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Gum alternative to help with breathing during exercise?


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I'm currently on day 9 of my first Whole30, doing a lot better than I expected but really looking forward to getting past the sluggish/bloated phase.  Sorry if this question exists somewhere in the forums, I've been looking for days and I haven't found anything that quite addresses my issues:

I'm a runner (usually 30ish miles a week) and have a very mild case of asthma, which tends to make my throat and lungs feel really heavy when I run.  Years ago someone suggested I try chewing a piece of gum while running to help with saliva flow, swallowing, etc.  I've been doing it ever since and, aside from the slight choking hazard, it works great to help my breathing keep up.  It's never been a craving/sugar/fake-eating/bad breath thing, it just makes the exercising easier on my throat and lungs.  

I totally get the many reasons why gum is a no-no, and am not looking for validation to use it, just wondering if anyone has any compliant alternative suggestions that might help?  I've been taking few of swigs of fruit juice or a bite of banana to coat my mouth right before starting a run, which I know isn't great for sugar levels and is only really helping for the first few minutes anyway, but my lungs have just felt terrible on every run I've done for the last week and a half.  I haven't used an inhaler for years, but it feels like that might be the next step unless I can think of something else that's not going to blow the program.  

Any suggestions are much appreciated!

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ScooterSndwch-  I will be curious of the results of your experience with the mint leaves.

One of the biggest items I had to give up is chewing gum... I kept several different flavours at my desk and would casually grab up to a half dozen throughout the day... I literally had to move them away because it was such a non-conscious-habit.

I am glad I read this to learn of a gum alternative and will try mint leaves...  I have never looked for this in a grocery store.  Is it a generally stocked item or am I looking at a Whole Foods to buy?

Thanks for the great conversation on this sub-forum from which to learn.


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