Caffeinated gum is all the rage for replacing energy drinks — but with so many brands to choose from, how can you tell which one will work best for you?
We’re here to help you decide! In this article, we’ll tell you about four of the best caffeine gum brands of 2023 — and one tasty, faster-acting alternative. We’ll also answer some commonly asked questions about caffeinated chewing gum.
At a glance:
- Best Caffeine Gum Alternative: HELO Air
- Best Caffeine Gum
- FAQs About Caffeine Gum
- Try HELO Air Caffeine Vapes for Instant Energy
Best Caffeine Gum Alternative: HELO Air
HELO Air Caffeine Diffuser (Gush) · Price: $14.99
We know you came here looking for caffeine gum, and we’ll get to that shortly. However, if you’re looking for a fast-acting caffeine supplement that’s tasty and has zero calories, zero sugar, and no artificial sweeteners — which may not be good for your health — there’s a better alternative: HELO Air caffeine vapes, the super fast-acting caffeine vape pens from MELO Labs.
Our vapes come in eight awesome flavors, everything from Pink Lemonade to the ever-popular Gush, which tastes a lot like Starburst candy. Fans of the standard minty flavor of regular chewing gum might also like the Arctic Mint flavor. And what’s more, we now offer HELO Plus, with twice the capacity of the original HELO Air vapes — and four new flavors.
If you’re concerned about the safety of vaping caffeine, rest assured our vapes are much safer than just about any other on the market. They have only three ingredients: caffeine, organic vegetable glycerin, and natural flavors.
Our vapes contain no vitamin E acetate, which is known to cause lung damage, no propylene glycol, a petroleum derivative, no nicotine, and no drugs of any kind!
More Bang for Your Buck
Our HELO Air vaporizers also offer the most cost-effective caffeine of any supplement on this list. For $15, you’re getting a caffeine vaporizer that should last about a month. (It might last substantially longer, if you’re like many of our customers who only take two or three puffs at a time instead of a full serving, i.e. ten puffs.) And for $25, HELO Plus gives you twice that amount — by far the most bang for your buck.
Of course, even with the precautions we’ve taken with our caffeine vapes, we realize not everyone wants to vape — and we’re happy to recommend the best caffeine gum brands to those not interested in vaping. But if awesome-tasting, rapid absorption of caffeine with no calories or artificial sweeteners is what you’re after, HELO Air is the way to go.
Best Caffeine Gum
Without further ado, here are four of the best caffeine gum brands you can find on the market. We’ll tell you about the pros and cons of each, and who each type of gum may be best for.
Best Pure Caffeine Gum: Military Energy Gum
Military Energy Gum (Arctic Mint) · $7.65
If you want a no-nonsense caffeine gum with tons of caffeine, look no further than Military Energy Gum. Used by the U.S. armed forces, this gum has 100 mg of caffeine per piece — equivalent to a little more than a cup of coffee.
For $7.65, you can get a variety pack with all three flavors: arctic mint, spearmint, and cinnamon. This variety pack includes two bags of each flavor, and a bag contains five pieces of gum, meaning you’ll get a total of 30 pieces of gum. That’s about $0.25 per piece — a good deal considering how much a cup of coffee costs these days!
One drawback is the long list of ingredients. In addition to caffeine, this gum contains four types of sugar (sugar, dextrose, corn syrup, and maltodextrin) as well as three artificial sweeteners (aspartame, sucralose, and aspartame-acesulfame). It also contains artificial colors and a variety of preservatives. That said, you’re getting a tiny amount of each of these ingredients.
As a small, lightweight alternative to freeze-dried coffee grounds, Military Energy Gum is a great option not just for the U.S. military, but for anyone looking for a substantial pick-me-up in a convenient package that’s easy to carry. If you don’t mind some added sugars and artificial sweeteners and really just want lots of caffeine, this is the way to go.
