For anyone who has ever choked or spit water out while trying to swallow a pill (which, let’s face it, we all have), a new study finally has answers for you.
The study published in the Annals of Family Medicine sought to determine the effectiveness of swallowing pills with what it called the “pop-bottle method” and the “lean forward technique.” The pop-bottle method had participants place the pill on their tongue and swallow it in one motion with a drink from a plastic bottle, and the lean forward technique had subjects swallow the capsule in an upright position with their heads bent forward.
The study found that both techniques “substantially facilitated” swallowing pills, even in subjects who had previously reported difficulty. Between the two methods, people preferred the lean forward technique—88.5% of participants reported improvement with the pop-bottle technique, and 96.9% did with lean forward.
So next time you face the daunting task of swallowing a pill, try tipping your head forward.