Does chewing gum at Mass break the eucharistic fast? I’m posting this question because nobody seems to have a clear idea on another thread in Liturgy & Sacraments. I was under the impression that water and medicine are the only substances that do not break the eucharistic fast. In other words, no coffee or tea (even if unsweetened and containing no calories), no diet soda, no breath mints, etc.
Gum and breath mints do not break the eucharistic fast because gum is not swallowed and breath mints are not considered to be food. Coffee, tea, and soda do break the fast.
Nevertheless, as a matter of decorum, I cannot recommend chewing gum at Mass or popping breath mints at Mass in an indiscreet fashion. As a matter of Western social protocol, chewing gum is considered an informal activity best done privately but may be done discreetly in public. Doing so on formal occasions, such as at school, in a court of law, or in church, is considered impolite. And, while breath mints do not break the eucharistic fast, eating one in a noticeable fashion in church may cause scandal.