Why Do Basketball Players Chew Gum? Proven Benefits

It is a well-known fact that chewing gum can have multiple benefits for people in general. 

For instance, it has been shown to help with stress relief, increase alertness and focus, and even improve memory recall. 

However, many people do not know that chewing gum can also be an ergogenic aid for athletes – specifically basketball players. 

So, why do basketball players chew gum? 

Chewing gum while playing basketball can actually help put a player in rhythm. 

Additionally, studies have shown that chewing gum can help to improve memory recall – which can be vital when trying to remember plays or strategies. 

Finally, chewing gum can also help to increase alertness and focus, giving a player that extra edge on the court. 


Is Chewing Gum During Basketball Good? Pros that Would Really Matter

You’ve seen it a million times before. A player on the court is chewing gum while playing basketball. But is chewing gum during basketball actually good?

The simple answer is “yes.” Chewing gum can help you focus and be in the zone while playing. 

It also keeps your mouth moist, which is essential for athletes. Along with that, it improves reaction time and hand-eye coordination.

1. Enhance Brain Activity and Focus 

It has been proved that chewing gum makes the basketball players alert so they can think clearly during the game to avoid errors and shed distractions. 

Also, serves as a reminder to focus on the task at hand and not get lost in the game. 

2. Reduce Stress Levels 

The act of gum can also help reduce stress levels. When basketball players chew gum, it helps them relax and stay calm during the game. 

This is because chewing gum releases endorphins, which are hormones that produce a feeling of happiness. 

Therefore, well players often chew gum to improve their concentration on the court. 

Further, chewing helps athletes to improve their performance while playing sports. 

It is believed that mastication can help athletes focus on the task at hand, resulting in improved coordination and athletic ability. 

In short, it aids players in an attempt to increase their game performance by improving their focus and concentration.

3. Boosts Energy Level and Stamina

Not only does manuduction help with mental focus, but it also improves bodily functions such as blood pressure regulation, improves heart rate, and can boost a stress-reducing effect. 

This can lead to increased energy levels and stamina while playing basketball. 

This means that players who chew gum have an edge mentally and physically.

So the next time you are feeling low on energy, try chewing some gum to help give you a much-needed boost. You may just find that it enables you to play better too.

4. Prevent Your Mouth From Dryness & Tooth Decay

Chewing gum stimulates saliva flow and moistens the mouth, preventing tooth decay among athletes. 

In addition, mastication can help to keep athletes focused and alert. 

chew gum

Some types of gum also contain a natural sweetener called xylitol, which can help to reduce cavities. 

Therefore, gumming is a simple way for basketball players to help keep their teeth healthy and their minds focused on the game.

5. Decreases Your Anxiety

Players’ nervousness can ruin their game sometimes, as it becomes difficult to concentrate. 

So release your stress before gaming by chewing gum. It acts as an outlet for the tension and helps players calm down.

Also, it is refreshing and satisfying to manduction while playing basketball. 

In addition, it keeps your mouth moist, which is essential when running around on the court.

Further, rumination also has benefits beyond just helping with nerves and helping in improving your gameplay. 

When you chew gum, you increase blood flow to your brain, which can help improve cognitive function and reaction time. 

So not only will gumming help you calm your nerves, but it could also give you a boost in terms of your on-court performance.

Chewing gum before the game starts can help release tension and make players calmer. 

Lastly, it also helps keep players from getting dehydrated.

6. Enhance Your Memory

Basketball is an equally physical and mental game. Therefore, players need to be able to physically run and jump and think strategically. 

Chewing gum while playing sports can help improve your memory and concentration. 

The act of gumming induces mastication-induced arousal, which provides a special kick of energy that can help you focus. 

Additionally, the glucose content in chomping helps release insulin into the bloodstream, which has been shown to intensify memory formation and further develop the synaptic plasticity mechanism. 

7. Resist Sleepiness

Seeing your team’s performance drop can be frustrating. You may start to second-guess your game plan or indulge in dozing.

Under these circumstances, chewing gum decreases adrenaline that fights drowsiness. 

Moreover, the ability to chew the gum exerts effort because it involves the voluntary muscles making you busy, so it will be an effective way to combat sleepiness while on the court.

Plus, manduction can help increase blood flow to the brain, improving cognitive function and reaction time. 

8. Burn Extra Calories

Not only does gumming help fight sleepiness, but it can also help burn extra calories. 

You can burn 11 calories an hour just by chewing a piece of gum. 

Further, chomping is beneficial for basketball players that want to burn their calories. This will help every basketball player to burn their fats fast. 

Not only burn face calories, but it can also help you lose weight on your whole body. 

So, the next time you reach for a piece of gum, remember that it can do more than just freshen your breath. 

It can also give you a much-needed energy boost and help you lose weight.

9. Some Players Are Only Habitual 

Most basketball players don’t bother with its benefits or drawbacks, but it is just a habit they do. 

It is like a superstition to them that help them focus on their game. 

Even if there is no concrete evidence that it is actually helpful, players believe that it does and continue doing it. 

Though players are varmints of habit, once they get used to something, it becomes difficult to let go even if there is no logical reason. 

So, gum chewing has become a norm among basketball players because most of them believe that it somehow helps them play better. 

Though there might not be any truth, players continue doing it because it’s become a part of their routine now.

