Burping, also known as belching, is the body’s method of expelling excess gas from the upper digestive system, also known as your upper esophageal sphincter (there’s a separate mechanism for removing excess gas from the lower digestive tract, but that’s for another article).
When we eat or drink, we have a tendency to swallow air. For each swallow, 8ml to 32ml of air enters the stomach via the esophagus (a muscle tube linking your throat to your stomach, sometimes known as your ‘food pipe’). That’s like taking a shot of air every time you swallow in what has to be the world’s most boring drinking game.
This process of ingesting air can cause a buildup of excess gas in the stomach, causing pressure throughout your digestive system and resulting in excessive gastric distention, often known as bloating in yoghurt commercials. You could recognize this as abdominal discomfort or perhaps abdominal pain, a sensation that can quickly make a person unhappy if neglected.
Thankfully, to provide some comfort and prevent your stomach from turning like a beach ball, your body releases this gas pressure through a process of air reflux known as ‘burping’ or, to use medical terminology, *dons monocle* eructation.
(Fun fact: the term eructation comes from the Latin verb structure, which means “to belch forth.”) A ruckus is a comparable name for a burp compared with modern Italian Tutto and one rot in French. Volcanic outbursts are also referred to as eructation.)
How does a burp function?
Burping occurs when extra air in your stomach causes an increase in gastric volume (your belly expands), triggering receptors in the gastric wall. These, in turn, cause the lower oesophageal sphincter muscle (a muscular valve located at the junction of the esophagus and the stomach) to relax, allowing a small bubble of gas to travel up your esophagus and out of your mouth via the upper oesophageal sphincter.
When an air bubble (i.e., your burp-to-be) forms in your throat, it gives you the sensation that a burp is ‘lodged’ in your throat, waiting to be discharged like a bullet biding its time in the chamber. As it expands, it puts pressure on the closed upper oesophageal sphincter.
When the pressure reaches critical, the burp blasts through the sphincter with such power that the tissues of the throat passage and esophagus vibrate, producing the *chef’s kiss* sound that sounds like a bullfrog’s mating call.
Congrats! Burping 101 is now complete. Let’s get started.
How to Force Yourself to Burp
Now that you’ve mastered burping mechanics let’s look at how to burp whenever you want.
The astute among you would have concluded that the key is to increase the amount of trapped air in your stomach. While more air, baby’ should undoubtedly be your guiding principle in your quest to cure erectile dysfunction, we’ll also look at several strategies to help ‘nudge’ the extra air out of your system.
And one that involves a finger. So, let’s get started. *takes a deep breath and prepares sphincter muscle* Here are a few techniques to get those burps going:
1. Consumption of carbonated beverages
Nothing says burp like carbonated beverages or ‘fizzy drinks,’ as Americans prefer to call them. Doesn’t it appear that drinks pumped full of gas bubbles cause more gas buildup in the stomach? No doubt you have a favorite fizzy drink â€” sorry, carbonated beverage â€” but here are some alternatives if you’re looking for something new:
- Cola and other soft drinks
- Tonic drink
- Water that sparkles
- Sparkling wine / Champagne
- Any other carbonated beverage is available at your local store.
You want to gulp that mother to maximize the amount of air trapped and what you’re drinking. Avoid tiny little sips since they cause you to swallow less air. The ability to consume large amounts of food fast is essential in this situation.
2. Consuming gas-producing foods
It should come as no surprise that eating gas-promoting meals causes the, umm, stimulation of gas in your digestive tract, resulting in burps. Here is a list of some of the most common gas-producing foods:
- Apples, Pears, Peaches, Apricots, Carrots, Whole wheat bread, Cabbage, Chickpeas, Broccoli, Wheat, Beans, Prunes, Peas, Lentils
Disclaimer: you may have noticed that some of these items encourage another type of gas buildup known as flatus by the Romans. Consider this and decide wisely.
3. Using chewing gum or eating sweets
Chewing gum and eating sweets causes you to swallow more frequently, resulting in more trapped air. Start chewing.
4. Force-absorbing air
Now we’re heading into the bizarre. Although this appears to be a supernatural Jedi ability, it is simply sucking air into your stomach. Force air down your digestive track by breathing a large amount of it into your mouth (without inhaling) until you feel an air bubble in your throat…then swallow. Gas, here we come.
5. The reverse-water technique
This may be an old wives’ tale, but it’s worth a shot if the beans aren’t doing the trick. Fill a glass halfway with regular tap water. Bend your hips till your eyes are nearly level with your knees.
Then, with your arms forward, take a sip from the wrong side of the glass, i.e., the rim furthest away from you, carefully tipping the water into your mouth. You would be correct if you thought burps were tied to hiccups!
6. Move around a little
Changing your position physically can help ‘jolt’ the air out of your system. This can be done by:
- Exercisings, such as running or gentle aerobics
- Lie down, then rapidly rise.
- Practice yoga.
- Enjoy a night of dancing.
- If you slouch, try sitting up straight.
- Just so you know, get moving.
If you’re stuck at your desk or battling with any of the following, simply modifying your breathing pattern can assist. Try taking longer breaths or a few short, sharp breaths.
7. Utilizing Antacids
Although calcium carbonate antacids are primarily used to alleviate acid reflux, they can also help to induce burps. However, any acid reflux medicine should be used with caution: do not take any without first seeking expert medical counsel.
So, like air slowly rising through the esophagus, we have finished your training.
Hopefully, you’ve mastered the art of making yourself belch, with the godlike power to release air from your throat with a roar that would make a T-Rex whimper.
If you still can’t get a good burp out after trying all of the above methods, don’t worry. There’s a whole subreddit (r/NoBurps) dedicated to those who can’t burp, a thriving community where users post all the strange and quirky ways they’ve gotten their belches out as information on medical professionals who can help. ‘You’re Not Alone,’ says their tagline. Aww.
Otherwise, grab a pint, take a deep breath, and remind your spoiled little nephew that it isn’t over ’til it’s over.