Swallowing jelly belly sports beans whole

I’ve been trying a new fueling tactic that completely avoids pallet fatigue, protects my teeth, and goes down super easy. During a ride, I’ve been swallowing jelly belly’s the same way I swallow pills. It is very easy to take down a whole packet without chewing them at all. Is there any chance that not chewing them screws up my body’s ability to break them down fully?

I don’t know about breaking them down, but I do recall Coach Chad mentioning in a recent podcast that in terms of fueling intense workouts, it is partly mental.

So just on tasting the sugar when rinse-and-spitting with sports drink, the brain tells the body “it’s ok to dip into your glycogen reserves, because more is already on the way”, and the body is able to work harder, even if nothing actually ends up hitting the bloodstream.

By swallowing whole, you would be missing out on this mental signalling.

Obviously this is more relevant for short intense workouts, rather than multi-hour endurance events. Your talk about “palate fatigue” suggests you are targetting these longer events?


Yeah, 7-9 hours on the bike events.

I don’t think it would prevent the nutrients from being absorbed if you don’t chew, but it may take longer. Chewing would crush the jelly beans and increase the surface area on which your stomach acids can act. Plus I believe chemicals in your salvia start the digestion process, even if only for a little bit before swallowing. I would suspect that chewed jelly beans digest and would be absorbed faster than non-chewed jelly beans.

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I agree with what @Craig_G said. It probably won’t cause them to not be absorbed but may take a bit longer too.

The only thing I would be worried about is that I would think the risk of choking on them if you’re eating them whole while breathing hard or if you happen to get bounced around on the bike.

Thanks everyone. This is kind of what I guessed. I haven’t had any choking problems as I’ve been testing it. I just pour them in, chase it with a mouthful of water, and start swallowing them down. Honestly, I think it is easier to consume than blocks, gu’s, or ridiculously sweet bottles.

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