• It is not gravity that moves the food from your mouth to your stomach. Your esophagus has muscles that contract rhythmically to move the food. Thus you can swallow in any position, not just when you are vertical. ********** "oregon: Even liquids? Won't they flow whatever direction gravity pulls them?" Even liquids. The muscles in your esophagus constrict tightly enough to even force liquids up into the stomach.
  • In addition to what Glenn already shared, the contractions of the esophagus that propel the food down into the stomach is called 'peristalsis'. This wave-like motion can be found in other parts of your digestive tract too! Read On: The Esophagus Once the food is chewed and moisturized by the saliva, it is pushed back by the tongue into the throat, where muscles propel the food into the food pipe, or the esophagus. The esophagus pushes the food downward by an action that we call peristalsis, which is basically an orderly sequence of contractions like the wave motion moving across stadium bleachers. These contractions, which push the food down into the stomach, are powerful enough to allow us to swallow even if lying down or upside down. Astronauts, for example, have no trouble swallowing in space, where no gravity forces food from the mouth to the stomach. Between the esophagus and the stomach a sphincter ensures that the passage normally opens only one way from the esophagus into the stomach.
  • Ever try a keg-stand?! A little difficult but you can swallow. Of course 90% just rolls down your face.
  • I just had a go, hanging upside down on my bed and swallowed water, a biscuit, and a sandwich. I could swallow all of these!
  • Yes. In fact I often take my food back to my room and eat it while doing a headstand on my indian style floor pillows.
  • never tried, and apparently neither have you... but i'm 99.9% sure you could...
  • Thanks to peristalsis.
  • Yes, you can.
  • You can (I haven't - I'd be worried that liquids would run up into my sinuses before I swallowed.)
  • Yup, the esophagus has muscles that contract to force food/drink into the stomach. I did try this once, and I have a word of advice: make sure you feel it work its way through the esophagus before you laugh. I chewed and swallowed a hard pretzel in a hand-stand once... but then I laughed, and it decided it wanted to come back out! Food can be swallowed, but I guess gravity does matter when it comes to keeping it down!

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