How to Avoid Swallowing Air While Eating

Women talking and having tropical fruit
Talking while eating is one cause of swallowing air. (Image: Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images)

Belching is a normal bodily function that occurs when too much air builds up in your stomach and needs to escape. It's commonly caused by swallowing air as you eat, but it's completely harmless. It can, however, be uncomfortable and annoying, so learning how to reduce how much air you swallow can help.

Keep Quiet

Keep talking to a minimum while you're eating. Talking with your mouth full, for example, can cause you to swallow excess air, according to Joey Green, author of "Joey Green's Magic Health Remedies," and more than 50 other self-help books. Having a heated or exciting conversation can also cause you take in too much air. Save the conversation for before or after the meal and concentrate on eating to help reduce the chances of taking in excess air.

Chew With Care

Wolfing down a meal as fast as you can is another way that you can take in excess air while eating, according to the PubMed Health website. Savor your meal instead. Concentrate on chewing slowly and enjoying each bite. This will help make the meal more enjoyable, but it will also force you to slow down so you don't swallow as much air. Chew with your mouth closed, too, because you won't be able to swallow as much air. (See Reference 1 Page 46)

Watch What You Eat and Drink

What you put into your mouth can make a difference in how much air you swallow. Foods that contain air, such as ice cream or whipped cream can also cause you to take in excess air, notes Green. Soda and other carbonated beverages also contain a lot of air, which can cause burping and other gas after you drink them.

Additional Tips

Don't drink out of a straw while you're eating, as this can encourage you to swallow to much air, suggests Green. Pay attention to what you've just eaten if you are belching and feel like you swallowed too much air. Different foods can be the culprit for different people and making note of what foods cause it to happen can help you make better eating choices. If you have excessive belching that doesn't seem to be tied to your eating and drinking habits, make an appointment with your doctor to determine if an underlying medical condition is to blame.

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