Researchers have found scientific evidence to confirm that chewing gum can speed up thinking and make you more alert.
A new study reported in the journal Brain and Cognition found that reaction times are up to 10 percent faster while chewing gum and that as many as eight different areas of the brain are affected.
One theory is that chewing increases arousal and leads to temporary improvements in blood flow to the brain.
The study carried out tests on volunteers while chewing or not chewing gum. The gum used was flavorless to avoid distractions, The Independent reported.
The brains of the men and women were also scanned with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to see which areas were active.
The 30-minute tests involved volunteers pressing a button with their right or left thumb according to the direction of an arrow on a screen in front of them. One test was more complicated than the other. During both tests, alertness and reaction times were measured.
Results showed that alertness and reaction times improved while chewing gum. Men and women who were not chewing took 545 milliseconds to react, compared with 493 milliseconds among the chewers.