Physiological Effects of Chewing Gum on Muscle Fatigue
Journal of Advanced Student Sciences (JASS)
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Muscular fatigue as a result of physical stress is a normal phenomenon for skeletal muscles. Excitation and motor recruitment in the arms and legs can be elevated by strengthening one’s bite force. Previous studies have suggested a connection between skeletal muscle fatigue and chewing gum. The purpose of this study was to determine if chewing gum has an effect on fatigue. We hypothesized that chewing gum while performing an exercise would decrease participant fatigue. During this experiment, participants were asked to raise and hold a 10 lb. weight until they reached fatigue. Heart rate and time holding weight (isolated activity) were recorded. Muscular activity was measured using an electromyogram. Contrary to the hypothesis, this experiment found that the time holding weight was not significantly different between chewing gum and no gum conditions (p=0.4256, 95% CI). This was supported by self-reported fatigue levels of participants conducted at the end of each session (p=0.6632, 95% CI). However, heart rate was significant in the chewing gum condition, as compared to the no gum condition (p=0.0019, 95% CI). The results indicate that chewing gum has no obvious effect on skeletal muscle fatigue and, therefore, no influence on somatic neural control. This is likely because the participants maintained a static condition, rather than performed coordinate movement. Despite this, chewing gum does have a peripheral impact on heart rate, which suggests that it affects autonomic neural control.