For those of us who feel our energy slipping away as the hours drone on at work, or for those who have longer than normal study sessions, enjoy midday workouts, etc., finding a boost in the middle of a tired slump is a must. Unfortunately, in several situations, reaching for a cup of coffee or an energy drink isn’t plausible and leaves us needing a more creative solution. This is where caffeine gum enters the playing field.
Caffeine gum is like regular gum, but with an extra boost. The gum features caffeine, which is designed to energize our bodies and make us feel more alert. While adding caffeine to a product isn’t new, most people don’t think of chewing gum when thinking of energy. Let’s take a deeper look at gum with caffeine added to help you decide whether it’s a viable option for your energy needs. By knowing both the pros and cons, you can decide if you want to give it a try and choose the best caffeine gum for your needs.
What Is Caffeine Gum?
As we’ve already mentioned, caffeine gum is everything a normal chewing gum is, but with caffeine as an added ingredient. You’ll still get the same look, texture, and chew when you pop it in your mouth. While the flavor may not be the same or as long-lasting as regular chewing gum, the energy boost is the main reason people reach for this new version of chewing gum.
To better understand this unique combination, let’s take a look at regular chewing gum as well as caffeine separately. This will help us better understand what we’re getting with each piece of gum we chew.
Chewing gum is made of a gum base that is meant to be chewed, not swallowed. Sweeteners, flavors, softeners, colors, and at times, coatings are added to create the gum you pop in your mouth. Does gum have caffeine naturally? No. To create caffeine gum, food creationists must add it as an ingredient in the gum-making process.
Caffeine is a stimulant that can be found in nature. This stimulant is one of the easiest ways to get a boost of energy to help you stay awake, clear your mind, and even enhance your mood. Caffeine is found in several plants and nuts. It is added to most of the sodas we drink and is naturally found in coffee beans, tea leaves, and even chocolate.
Why Do People Chew Caffeine Gum?
The answer to this question is simple. When your body needs a bit of energy and you can’t grab a soda or coffee, caffeine gum is an ideal replacement. Chewing gum is a common action at work, at the gym, or even at school. Often, when you find yourself in these environments, you can’t stop what you’re doing to rush out and grab a drink or chocolate bar. That’s where reaching into your pocket for a piece of caffeine gum can come into play. It’s an easy way to stay energized without interrupting your hectic day.
Is Caffeine Gum Safe?
When it comes to the safety of caffeine gum, most of the concerns revolve around the added caffeine. For some, caffeine intolerance is a hindrance. Those who suffer from this can deal with nausea, vomiting, and even allergic reactions when they consume caffeine. Most people, however, don’t deal with issues until they consume too much caffeine on a given day.
The Food and Drug Administration or FDA recommends that an adult with no caffeine intolerances consume no more than 400 milligrams of caffeine per day. This is where the danger with caffeine gum comes into play. According to the brand of caffeine gum you choose, you could be taking in anywhere from 10 mg to 100 mg per piece you chew. If you chew caffeine gum with a higher level of caffeine, you could find yourself in potential danger. More than four pieces could put you over your daily recommended limit and pose these potential dangers:
Caffeine Gum & Kids
When caffeine gum first emerged on the consumer market, the FDA had concerns, especially when it came to young people. While most caffeine gums have labels suggesting it should be kept away from kids, that can be difficult. Most young children and teens enjoy chewing gum. If they see a pack of gum lying around, the likelihood of them grabbing a piece is concerning. For anyone who decides to chew caffeine gum, if you have young children in the home, it is recommended that you keep it out of their reach and avoid allowing them to have a piece.
How Does Caffeine Gum Taste?
Normally, chewing gum tastes great and leaves your breath feeling fresh. When it comes to chewing caffeine gum, there isn’t a lot of difference in the taste, which is surprising. Caffeine naturally tastes bitter. Luckily, when it’s added to sodas, energy drinks, or even gum, the flavors and sugars added hide the bitterness. While this great taste is nice, when it comes to caffeinated gum, the flavor won’t last as long as it does with regular chewing gum. Unfortunately, this can also aid in the potential for those chewing this type of gum to consume more than they should.
As you can see, caffeine gum can be an ingenious way of getting the boost of energy you need to keep yourself going when your day becomes long and hectic. While the taste is great, but not very long-lasting, it can still get the job done when needed. Like with anything you consume, however, you need to know what you’re putting into your body. By checking the caffeine amounts in the gum brand you choose, you can safely chew without worries of ingesting too much caffeine. Limit the number of pieces you chew and let the energy boost your stick of gum provides do its job but before you pop another stick. This is the best method to enjoy this type of gum safely.
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Featured Image Credit: George Dolgikh, Shutterstock