In fact, the title “effective ways to prevent stomach growling “ might be a bit misleading. Because the sound or noise — that we think comes from the stomach — doesn’t always come from the stomach.
In addition to stomach growling; stomach rumbling or gurgling stomach are also commonly used to describe rumbling sounds. As you can realise all of these names contain ” stomach” in them.
This phenomenon, by the way, goes by the name of Borborygmi in medicine.
So where does this growling noise come from if it doesn’t come from the stomach?
When food, liquid or gas goes through the stomach, small and large intestine, the movement can cause the growling sound.
Therefore, it is necessary to say that the sound/noise does not only occur in the stomach but also in the intestines (1).
However, regardless of the source of the sound, we will stick to the name “stomach growling” and use it during this article.
It is important to underline that stomach growling is a natural phenomenon and occurs to everyone.
But, what differentiates you from others might be that you experience stomach growling more than others.
Although stomach growling is a natural phenomenon and usually doesn’t indicate a health problem, it may negatively affect your social life, especially if it occurs too often while you are in a silent room, class, meeting, etc.
When this is the case, you may feel embarrassed and ashamed.
If you are one of those who experience stomach growling frequently, fret not, there are effective ways to prevent the rumbling noise.
We compiled 10 effective methods to prevent stomach growling. So, keep reading to find out how to muffle the rumbling sound.
Stomach Growling Facts
- We tend to associate stomach growling with an empty stomach. While hunger is a reason for Borborygmi, it is not the only culprit.
- Since there is no food in the stomach to suppress the growling sound, the growling sound may become rather noticeable.
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome, food allergies, inflammatory bowel disease or infection might be underlying reasons for the stomach growling, especially stomach growling accompanied by other symptoms like nausea, diarrhoea, and vomiting (2), (3).
10 Ways to Prevent Stomach Growling
As mentioned above, stomach growling is a part of digestion. But, the problem is it might leave you in a difficult situation wherever the environment is quiet and packed with people.
It is relieving to know that there are ways to minimise or completely stop this disturbing sound.
The following can help you prevent stomach growling.
1- Drink Water
Drinking water can be quite an effective way to suppress the grumbling sound. Although water may not stop the sound, it can help suppress the sound by filling the stomach.
Now you may want to ask if filling the stomach is the solution isn’t eating a better option.
Sometimes eating is not within the options, for instance, during an exam. On such occasions, water will tackle the situation.
Additionally, drinking a sufficient amount of water will make the digestion process easier thus preventing stomach growling.
To get the best results there are things to remember:
- Drink water slowly
- Drink in small amounts frequently during the day instead of drinking large amounts at a time. Otherwise, it can backfire and cause a growling sound instead of muffling it.
It is not a coincidence that your stomach rumbles generally when you are hungry. Your body is kindly reminding you that your stomach is empty. So, the solution is simple: just eat something to get rid of the sounds.
Is eating an absolute way to prevent stomach growling? Not every time. Because many people with a full stomach complain about the gurgling stomach.
Therefore, saying that eating will 100% prevent the sound might be a bit misleading. But, it will decrease the sound significantly.
The conclusion is a full stomach can either completely stop the sound or muffle the sound, at least.
3- Eat Regularly
Sometimes, eating is the only thing you need to do to prevent stomach growling. However, how frequently you eat can play a role when it comes to preventing this phenomenon.
For instance, people whose stomach removed due to stomach cancer or due to the risk of it, eat 6-8 times a day with small portions (4).
This method helps them digest foods more effectively than eating large 3 portions a day.
The same can apply to people who don’t have a stomach problem.
Eating 5 to 6 times a day with smaller portions can facilitate digestion. And, in turn, can eliminate the growling sound.
You might be eating 3 big meals a day and experiencing stomach growling too often. If so, try to eat 6 small meals throughout the day instead of 3 and monitor yourself for stomach growling. That might solve the issue.
4- Chew Slowly and Thoroughly
If you are too fast eating and don’t chew the foods sufficiently, then your chances of experiencing stomach growling may increase accordingly!
How so? Well, in the previous section we underlined the relationship between stomach growling and digestion.
Stomach growling/rumbling happens when the foods move through the digestive organs.
When you eat foods without chewing enough, you are automatically increasing the burden on the stomach and intestines where the growling sounds come from.
It is worth noting that the mouth is the first line of the digestion process. And, it has a significant role in digestion (5).
