Stay Alert: Caffeinated Military Gum for the Masses

Stay Alert Gum is now called Military Energy Gum.

When looking for a daily pick-me-up most people are limited to one of two choices, either drink Coffee or down an Energy Drink. Either choice provides a reasonable boost to a daily routine but what about the times when a beverage isn’t a viable option?

What about the times when you want to be able to carry the caffeine on hand, whether you’re out snowboarding, in class, at your desk, driving to work, living life. There are just too many times when mugs and liquids are a hassle.

In the past we’ve done reviews of caffeinated candies and ThinkGums in search of the Holy Grail of hand held caffeine, but for what could be the first time, I think it’s been found. Stay Alert is the new bull on the block, and this bull has some serious bawls.

I don’t know how many times Stay Alert has caught my eye in the past while I scrolled through our Caffeine Food Index. Not only does the gum have 100 mg of caffeine per piece, it was also designed and approved for US Military use. Not knowing what a gum of that strength would be like, I resisted trying it until the day that fate decided to step in.

While browsing through a local mart of mine I came across the famous (or infamous) gum and my inner Caffeine Informer took hold. Needless to say, there was no escaping what needed to be done and the gum was bought.

The Rush

Two pieces was more than enough to feel the effects, the biggest difference between the usual energy drink rush and a caffeinated gum rush is that much more caffeine is absorbed through the blood vessels under the tongue than through the stomach. The package states that within 15 minutes of chewing, 99% of the caffeine has been absorbed. Step out of the way Redline Power Rush, if your looking for a speedy caffeine fix there’s no beating this.

200mg absorbed straight to the head in 15 minutes definitely gives a noticeable head change. A constriction can be felt quickly around the eyes and tongue, leaving a numb feeling for the duration of the gum which can be somewhat pleasant, given the taste of the gum. The gum comes only in cinnamon flavor but even that only lasts for the first five minutes. After that you’re left on your own, just you and the bitter, almost sickening flavor of caffeine.


A word of caution to anyone wanting to try this gum, multiple people I talked to said that in the 10 minutes following the 5 minute cinnamon flavor they felt what they could only describe as “sick”. Not a vomit sort of sick but they said it was similar to feeling the need to gag. I assured them they would be fine and to stick it out and all of them ended up loving it. If the gum is bitter it means there is still caffeine left to absorb, once the caffeine is gone it will be a mild enjoyable taste for as long as you choose to chew.

I really did enjoy the product tremendously, in fact, the gum I’m chewing while writing this is from my second order of Stay Alert. In the span of two weeks I ended up using my entire 30 piece pack, most of the time using one piece at a time instead of two. 100 mg is perfect for exercising, studying, test taking, and doesn’t bring on any jittery feelings.

The gum can be bought online from Amazon in sizes as little as 30 pieces (costing around 10$ including shipping) and as big as 120 pieces (35$ per pack). This is the only caffeinated gum I would recommend and it has been the only gum to energize me like it promised.

Overall Score (5/5)
Review by Josh (blog: Cubicalism and Coffee)

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  • tjg92

    Sounds cool, I’ll think about ordering some. I’m kind of worried about the “sickening” part, though.

  • Dusty

    Hah I bought 30 as soon as I read this, expedited shipping. I’ll see if I can’t report back with my experience.


    if the sickening thing is anything like madcrocs thing, u sorta get used to it after awhile, but at first, it sorta hits u hard.

  • Dusty

    Oh boy, got my gum our of the mail today. I popped one piece and within literally, 3 minutes, I felt the effects. That is, within a few minutes I felt that light pressure inside of my head like you feel when caffeine first starts taking effect.

    One piece was sufficient for me to feel a light effect, certainly more than what an average Red Bull-esque drink would do with one can.

    I haven’t done it yet, but I predict chewing two at once will be the perfect pick-me-up. The package says to chew a piece for 5 minutes, but I chewed a little longer to get the most I could. After about 3 minutes the taste certainly goes south. The rush kind of helps make it bearable, though.

