The idea of caffeinated gum has interested me for quite a while. I'm not a coffee drinker, as my friends know. I don't drink a lot of pop either--maybe a can or two a week. I do love chai lattes from Starbucks, but those are also a treat and not a regular thing. Since I simply *must* have gum when I run, I figured the combination of caffeine and gum would be right up my alley.
PlowOn gum is a mint-flavored Mento-sized piece of gum with 100 mg of caffeine, 10 mg of taurine, 5 mg of green tea extract, and 5 mg of ginseng. Most of you probably know what these things are. Taurine is an amino acid that has many benefits, including increased energy production. Green tea extract is an antioxidant that is supposed to help increase physical performance. And ginseng has been said to help increase energy levels as well as help athletes lower their recovery time. However, the amounts of these additional ingredients are extremely low, so I'm not sure how much they are actually helping out. It's the caffeine that is the powerhorse in this gum. 100 mg is the approximately the same amount of caffeine as an 8-ounce cup of coffee contains. A Red Bull contains 80 mg of caffeine, and a can of pop 50-60 mg, for comparison purposes. For someone like me, who drinks neither coffee or energy drinks, this is quite a bit of caffeine.
I have tried the gum out on a few different occasions since receiving my free samples. The first time was at home. I needed to see how I'd react to it before I actually used it in conjunction with running, so I chewed a piece one morning when I was very tired before school started. I didn't seem to have any adverse affects, so I decided to chew a piece before a recent 4-mile race. Since then, I've used it two other times--once before a very early run when I felt very sleepy, and once when I was out of my Orbit Sweet Mint gum (and I can't run without gum!).
Each time, I have definitely felt a "boost" from the gum. My friends have noticed that I am even more chatty than usual when I chew it. I actually like the taste of it--a very strong spearmint flavor. Another positive is that it maintains its flavor even after you've been chewing it for 20 minutes (about the amount of time that is recommended to chew it to get the full effect of the gum). I had two running friends try it out, as well as my husband. One friend hated the taste after a minute or two--this is the caffeine being released, which other reviewers have mentioned is a bitter taste. My husband said the same thing and had to spit it out. My other friend, however, loved it--she's a runner-gum-chewer like me and found it to be very tasty and also energy-giving.
I am planning on ordering more of this gum (the company sent me two free sample packs of 5 pieces each), and right now they have a deal for free shipping if you use the code "joy". Here is the link: http://plowongum.com/buy/product/energy-gum-by-box/ It's also supposed to give you 25% more gum, but for some reason I don't see that coming up on the checkout, so I've sent them a message to figure out what's going on. I'll update this blog once I hear back. I don't want to get into a habit of using it every day or anything, but it is sure is nice for a boost!