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Why Do I Burp So Much While Running?

author image Alex O'Meara
A journalist and writer since 1987, Alex O'Meara has worked for the "Baltimore Sun," City News Bureau of Chicago, "Newsday" and NBC. Author of the healthcare expose, "Chasing Medical Miracles: The Promise and Perils and Clinical Trials," O'Meara has completed several marathons and holds a B.A. in English from Long Island University.
Why Do I Burp So Much While Running?
A man and woman are jogging on the beach. Photo Credit: Steve Mason/Photodisc/Getty Images

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. 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, according to

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Uncontrollable Reasons

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 Air

Among the primary reasons for burping during exercise that you can control is swallowing air. 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.

Other Causes

Food is the next most significant cause of burping while running. For many people, especially those 20 percent of the population who are lactose intolerant, the lactose in milk products 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.


If you think the cause is food-based, then make sure you eat your last meal or snack three or four hours before you run to ensure full digestion. If you think you're swallowing too much air then be aware of this tendency while running or drinking fluid. Practicing relaxation techniques and deep breathing exercises can also help minimize the amount of air swallowed. 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.

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