Mouth spray that will kill your sugar addiction
Got a sweet tooth? We asked a dietitian to weigh in on how effective this craving-busting solution is, and if it’s good for you in the long-term.
Some pretty interesting products land on our desks at body+soul, so it takes something out of the ordinary to pique the interest of the entire team. But when something claims to cure us of our sugar addiction, and instantly at that, we lean in for a closer look. It’s not the first sugar-craving-zapping spray that we’ve come across, but we’re keen to put it to the test.
The product in question is a 50mL oral mouth spray called Sugar X, which according to the bottle only requires two sprays before eating, direct to the tongue, to ‘kick sugar to the curb’. The solution is TGA-approved, caffeine-free, breastfeeding friendly and has zero calories.
What is in Sugar X, exactly?
Gymnema leaf extract is the active ingredient in the Sugar X mouth spray which I unwrap, and which according to the attached press release “has been traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine to temporarily reduce the sense of taste for the tongue.”
It further explains, “Gymnema leaf extract, notably the peptide ‘Gurmarin’, has been found to interfere with the ability of the taste buds on the tongue to taste sweet and bitter.” The spray is a dark olive colour (careful, it will stain your crisp white tee-shirt, as we discovered), and tastes herbaceous, tangy and slightly medicinal. Not pleasant, but not totally awful either.
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Rhian Allen, founder of Sydney-based and online fitness community The Healthy Mummy, created the oral spray because she “wanted to create a safe and natural solution for mums who want to reduce the amount of sugar they ate. Sugar X can be used up to four times a day before meals and is a brilliant addition to support your weight loss journey.”
The staff road test
Naturally, the team was keen to test for themselves. I sprayed in my mouth before popping my 2pm vitamin gummies (which, to be honest I take more for the taste than the reported health benefits… but that’s a story for another day), and the results were … surprising. The vaguely fruity flavour remained but there was no sweet kick. My post-lunch treats taste… kind of like nothing. Sadly.
Jaymie Hooper, body+soul’s senior features writer, tried out the spray too. “I used this spray right before eating an apple and it made the whole experience kind of… bland. I didn’t get the usual tang of sweetness, so the spray definitely works, but it didn’t make me want to stop eating the apple. I kept chewing waiting for the tang to kick back in – but maybe with long-term use I’d stop missing the sweetness completely.”
A expert’s opinion on Sugar X
Wanting to get an expert to weigh in on the long-term effects of this seemingly magical mouth spray, I asked body+soul’s resident dietitian Melissa Meyer her thoughts on Sugar X. She, in her infinite wisdom, said “Although it sounds like a good idea, it’s not something I’d recommend. While it might be safe, I think retraining your taste buds naturally over time – rather than masking the taste of sugar – would leave you far better off in the long haul.”
“Ensuring your main meals contain a sensible portion of quality carbohydrate, like wholegrain bread or sweet potato, is the first step to beating sugar cravings. That’s because these foods supply a steady stream of energy, which keeps blood sugar levels stable. It’ll also pay to choose naturally sweet foods like fruit or yoghurt to tame a sweet tooth, along with simply being a little more mindful when you do enjoy that chocolate bar or scoop of ice cream.”
Does Sugar X work?
In the short term, yes – it definitely does what it claims to by reducing the taste of sweet foods. Over time, this may stop you from eating sugar-loaded foods, which could result in weight loss. But that would be up to you and your food choices. It also isn’t a long-term approach, as it relies more on removing the quick flavour hit than on improving how you deal with your emotional or nutritional needs for the sweet stuff. As is often the case, good things come to those who wait…