As we eat and sip on beverages, our bodies naturally produce gas through digestion and the intake of air, per Cleveland Clinic.

While it may seem uncomfortable, our bodies have built-in mechanisms to release this gas, primarily through burping and flatulence, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Why do we get bloated and gassy on planes?

When ascending in an airplane, reduced cabin pressure causes the gas in our gut to expand, leading to discomfort akin to the way chips or plastic bottles expand at high altitudes, per The New York Times.

According to Harvard Health, the average person consciously or unconsciously passes gas at least 14 times a day.

In comparison, in planes at an altitude around 7,000 feet, the average person’s intestines will expand by 30%, per Condé Nast Traveler.

Considering this, if an individual were on a day-long flight, they would typically pass gas 18.2 times, with the additional 4.2 occurrences due to the 30% increase.

Airplane gas and bloating can affect certain individuals, particularly those with conditions like irritable bowel syndrome more than others, according to The New York Times.

How to stop bloating on planes?

The best way to stop bloat, and eventual passing of gas, is the prevention of making symptoms worse. Here are some tips below:

1. Eat well

The Washington Post recommends packing fiber-rich, protein-packed foods for flights. Opting for easily assembled snacks like a yogurt bowl simplifies travel, speeds up security checks and ensures you meet your nutritional needs.

Per Well+Good, skip foods that you know make you bloated.

As someone who struggles with IBS and gut health from other issues, I find staying on a low-FODMAP diet, one that restricts fermentable carbs, is incredibly useful. Staying away from trigger foods helps lessen the intensity of bloating, stomachaches and discomfort.

Best and worst foods before flying: what to eat and avoid

2. Stay hydrated

Hydration prevents constipation, which will cause gas and bloating, according to The New York Times.

Per the Aerospace Medical Association, individuals should drink eight ounces of water for every hour in flight.

3. Move around

Moving around can help reduce bloating and constipation, according to Eating Well.

Travel + Leisure suggests walking around every one to two hours to help with bloating.

It might be best to move around especially after eating. Forms of physical activity after eating were more effective than other treatments of abdominal bloating, per a study published by The National Library of Medicine.

If it’s too late or impossible to prevent, how do you make gas smell less bad?

According to a YouTube video published by Peter Greenberg, CBS News Travel Editor with Arnie Weissman, Travel Weekly editor-in-chief, “Airlines say they’re aware of the issue and many have installed charcoal filters in the air conditioning systems to absorb odors.”

There are products on the market that are said to reduce the smell of gas:

For reference, a study published in the National Library of Medicine found underwear made from activated carbon fiber fabric proved most effective in absorbing gas, while pads worn inside the underwear removed 55% to 77% of the gasses.

Megan Riehl, a gastrointestinal psychologist at Michigan Medicine told The New York Times, the bottom line is if gas is causing discomfort, holding it in can make the issue worse. If possible, walk to the bathroom. If not, take advantage of the engine noise and “just let it go.”

“Trust me, you’re not the only one farting on an airplane,” Riehl said to The New York Times.