While passing gas can cause a feeling of relief and even flatten our stomach when we’re bloated, some people go a step further and claim that passing gas can even help you burn calories. Recently, this claim has been getting some attention on the Internet, prompting several experts to come out and clarify the issue.
So, does passing gas burn calories?
How Do We Burn Calories?
To learn if passing gas has any effects on our energy consumption, we first have to understand which process in our body is responsible for burning calories.
The key term to keep in mind here is metabolic rate – the rate at which our body expends energy. The only way we know how to speed up our metabolic rate is through exercise or any other type of muscle activity (walking, running, swimming, etc.).
Does Passing Gas Burn Calories?
Since muscle activity is the only way to burn calories, and passing gas involves no muscle movement (it actually causes our muscles to relax), it’s safe to say that passing gas has no effect on energy consumption. In fact, if you’re straining so hard that you burn a couple of calories that may be a sign of a health condition like appendicitis.
Passing Gas Does Help with Flatulence
You may not be able to get thinner by passing gas, but it certainly helps us feel lighter. When too much gas builds up in our gastrointestinal tract, it can cause painful bloating commonly known as flatulence. Passing gas can help us feel better and even look less bloated.
Passing gas is a very passive activity, so it certainly doesn’t burn calories. However, ignoring it can lead to flatulence, so it may make you feel better and lighter if you pass gas from time to time.