    At the very least, give this stuff a try! You’ll be amazed at how FAST you feel the effect.

  • Jim Gildea

    I’ve actually ordered some of this gum before. The effects are quick, but beware of the taste. I would recommend Foosh Energy mints over these.

  • Colt

    I’m an Army Brat, so its easy for me to get some. Yesterday I was looking for my normal caffiene shot, “Rocket shot” when I found this. I tried one piece, and its just like Dusty said, but what’s weird is that I didnt notice a “sickening” flavor. Actually it was in my stomach, a weird feeling, but I hadnt eaten anything for a while. I am going to use this stuff next week on the Terra Nova (a REALLY annoying test we take every year).

  • Colt

    Can you say ADDICTED? Whats weird is that when I chew it, I look forward to the caffiene taste. The cinnamon flavor is actually annoying to me. Seriously, its like dark chocolate (which i also love), if you like it, its because of that bitterish taste.

  • josh

    Seriously Colt, I couldn’t agree with you more. The more I chewed it the more I found myself disappointed when the bitter flavor left. I’m already looking forward to ordering some more. Perfect for working or school or anything really. If you chew too much though the cinnamon oil will make your gums a little raw, watch out for it though and switch the side you chew on often.

  • steph

    Foosh mints are the best ever for this sort of portable energy.

  • Bill Wanker

    Bloody hell! Gum, and caffeine, my two favorite products, mixed together elegantly and potently? Great Scot! I must have it!
    It seems perfect for standardized tests, if it can be properly concealed.

  • levi

    they should make energy sunflower seeds!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jeremy

    @levi… You are in luck, because they do! The ones I saw are called “Sumseeds.” They are listed here on this site under caffine in food and you can get them through ThinkGeek

  • Mob

    This is definitely the ultimate gum man.
    Just a question for you:
    How many do you have to take to feel all jittery,trembling and sick?
    I’ve taken three and its all good.

    Nice work man, love your site.

  • Medley

    This now comes in mint, but I think I’ll stick with Foosh Energy Mints. They actually taste really good.

  • Jimmy

    I just ordered the arctic mint version of this on Amazon(dot)com and i’m really excited to try it when it gets here! my energy gum of choice right now is Mad Croc, but i’m fairly certain with the cost of this Stay Alert with respect to the amount of kick, i’d say mad croc is on it’s way out and this stuff will easily replace it.

    I’m thinking, one pack in the glove box of the car, one in the backpack, on next to the computer, and the other three in reserve. lol, I’m excited!

  • Jimmy

    Alright, i’m the same person from above, and i received my gum in the mail a couple weeks ago, and jsut had the perfect opportunity to try it, during a physics final earlier today. the 100mg of Caffeine is pretty accurate, it pumps me up just about as much as a single shot espresso. they weird part about this gum is that it’s kinda like a crumbly candy shell around a piece of gum… i’m not sure if i’m supposed to crack the shell and eat that first, then chew the gum, or if it’s supposed to mix in with the gum… i just let ’em mix. for some reason, i really look forward to the caffeine taste, just kinda different from most foods. Bitter rather than sweet. anyway, just thought y’all would like an opinion!

  • Gareth

    I highly agree with all the people who said that they like the bitter taste…I’ve bought a couple cases of the cinnamon version…and at first the taste was a bit weird…not bad per se…just weird…but the more I used it the more I came to like and appreciate that bitter, slightly odd taste that is so completely different than anything else…

  • rad

    And what about the E321 antioxidant (butylated hydroxytoluene) which is added to this gum and is unhealthy (possible carcinogenic)?

  • Patrik D

    I tried L.A. Fuel when I went to Europe during summer: the guys there developed a gum with 100mg Caff + taurine, ginseng, ginkgo. A real wonder !! No crash, no bitter taste…I couldn t stand the cinnamon taste of Stay Alert, I was not disappointed by this other gum 🙂

  • Frank

    Patrik: LA Fuel sounds interesting but I can’t find anything about it online. Have a link? Would like to try. Where in Europe?

Last Modified: June 30, 2016