Answer from zeGoldfish
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You would drown

There's a small flap in your esophagus that, when eating/drinking, closes over your lungs to prevent foreign objects/liquids from getting in your lungs.  When you're drowning you are essentially drinking and breathing at the same time.
Sources: high school biology class


Answer from pillzhere
3 people found this helpful

Body physiology

The water would go down the respiratory tract and into the lungs if humans tried to drink and breath at the same time. The epiglottis, which is a piece of elastic cartilage, prevents this from happening.


Answer from Anonymous
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You can--but not for long

By which I mean to say, very young babies can do that, which makes it possible for them to nurse uninterruptedly. However, as humans mature, changes take place in the throat so as to allow for better control of breathing. This is necessary to facilitate speech. Here’s a blurb...
"As for actually producing the sounds of words, or phonemes, skeletal studies reveal that by about 300,000 years ago, our ancestors had become more or less "modern" anatomically, and they possessed a larynx located at the top of the trachea, lower than in other primates.

This position increases the range of sounds humans can make, although it also makes it easier for food going down the esophagus to be misdirected into the windpipe, leaving us more vulnerable than other mammals to choking. Such anatomy could have developed for no other purpose than speech, says Deacon."
Quote Source: The Origin of Speech by Constance Holden -- SCIENCE Volume 303, Number 5662, Issue of 27 Feb 2004, pp. 1316-1319


Answer from Manimal
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The esophogus and lungs branch from the same orifice, the mouth

The trachea is the valve that determines where items entering the mouth go.  Air and gases are funnelled toward the lungs.  Liquids and solids are directed toward the stomach.  The trachea is unable to separate the 2 if they are injested at the same time.


Perhaps you refer to the possible ability to drink through the mouth while breathing through the nose.  This is not possible because items entering the mouth and nose converge before reaching the trachea.  For a human to be able to breath and drink at the same time, there would have to be 2 separate pathways from the exterior to the interior, like a whale's blowhole leads to its lungs while its mouth leads to its stomach.


I hope this helps.

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Answer from sweetMonkey
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Maybe because we let our throats double as both the only food and air conduit?

Other animals did find a solution to that problem - I believe those creatures are called fish, who can "breathe", drink and even eat at the same time.