T Nation

Chewing Gum to Eat More?


Hey Guys,

Sorry if this is a totally stupid question. It was just something that I was pondering the other day...

We all know how chewing gum packets like to have the warning label on them, that 'excessive consumption may have a laxative effect'.. Someone explained to me once, that chewing gum can do this as your body thinks you're eating due to the chewing motion in your mouth, and so ups the digestive process of your body. Correct me if I'm wrong, I'm only throwing it out for discussion!

So here was my thought.. A lot of us skinny guys find it hard to eat a lot, cramming down can make us feel just plain old sick. So here's my thought...

Do you guy's think that chewing gum when you're full, would help speed up the process to a degree, and allow you to eat more food?

Just a thought, I know it's probably bullocks!

Take it easy,


I actually chew a ton of sugarless gum when I"m dieting. I guess the whole 'keeping your mouth busy' thing actually has something to it. Actually, when I was at a seminar last March, I had my soft cooler with me, and there were a few packs of gum visible through a mesh pouch. Some fitness competitor came over to me after seeing them and told me how she needs a lot of gum to get through her prep as well -lol.



I am pretty sure the laxative effect from sugar free gum would be from consuming lots of sugar alcohols in the gum. Each piece only has 1-2 grams of sugar alcohol, but if you chew 10+ pieces I could see how that could be a problem (although most days I probably chew 4-6 pieces of sugar free stride, since I can't brush my teeth after a meal at work and I don't want to walk around with stank breath).


They contain a source of phenylalanine, which causes the laxative effect... but otherwise they increase salivation, which can actually speed up the digestion process by stimulating the stomach to produce additional enzymes and digestive juices...


Gum makes me not want to eat. I have to consciously remember to spit it out after class (or any social interaction) or I will go too long without eating.


If I'm about to hit an all you can eat buffet, I make sure to chew gum beforehand as it makes me ravenous. Chewing gum after a big meal also prevents me from feeling too bloated.



As someone said, it's the sugar alcohols that cause a laxative effect. Same thing is on sugar-free candies.


ps- it's not the phenylalanine


Yup, the few times when I have leaned down, gum helps me keep my appetite in check. THe chewing seems to trick the brain into thinking you are eating and makes it a little easier when not eating as much.