Why Do Boxers Chew Gum? 5 Basic Facts (Explained)

I know you’re wondering why boxers and even some of the coaches started a trend of chewing gum. Are they do this to look cool in front of their fans or it has any other benefits?

Do Boxers Chew Gum?

Chewing gum in boxing is largely believed to increase brain activity and has a positive stress-reducing effect. It not only strengthens jaw muscles but also helps to increase focus during the match and to regulate breathing.

While there are lots of surprising benefits to gum chewing, let’s make sure it’s legal and safe for your game.

Why Do Boxers Always Chew Gum?

Here I’ve compiled a list of 5 key benefits (especially for boxers) and some additional information on chewing a pack of gum.

1. To Strengthen the Jaw Muscles

So many boxers from the past, are known to chew a flexible but comparatively tough material to give strength to their jaw muscles.

An American professional boxer, Jack Dempsey is known for chewing constantly on a small piece of leather. Although gum is definitely not that hard but is socially acceptable and also more convenient for you.

2. To Increase Co-ordination

According to the research conducted by Society for Neuroscience, chewing gum has positive effects on the dynamics of young and older adults.

On average, we chew about 70 times per minute whereas walk only 60 steps. If you start chewing gum while walking, it subconsciously increases the activities in your brain and tries to match the walking speed with chewing.

Gum chewing helps you to relax your breathing pattern, increases your focus, and thus improves movement coordination during your match.

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3. For Its Stress-Reducing Effect

As a human, chewing is one of the motor functions that we develop from the very beginning of our life and it is heavily ingrained in our central nervous system.

Various studies have found that gum chewing can significantly activate various aspects of brain activities related to alertness, faster decision-making, understanding, etc.

It helps you to reduce the level of depression, and anxiety and reduces the stress hormone.

4. To Prevent Getting Dry Mouth

Constant hard training and consistent cardio exercises can be exhausting for boxers and often leads to cracked and dry mouth.

But, chewing a piece of gum (especially sugar-free gum) helps you to stimulate the constant flow of saliva and keep your mouth healthy.

5. To Increase Punch Resistance

Personally, I don’t consider gum chewing a part of my workout. Although it helps you to develop a solid chin over time and gives you the ability to absorb punches better, but it has no effect on the punch resistance.

To increase your punch resistance, you should work on developing your neck/trap muscles and not jaw strength because it has nothing to do with the knocking mechanism of the brain.

Is Gum Bad for Boxers?

As chewing gum is sweetened with sugar, it might cause adverse effects on teeth. Excess chewing of gum can also become a trigger point for tension-type headaches.

Although there is not much research is done into this but I always suggest, if you’re prone to migraine or headaches, you should not get into the habit of constantly chewing a piece of gum.

What Gum Do Boxers Chew?

Ideally, boxers should chew sugar-free gum that contains xylitol. There are some gums available that provide an instant boost of energy, but it’s always better to consult with a dietitian first.

Final Thoughts

There are so many good reasons for chewing a piece of gum, both mentally and physically, but you shouldn’t go overboard with it. If you know, the habit of gum chewing causes you problems, it’s always better to avoid it and limit it as much as possible.


Priya Dorge | Cargofighter

Priya Dorge

Priya Dorge is a passionate boxer and author, dedicated to sharing her expertise in the world of combat sports. With her deep knowledge and experience in empowering individuals in their journey has garnered a loyal following, making her a trusted resource in the martial arts community.