I may be your favorite pharmacist, but I have a silly sense of humor, so today we’ll dive into the world of chewing gum and how it might be helpful for concentration. Weird, I know!

We all know how easily our wandering minds get the best of us, and this leads to slowed-down productivity. It doesn’t seem plausible to me that a simple piece of gum might just be an aid for brainpower.

But we will delve into all of this as we discuss the four most interesting concentration benefits of chewing gum: 


1. Increased blood flow. Chewing gum has been found to slightly increase circulation within the brain, at least according to the Parkinson’s Resource Organization: “Some studies have reported that chewing gum increases blood flow to the brain by 25%–40%.”

So maybe chewing gum can deliver a small but extra dose of oxygen and nutrients! This tiny surge in blood flow can result in improved cognitive performance, enhanced attention span, and increased mental alertness … at least for a few minutes. 

Studies suggest that gum chewing can also stimulate the release of dopamine, a brain chemical that plays a significant role in our ability to focus. So, it’s not just a mere act of mastication: It’s a neurologically engaging process that enhances cognitive function.


2. Improved multitasking. Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by a never-ending to-do list. I’m with you! Now, I know what you’re thinking because I’m thinking it too: How can gum, which requires some attention to chew, actually improve concentration? 

Experts say that chewing gum keeps your jaw busy, and as such it may help you push through tedious tasks with greater ease. It seems to act as a motivator, but I’m not exactly sure how. Perhaps it’s that dopamine! 


3. Lowered salivary cortisol. Let’s face it: Life can get a bit stressful at times. Juggling all the aspects of life can leave one feeling frazzled, especially in this day and age of nonstop information and social media.

Chewing gum can lower cortisol levels, at least in the brain. To be fair, not all the study conclusions agree on this subject matter. We do know that cortisol can make one feel anxious.

There was an MRI study, too, that concluded: “… gum chewing relieves stress by attenuating the sensory processing of external stressors and by inhibiting the propagation of stress-related information in the brain stress network.”


Chewing gum for a few minutes to boost concentration might just be the magical tool that helps you get through that pile of mail, write that blog, or build that graphic!

So go ahead — indulge in a stick or two of your favorite gum. I’m not looking or judging anybody.  


This information is not intended to diagnose, prevent, or treat your disease. For more information about the author, visit suzycohen.com.

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