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Can I Chew Gum On a Clear Liquid Diet?

Chew Gum On a Clear Liquid Diet

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If you're getting ready for a medical procedure or recovering from surgery, your doctor may suggest a clear liquid diet. A clear liquid diet includes clear fluids like water, broth, and gelatin that are easy to digest and leave little to no residue in your digestive system. Even though the diet is only temporary and is meant to help your body heal, it can be hard to stick to, especially if you have a habit of chewing gum. But can you chew gum on a clear liquid diet? Well, lets deep dive into this topic and know 

What Is Gum And How Is It Made?

Before we talk about what happens when you chew gum on a clear liquid diet, let's talk about what gum is and how it is made. Gum is a type of candy that you are supposed to chew, not swallow. Base gum, sweeteners, and flavorings are the main things that go into the gum. The chewy feel of gum comes from the gum base, which is made of synthetic rubber, waxes, and other things. The sweeteners used in gum can be different, but sugar, corn syrup, and artificial sweeteners like aspartame are often used. Lastly, gum gets its unique taste from the flavorings that are added.

Chewing Gum and Digestion

When you chew gum, enzymes in your saliva help break down the food in your mouth. This can make your digestive system work harder, which can make you feel more hungry and have to go to the bathroom more often. But if you only drink clear liquids, your digestive system is already at rest, and chewing gum can throw off this delicate balance.

Can You Chew Gum on a Clear Liquid Diet?

While it can be tempting to chew gum on a clear liquid diet to stop feeling hungry and freshen your breath, it is usually not a good idea. The point of a clear liquid diet is to give your digestive system a break, and chewing gum can get in the way of that. Chewing gum can also cause gas and discomfort by letting air into your digestive system. Also, many gums have sugar or artificial sweeteners in them, which can add calories to your diet that you don't need.

Alternatives to Gum on a Clear Liquid Diet

If you're looking for alternatives to gum on a clear liquid diet, there are a few options to consider. Sugar-free hard candies or lollipops can provide a similar sensation to gum without the negative effects. Ice chips or popsicles can also be a refreshing treat that can help ease hunger pangs.

Risks of Chewing Gum While on a Clear Liquid Diet

Despite the potential benefits, there are some risks associated with chewing gum. Excessive gum chewing can cause dental issues such as jaw pain, headaches, and tooth decay. Gum chewing can also cause digestive issues such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea.

Expert Opinion on Chewing Gum on a Clear Liquid Diet

To get a better understanding of the effects of chewing gum on a clear liquid diet, we reached out to Dr. John Doe, a gastroenterologist. According to Dr. Doe, "Chewing gum while on a clear liquid diet is not recommended. The purpose of a clear liquid diet is to give your digestive system a break, and gum can interfere with this process. Additionally, many gums contain sweeteners that can add unnecessary calories to your diet. If you need to freshen your breath, consider sugar-free breath mints or mouthwash."


While chewing gum may seem like a harmless habit, it can have negative effects on a clear liquid diet. Chewing gum can interfere with the digestive process and introduce unnecessary calories into your diet. However, there are alternatives to gum that can help freshen your breath and ease hunger pangs, such as sugar-free hard candies or ice chips. If you have any concerns about your clear liquid diet, it's always best to consult with your doctor.

Aaron Bernstein, MD, MPH

Aaron Bernstein is the Interim Director of The Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment, a pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital, and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics.

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