Benefits of chewing on energy gum
Most of the people who buy a pack of chewing gum at the supermarket or gas station do so for the purpose of getting fresh breath or a nice taste. The people who are already (more) familiar with the phenomenon of energy gum or caffeinated chewing gum, usually buy this as sports gum or as a pre-workout. What many people who buy and consume chewing gum often do not realize is that chewing gum has many benefits, especially for the body and brain.
Chewing gum has been manufactured and used by civilizations all over the world for a variety of reasons. In the literature, we encounter the Ancient Greeks who chewed resin from the mastic tree with the aim of cleaning their teeth and sweetening their breath. The Maya, Aztec, and other indigenous tribes of the rainforests of South America discovered that Sapodilla trees secrete a form of latex, a type of resin that could be made into chewing gum. They used the chewing gum as a stress-reducer, as an energy booster, but also to prevent boredom.
In modern times, breath and taste play the main role, while for athletes who chew for example energy gum, the caffeine in the chewing gum is the most important element.
But there is more, much more! Below you will find a list of scientifically proven benefits of chewing for the body and brain.
Maintaining and assisting with cognitive performance
Chewing gum is known to be used to prevent drowsiness during work, learning, and driving, suggesting a link between chewing and sustained attention or concentration. There are studies that suggest that chewing gum while performing tasks can help improve your focus and brain performance on that specific task. Staying awake during a night shift, for the many people who work shifts or in, for example, healthcare, security, or public transport, chewing(especially on a caffeine gum) can also be the solution to stay focused, concentrated, and sharp for a longer time period.
This study, published by the British Psychological Society, concluded that chewing gum can prolong your focus and concentration times on tasks, especially visual tasks.
Improving memory function
Several scientific studies have shown that chewing, in general, can contribute to improved memory function. The results indicate that chewing gum can effectively stimulate the medial temporal lobe, which is an important area for declarative memory, also known as long-term memory.
In addition, a study conducted by the Department of Psychology at St. Lawrence University in New York found the participants who chewed gum outperformed those who didn’t. There was a significant difference with an improved performance lasting approximately 20 minutes. This study suggests that chewing gum may improve the ability to recall information and perform better cognitively under pressure. You can also think of students who have to learn or take exams with a time limit or athletes during important competitions.
Have you ever noticed that many elite athletes chew gum during a competition? From Michael Jordan to Tiger Woods, the MLB to track and field, athletes swear by chewing gum and mostly chewing energy gum for optimal results.
Reducing stress and anxiety
As mentioned in the introduction, the Mayans and Aztecs already used a form of chewing gum, partly to lower stress.
More recently, a study from Swinburne University showed that chewing gum can actually reduce the stress hormone, cortisol, in saliva. The extent to which this happens depends on the chewing speed. It turns out that especially anxious, nervous people have a much higher chewing frequency than the people who are calmer. Due to the increased chewing speed, the cortisol level decreases, which can lead to more relaxation.
The conclusions from this study were substantiated by a 2011 Japanese study from Tokyo Medical and Dental University. It was found that chewing gum for 14 days significantly improves stress levels as well as mood and fatigue. It is of course plausible that, if these levels go up, more energy and more stamina are released, a very pleasant side effect when you start exercising but also in your daily activities such as working, studying, etc. A nice side effect of this is that your mood improves, something that is always welcome as you get through your day, not only for yourself but also for those around you.
Increasing your alertness
Another Japanese study was conducted through a systematic review from the PubMed database. The effects of chewing on alertness were investigated, conducted with pre-post design in healthy subjects, except the elderly. A positive effect was found in 64% of the subjects involved, in 5% a negative effect and in 31% no significance could be established. The conclusion was therefore that chewing has a positive effect on alertness. This can be good to know for people where alertness plays a major role in their work.
In addition, this study showed that chewing gum can increase alertness and reduce daytime sleepiness, the well-known midday crash. This is believed to be caused by increased cerebral activity (brain activity) from chewing as well as the mint aroma. This was also one of the reasons for GRIZZ Energy Gum to give the energy gum a fresh mint taste. It is fresh and has a positive effect on brain activity.
Reducing your appetite
As an extension of the reduction of stress and anxiety by chewing, it is of course important to know why and in particular what you chew and what consequences this has. If it were the case that this concerns chewing food to reduce stress and emotion, the result could be that in long (and almost chronically) stressed people, weight gain occurs due to stress eating. During the COVID-19 pandemic, research has been conducted into this stress eating and the choice for the type of food. Their perceived stress, emotional eating, and food choice motives were assessed using the Perceived Stress Scale, Dutch Eating Behavior Questionnaire, and Food Choice Questionnaire, respectively.
Conversely, eating sugar-free gum without chemical sweeteners like Aspartame and Acesulfame-K, which are currently a major public health question mark, could help lower cortisol levels without weight gain from stress eating. It can have a positive effect on your impulse eating as the appetite is already reduced at that time.
In an interview with golf legend Tiger Woods, he stated that: in addition to the cognitive benefits, he also chewed gum to reduce his appetite. He indicated that he was often more hungry during competitions (more stress) and to counteract the continuous urge to eat, he preferred chewing gum.
In conclusion, we can conclude that chewing in itself brings many more benefits than just providing fresh breath or a nice taste in the mouth. The benefits in cognitive performance, stress and anxiety reduction, as well as the benefits of alertness, mood, and memory, can contribute to an increased quality of life.
If you do decide to allow chewing gum into your life, you can increase the benefits even further by choosing functional chewing gum, such as caffeine chewing gum or energy gum, as there is, even more, to gain there than through chewing alone.
GRIZZ Energy Gum offers a high-quality, functional chewing gum that further enhances all the above effects and also has a nice fresh mint taste!