If you thought that chewing gum helped you concentrate, it might be time to reassess. While some old research has suggested that it can help you with abstract reasoning and logic puzzles, new research reveals that it can completely stuff up your short-term memory.
It seems that the periodic action that is chewing gets in the way of repetitious cognitive tasks. If you try and memorise a phone number while tapping your finger, you’ll find it much harder than if you’re not tapping — and they suggest the exact same thing is true of chewing. In fact, they even performed an experiment along those lines, and found that both tapping and chewing gum had similar results on short-term memory.
What this all means for your future chewing is difficult to say with certainty. If you use your short-term memory a lot at work, it might pay to kick the habit. If you’re thinking through abstract concepts all day long though, the occasional quick chew might give you the boost you need. Learn more here.