What Is Apollo Energy Gum?
Marketed as a dietary supplement, each piece of Apollo Energy Gum promises to deliver 80mg of caffeine, along with a blend of vitamins B3, B6, and B12, for a cost efficient five-hour boost of energy. And with zero sugar and minimal waste.
Compared to energy drinks or coffee, the manufacturer tells us you’ll be able to feel the gum’s effects about twice as quickly, since its liquid center is absorbed through the lining of your mouth. Then, the effects taper off smoothly over a couple of hours.
The Food and Drug Administration reports that 80 percent of adults consume caffeine every day, so it’s perhaps easy to see why—from drinks and shots to pills and gum—so many options exist for consuming it.
But apart from their jet pack marketing approach, is there anything unique about Apollo Energy Gum? Is it really good for your body, mind, and soul, as claimed on the website? Here, we’ll discuss what we learned during our research, starting with how caffeine is processed by the body.
The Caffeine in Energy Gum vs. Drinks & Capsules
Once ingested, caffeine is absorbed into the blood and body tissues from the stomach, where it acts as a central nervous system stimulant. Thus, over the course of a couple of hours, it increases alertness, heart rate, and breathing rate; delivers more blood and oxygen to the brain, and increases the rate and force of muscle contractions.
Compared to most other forms, though, the caffeine content in chewing gum like Apollo Energy is absorbed through the mucous membranes in the mouth, which contain numerous capillaries. Then, these capillaries allow the caffeine to enter the bloodstream more quickly than waiting 10-20 minutes for it to absorb through the stomach.
Put simply, as TIME’s Alexandra Sifferlin summarizes, “Primary absorption through mucous membranes in the mouth is faster and more complete than digestion, so you would have a stronger effect per amount of chemicals than if you ate or drank it."
Other than caffeine, do we know what else is found in each piece of Apollo Energy Gum?
A Closer Look at Apollo Energy Gum’s Ingredients
Taken from the supplement’s website: “Apollo Energy Gum Supplement consists of highly concentrated liquid energy (caffeine and [vitamins B3, B6, and B12]) surrounded by a spearmint gum shell.”
This involves 80mg of caffeine (the USDA reports 95mg is in the average found in an 8oz cup of coffee) and five calories. Xylitol, a sugar alcohol used as a sweetener alternative, and natural flavors and colors are added, but you won’t find any aspartame or acesulfame.
Sites like the Natural Medicines Database, WebMD, and Examine.com report that, while the B-vitamins contained in Apollo are essential for human health, there’s insufficient overall clinical evidence indicating that otherwise healthy (i.e., non-deficient) individuals will benefit from their supplementation. This includes the immunity claim referenced on the gum’s website.
As mentioned earlier, these same sites report that between 2mg and 250mg of caffeine may help boost mental alertness, improve athletic performance, and even address some aspects of memory and pain.
We contacted the company for further information about Apollo’s label/ingredients list, but we have not yet received a response.
Could Apollo Energy Gum Cause Any Side Effects?
The gum’s website emphasizes that it’s “intense. Each piece of Apollo Energy Gum is equivalent to an average serving of some energy drinks or energy shots.” As such, you should “Only chew one piece at a time, and not more than two pieces in 10 hours.”
It is not recommended for children or pregnant women. Also, keep in mind that if your pet ingests any form of xylitol, it can be very dangerous and you should contact a veterinarian immediately.
Outside of these caveats, the Mayo Clinic reports that it’s safe for most healthy adults to consume up to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day. Consuming more than this—or even less, if you’re especially sensitive to stimulants—could lead to side effects like a headache, nervousness, irritability, stomach upset, rapid heartbeat, and insomnia.
And if you regularly ingest caffeine and then decrease or stop, you could experience temporary withdrawal symptoms like a headache, depression, anxiety, drowsiness, and fatigue.
Finally, in some instances (no specifics mentioned), vitamin B3 (niacin) can cause mild, temporary flushing.