Moreover, eating slowly and chewing thoroughly mean is you are swallowing less air. Bear in mind, that each time you eat you swallow air unwittingly.
The problem is swallowing air could cause gas.
As mentioned above, stomach growling occurs as food, liquid and gas move through the digestive tract.
Taking all into account; safe to say that eating slowly and chewing thoroughly can prevent stomach growling.
5- Avoid Overeating
By this time, we have talked about how effective eating can be in terms of preventing stomach growling. Yet, if you are overeating, then you are unwittingly paving the way for stomach rumbling.
When you eat too much, the workload of the stomach and intestines increases dramatically. And, this full capacity work of these organs brings about rumbling noises.
That is why many people experience stomach growling after a huge meal.
Try not to eat too much at once. As we have discussed above, eat smaller portions and more regularly throughout the day.
In this way, you can lower the risk of stomach growling that occurs due to overeating.
6- Do Exercise
You may want to ask about how exactly exercising could prevent stomach growling. Well, exercising helps digestive organs to work efficiently, hence, lowering the risk of stomach growling.
After all, as long as the digestion process goes smoothly, the probability of stomach growling that happens due to indigestion decreases dramatically.
However, if you tend to do intense exercise make sure you wait at least 2 hours after a meal. This will avoid potential digestive problems.
7- Limit the Consumption of Certain Foods
It may not be an exact remedy for stomach growling but it is worth trying. If the gas that moves through the digestive tract is responsible for the growling noise, then reducing the intake of gas-triggering foods may help prevent stomach growling.
When it comes to causing gas, high-fibre foods have a bad reputation. Nonetheless, it is important to note that dietary fibre is essential for the body.
Since they are essential for the human body, there is no way to completely remove them from the diet.
However, not overeating them decreases gas production which in turn may lower the risk of stomach growling.
According to the British Nutrition Foundation: the following foods are rich in dietary fibre (7).
- Wholegrain breakfast cereals, wholewheat pasta, wholegrain bread and oats, barley and rye
- Fruit such as berries, pears, melon and oranges
- Vegetables such as broccoli, carrots and sweetcorn
- Peas, beans and pulses
- Nuts and seeds
- Potatoes with skin
8- Minimise Stress
Let’s imagine you are in a class and everyone is quiet in the environment. And, you are stressing about what if your stomach rumbles. Could this worry trigger your stomach to growl? Well, it appears stress can trigger stomach growling.
As we all know stress and anxiety can cause many physical symptoms.
According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America, there is a strong connection between the brain and the gut (8).
When you are stressed out, hormones and chemicals enter your digestive tract and can cause gastrointestinal issues. Constipation, bloating, indigestion and diarrhoea are examples of these issues.
The problem is these digestive issues may increase the probability of stomach growling.
So, learn how to stay calm and manage your stress. This can help you experience fewer stomach issues but more importantly improve the quality of life in many ways.
9- Limit Sugar and Acidic Foods
It is sensible to eat bitter chocolate before an exam as it sharpens your concentration. But, you should also know that too much sugar, particularly fructose, may trigger stomach growling (9).
Not only is chocolate or coffee tough, fruits as well contain sugar and acid.
When you consume sugar excessively, the workload of the stomach increases, resulting in stomach growling.
In addition to sugar, acidic foods and alcohol as well can trigger rumbling noise.
The followings are the most acidic foods and drinks (10) ;
- Citrus juices
- Citrus fruits
- Soft Drinks
By the way, coffee as well contains acid.
So, if you are to prevent stomach rumbling try to limit the intake of these drinks and foods for a certain period of time. Then see whether or not you experience fewer growling sounds.
10 -Beware of Food Intolerance
Certain foods that you eat might be the reason why your stomach growls too often. If you experience stomach growling frequently, a specific food intolerance such as lactose intolerance and gluten intolerance may be the culprit.
Therefore, it is best to speak with your doctor about potential food intolerance.
Avoiding eating foods that your body can’t tolerate might solve the growling problem.
Tarkan is an experienced health writer ( currently more than 600 articles ) and also the founder of this website namely www.neededforhealth.com. His expertise in health stems from in-depth medical research and knowledge which he obtained over the course of many years.
Tarkan enjoys sharing factual knowledge on health, psychology and nutrition. He always aims to deliver evidence-based recommendations, provide links to related scientific studies.