Best Caffeine Gum With Bonus Ingredients to Enhance Focus: Think Gum
Think Gum - 12-Pack (Peppermint) · $29.95
Looking for a caffeine gum to help your cognitive performance while you work? If so, then Think Gum is the chewing gum for you. It uses guarana berry as a source of natural caffeine, and it’s enhanced with vinpocetine (which may increase blood flow to the brain), ginkgo biloba (which can support memory), and bacopa (which may increase learning rate).
These four ingredients could give your brain a major boost. In fact, a study from the journal Appetite showed Think Gum had advantages over regular chewing gum. This study compared Think Gum to regular chewing gum, as well as a no-gum control group. While concentration levels were similar in all three groups, the Think Gum group performed better on tests of memory than either of the other two groups.
Additionally, this gum contains xylitol, a sugar alcohol that has been shown to improve dental health, according to a study from Clinical, Cosmetic, and Investigational Dentistry. That said, it also contains two additional sugar alcohols — sorbitol and maltitol — which may cause gastrointestinal distress in some people. But it’s free of sugar and aspartame.
A 12-pack is about $30, which may sound like a lot, but each pack has 12 pieces. That means you’re getting 144 pieces for $30, which is a good deal, and a slightly better price per piece than that of Military Energy Gum.
If you’re looking for sugar-free gum with brain-boosting benefits, give Think Gum a try.
Best Caffeine Gum With Vitamins: Apollo Energy Gum
Apollo Energy Gum - 5-Packs · $20.99
For a caffeine gum spiked with B vitamins, Apollo Energy is a decent choice. Each piece of gum has about 80 mg of caffeine from green coffee beans, as well as multiple B vitamins: niacin (vitamin B3), vitamin B6, and vitamin B12.
According to an article from the journal Nutrients, vitamin B12 is essential for the production of cellular energy. What’s more, you absorb it even better when you take it alongside caffeine. Meanwhile, vitamin B3 helps support brain health, among other benefits, and vitamin B6 keeps your nervous system functioning at its best.
The combination of caffeine and B vitamins give you a healthy energy boost, and as a bonus, this gum is sugar-free and contains xylitol (which as we saw is beneficial for your teeth). Apollo Energy gum also has a liquid core, and the company claims this allows the gum to retain its flavor for an hour or more.
One drawback is the price: A 5-pack is about $20, and each pack has 5 pieces, so you’re spending a little less than a dollar per piece. You can save money by buying a 15-pack, but even if you go with a smaller pack, it’s still less expensive than coffee. In short, Apollo Energy gum is a great choice for those who want B vitamins, xylitol, and long-lasting flavor.
Best Extended-Release Caffeine Gum: Zenergy Gum
Zenergy - 3 Pack (Mint) · $12.95
One of the problems with ingesting caffeine from any source, chewing gum or otherwise, is that it tends to give you an energy spike followed by a crash.
To counteract this problem, Zenergy caffeine gum uses proprietary technology to create a controlled release of ingredients. Each piece of Zenergy gum has 50 mg of caffeine, but you won’t feel it all at once. Customer reviews say the caffeine is released slowly and doesn’t give them jitters.
In addition to caffeine, Zenergy gum also has vitamins B6 and B12 (though unlike Apollo Energy gum, it doesn’t have vitamin B3). This gum is also sugar-free, sweetened instead with stevia, monk fruit extract, sorbitol, and sucralose.
For about $13, you can get 3 packs of this gum, with each pack containing 8 pieces. That’s just over $0.50 per piece, which isn’t the best deal on this list, but still a much better bargain than a daily cup of coffee.
For those who want a slow release of caffeine with a few bonus B vitamins, Zenergy may be a good option.
FAQs About Caffeine Gum
Now that we’ve reviewed some of the best caffeine gum brands on the market, let’s discuss some of the most commonly-asked questions about how caffeine gum works in general.
Does Caffeine Gum Work?
