What Do MLB Players Chew?

The Major League Baseball (MLB) is one of the oldest and most prestigious professional sports leagues in the United States. As such, it boasts some of the most talented athletes in the world. With a high level of competition comes a need for players to find ways to stay focused, alert, and energized throughout games and practices. This is why many MLB players choose to chew tobacco, sunflower seeds, and gum while they are on the field.

Bet on baseball Bet on Baseball Online
50% up to $1000 Welcome Bonus
A+ Rating Review
48 Hour Payouts
Join now!

Chewing Tobacco

Chewing tobacco has been a part of MLB culture since the league’s inception in 1869. For decades, players have been using smokeless tobacco products, such as snuff, chewing tobacco, and snus, to help keep their mouths moist and to give them an extra boost of energy during long games and practices. The statistics from the MLB’s 2019 season showed that nearly 20% of active players use smokeless tobacco products, with the majority being pitchers and catchers.

The Dangers of Chewing Tobacco

Despite its long history in the MLB, chewing tobacco is not without its dangers. Studies have shown that smokeless tobacco products contain over 28 known cancer-causing chemicals, as well as high levels of nicotine, which can be addictive. Chewing tobacco can also cause damage to the mouth, teeth, and gums, and it has been linked to mouth and throat cancers.

For these reasons, the MLB has implemented a ban on smokeless tobacco products at all of its ballparks since the 2011 season. Players caught using chewing tobacco face hefty fines and suspensions, and any tobacco products found in the dugout are confiscated by team personnel.

Sunflower Seeds

In recent years, many MLB players have chosen to replace their chewing tobacco habit with sunflower seeds. Sunflower seeds are a healthy, low-calorie snack that can provide a much-needed energy boost during long games and practices. They also don’t carry the same health risks as chewing tobacco, making them a much safer option for players.

Related content  What is the Bullpen in Baseball?

The Benefits of Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are a great source of nutrition, with one ounce containing around 160 calories, 6 grams of protein, and 4 grams of fiber. They are also a good source of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin E, magnesium, and phosphorus. In addition to providing energy, sunflower seeds are also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help to reduce inflammation and improve heart health.


Gum is another popular choice among MLB players looking for a way to stay alert and energized during games and practices. Gum can help to keep the mouth moist, which can prevent dehydration and fatigue. It can also help to improve concentration and focus, which is important for any athlete.

The Benefits of Chewing Gum

Chewing gum has many benefits, such as helping to reduce stress, improve alertness, and reduce cravings. It can also help to increase blood flow to the brain, which can improve mental performance. Additionally, chewing gum can help to improve oral health by removing food particles from between the teeth and increasing saliva flow, which helps to neutralize the acids that can cause tooth decay.


For MLB players, staying alert and energized is essential for success on the field. Chewing tobacco, sunflower seeds, and gum are all popular choices among players looking for ways to stay focused and alert during games and practices. While chewing tobacco does provide a quick energy boost, it is also linked to serious health risks. Sunflower seeds and gum, on the other hand, are much healthier alternatives that can provide the same energy boost without the health risks.