The Effects of Peppermint-Flavored Chewing Gum on Parameters Related to Physical Fitness
Torres Diaz, Alejandra
Journal of Advanced Student Sciences (JASS)
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Exercise is one of the first things that comes to mind when thinking about improving physical fitness. However, the effects of exercise on fitness are a function of many other factors. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between chewing peppermint-flavored gum during exercise and the physiological parameters that are related to physical fitness. Previous research regarding the physical and mental effects of exercise led to the selection of the three physiological parameters: blood pressure, heart rate and reaction time. Based on previous research conducted on these parameters, as well as the impact of gum chewing on productivity and stress, it was hypothesized that chewing peppermint-flavored gum while exercising would decrease blood pressure, heart rate, and reaction time. Participants were asked to perform short-duration aerobic exercise on a stationary bike while their blood pressure and heart rate were monitored. Times were also recorded for reaction a test. Following data analysis, it was found that there was no significant difference in the change in heart rate and mean arterial blood pressure while exercising with and without chewing gum. However, a significant difference was found in the measured reaction times. There was an overall increase in reaction times for the experimental group after the addition of chewing gum. Further research is necessary to show that it was in fact the chewing of the gum that attributed to the increase in the reaction times. Although the results of this study do not show a significant relationship between chewing peppermint-flavored gum and physical fitness, the increase in reaction times in the experimental group suggests that chewing gum may be a greater distraction than originally assumed.
An article that appeared in JASS, issue 2018