Does Farting Burn Calories? A Gastroenterologist Answers The Age-Old Question


Have you ever convinced yourself that going up and down two flights of stairs to do laundry is an adequate excuse for missing the gym? Join the club, my friend. Have you ever stooped so low to convince yourself that a earth-shattering butt burp is sufficient enough to call it a day? If so, please consult a doctor or therapist.

You bros may be familiar with the claim that ripping a ripe one can burn up to 67 calories. Is there any truth to this, I wonder.

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The folks at Men’s Health asked Michael Rice, MD, gastroenterologist at the University of Michigan’s Michigan Medicine Gastroenterology Clinic, to clarify if farting is just a fancy way of saying exercise.

Rice started off by saying that your diet has a major impact on your flatulence reps.

“High FODMAP foods [i.e. added sweeteners, stone fruits, dairy products, and legumes], fermentable carbohydrates (Fermentable oligo-, di-, and mono-saccharides) are poorly absorbed, and are subsequently rapidly fermented by gut bacteria. This process produces gases leading to symptoms including bloating and distention,” says Dr. Rice. “Beans, cauliflower and broccoli are among the well-known offenders, as well as dairy products, especially for people who are lactose intolerant.”

When questioned about whether farts burn calories, Rice had some bad news for us:

“Unfortunately, not. Humans on average pass gas approximately 14 times per day, with no measurable burned calories,” says Rice.

To add insult to injury, farting is precisely an anti-workout. It’s your butthole taking a vacation.

“The release of farts is directed by relaxation of the anal sphincter. When the muscles relax, the gas pressure from within the colon expels the gas,” says Rice. “The only way you would achieve even a modestly quantifiable number of calories burned by farting is if you maximally strained your abdominal muscles to release a fart — an unlikely scenario, aside from when exercising.”

So I guess this means we have no excuse to skip the gym today? Actually, come to think of it, the dew point is at a dangerous level so I think I’m going to stay inside and watch my high school football highlight tapes again.

[h/t Men’s Health]