Can Chewing Gum While Running Affect Performance: 4 Benefits

Reviewed by: Olexandr Maximenko (Sports Nutritionist, MSc)

Are you looking for tips to improve your running performance? Did you know chewing gum while running can help with rhythm and concentration?

Many people wonder is run gum safe? This blog post will discuss the pros and cons of run performance gums that need to be weighed before chewing gum while on a jog. Let’s get started by exploring how this habit can have an impact on an athlete’s running routine.

Chewing gum while running, is it safe?

Chewing gum while running can help keep the mouth hydrated and prevent dryness. Gum also aids with acid reflux, increases performance, and provides better rhythm and concentration. Potential risks include choking hazards, limited oxygen intake, and increased risk of dehydration due to the sugar content of regular gums.

Chewing Gum While Running: How It Affects Runners

Chewing gum for runners is a popular practice, but what does it actually accomplish? Those who chew gum on their runs claim that doing so helps keep them focused, reduces distraction, and can even improve performance in some cases.

There are several confirmed benefits of chewing gum during a run. Keeping your mouth hydrated and preventing dryness is one of the main reasons why many people choose to chew gum when running.

Additionally, it provides a tactile cue that can help you stay “in the zone” so you don’t lose interest or enthusiasm too quickly. Want to know more? Let’s discuss these benefits in more detail.

4 Benefits of Chewing Gum While Running

What does run gum do? Chewing gum during running offers several benefits, such as reducing dry mouth, improving focus and concentration, helping with acid reflux, and ultimately enhancing performance.

Chewing gum for runners is a popular practice

1. Prevents Dry Mouth

Chewing gum is beneficial for runners in terms of preventing dry mouth and improving blood flow. It increases saliva production, aiding with hydration during exercise.

It also reduces friction inside the mouth by forming a protective coating on teeth and gums, which slows down the dehydration of mouth tissues. This helps to prevent oral infections caused by bacteria and tooth decay while running long distances.

The increased production of saliva also neutralizes the acidic content of energy drinks and sports bars consumed before or during a run, thus increasing oral health for runners.

2. Enhances Mental Focus and Concentration

By engaging in the repetitive, rhythmic motion of chewing, athletes increase their ability to maintain attention and better observe their environment.

Chewing also simultaneously relaxes and stimulates the brain, which helps promote alertness without feeling overly energized or overwhelmed by fatigue. Research conducted by Georgetown University suggests that when children chewed gum during testing, they completed tasks faster with higher accuracy rates than those who didn’t chew.

Other studies support this claim for adults, showing improved reasoning skills such as problem solving, decision making, logic processing, and even memory recall with active orally stimulating activities like chewing gum.

3. Aids with Acid Reflux

Chewing gum may be beneficial for runners suffering from acid reflux symptoms. Increased saliva production while chewing can help wash down digestive acids and improve reflux symptoms.

Studies have shown that chewing sugar-free gum can reduce the amount of acid in the esophagus, preventing discomfort when running. The act of swallowing more frequently facilitates the transport of gastric contents into the small intestine. This helps to prevent them from backing up into the esophagus.

4. Increases Performance and Improves Rhythm

The motion created from chewing helps with concentration, pacing, control of breathing, and other aspects related to running. Chewing gum can help runners keep their cadence and stride in balance and create a more relaxed running experience where it is easier to stay focused on the workout at hand.

It can also increase cardiovascular efficiency and boost endurance so you go further without putting extra pressure on your legs during outside runs or treadmill sessions.

Chewing gum can help runners keep their cadence and create a more relaxed running

3 Possible Risks of Chewing Gum While Running

Chewing gum while running can present a few risks. So, is chewing gum while running bad? Let’s find out!

1. Increased Risk of Choking

Chewing gum during running, especially during intense sprinting or intervals, can pose a risk of obstruction of the windpipe, leading to choking hazards.

It is important for runners to be aware of this potential risk before they start their runs, and to take necessary precautions against choking. If they do decide to chew gum on their runs, it’s important to be cautious.

2. May Limit Oxygen Intake

Chewing gum while running may limit oxygen intake and impair breathing. The increase in jaw muscle tension caused by gum-chewing, combined with the forceful inhalation of air during exercise, can restrict the movement of air into the lungs. That’s another reason why it’s important to take extra care when chewing during high-intensity sports.

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3. May Cause Dehydration

When running, chewing gum can increase the risk of dehydration due to a number of factors. Chewing gum causes increased saliva production, which can lead to dehydration if not properly replenished with water.

Additionally, chewing gum makes your mouth wet, which may lead to runners not feeling thirsty. If they forget to replace fluids while exercising, this can increase the risk of dehydration.

Finally, chewing gum can lead to dehydration due to its high sugar content. When runners consume sugar, their bodies use a lot of water to try to process and eliminate it. This can lead to increased urination and a loss of fluids, which can lead to dehydration if they don’t drink enough water during runs.

Runners take performance gum

Does Chewing Gum Help While Running?

Though some people find that chewing gum helps with rhythm and focus, there is not much scientific evidence to prove that chewing normal gum during running boosts performance. However, studies have shown that gums containing caffeine can help improve running performance by boosting energy levels.

It is important to find out how much caffeine is in your run gum to ensure you don’t consume too much, as caffeine should only be used in moderation. This is why it is important to assess how long does run gum last?

