Why Do I Burp So Much While Running?

Burping while running is not an uncommon affliction. If you run frequently, it's common to experience burping at some point during one of your runs.

If you burp while running it could be due to the food you ate before. (Image: Maridav/iStock/GettyImages)

While researchers cannot pinpoint a single cause for this widely shared trait, they have identified several possible culprits. These causes range from swallowing too much air while running to dietary factors that produce too much gas.

Tip

If you burp while you run, it could be because of a few things, ranging from swallowing too much air to the foods you eat before your workout.

Uncontrollable Reasons Why You Burp

Burping while you run is not a completely controllable phenomenon. Some natural changes take place in your body as you exercise that promote burping. Being aware of them can help set your mind at ease — so if you do burp while exercising, you needn't worry that you're suffering from a preventable or serious medical condition.

Exercising draws blood flow away from the stomach, which can impede digestion. When this happens, key hormones increase production to move food through the intestinal tract faster than normal and help produce gas. Finally, the jarring of the stomach during exercise can also produce gas, which can cause burping.

Swallowing Too Much Air

The American Lung Association says that there are two ways to breathe: through your nose and mouth. Breathing through your mouth occurs more during exercise and so swallowing the air that causes you to burp is not uncommon. Swallowing air is so ordinary it even has a scientific name: aerophagia.

Taking air into the esophagus while running is not unusual. Even more common, is swallowing air while drinking. For many people, the amount of water competes closely with the amount of air ingested into the stomach.

Combining fluid intake while running creates a perfect storm for burping. If you want to really train yourself to not swallow air, wear a mouth guard to limit the amount you can open your mouth to swallow air.

High Fiber and Lactose Intolerance

Food is the next most significant cause of burping while running. For many people, especially the 20 percent of the population who are lactose intolerant, the lactose in milk products, says the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, causes stomach gas that then gets burped up during strenuous activity.

High-fiber food, beans, fructose and sucrose found in candy and soft drinks can also contribute to excessive burping while exercising.

GERD and Silent Acid Reflux

Here are two terms that you might connect to your burping: GERD and silent acid reflux. The fancy name for GERD is Gastroesophageal reflux disease where a muscle at the end of your esophagus does not close entirely and the contents of your stomach could push back up your throat.

Silent acid reflux is much the same but differs in that the mucus that lines most of our throats is missing in some people. When you run too soon after eating, acid could be thrown back up your throat. Both conditions cause increased swallowing, which in turn can cause excessive burping, says the Mayo Clinic.

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