Studies do show that you can burn about 11 calories per hour chewing gum. It takes 3500 calories burnt to equal a pound of weight loss, so lets do the math. If you chew gum for 318 hours, that equals about 13 days, you'll lose a pound. So chewing gum non stop for 13 days will give you a pound of weight loss. I don't know about you, but I'd rather just eat a little better, and get an extra workout or two in a week to shed that pound. But, you'd definately have the freshest breath in town!
Chewing lots of gum can potentially be bad for your teeth. Especially if the gum has sugar, it can cause tooth decay. Sure, there are lots of sugar substitues now a days in gum, but some of them like aspartame could maybe cause cancer. My guess is if it's sugar or artificial sweetener in the gum you are chewing, it's probably not very good for you one way or another.
Getting back to chewing gum and working out. Many people attest that they get a more intense workout while they chew gum, and that is helps them focus and keep going. Some athletes say that chewing caffeinated gum helps to increase performance even more in sport activities. The bottom line here is that chewing gum can potentially increase the likelihood of choking while exercising, so there goes the intensity advantage. I would imagine choking can be intense, but I'd rather not try it.
All in all, you have to weigh the pros and cons of chewing gum while exercising. Maybe you could increase your intensity listening to your favorite music on the ipod instead. Maybe you could offset those extra 11 calories per hour calorie burn while chewing gum by just trying a little harder on your food management and exercise consistancy. And if you are just looking for fresh breath...try brusing your teeth!
Lifestyle Fitness Coach