It feels like a much heavier decision than it should: It’s 3 pm and you’re fading. Do you risk sub-par sleep in order to have that cup of coffee and a productive afternoon, or do you suffer through, dangerously uncaffeinated but assured of a good night’s rest? We’re here to make the decision easier. Skip the joe and chew gum instead.
Sure, it’s by no means a one-to-one exchange. There’s something soothing and bracing about enjoying a hot mug of something mid-afternoon, but noshing on the minty treat can give you that buzz-free boost you’re looking for--and it pairs perfectly with a cup of peppermint tea. In fact, the 10% increase in alertness that comes from chewing gum was called “highly significant” by a study published in Nutritional Neuroscience.
But the most recent study on gum chewing and performance revealed the one downside: the effects appear to be fleeting. They found that gum chewers outperformed non-chewers for the first 15 or 20 minutes of testing before flagging and performing at the same level for the rest of the test. So pop a stick of gum right when you need it the most for the best effect. And when you’re tempted to reach for the coffee pot, remember that this alternative doesn’t come with the shaky hands, upset stomachs, or restless nights. That’s a pretty great exchange if you ask us.