Chewing gum, a harmless habit that doesn’t usually warrant a second thought. It has been said that it’ll help with mental focus and curb appetite. But, could it be doing more harm than good?
I do apologize for my two month hiatus. I was working on another piece of writing, my book!! The Relentless Mindset is now available! They just let anybody publish a book these days. Nonetheless, if you are interested you can purchase my book here:
Now, let’s get down to the reason you clicked on this article to begin with….
Allow me to preface this article by saying that I have no scientific research to back this. It is merely my opinion and careful speculation which may or may not be completely wrong.
Nonetheless, I haven’t chewed gum in months. I haven’t noticed much of a difference one way or the other.
Why I Quit Chewing Gum
I quit chewing gum when I was doing a ketogenic diet experiment. You can read more about the ketogenic diet and my experience at the below links:
I was strictly limiting my carbs and monitoring blood ketones and blood glucose (blood sugar). I could’ve easily been mistaken for a diabetic and/or mad scientist. In fact, if you were to come to my apartment you would notice a nice little shelf with weird gadgets and monitoring devices, but I digress.
I wasn’t convinced that gum could spike blood sugar but I didn’t want to take any chances. I was struggling to get into ketosis so I had to pull out all the stops.
Long story short: I quit chewing gum.
Once I broke the habit, it was easy to continue not chewing gum. To be honest, I haven’t thought about it too much. I’ve even turned downed several offers of gum from others. I don’t feel left out in the least. Plus, I’ve gone so long without chewing it I’d hate to break my streak. I’m weird like that. After all, it’s the second longest streak I have going behind non-alcohol consumption.
Anyways, I think gum chewing can be counter-productive to overall health. From the digestive system’s point of view, chewing gum is like leaving your car running all day. When you’re using it, it’s necessary for the car to be running. But, when you arrive at work, there is no need to keep it running. You turn it off.
Similarly, the digestive system is “turned on” while chewing gum. Chewing naturally makes the mouth produce saliva, does it not? This is a preparatory response for the body to begin the digestion process. Because we were all eager to learn students in high school, we know that the digestion process begins with mastication.
So, if we chew gum, we leave our digestive system turned on for no real reason. I think that’s a valid argument. The more important question here is what are the ramifications of doing so? Is it so bad?
The word stress gets tossed around a lot and for good reason. However, most people only think about the external stressors (i.e. work, financial, etc) and neglect the internal stresses the body undergoes. For instance, waking up is technically a stressful event for the body. Cortisol is released in order to wake you up. This is a good stress, obviously.
Digestion is also a good stress for the body.
Going back to the car analogy. Nothing technically goes wrong with the car if you leave it running all day. Perhaps, you’ll run out of gas but nothing serious. However, what does happen is your miles per gallon (MPG) will decrease significantly. Your vehicle becomes less productive.
I feel that the same thing will happen to the digestive system if were to chew gum throughout the day. The digestive system will remain turned on and when it is needed to digest and begin the absorption process, it may not be as sufficient as it needs to be.
Are you a bad person for chewing gum? No, of course not. There are far worse things out there than chewing gum. When it comes to health, balance is key. However, I hope this article opens your eyes a bit. When you think about it, chewing gum isn’t really necessary. Does it really help you focus more? Is it the only thing that could curb your appetite?
In the grand scheme of things, this is a small detail. However, it’s the small things that add up to formulate big things.
“How you do ANYTHING is how you do EVERYTHING.”
If you struggle with digestion, this may be something to experiment with. I can’t promise that I’ll be able to dig into the research on this (if it exists) in the near future. But, if any of my faithful readers choose to do so, let me know! Comment here or shoot me an email. I’d love to hear what the research says. If, by chance, I happen to find time and stumble upon some research, I’ll be sure to update this post.
Thank you so much for reading!!
Stay #Relentless my friends.