"BECAUSE OF ITS association with the carefree attitude of youth, chewing gum can convey an immature or unprofessional air. New research suggests that it may be time to change that preconception. People who chewed gum while working through challenging mental tasks showed higher alertness and lower stress and anxiety (including lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone) than those who weren't chewing gum. Although the exact mechanism is unclear, the authors speculate that chewing gum may increase blood flow or metabolism."
Scholey, A. et al., "Chewing Gum Alleviates Negative Mood and Reduces Cortisol During Acute Laboratory Psychological Stress," Physiology & Behavior (forthcoming).
Mom - I know that all those years of trying to convince me to not chew gum were frustrating for you... but, I knew this to be true in my heart. See!! I'm MUCH smarter than I ever would have been. Now, aren't you grateful I didn't listen to you? :)