Why can’t we swallow rapidly?



I can only swallow at a rate of like once every two seconds at the fastest… Why?

In: Biology

Well, aside from the functional design mechanics involved in swallowing which add up to the amount of time it takes to swallow, your body has to deal with the food in its normal way which is to move it down the esophageal tract with [peristalsis](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peristalsis)

Your tongue muscle’s attachment point is to the bone in your throat, the hyoid bone sitting over your windpipe/voicebox.

Because whatever we eat must be slippery/soft enough to travel our digestive track. Generally that’s not the case with the food we eat so our body add saliva to the food while teeth are grinding it.

There are few things we can swallow rapidly. So, it also depends on the food you’re trying to swallow.

Swallowing is quite a complicated process–it involves the movement of a large chunk of thyroid cartilage and also requires the passage through to the windpipe to be closed off, to avoid food or water getting in there. That all takes time. If you try to short-cut it then it won’t work very well–I’m sure you’ve choked on something when you tried to swallow it too fast.

Not an expert, but maybe also an evolutional solution to humans not dumping food down to stomach too fast. Some food has to be broke down before by crushing with teeth and adding saliva is the beginning of digesting. Otherwise dropping large chunks of unprocessed food material fast on stomach would make the digestion harder.

Every time you swallow your epiglottis has to flip back to stop anything falling into your lungs and then flip back to allow you to breath. When someone says “it went down the wrong tube” they actually just swallowed to quickly and it landed on there epiglottis