The short answer is yes. In fact, chewing caffeinated gum appears to work more quickly than ingesting caffeine pills, according to a randomized controlled trial from the International Journal of Pharmaceutics. The researchers compared caffeinated gum, caffeine capsules, and placebos, and they found caffeinated gum worked much faster than caffeine capsules.
To be fair, this isn’t saying much, as pills have the slowest absorption rate of any supplement. As an article from Medicare Europe explains, pills first need to pass through your digestive system and be broken down by your stomach before their contents can begin to be absorbed, and this process alone can take upwards of half an hour.
This study also found the bioavailability of caffeine from chewing gum and pills to be similar, suggesting caffeine gum works at least as well as caffeine pills in terms of caffeine delivery. Because it’s absorbed more quickly, it’s generally a better choice than caffeine pills like Vivarin.
How Long Should You Chew Caffeine Gum?
This depends somewhat on the brand you’re using. In general, because caffeine gum works more quickly than caffeine pills, you don’t necessarily have to chew it for long to get the full effects. Many brands say you can expect to feel the effects within 15 minutes, at which point you can spit it out.
For brands that have a slow-release formula, you may want to chew your caffeine gum longer than that. For instance, as we saw above, Zenergy chewing gum is designed to give you a controlled release of ingredients. The company claims you’ll feel the effects in as little as 10 minutes, but you may want to keep chewing for longer to get the full benefit.
Some of this will also depend on the flavor. While some gum quickly loses its flavor, Apollo Energy gum (reviewed above) is designed to keep its flavor for a full hour. As long as you’re still enjoying the flavor, there’s no reason to spit it out.
So, while you should chew caffeine gum for at least 10-15 minutes in order to make sure you feel the effects, how long you keep chewing is up to you. It’s also a good idea to read the label to see what the company suggests.
Is Caffeine Gum Better Than Coffee?
As explained earlier, caffeine gum is faster-acting and more cost effective than coffee — or any energy drink, for that matter. And it’s certainly more convenient. It comes in small packs you can keep in your pocket, and it won’t repeatedly send you to the bathroom the way a caffeinated beverage likely will.
But coffee has health benefits beyond its caffeine, and caffeinated gum doesn’t retain these benefits. For instance, coffee has antioxidants and can improve your microbiome diversity. The same can’t be said for chewing gum.
What’s more, caffeinated gum typically has artificial sweeteners and/or sugar. For instance, all the caffeine gum brands we looked at above had sucralose. While sucralose is generally recognized as safe, consuming it regularly may not be great for your health. Of course, coffee can also be made unhealthy if you add cream, sugar, and/or artificial sweeteners, so it depends on how you consume it.
As you can see, coffee and caffeinated gum each have their own list of pros and cons. Which is a better choice for you will depend on your needs and preferences.
What Gum Does the Military Use?
Unsurprisingly, the military uses the gum that has “military” in its name: Military Energy Gum. The U.S. Army Medical Research Center has tested this gum in over 30 clinical trials and found it can help improve cognitive and physical performance and provide extra energy during continuous military operations. The company claims over 5 million packs have been sold to the U.S. armed forces.
But this gum isn’t just for military personnel. Anyone who wants to can purchase this proprietary military caffeine gum.
Try HELO Air Caffeine Vapes for Instant Energy
To recap, there’s no shortage of options for caffeine gum. Try Military Energy Gum for a pure dose of 100 mg of caffeine, Think Gum for brain-boosting compounds, Apollo Energy Gum for B vitamins and lasting flavor, or Zenergy for a controlled release of caffeine.
If you don’t want added sugar or aspartame, avoid Military Energy Gum. And if you want to experience the benefits of xylitol, try Think Gum or Apollo Energy Gum.
But if you want the fastest-acting caffeine on the market, consider trying a caffeine vape from HELO Air. Customers say they can feel the effects almost right away, and they love the smooth draw they get from these vapes.
Unlike many other vaporizers you’ll find, these won’t produce thick clouds of smoke or give you a coughing fit. In fact, if it weren’t for the burst of flavor, you’d barely know you vaped anything.