Chewing Gum While Running: Good or Bad Idea?

Chewing gum while running

Are There Benefits to Chewing Gum While Running?​

Novice runners naturally have lots of questions about their new sport, such as are they running the right way, how many calories are they burning, how can they run faster, how can they run more efficiently, and so on.

Some runners say that chewing gum while running boosts their performance. However, many wonder if doing so provides any actual benefits and if it is even safe at all.

Does Chewing Gum While Running Help?​

Some people chew gum while running because it helps keep their run in motion. The chewing action of the jaw creates a rhythm that supports and enhances the workout. There are also people who believe that gum chewing helps improve their metabolism.

Chewing gum and running

Runners who chew gum also believe that gum chewing is beneficial to the respiratory system. Chewing gum while running forces them to inhale through their noses instead of the mouth, making the body work harder.

​Will It Make You Run Faster?

There is no scientific evidence that gum chewing will make you run faster. However, some studies suggest that chewing gum can increase your alertness, as well as your mood and reaction time. There are also gums with added caffeine that can enhance your performance. Try Gorilla Gum or Jolt when running to see if these make you run faster.

The Benefits of Chewing Gum While Running

Many runners like to chew gum simply because they like it. Here are some more reasons why some runners chew gum:

  • Wards off boredom
  • Prevents halitosis or bad breath during a long run when there’s nobody to talk to
  • Increases blood flow to the brain and alertness
  • Chewing spearmint or mint-flavored gum can help clear nasal passages

The Risks of Chewing Gum While Running​

Chewing gum while running also comes with some risks:

  • Gum is a choking hazard, especially for runners who do HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts.
    HIIT involves alternating between fast running and jogging. Critics of gum chewing say that when you are running faster, you are also breathing faster, thereby increasing your risk of accidentally choking on the gum.
  • Chewing gum causes you to swallow more air, which can lead to bloating, gastrointestinal issues, or cramps.
  • Gum is loaded with sugar, which can result in a higher dental bill.

Chewing gum while running is a matter of personal preference. Some runners like it. Others do not. What’s important is being aware of the pros and cons and doing what feels comfortable to you.

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