First order of business: Congratulations to our 5 contest winners! They have been emailed and prizes will go out soon. Holla for: Harrison R., Julia B., Louis M., Andrew H., and Amy Beth M.!
There's a new, somewhat disturbing trend in the gum world. No longer is gum just a passive, habitual device. Two major gum companies have recently released products that are supposed to energize/relax you as you chew. Ditch your cocaine, dump your coffee, toss your booze... you can now get your uppers and downers in gum form! What could be more convenient?
I try to say no to drugs, but as one of the original Gum Girls, I must soldier on and sample these... for science.
Let's start with Mentos.
New to their UP2U line, Mentos' energy gum comes in the form of Chillax Mint and Energy Strike.
Upper: The package claims, and the ingredients list does confirm, that the Energy Stike flavor contains caffeine. However, it doesn't list how much, and I can't find that information anywhere. It's in the section of the ingredients under "Less than 2%," if that's worth anything. Thing is? Lots of stuff has caffeine. Decaf coffee has caffeine. Chocolate milk has caffeine. Those things aren't going to keep you up at night, though, and neither is this gum. I popped a piece of it this morning before drinking my coffee to see if it would have an effect, and after 15 minutes of chewing, my cranky pre-coffee attitude won out, and I spit out the gum and sucked down the lifejuice. The gum itself? Nothing to write home about. The flavor is reminiscent of the weird Stride Shift - a citrus blast followed by a strange mintiness. Whatever the flavor is, it runs out fast and you're left with a weird, bitter taste in your mouth. Texture is a big fail, too - starts out alright, but quickly turns uncomfortably mushy. I'll rate this oo (two gumballs).
Downer: Mentos doesn't call out any ingredient on their packaging for Chillax Mint, but the ingredients list does have chamomille extract. Chamomille... that's a thing, right? Like a tea? Again, it's listed in the "Less than 2%" subcategory so I doubt that it's actually doing anything to chillax the chewer. The gum's alright, though. It has crunchy crystals to start the chew, and I am a fan of crunchy crystals. It's a decent enough mint but nothing to raise a flag over, and it's got a similar texture problem as Energy Strike. Too mushy. ooo (three gumballs).
On to the 5 RPM varieties.
Upper: One of the reasons of the aforementioned Gum Girl suckage, is that I keep saying to myself that the "next gum I'm going to review is going to be 5 RPM Fruit." Problem is, I keep buying packs of it, and they keep disappearing before I get a chance to review it. I've even bought two at a time, knowing I'd go through one, and three days later I have no more 5 RPM Fruit.
Yeah, this is one of those gums. It's awesome. The flavor explodes in your mouth with juicy, fruity goodness, settles down nicely, and lasts a crazy awesome long time. The texture is perfect for me -- it's a tad on the firm side on the outset but softens to an amazingly crackable, bubble-blowable consistency. Very well done.
I can't really say that it has any energizing properties. Folks are my work are just ga-ga over it. They all think it's magical. One guy says he can't chew it because he has a heart problem or something, and it makes his problem act up. Thing is, there's nothing in ther ingredients list that's out of the ordinary. Standard gum base, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives. There's no caffeine, no taurine... nothing. I don't drink energy drinks, so I can't say this for certain, but I've been told that this gum tastes just like Red Bull. I'm going to have to say that for that reason, and for that reason alone, 5 calls this "energizing." I've gone through a pack in one afternoon and have felt no energizing effects.
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Downer: 5 RPM Mint is touted as a "relaxing mint flavor." Again, nothing in the ingredients stands out as relaxing. No chamomille as in the Mentos Chillax, no THC, no ketamine. It's basically just a peppermint gum. Which I guess makes sense, in a chamomille kind of way, because peppermint tea is a relaxer. So, the flavor's okay, texture is alright. It's nice and smooth, but slightly too soft to do anything with. It's just a gum, nothing special, and certainly not one I'd reach for on the check-out line over another mint option. ooo (three gumballs)
Conclusion: It's just gum, guys.