:

  1. Forget the fizz. Fizzy pop – or any carbonated drinks – are made with extra gas, which can send extra air straight to your stomach. So swap the fizz for something softer.
  2. Get rid of the gum. You’re likely to be swallowing some air with every chew, so if it’s minty freshness you’re after, pick up your toothbrush instead.
  3. Mindful meals. Taking more time over your meals can reduce the amount of air you swallow with each mouthful. Instead of wolfing it down like it’s a race, try taking it slowly and chew each bite 10 to 20 times. You’ll get to savour the flavour for longer too!
  4. Stop the straws. Sipping through a straw can make you take more air into your tummy. Instead, drink straight from the glass.

When should I be worried about my burping?

Burping by itself isn’t usually a cause for concern. But sometimes, bothersome belching can be your tummy’s way of telling you something’s not quite right. If these lifestyle tweaks don’t work for you, and your burping is constant, or  you’re also feeling bloated, in pain or swollen, it’s best to check in with your doctor.

Ready for more science on burping? Keep reading

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