Human Body

Why do we burp?


Have you ever opened your mouth and accidentally let out a big, loud belch without even knowing it was going to happen?? What exactly causes burping?

Burping (or belching) is your body's way of getting rid of extra air in your stomach. The extra air usually gets into your stomach from things like eating too quickly (you swallow air without even realizing it!) or drinking the bubbles in fizzy sodas or seltzers. Other things like chewing gum or using a straw can also make you swallow extra air. Because your body doesn't want all that extra air in your belly, it comes back up the opposite way it came down through your throat and out of your mouth! Sometimes burps can be stinky and might smell like the food you just ate. (GROSS!) That's why it's always a good idea to cover your mouth and say "excuse me" after a belch!


Reflex and React! What are some other reflexes or reactions of your body that are similar to burping? The way that you sneeze in order to get rid of something which is bothering your nose is one really good example! Just like your stomach wants to get rid of air it doesn't need, your nose wants to get rid of things it doesn't need also! Blinking is another reflex your body has which helps it keep out unwanted things like dust and dirt. Can you think of any more examples??