Further Benefits Include:

  • Reduce heartburn
  • Eliminate nausea 
  • Reduce anxiety and depression 
  • Keep teeth healthy 
  • Improve your jawline 
  • Curb your appetite 
  • Improve your memory 
  • Fight Drowsiness 
  • Burn Calories

Cons Of Chew Gum While Playing Basketball

  • Typically, bubble gum is not the best to chew while playing basketball due to its stickiness. 
  • It will be tough to clean up if you accidentally spit it out and quite embarrassing. 
  • In addition, it may harm you if it sticks to your esophagus and you accidentally ingest it. 
  • Another potential downside of chomping while playing basketball is that it can lead to tooth decay. This is because gumming can increase the time that sugar is in contact with your teeth. To avoid this, make sure to choose sugar-free gum. 
  • Further, chewing gum can also cause headaches in some people because it can lead to jaw fatigue. 

If you find that manduction gives you headaches, you may want to avoid doing it while playing basketball. 

Overall, there are a few potential downsides to chewing gum while playing basketball. 

However, as long as you are aware of them and take precautions, masticating can be a harmless activity. 

Pro Tip: If you do choose to chew gum while playing basketball, make sure to spit it out before entering the court so that you don’t accidentally leave a sticky mess. 

NBA Players And Bubble Gums

Since 2000, the trend of chomping during basketball games has been slowly disappearing. This is partly due to the introduction of soft mouth guards. 

However, some NBA players still chew gum during warm-ups and practice.

And why do they do it?

Mental preparation is just as necessary as physical preparation for athletes. That’s why players early on in their career may have discovered that mumbling keeps their emotions in check.

In addition to providing a calming effect, chewing gum also offers several other benefits. 

For example, it helps NBA players to improve cognitive function and increase alertness. It can also help to prevent dehydration by stimulating saliva production.

So while the trend of ruminating during basketball games may be on the decline, some players still find it beneficial. 

And who knows, maybe the next generation of players will start chewing gum again during games.

Does NBA Ban Chew Gum? 

The NBA has no official rule that suggests mumbling is banned. 

It does, however, seem like gum has been outlawed or phased out altogether in the last decade. 

The last known players to chew gum during a game while they were still in the NBA were Dwayne Wade and Ray Allen- both of whom have since retired. 

Many basketball players now wear mouth guards, which would make it difficult to chew gum. 

On the other hand, manduction can help players stay focused and energetic during long games. 

Other Ways To keep Players Concentrate On Game

Due to its flaws, dentists suggest to reduce gumming or replacing it with other things like energy gum, mouthwash, and water. 

Under this umbrella, there are many other ways to help players keep their concentration levels and energy up during a game.

These include eating small snacks such as fruit, drinking water or sports drinks, and chewing gum with xylitol.

In this regard, products claim to help players keep their minds fresh and focused during games. These include mints, sports drinks, energy gels, and gum.

Nevertheless, wearing a mouth protector or gum shield during games is the best way to reduce the risk of game injury.

On the other hand, energy gum original could be a better option for chewing gum while playing basketball because it’s not as sticky and doesn’t get caught in teeth as regular gum does.

So, if you’re looking for a healthy way to keep your energy up during a game, energy gum may be a good option for you.

Famous NBA Players Who Started The Trend of Chew Gum In Courts

1. Big League Chew By Michael Jorden

Michael Jorden set chew gums in a live basketball game as a trend for the players and the people who watch it. 

The trend started when Michael Jorden chewed Big League Chew Gum in his sports (TBH, Big League is Jordan’s own brand. Thus, he commercialized his brand and set it as a trend). 

Despite his three throw moves, fadeaway shot, and ability to fly, he was always consistent in every way, both physically and psychologically.

It is said that one of the reasons why he was so psychologically stable during his games was because he mumbled. 

So it’s not surprising that Michael Jordan is one of the best players in basketball history, and his ruminating habit might have something to do with it.

2. Jersey Chewing Trend By Kobe Bryant

Kobe has deep inspirations from Micheal Jordan– one of which includes the act of mumbling while playing. 

It started as a nervous habit to prevent himself from swallowing his own tongue during games but quickly became an iconic part of his hoops persona. 

Even though many people think that Kobe is the second version of Micheal Jordan (they have different confidence levels and mentality). 

Kobe loves Jordan, and he imitates him in some aspects, such as chewing gum. 

However, Bryant stopped chewing gum after his father told him that it would make his mouth dry. Instead, he started sucking on his jersey to keep himself hydrated (an interesting tip from the Mamba himself).

This trend was later popularized by other players like Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. 

Now, it’s not uncommon to see players at all levels munching away on the sidelines. Thanks, Kobe!

Final Thoughts

Chewing gum during basketball games has been proven to help players on the court because of its benefits. 

However, dentists suggest reducing its use because of some drawbacks.

That’s why players should not rely on gum and hope they will perform better with its alternatives.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I start chewing gum while playing basketball?

If you want to start chewing gum while playing basketball, I suggest finding a flavor you enjoy and keeping a pack with you during games. 

Start by chewing a piece of gum before entering the competition. Take a few extra chewing gums during timeouts to keep your chewing gum habit going. 

  1. What flavors of chewing gum are popular among basketball players?

Some popular flavors of chewing gum among basketball players include mint, fruit, and cinnamon

However, any flavor of gum can be enjoyed while playing basketball. 

  1. Should players rely on chewing gum to improve their performance?

No, players should not rely on chewing gum to improve their performance. 

Mumbling can help players feel relaxed and reduce anxiety, but it will never be solely responsible for their overall performance on the court. 

Many factors contribute to a player’s success, so chewing gum is just one small part of the equation. 

If you’re curious about whether gumming can help your game, it might give you the boost you need to take your game to the next level. 

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