Despite all of its benefits, coffee just isn’t for everyone. But if you’re one of the many who have a sensitive stomach (or just don’t like the taste), it doesn’t mean you don’t need the occasional energy boost. Turns out, you don’t need caffeine at all to make it through the dreaded 4 p.m. slump. It could be as simple as popping a stick of gum into your mouth.
That’s right, multiple studies have shown that chewing gum enhances sustained attention and alertness. And no, it’s not because of a sugar high. (Tests have ruled the presence of sugar in gum inconsequential.) The simple act of chewing wakes us up, alerting our brains to focus on the task at hand.
Also, when you chew gum your heart rate slightly increases, improving the delivery of oxygen and glucose to the brain--enough to improve cognitive function, if only temporarily. The increase lasts around 20 minutes, so researchers have suggested to save gum chewing for when you really have to focus the most.
We can’t help but wonder how that 18th-century U.S. history test would’ve gone in the tenth grade had we been allowed a stick of Doublemint...