Let’s get it out there (pun intended); flatulence is a natural part of the human experience. We all fart, and according to the official stats, most of us fart between 14 and 23 times per day. It’s a natural part of being alive, and at the end of the day, our farts are really just due to an intake of extra air from eating and drinking.
In fact, smelling farts could actually be beneficial for health… twist! Research published in the journal of Medicinal Chemistry Communications studied the effects of the gas hydrogen sulfide – the very same substance that leaves your rear – and scientists found that exposure to the gasses can stave off mitochondrial damage, a cause for multiple health problems.
“Although hydrogen sulfide is well known as a pungent, foul-smelling gas in rotten eggs and flatulence, it is naturally produced in the body and could in fact be a healthcare hero,” says researcher Dr Mark Wood from the University of Exeter.
But we digress. No matter how common, excess flatulence can be quite inconvenient, embarrassing and socially off-putting. Here are some tried and tested techniques that will help reduce your gas emissions. You’re welcome!
Reduce Your Protein Intake
While this may not reduce the amount of farts, it will allow for a more discreet experience by reducing the foul smell associated with a high-protein diet. A recent study out of Monash University has finally explained why those who eat to grow have the worst smelling farts.
It’s all about gut health: when we consume a high protein diet, the bacteria our gut produces is seven times higher in hydrogen sulphide – a clear gas with an odour that resembles rotten eggs. “This explains why bodybuilders who consume lots of protein powder are known to have smelly farts,” says study author Chu Yao.
Stop Chewing Gum
This one is pretty self explanatory, yet often over looked by those in search of minty fresh breath. Chewing gum increases your air intake, therefore increasing the air that gets into your intestinal tract. When you chew gum, you’re going through the motions of eating, without actually taking in any food, only air.
If you’re still in need of fresh breath, without the associated gas, try some sugar free mints or Listerine strips.
Quit Smoking & Vaping
Look, farting really shouldn’t be the impetus to give up smoking, and if you’re smoking, your gas is probably the least of your concerns. However smoking and vaping works the same as chewing gum – you’re intaking air without anything else in your digestive system. The more you smoke or vape, the more air you take into the body and the more you have to let out. It’s simple science!
Kick The Carbs
It’s not only protein that impacts your fart potential, unfortunately there are many gassy carbs out there intent on upping your flatulence.
Complex sugars, lactose (found in dairy), fructose, fibre and starches are all culprits and should be avoided if you’re looking to reduce your methane output. That doesn’t leave a whole lot of variety, so make sure to steer clear of the main culprits; dairy, fruit, pasta, Brussels sprouts and whole grains.
Avoid Soft Drink & Beer
That’s right, beer. Sorry lads, but carbonated beverages have air bubbles, key in producing both burps and farts. Great in giving you that warm fuzzy post-beer feeling, but not so great when it comes to reducing your gas output. If you can (and we know it’s tough), trade soft drinks and beer for waters and teas, or wine if you’re still looking to head out for a big night.