Generally speaking, the amount of time chewing gum will last while running depends on personal chewing habits. Some people may find that a piece of gum only lasts for several minutes, while others may chew a piece of gum for much longer.

icon run

Pro Tip:

Most pieces of gum can last anywhere from 10-30 minutes when being chewed continuously by an active runner. Factors such as temperature and humidity can play a role in diminishing the flavoring quicker while running than they would during normal activities at rest.

What Gum Is Safe to Chew While Running?

Runners should opt for sugar-free gum products that are specifically designed for athletes in order to ensure maximum safety and performance while running.

Special gums for runners contain certain ingredients or features specifically designed to improve their performance, such as added caffeine or electrolytes.

icon run

Pro Tip:

These gums usually have an improved texture and flavor that increases their appeal. Additionally, they may boast special enhancing effects, like energy-boosting capabilities and increased alertness.

3 Best Running Gums

For avid runners, these are the best running gums to optimize performance and efficiency:

1. ZENERGY Energy Gum

This is one of the best caffeine gum that will boost your perfroamce. You will feel the effect already within 5-10 minutes. Two gums eqaul to 1 cup of coffee .

Best Running Gums

ZENERGY Energy Gum

ZENERGY Energy Gum

ZENERGY Energy Gum is considered one of the best running gums due to its scientifically designed, performance-boosting effects. It contains caffeine, taurine, and B vitamins, providing a rush of energy far superior to most energy beverages currently available.


  • Zero calories and sugar free.
  • Replaces four cups of coffee without negative effects.
  • Not temperature sensitive.


  • The flavor does not last long.
ZENERGY Energy Gum

2. Honey Stinger Organic Fruit Smoothie Energy Chew

This is an ideal option for runners looking for a delicious energy chew to fuel their next workout. It contains carbs to boost your energy while energy and sodium helps replenish electrolytes after workout.

Organic Energy Chew

Honey Stinger Organic Fruit Smoothie Energy Chew

Honey Stinger Organic Fruit Smoothie Energy Chew

This certified organic and gluten-free energy chew is fortified with 70% RDA of vitamin C and provides 23 grams of carbohydrates per serving while still tasting amazing.


  • Extremely tasty, available in seven flavors.
  • Portable and easy to use.
  • Boosts energy and replenishes electrolytes.


  • Can make you feel thirstier while running in hot weather.
Honey Stinger Organic Fruit Smoothie Energy Chew

3. MEG – Military Energy Gum

MEG – Military Energy Gum is clinically proven to help stop fatigue instantly and enhance cognitive abilities and physical performance during running. It contains 100 mg of coffeine and is 5 times faster than any energy drink.

Increases Energy

MEG Military Energy Gum

MEG – Military Energy Gum

It improves mental endurance and focus using natural ingredients like caffeine from green tea leaves, L-theanine, and B vitamins. This gum is available in 3 flavours: arctic mint, cinnamon, and spearmint.


  • 100 mg of caffeine per piece.
  • No crash or stomach upset.
  • Easy to use during a run.


  • The flavor does not last long.
MEG Military Energy Gum

Frequently Asked Questions About Chewing Gum During Running

Does Run Gum Work?

Running gum is a specialized type of gum designed specifically for athletes and runners. It contains a powerful blend of caffeine, taurine, and B vitamins that provide an energy boost during workouts. Runners may benefit from improved mental focus, increased alertness, and enhanced oxygen levels.

Does Chewing Gum While Running Help Your Performance?

Chewing gum during running can be beneficial in many ways. Runners have found that it keeps their mouths moist, enhances mental focus and concentration, and may even improve performance through improved rhythm. However, there are potential risks associated with it, such as choking, possible lack of oxygen, and dehydration if too much sugar is consumed.

Does Gum Dehydrate You?

Chewing gum while running has the potential to increase saliva production and mitigate dry mouth, but normal gum can possibly cause dehydration due to sugar content. Chewing special running gums can help prevent dehydration.

Final Thoughts on Chewing Gum While Running

Chewing gum while running has both advantages and disadvantages. While some people may find that it helps to enhance their stride rhythm, there is no concrete evidence of any performance benefit when chewing regular gum. That being said, gums with caffeine can boost running performance.

Chewing gum on runs can be beneficial in terms of reducing dryness in the mouth and providing a more relaxed experience overall. However, it may also pose a risk of choking, dehydration, and limited oxygen intake if used incorrectly.

Feel free to try out different types of running gums until you find one that is suitable for you!
Have you ever tried chewing gum while running? Please share your experience in the comments below.

Also read:


  1. IS CHEWING GUM BAD FOR YOU? [PROS AND CONS] // Rejuvenation Dentistry: https://www.rejuvdentist.com/nutrition-and-oral-health/is-chewing-gum-bad/
  2. Chewing Gum May Help You Remember That Last Bit of Information Before an Exam // The Colby College Community Web: https://web.colby.edu/cogblog/2022/04/25/chewing-gum-may-just-be-the-key-to-studying-success/
  3. Chewing Gum: Cognitive Performance, Mood, Well-Being, and Associated Physiology // PMC: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4449949/
  4. The effects of gum chewing while walking on physical and physiological functions // PMC: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5909016/
  5. Effects of caffeine chewing gum supplementation on exercise performance: A systematic review and meta-analysis // Taylor & Francis Online: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17461391.2022.2049885?scroll=top&needAccess=true&role=tab

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