As many of you have read (Confessions of a Gum-Chewing Runner), I am a chronic gum-chewer. I have different types of gum for different purposes – including running. So, when I heard about Run Gum, I figured that it was just the product for this Gum-Chewing Runner. I received 3 different samples of Run Gum to test: Cinnamon, Mint, and Fruit. I will admit, I was a bit nervous about this gum because it contains caffeine and taurine. I wasn’t sure how my body would react to that, as I don’t usually have caffeine before I run.
I decided to try the cinnamon Run Gum first, because I love just about anything cinnamon. I put a piece in my mouth as I headed out the door for an afternoon run. Initially, it felt like the gum crumbled and I was worried it wasn’t going to adhere to itself. However, as I chewed it became more gum-like and less dry. The cinnamon was a sweet, subtle flavor. I was kind of hoping for more spiciness, but it still was cinnamon-like. What I really noticed was the taste of the caffeine. It had a slightly bitter taste that I found distracted me from the cinnamon flavor.
I like to chew gum throughout the duration of my run, however, Run Gum is not made for that purpose. About a mile in to my run, the gum was getting hard and losing its flavor. I ended up spitting it out in a garbage can not long after that. As for the effects of the caffeine and taurine on my run, I wasn’t sure if I felt them or not. I was only running about a 5K distance that day, but the second half of my run felt pretty good. Was it the effects of the Run Gum? Perhaps.
After re-reading the “directions” for Run Gum, I decided that for my next run I’d do things more like the makers of the gum intended and have it pre-run. Before an early morning run I chewed a piece of mint Run Gum as I warmed up. Again, the gum kind of crumbled in my mouth initially, but soon became more chewy. I liked the mint flavor better than the cinnamon, which really surprised me. It seemed to mask the caffeine flavor better, although I could still taste a hint of it. After chewing it for about 5-10 minutes, I spit it out and headed out the door. I was driving to a local park to meet friends and realized on my drive there that I wasn’t feeling as tired and groggy as I normally would at that hour. Perhaps the caffeine had already kicked in!
I hadn’t eaten anything, so I was nervous about how my stomach would handle the caffeinated gum. Thankfully, that didn’t seem to be an issue. Overall, my run went quite well. I decided that a quick chew of a piece of Run Gum before heading out the door wasn’t such a bad idea. I probably won’t chew it on my afternoon runs, as caffeine late in the day usually means interrupted sleep at night for me, but before a morning run it makes sense.
One piece of Run Gum contains 50 mg of caffeine, 20 mg of taurine, and vitamins B6 and B12. The makers recommend one or two pieces before a run, depending on how much of a “kick” you want. Created by runner Nick Symmonds and his coach Sam Lapray, this gum has truly been tested on the run. For more about the Run Gum story, see the video below.
Run Gum will not replace what I refer to as my “running gum,” because it is not intended to be chewed for a long period of time (like over the course of a run.) However, as a caffeine delivery device, I think it’s a great idea. If you are like me and can’t stomach a coffee, tea, or energy drink pre-run, but wouldn’t mind a little caffeine boost; Run Gum is a quick and easy way to get that without having a cup of coffee sloshing around in your stomach while you run.
Run Gum can be purchased here at $18 for a 12-pack (2 pieces per package,) or get a sampler (1 pack of each flavor) for $5.99