I love chewing gum personally. I hate having bad breath, it stops me from being hungry all the time, and it calms me down.
But, can you chew gum while working out? No, do NOT chew gum while working out. Firstly, it’s a HUGE choking hazard. Secondly, it’s actually been shown to decrease performance in the gym, namely because it’s tricking your body into your ‘rest and digest’ phase. So spit it out when you’re in the gym.
Also, I know it’s easy to have that mentality of well, I’LL never choke while chewing my gum, I’m not that stupid– but remember, everybody that’s died from chewing on gum did NOT try to choke on purpose. It can happen to anyone, even you.
Let’s cover this a bit more in-depth.
Chewing Gum is a Choking Hazard
Chewing gum in the gym is a HUGE choking hazard.
When you’re just chewing gum in class, it’s different. You can just chew away and you’re not really moving too much. Even when you’re walking, you walk slow enough that your gum isn’t flying everywhere.
However, the gym is a different story.
For example, if you’re running in the gym- you have a higher chance of choking on the gum. You could bounce wrong and get it lodged in your trachea, et cetera.
Gyms are also easy to lose concentration in. People often leave dumbbells on the floor or you have to navigate through a ‘maze’ of people to get to where you need to be. This can cause you to choke on your gym too- especially if you misstep. (This is more common than you think)
Lastly, when you’re weightlifting, there is a HUGE chance of choking on your gum.
You are putting ALL of your concentration into THAT muscle, squeezing as hard as you can, and BREATHING as hard as you can. Those fast breaths can EASILY dislodge the gum into your trachea, and combined with the fact you have heavyweights somewhere likely above your head- it can double with another injury.
This is just bad news, don’t chew gum in the gym- you will choke.
Breathing Fast = Choking Fast
I really want to reiterate this point.
No matter what type of exercise you’re doing in the gym, you will start breathing faster and often sharper
Even if you’re just doing a light jog, or bench pressing really hard- breathing fast can easily lodge that gum into your trachea.
So no matter what you do, that gum can get into your trachea at any second. But that’s not where it ends.
Gum is SUPER Hard To Get Out of The Trachea
What is gum? A flexible piece of “rubber” almost that you chew on.
When you chew, it shapes, molds, and gets sticky.
Now- think of what would happen if that got lodged into your trachea.
Instead of a normal piece of food that people can get out using abdominal thrusts, you now have a STICKY piece of ‘rubber’ that MOLDS itself to the shape of your airway. It is near impossible to get out.
In fact, there are countless individuals who have died from choking on gum. The truth is, it’s incredibly difficult to dislodge from your airway, and even abdominal thrusts may not work.
This means if you don’t get to the hospital fast, you will likely die.
Gum Ruins Your Performance In The Gym
Interestingly enough, gum ruins your performance in the gym.
First of all, it takes away your concentration from the weights or whatever exercise you were doing. This is obviously bad news.
But, there is actual science to back this up.
Many of us chew gum because it makes us feel less hungry- and this is because that chewing motion tricks your body’s hunger system. Your ‘rest and digest’ system.
When you’re chewing- it thinks you’re eating and safe. This makes you sleepy and calms you down. This is also why many people chew gum to get rid of their anxiety (including me!).
Have you ever felt really tired after a meal? That’s normal, your body encourages you to sleep after eating food so it can use those macronutrients to repair the body.
Now, when you’re chewing gum- it mimicks the same thing. And it tries to put you to sleep.
Furthermore, in the Journal of Applied Physiology, they found that chewing gum during a workout slows your breathing and puts more strain on your neck muscles- both causing reduced power to the rest of your body.
You need oxygen to power those super-hungry muscles, and with less breathing- it won’t happen.
Conclusion of Can You Chew Gum While Working Out?
That was a lot to take in, here are the KEY takeaways:
- No, you cannot chew gum while working out. Most gyms have it against the rules for a reason.
- You can choke on gym very easily.
- Gum is very difficult to get out when it’s in your airway due to its’ sticky and moldable nature.
- Your heavy breathing and fast breathing in the gym causes the gym to dislodge.
- Concentrating on lifting weights or other exercises while chewing gum can cause you to lose focus on chewing and start choking too.
- Gum overall lowers your performance in the gym.
So, spit it out. Thank you for reading, and stay safe.