think gum

March 11, 2008 at 8:32 am | | lab safety, pseudoscience, software, stupid technology

Finally, a gum that will clean my teeth and my synapses! My PI found this wonderful product:


This gum must have brain-boosting powe, with all its “proven” ingredients (including rosemary and peppermint). It does have 20 mg of caffeine (which is a little less than a cup of green tea of a Coke), which I’ve found does help concentration; but coffee makes my breath smell so much better! This caffeine is “natural,” which is nice because I’m sick of getting my caffeine the only other way possible: via that intravenous injections of SynthCaffTM eight times a day.

You know, at first, I was just going to make fun of this product. But then I read the story. Hey! This kid went to Cal and now he’s a PhD student here at Stanford. I’m quite impressed with his entrepreneurial spirit. I’m really happy that this gum isn’t secretly made by Clorox or ExxonMobil or something.1

OK, back to making fun of it. I still think the gum is bunk: it uses the label “science” to sell a product to the gullible public, like my mom. (Just kidding, Mom.) But I’ll try it…

Well, the flavor is really good: a nice mixture of herbs and it has a green taste that transforms to an almost spicy pleasant-bitter, with a hint of spruce; the flavor lasts longer than some brand-name gums. Is my writing getting any better? I can see the fourth dimension and smell “yellow.” Is that normal? I feel like taking the rest of the day off and watch each blade of grass discover its little world. Seriously, though, I do feel a little light-headed.2

Well, I guess this product is no worse than all the other “mind-boosting” drinks and pills out there; and it tastes good! I did feel a little different after chewing it for 15 minutes, but no different than after half a cup of coffee, wondrous coffee.

Jeez, I almost recommend it. (That’s embarrassing.) But I recommend it if you want a nice flavored gum with some caffeine that will make you light-headed and feel happy … and your French press is broken.


1 Great stocks to own, terrible companies to make you gum.
2 My spelling got a lost wose [that was supposed to be “worse,” for instance] after chewing the gum, for some strange reason. And my HTML editing just got an order of magnitude more destructive


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  1. Caffeine-laced gum is relatively common in Japan. Strangely, they typically come in a black wrapper.

    Comment by Axicon — March 11, 2008 #

  2. Haha, very entertaining stuff.

    Comment by Will — March 11, 2008 #

  3. ahhh, rosemary

    Comment by wm — March 11, 2008 #

  4. as i recall, that essence decreased your concentration…

    Comment by sam — March 11, 2008 #

  5. Just like “oregano.”

    Comment by kendall — March 11, 2008 #

  6. It’s probably a bad sign that this actually seems like a good idea to me… But I’ve stopped drinking coffee, and soda has so much sugar, this might be a much easier way to get caffeine!

    Comment by Mary — March 13, 2008 #

  7. I tried it out. I agree with your comments exactly. It tastes pretty good and the added stuff can’t hurt. If you are going to chew gum, I might as well get something out of it in addition to fresh breath!

    Comment by Joe — March 14, 2008 #

  8. Joe, did you sleep well the night after you tried it? i couldn’t fall asleep, even though i chewed the gum many hours before!

    Comment by sam — March 14, 2008 #

  9. sure, but why no coffee??

    Comment by sam — March 14, 2008 #

  10. I have a somewhat anecdotal belief that it (separately from caffeine) gives me migraines…

    You thought it kept you from sleeping worse than caffeine normally would?

    Comment by Mary — March 14, 2008 #

  11. Sam, I slept fine, but I have only chewed it during the day. I have never chewed it at night.

    Comment by Joe — March 25, 2008 #

  12. thats cool i want some

    Comment by helo — April 16, 2008 #

  13. Actually any chewing gum will tend to increase your concentration. Anyone familiar with the term oscillation in reference to tapping your foot or finger, tapping a pencil on the desk, etc. This is a fairly obscure area as it relates to ADD/ADHD and other dissynchronous brain disorders. Chewing gum for the purpose of oscillating tends to stimulate the brain to synchronise sensory input properly which allows the person to concentrate better thus improving their “output”. The other ingredients just help enhance/define the product.

    Comment by Bumblebee — September 17, 2008 #

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