How Much Does Apollo Energy Gum Cost?
If purchased directly from the manufacturer, Apollo Energy Gum is available in the following packages:
- Gum Capsule (includes one pack, or five pieces): $7
- Launch Kit (two gum packs, free storage capsule): $9
- Energy Box (five packs of gum): $19, or $17 with auto-renewal
- Fuel Station (15 packs of gum): $39
During our research, we also found several packages available through Amazon for about the same prices.
If purchased through the company, returns are not accepted due to the food nature of the product.
Customer service can be reached at 855-558-9407 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
What Can We Learn From Apollo Energy Gum’s Customer Reviews?
Combined, we found nearly 30 reviews for Apollo Gum on Amazon at the time of our research, which gave the product an average rating of about four stars. There, most compliments appeared to reference ease of use, great taste, and a good dose of energy.
On the other hand, frequent complaints (what few there were) often seemed to revolve around less-than-stellar taste and large size.
As a company, Apollo wasn’t listed with the Better Business Bureau at the time of our research. Based on what we learned from the product’s site, it was developed by Troy Widgery, the founder of GoFast! Energy Drink, which has been in business since 1996.
We’re also told that Apollo took “a team of gum chemists and flavor experts eight years and 633 test formulas to create.” According to his quote in a Dropzone.com article, Troy said that "A lot of energy drinks give you a kick that makes you sort of jittery and you drop off quickly. Ours is smoother and more sustained. Ours has the least amount of sugar."
But when the rubber meets the road, is it all that unique?
Apollo vs. Other Caffeinated Gum Brands
Searching online, it’s easy to see that Apollo is up against many different oral caffeine options, including chews and mints. Focusing only on caffeinated gum, though, here were the top six products from Google Shopping Results, as of 9/4/17:
|Company||Caffeine Content||Price||Unique Features|
|Apollo Energy Gum||80mg||$7 - $39 / 5 – 50 pcs||Vitamins B3, B6, and B12|
|RunGum||100mg||$22.50 / 24 pcs||Proprietary blend: 40mg Taurine, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B6|
|Jolt Gum||45mg||$22.78 / 120 pcs||Guarana, ginseng, and B vitamins|
|Neurogum||40mg||$20 / 54 pcs||L-theanine, B vitamin complex|
|Military Energy Gum (MEG)||100mg||$28 / 96 pcs||Received the Army's Greatest Invention of the Year Award for 2005|
|Plow On Gum||100mg||$30 / 60 pcs||10mg taurine, 5mg green tea extract, 5mg ginseng|
How to choose?
According to CaffeineInformer, the most common complaint related to energy gum is the flavor, which tends to fade quickly. They report:
“Caffeine and other energy ingredients tend to have a bitter taste, so as soon as the sweetener is dissolved, what remains can be unpleasant to the palate. Some are better than others and the mint varieties last a bit longer than the fruit flavored energy chewing gums.”
Flavor aside, the right energy gum for you might largely come down to your personal preferences, such as caffeine content and per-piece cost. Out of the options above, RunGum, MEG, and Plow On featured the most caffeine content (100mg), while Jolt’s $0.18 per piece represented the lowest cost.
Our Final Thoughts About Apollo Energy Gum
Healthline tells us that caffeine’s effects last about five hours, which doesn’t change based on the ingestion method (through the stomach or the lining of the mouth). In other words, whether through gum, drinks, shots, or capsules, you’ll generally experience the same effects.
Instead, the only difference is how fast caffeine’s effects will be noticeable.
Given this, if you’re looking for a quick burst of caffeine through the capillaries in your mouth, Apollo Energy Gum seemed to have received high—if somewhat limited—online reviews from customers at the time of our research. It also came with a relatively competitive price, although without a refund option, you might want to start by ordering a single pack and going from there.
As with non-caffeinated gum (or any other food product, for that matter), just keep in mind that you might need to try several different options before finding the one that matches your taste preferences, as well as your budget.