Why You Should Avoid Chewing Gum On An Empty Stomach

During workdays when your stomach is growling but there's no lunch break in sight, it's tempting to pop in a piece of gum to hold you over for another hour or two. According to WebMD, chewing gum does have some health benefits to offer. The increased production of saliva that takes place while chewing gum can help relieve the discomfort of acid reflux. In addition, chewing gum has been shown to help reduce nausea, boost memory, and even combat fatigue. 

Some research also indicates that gum chewing can help curb the urge to snack. A 2009 study conducted by the University of Rhode Island found that participants who chewed gum a total of 3 times over the course of an hour in the morning consumed fewer calories during lunchtime and continued to feel full throughout the day. While these may sound like enticing perks, chewing gum on an empty stomach has the potential to negatively impact our health as well.

Chewing gum on an empty stomach can damage your stomach lining

Hyman Orthodontics cautions against chewing gum on an empty stomach. When chewing, your stomach produces the acid needed to break down and digest food. Without food to digest, these acids go to work on the stomach itself and can cause damage its lining. In more serious cases, it can lead to the development of a condition known as gastritis. 

According to Cedars Sinai, gastritis occurs when the lining of the stomach becomes irritated, resulting in redness and swelling. Other symptoms can include stomach pain, nausea, loss of appetite, as well as abdominal bleeding, indicated by bloody vomit or stool. To diagnose gastritis, a series of tests may be conducted, such as breath tests, stool samples, X-ray exams, or an endoscopic procedure.

"Chewing gum on an empty stomach is never a good idea," says celebrity nutritionist Pooja Makhija on Instagram. "Because chewing makes your digestive system produce more digestive acid. The acid can destroy the lining of your stomach since there is no food lining the tummy thus causing ulcers."

Knowing this, it may be best to consider keeping something a little heartier on you for the next time that tummy starts rumbling.