Why do we puke?

Why do we puke?

Sick science!

Puke, vomit, barf, chunderchunks. Whatever you call it, most of us have done it. It's pretty disgusting, but usually it's helpful. Often, we need to be sick to get rid of something harmful in our stomach.

What is sick?

Sick is half-digested food mixed with spit, slimy stomach mucus and other stomach juices. Mmm!

Why are we sick?

Normally you are sick if you have a virus or bacteria in your stomach or intestines. Your body wants to get rid of them the fastest way it knows how - puking!

Sometimes people are sick if they are nervous, travelling or go on a fast ride in a theme park.

Did you know? When you vomit, your body produces more saliva. This helps to protect your teeth from stomach acid.

How are we sick?

Your brain sends a message to your diaphragm, stomach muscles and intestine muscles saying "get rid of that food!"

The muscles in your stomach and intestines push food towards your mouth instead of down towards your intestines.

The bad smell is due to stomach acids and a chemical called bile. Bile helps to digest fatty foods. When you puke, bile can come up along with the half-digested food. It smells pretty bad!

Sign up for the newsletter
Sign Up For The Newsletter
Want to get the latest science news from Planet Science straight to your inbox? Sign up now!