Hiccup Hack: Debunking the Myth of Upside-Down Water Drinking


Does Drinking Water Upside Down Help Hiccups?

Does Drinking Water Upside Down Help Hiccups?

Hiccups are a common and annoying reflex that affects people of all ages. They are caused by a sudden contraction of the diaphragm (the muscle that separates the chest from the abdomen), which causes the vocal cords to close quickly, producing a “hic” sound. In most cases, hiccups go away on their own without any need for treatment. However, if they persist for more than 48 hours, they can become a nuisance and interfere with daily activities. That’s when people start looking for remedies, including drinking water upside down.

What is the theory behind drinking water upside down for hiccups relief?

The theory behind drinking water upside down for hiccups relief is that when the water is swallowed, it stimulates the vagus nerve (a long nerve that runs from the brain to the stomach), which in turn sends a message to the brain to stop the spasms in the diaphragm. Drinking water upside down also requires the use of different muscles in the throat and mouth, which may interrupt the hiccup reflex. This technique has been around for centuries and is still commonly practiced today.

How to drink water upside down for hiccups relief?

To drink water upside down, one must bend over at the waist, fill their mouth with water, and then swallow without lifting their head. It may take a few attempts to get it right, but the key is to not let any air in while drinking. Another popular method is to drink from the opposite side of the glass or use a straw that is inserted from the bottom of the glass. Both methods involve keeping the head tilted down or back while drinking.

Does drinking water upside down actually work?

The effectiveness of drinking water upside down for hiccups relief is a topic up for debate. While some people swear by it, others claim it has no effect. From a scientific perspective, there is no evidence to support or refute this technique. One study published in 2012 found that drinking a glass of water upside down did not significantly reduce hiccups in participants. However, there is also a lack of research on this topic, so more studies are needed to truly determine its effectiveness.

Are there any risks associated with drinking water upside down?

While drinking water upside down may not be harmful, it can be challenging to do and may cause choking if done incorrectly. Also, it is not recommended for people with certain medical conditions such as acid reflux, hiatal hernia, or swallowing disorders. In these cases, it may worsen the symptoms and cause discomfort.

Other remedies for hiccups

If drinking water upside down does not work for you or you are not comfortable trying it, there are several other remedies you can try to get rid of hiccups:

  • Breathe into a paper bag (this increases the levels of carbon dioxide in the blood and may help relax the diaphragm)
  • Hold your breath for a few seconds
  • Gargle with ice-cold water
  • Swallow a teaspoon of sugar or honey
  • Bite on a lemon or a slice of lemon soaked in bitters
  • Drink a glass of cold water slowly

It’s important to note that some of these remedies may work for some people and not for others. It’s all about finding what works for you.


In conclusion, hiccups are a common reflex that can be treated with various remedies, including drinking water upside down. While there is no scientific evidence to support this technique, some people claim it works for them. However, it’s essential to be careful when trying this method and to seek medical attention if the hiccups persist for an extended period. Ultimately, the best remedy is the one that works for you.


This article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. If you are experiencing persistent hiccups, seek advice from a medical professional for proper evaluation and treatment.

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