Q: Does caffeinated gum work as well as coffee when you're tired?
Oz says: First, I have to put on my white coat and ask why you're using caffeine instead of getting enough sleep to feel awake. Are there changes you can make to get more shut-eye so you don't need the extra lift? Now, to answer your question: Most popular caffeinated gums contain approximately 100 mg of caffeine — a "small" (12-ounce) coffee at typical takeout joints packs about 200 mg.
In and of itself, that's pretty reasonable — the U.S. Dietary Guidelines suggest keeping caffeine to 400 mg or less a day. But caffeine researcher Maggie Sweeney, PhD, of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, agrees that it's smart to be careful with the stuff. "It's not clear whether the caffeine in gum hits your system faster than coffee does, and I'd be concerned about people chewing many sticks a day and getting more caffeine than they usually would," she says. That could bring on such problems as anxiety, insomnia, nausea, and an irregular heartbeat. A stick every now and then is probably fine; just don't buzz through packs of the stuff, please.
This story originally appeared in the May 2017 issue of Dr. Oz The Good Life.
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