Chewing gum is a popular trend worldwide, and it's not a new one. Humans have in fact been chewing some form of gum for thousands of years. Chewing sugar-free gum has been proven to have many beneficial effects for not only oral health- but for plenty of different reasons.


Table. 1 Consumption of chewing gum in top 10 countries per Capita (14)

Beneficial properties of chewing sugar-free gum

  • Chewing gum stimulates saliva which help to protect your teeth by:
    • Reduce tooth decay, 1.
    • Restoring pH balance in the mouth, neutralising plaque acids, 1.
    • Helping to keep your mouth, teeth and gum clean and reducing the amount of time teeth are exposed to a potentially harmfulsubstances, 1.
    • Naturally re-mineralises acid spots on teeth, as the minerals in saliva are supersaturated with the same minerals found in teeth, 1.
    • Saliva flow also promote more frequent swallowing which helps to avoid reflux of acid from the stomach back into the throat, 2.
  • Chewing gum helps to relieve stress, 3.
  • Chewing gum can be used for sleepiness prevention during work, learning, and driving, 4.
  • Chewing gum regulate cognitive functions, including:
    • Alertness and decision-making functions. Heart rate and cortisol levels is higher when chewing which leads to the alerting effect, 3.
    • It is associated with a more positive mood, 3.
    • Chewing gum improve selective and sustained attention, 5.
    • Some research suggest it can improve memory. In elderly it has been shown that a decrease in the number of residual teeth is related to dementia onset, 6.
  • Reaction times have been found to be quicker when chewing gum, with a bigger effect in the more complex tasks, 3.
  • Chewing is associated with early recovery of bowel motility and shorter length of hospital stay for women after caesarean section, 7.
  • Chewing gum helps to improve intestinal motility, 8.
  • Chewing gum has been found to be related to a higher energy expenditure
  • Chewing gum has been related with improved satiation and satiety, 9.


Chewing gum and its effect on energy expenditure and calorie intake

Studies suggest that chewing gum is associated with greater energy expenditure.

A study from 2014, 10 on a group of seventeen males and thirteen females age 21.5±6.6y, BMI 23.9±2.8 kg/m2 showed that chewing sugar free gum influenced the short-term energy expenditure and reduced respiratory exchange ratio. subjects chewed sugar-free gum a total of 1 hour (3 sessions of 20 min) on the test day (GC), and did not chew gum on a control day (NG)- the energy expenditure was higher on the test days without altering blood glucose or substrate oxidation, 10.

Chewing gum linked to reduced calorie intake

A study from 2009, 11 found that chewing sugar-free gum can help to reduce calorie intake and increase energy expenditure. Male and female study subjects chewed gum for a total of one hour in the morning (three 20-minute gum-chewing sessions). The subjects consumed 67 less calories at lunch the days when they chewed gum and did not compensate by eating more later in the day. They also reported feeling significantly less hungry after chewing gum. When study subjects chewed gum before and after eating, they also used about 5 % more energy than when they did not chew gum and reported feeling more energetic, 11.

The rate of chewing can impact the energy amount used

Speed rate of the chewing may also have an impact on energy expenditure according to a third recent study, 12. According to the results chewing at a slower speed could increase the energy expenditure per cycle and might affect the total daily energy expenditure, 12.


Chewing gum and its effect on your training performance

When you chew gum it signals your body that you are about to eat and so your brain tells your pancreas to release insulin. The insulin soaks up glucose (sugars) in the blood and prepare them to be used as energy by the muscles! Chewing gum will elevate your heart rate, increase oxygen pumped to the brain, create metabolic reactions that benefits the body when training in the gym and the raise concentration levels so you can get the most out of your workout.


Don't use chewing gum as a weight loss strategy

If you’re looking to lose weight- relying on a pack of gum will NOT be a winning strategy. Looking at the potential calories burned or less eaten- lets take this into perspective; 60 calories is about a couple bites of cake, or a few minutes on a treadmill. Aim for an improved diet and exercise program instead and don't count on your gum ;)

Camilla xx

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