Chewing Gum While Running – Is it Beneficial? UPDATED 2021
You see many athletes from baseball to tennis chew gum while training and competing, but how about chewing gum while running?
Those who are new to running might be curious about the benefits and negatives of chewing gum while working out,
In this article, we look at why the runner might choose to use gum while working out and look at the best chewing gum for running that is on the market.
Chewing Gum While Running – What Should You Know?
Although chewing gym while jogging is a personal decision, some people use gum to distract themselves during a run. Other runners swear that chewing during a run helps them to focus on their rhythm. Whatever the reason may be, is there a benefit to chewing gum while running? And if so, what are the benefits to this?
One study completed in 2019 saw that runners that used caffeine gum why running improved exercise tolerance by 18%. The study concluded that athletes were able to run longer distances and decrease their time to exhaustion.
However, while this may be a positive study, the improvement is largely related to the inclusion of caffeine, which is already known to improve athletic performance.
Caffeine is widely used by endurance athletes across a range of sports. This is largely due to performance-enhancing benefits, and there is substantial scientific evidence to support this. However, there are multiple ways you can deliver caffeine to the body. Coffee, energy gels, and tablets are usually the most common, but recently delivering caffeine through chewing gum provides the athlete with an alternative.
While your typical chewing gum will not affect your performance, many runners chew gum during a run to help the respiratory system.
Chewing gum while exercising forces the athlete to focus on breathing through the nose rather than the mouth.
Unfortunately, chewing while running won’t improve your performance unless it contains caffeine. However, it may contribute to a more relaxed breathing pattern, helping the runner relax their breathing and upper body. It is also important to note, doing so will add to the workout load, so it is wise to limit chewing to easier workouts.
Benefits of Chewing Gum While Running
Although the benefits of chewing gum while running are largely related to caffeine and its performance-enhancing effects. There are some other benefits chewing can provide the runner.
Some of these benefits include:
– Relaxed breathing pattern
– Keeps the runner’s mind occupied
– Increased metabolism
– Prevents dry mouth
Although none of these actively affect performance, they can still offer some benefits to a runner’s workout. Many runners on forums such as Reddit quote that chewing helps them relax during hard workouts, while others say it prevents their mouth from getting dry.
Other benefits involve keeping the mind busy during long runs or intense workouts. It’s not uncommon for runners to struggle through long runs and constantly check their watch, so using gum as a way to focus on something other than the time can also help the runner.
Disadvantages of Chewing and Running
While there are many positive benefits to chewing while running, there are also many disadvantages. Many runners find that chewing causes a dry mouth when running, especially during longer runs and warmer temperatures. However, not all athletes experience this but it is fairly common.
Other disadvantages to chewing on a run are:
– Choking Hazard
– Affects breathing pattern
– Can cause dry mouth
– Can increase the feeling of hunger
Although not all runners may experience these drawbacks, and some runners benefit greatly from chewing gum on a run. Others, however, struggle with it and it often starts to affect the quality of their runs.
Best Chewing Gum For Running – What Are They?
If your new to running and want to see if chewing gum can benefit you, we have put together a list of the best chewing gum for running.
Since most athletes are always looking to gain an added advantage, below is a list of caffeine-enhanced gum you can use on your next run.
Run Gum was originally founded by 2x Olympian Nick Symmonds and his long-time coach. Run Gum provides the runner with different variations of gum that any athlete can use. One of the most popular products they make is the Energy Gum. With around 100mg of caffeine per serving and a claimed faster delivery time into the body, Run Gum Energy is a good product for the runner that wants to test chewing gum when running.
Run Gum contains zero sugar and no calories. However, it will provide the runner a quick increase in energy and pick me up, which can be utilized both during and before a run.
Rev Gum is another product on the market that has similar caffeine content as Run Gum. Developed at the University of Texas by founder Blake Settle, Rev Gum has gone on to become another leader in caffeinated gums for athletes and everyday people.
Rev Gum offers multiple flavors and a sugar-free gum that is low in calories but still provides a decent energy boost. Slightly more expensive the Run Gum, it’s another product that is widely used by athletes.
MEG – Military Energy Gum
Last but not least is MEG – Military Energy Gum. This is another product that contains caffeine, but at a much higher level (100mg per piece). While not as well known as Run Gum and Rev Gum, it is still widely used by athletes in football, rugby, and other team sports. However, it is often sold out and hard to find. So we recommend sticking with the other two brands.
To sum things up if you are thinking about trailing gum during a run, start with easier workouts first. This will allow you to get used to breathing and chewing while running and prevent you from losing your breath. Once you feel comfortable enough you can think about trialling gum during some more intense workouts. However, we highly recommend you stick to chewing gum during low-intensity exercise rather than interval sessions or tempo runs. You will be able to control your breathing much easier.