Chewing gum Food

Review: Stride Spark vitamin chewing gum

Stride Spark vitamin chewing gum, in its Canadian packaging.

Vitamin fortification has long been the domain of things like flour, breakfast cereal, milk, soy milk and various energy bars. But chewing gum? I’ve seen strange gum gimmicks, but seriously, what the hell?

The Pitch: “An excellent source of vitamin B6 and B12. Vitamins B6 and B12 help release energy in the body.” Also: “Adults and children 12 years and older, chew 1 piece for 20 minutes to receive at least 25% of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of vitamin B6 & B12.”

Warning: “Do not exceed 28 pieces in a day.” I can’t imagine what my jaw would feel like by the 27th piece.

How does it work?: I don’t have a clue. I can only guess that the vitamins are released as you chew the gum, otherwise you’d have to swallow it, and that isn’t a good idea at all. (I REPEAT: DO NOT SWALLOW YOUR GUM.)

The Look: Colourful, with the familiar Stride logo. The pack is a fold-out dual-sided contraption, with two rows of seven pieces each. It’s compact, and is easy to keep in a jacket pocket or a bag/purse.

The Taste: This pack is “Kinetic Fruit” flavour. (Most awesome job in the world? Coming up with chewing gum flavour names.) While I can’t say if it does or doesn’t taste like kinetic fruit, it DOES taste like citrusy orange Creamsicle. It’s got that freshening twang common to minty chewing gums. As a point of reference, think Lush 5 gum, with a hit of orange Rockets (a.k.a. Smarties in the U.S.).

The Effect: Did I feel any more lively after 20 minutes of chewing a piece of the stuff? Not noticeably, no. I even timed it on my iPhone. I was sleepy before, and I was still sleepy after. But my mouth felt a bit tingly.

A piece of Stride Spark vitamin chewing gum. Love the orange colour.


Cost: $1.89 for a pack of 14 pieces at Save-On Foods in Edmonton.

Value for cash money: Fine.

Availability: Here and there. It’s not as ubiquitous on gum racks as, say, Trident Peppermint.

Nutrition?: Each piece has 4 calories, and, obviously, vitamins B6 and B12.

The verdict: Gimmicky? Yes. Will it replace my morning coffee? No. But as gum, not bad.

It's all swirly colours inside the Stride Spark packaging.

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