Want to know if you can chew gum while fasting? Or does chewing gum break a fast?
Chewing gum can make it easier to get through your fasting window by reducing hunger. If chewing gum suppresses your appetite, it’ll make getting through your fast much more effortless.
But chewing gum can fall into the “gray area” of fasting. Sometimes it can break your fast, and other times it’s perfectly fine. The last thing you want is to unknowingly break your fast by chewing gum and ruin your results.
Here I’ll show you how and why you can chew some types of gum without breaking your fast. I chew a certain kind of gum regularly when fasting and still get great results.
So be sure to keep reading to find out if you can chew gum while intermittent fasting!
Does Chewing Gum Break a Fast?
First, to determine if chewing gum will break a fast we have to know what will break a fast.
How many calories will break a fast?
If you’re a fasting purist, then anything other than water will break a fast. According to them, any foreign substance to the body can disrupt the fast and will ruin the results.
If your main goal with fasting is autophagy, then it’s best to stick with pure water fast. But if your main goals are weight loss, fat loss, mental clarity, energy, and improved gut health, then you don’t have to be so strict.
But others who fast that aren’t as strict believe anything that spikes your insulin breaks a fast. Dirty fasting also allows a “50-calorie rule” that gives leeway when fasting. So as long as it’s not sugar, you should win in the long run if it helps you keep fasting longer.
The sugar in gum can be absorbed by your body from chewing even without swallowing it.
If you’ve ever chewed gum for too long then you’ll know how unflavored it can become. That’s because the sugar and all other flavoring have been lost and absorbed into your bloodstream.
The sugar makes its way into your bloodstream, where it can cause an insulin spike. The level of an insulin response will probably be tiny since gum only contains a few grams of sugar.
But an insulin spike from the small amount of sugar in the gum can break your fast.
Sugar-Free Gum and Fasting
Will sugar-free gum break a fast?
Sugar-free gum replaces sugar with zero-calorie artificial sweeteners like sucralose, aspartame, and sugar alcohols.
Zero-calorie artificial sweeteners shouldn’t cause an insulin spike, so it shouldn’t technically break your fast unless you’re a water fasting purist.
Sugar alcohols too have little to no impact on blood sugar or insulin levels, making them acceptable when fasting.
Chewing the sugarless gum will cause artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols to be absorbed into your bloodstream. But since they shouldn’t cause an insulin spike, they won’t break your fast.
But even sugar-free gum can contain a handful of calories. So if you’re doing more of a dirty fast, this handful of calories will fall into the “50-calorie rule,” and you should keep getting results.
If chewing sugar-free gum makes it easier to get through your fast, then it’s acceptable. Unfortunately, most have too hard a time feeling hungry during their fast and end up giving up.
So if chewing gum keeps you fasting longer and makes you want to keep fasting daily, then those few calories aren’t necessary. Adherence to fasting duration and frequency is key to getting results.
Chewing Gum Lowers Hunger
For many, chewing gum can reduce hunger by boosting satiety when fasting. The less hungry you feel during your fast, then the easier it’ll be to make it through your fasting window.
One study found chewing gum for 45 minutes significantly lowered hunger, appetite, and cravings.1 Another study found chewing gum can help to prevent impulsive eating by affecting reward circuits.2
A meta-analysis review found chewing gum also causes gut hormone release, lowering hunger. The researchers also found that the more prolonged the chewing, the less hunger study participants had.3
Yet, chewing even sugarless gum can result in higher gastric fluid volume and increased saliva.4 The chewing can signal pathways for your body to prepare for incoming food resulting in more gastric juice in your stomach.
This can end up causing more hunger in some than they wouldn’t have if they didn’t chew gum in the first place. While for many, it can help curb hunger, some will get hungrier when chewing gum.
It’s a good idea to test whether chewing gum helps lower hunger when fasting. Hunger is the hardest part of fasting. So if you can lower your hunger just by chewing gum, you can keep fasting for longer and doing it daily.
