There is little scientific evidence to suggest sour candy can help relieve anxiety. However, people may wish to try sour candy as part of grounding techniques during panic attacks and alongside anxiety treatments.

Sour candy may help relieve anxiety and panic attacks, according to anecdotal reports. Sour candy may distract people from anxious thoughts and help bring them back to the present moment.

However, more research in high quality studies is necessary to confirm this.

This article examines the effectiveness of sour candy for anxiety and panic attacks, including the possible risks and benefits, other treatment options, and when to contact a doctor.

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According to anecdotal reports, sour candy may help to relieve anxiety in some individuals. The theory is that sour candy may distract people, causing them to focus on the intense sensation in the mouth rather than anxious thoughts.

Anecdotal reports suggest using sour candies such as Warheads, Lemonheads, and Jolly Ranchers. However, there is little evidence to confirm if these are effective for relieving anxiety or which type of sour candy may be best.

Although there is little research on sour candy and anxiety, focusing on the senses may help people stay in the present moment and relieve anxiety.

According to a 2020 study, even a short period of mindfulness may help reduce anxiety, stress, and depression.

Mindfulness is a state of being in the present moment, focusing on awareness of one’s sensations and surroundings. Certain grounding techniques for anxiety use mindfulness.

For example, the 5-4-3-2-1 technique requires engaging the senses, including taste. A person must focus on:

  • five things they can see
  • four sounds they can hear
  • three nearby objects they can touch
  • two things they can smell
  • one thing they can taste

Can sour candy stop a panic attack?

Anecdotal reports suggest sour candy may help stop or ease the symptoms of a panic attack in some people, but there is no evidence in peer-reviewed studies to support this.

Other methods, such as breathing techniques, may be helpful for managing a panic attack. For example, deep, slow breathing may help reduce the frequency and severity of panic attacks.

Learn 13 methods to stop a panic attack.

Possible benefits of sour candy for anxiety may include:

  • easy to carry and have to hand for any anxious situations
  • easy and discreet to access and use in the case of anxiety or panic attacks
  • may provide quick relief
  • does not involve medication and related side effects

Reports of people using sour candy for anxiety are anecdotal, so people may want to try it for themselves to check whether it has any positive effects.

Sour candy may have a high sugar content, as well as containing additives and other ingredients that may not be beneficial for health in large quantities.

According to a 2019 review, high sugar diets may have adverse effects on neuroplasticity and may link to cognitive impairments, anxiety, and depression.

According to a 2021 scoping review, research suggests that blood sugar regulation is important for supporting mental health, including reducing anxiety symptoms.

The authors highlight evidence that suggests reducing the intake of sugar and refined carbohydrates can help regulate blood sugar and ease anxiety symptoms.

Using sour candy to relieve anxiety is a short-term treatment that may or may not be effective. It does not address the root cause of anxiety, so it may persist in the long term.

Other lifestyle changes and natural methods to help relieve anxiety may include:

  • limiting or avoiding alcohol and caffeine, which may worsen anxiety
  • avoiding skipping meals
  • eating a balanced diet, which may help reduce anxiety symptoms
  • getting enough quality sleep
  • exercising regularly
  • breathing deeply
  • practicing relaxation techniques
  • counting to 10 slowly
  • finding activities or hobbies that feel positive
  • identifying triggers and trying to avoid or limit them where possible

It is natural to feel anxious from time to time. However, if people experience frequent or severe anxiety, or if anxiety is affecting everyday life, people should talk with a healthcare professional.

A doctor can discuss treatment options, which may include:

There is no quality scientific evidence to support the claims that sour candy relieves anxiety, but anecdotal reports suggest it may help some people.

The sensation of sour candy in the mouth may distract people from anxious or panicked thoughts. However, relying on sour candy in the long term may have downsides, such as excess sugar intake or masking the root cause of the issue.

If people experience frequent anxiety or panic attacks, it is best to speak with a healthcare professional and discuss treatments that can help ease anxiety in the long term.