Best Gum for Intermittent Fasting
Ideally, the best gum you’ll find for intermittent fasting will be one that doesn’t contain any sugar, artificial sweeteners, or sugar alcohols.
This kind of gum can be tough to find, and you won’t be able to pick it up at your nearest convenience store. I found plain Falim gum on Amazon that doesn’t contain sugar, artificial sweeteners, or sugar alcohols such as xylitol or sorbitol.
It’s a mastic gum that’s also beneficial for strengthening your teeth and jawline. Unfortunately, the modern western diet comprises many soft processed foods. The theory is this has resulted in reduced jawlines, weaker teeth, and overcrowding.
If you’re used to chewing American gum like Orbit then it’ll take a little time to get used to the taste of Falim gum. It has a dense, rubbery texture and a very faint flavor. But if you’re looking for the best gum for fasting and improving your teeth and jawline, then this is probably it.
But if you can’t find Falim gum or another no-sweetener mastic gum, then go with sugar-free gum. It’ll be a lot more convenient to find, and if you’re used to American gum, then it’ll probably be easier to chew.
What Else You Can Have While Fasting
With fasting, you’ll only want to have something else if it does a few things:
- Reduces hunger
- Gives you better results
- Doesn’t break “50-calorie rule”
So water should make up the bulk of the liquids you’re putting into your body when fasting.
Being well hydrated makes it easier to get through your fast by reducing hunger. It’s easy to mistake hunger for thirst from dehydration.4
What else can you drink during intermittent fasting?
You can also drink lemon water when fasting, especially if it encourages you to drink more water. Lemon juice can naturally lower your hunger while providing some nutrients and antioxidants.
Zero-calorie sparkling waters like La Croix can make it easier to get through your fast. But keep in mind, that one study found sparkling waters can possibly increase the hunger hormone ghrelin, making you feel more hungry.6
Coffee and green tea are also great to take while fasting. They’ll both lower your hunger while at the same time boosting your metabolism.7,8 The caffeine in both will give you an energy boost and help you to burn more fat.
Try adding C8-MCTs to your morning coffee while fasting with this keto coffee creamer. These MCTs are quickly and efficiently converted by your liver into ketones.9
These ketones are what your body makes from your fat stores for fuel when it runs out of food to burn. So taking these MCTs can help flip the “metabolic switch” so your body jumpstarts burning your body fat for fuel.
Support Many of the Keto Benefits Associated With Increased Ketones, & Support Them FAST, but Without the Difficulty of Doing Keto...
- 3X Better Than Coconut Oil, Butter or MCTs
- Heightened energy levels
- Reduced cravings & appetite
- Graceful aging
- Healthy metabolism
- Increased mental clarity & focus
- Heightened physical performance and recovery
Chewing gum is a great tool to have when fasting. It can lower your hunger, making it easier to get through your fasting window.
Hunger is by far the most challenging part of fasting. If you’re too hungrier it’ll make you miserable during your fast and then it’s only a matter of time before you stop fasting altogether.10
So if you can lower your hunger levels just by chewing gum, you’ll be much more likely to keep fasting for longer. It’ll also be more likely to keep fasting daily, knowing the hunger won’t be unbearable.
Although fasting purists believe anything other than water will break your fast. Chewing gum, even sugar-free, contains ingredients that will be absorbed into your bloodstream. But if it’s sugarless gum, then it shouldn’t cause an insulin spike.
Yet, for some, chewing gum can make them feel even hungrier. This is from the body responding to the chewing by preparing for incoming food. But it’s best to test yourself to see if chewing gum curbs hunger when fasting or makes you hungrier.
So yes, you can chew gum while fasting without it breaking your fast. Just make sure you chew sugar-free gum and keep on fasting.
Josh holds a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition Science. He’s a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) by the National Strength and Conditioning Association and he’s a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) by American Council on Exercise. He’s worked as a Strength and Conditioning Coach at the high school and college levels. He has over 15 years of experience as a personal trainer and nutrition coach. He is also the author of The Flat Belly Formula. He strives to bring inspiration and results for people to live healthier lives through smart diet and exercise.