T Nation

Blend Vs Chewing


Does anyone know how much of a difference nutriant absorbtion is affected by chewing your food vs blending and drinking?...no I don't blend my tuna...always! But I blend alot of my other stuff. Obviously digestion starts with the saliva mixed it while chewing. But am I losing a significant amount of nutrition from blending and drinking?

All my meals got a fiberous carb, complex carb, fat, and protien; for example: in my blender yams, broccoli, udos oil, water and somtimes fruit. If one of my meals has protien powder I just add this to the blender also. If a meal has eggs or tuna or other meat I chew and eat these but I'll blend and drink the other stuff. My damn jaw gets tired after chewing a whole bowl of salad for 15 minutes 5 or 6 times a day!!!


I could be wrong about this ( i hope someone corrects me) but i believe blending things up reduces the amount of fiber. You've essentially broken down all the fiber or liquified it.

Example: If you eat whole oats, you get x amount of fiber, but if you put them in a food processor and turn them into powder, the fiber content has been reduced.

Does this sound right peeps?


I don't know about the fiber issue, but I believe liquid (or close to liquid) forms of food are digested more quickly, because the blending does some of the "digestion" for you by breaking the food down. This is why PWO drinks are better than a solid meal (at that time), and why liquid meals are useful to someone who is trying to gain weight (since they are digested more quickly, you don't feel full as long, and can eat again).


LOL no its still fiber just maybe smaller peices of the same fiber. Same with chewing it doent b ecome NOT fiber if you chew it.

Chewing/belnding = VERY good for getting everything out of the food you want/need making digestion better and faster can be a great aid during bulking chew the hell out of your food so Hopefully its get through you sooner for yet another meal.


I agree. I read on Dr. Basssite that a blended salad is absorbed 5 times more than a regular (chewed) salad. I think its worth it.


the mouth does not absorb the food. the small intestine does. I believe the only that destroys the composition of food/nutrients is heat and degredation over time. I dont know, but it makes sense.


So you blend salad? Thats a new one.


At least my first post will be interesting and possibly useful...

I've read a lot of weightlifting & bodybuilding books, including a lot of old ones. I do remember someone suggesting that you make chewing motions with your protein shake in order to get some saliva going and start the digestion process. Unfortunately, I can't remember exactly where I read that right now (usually I can remember things like that). I think my grandmother used to say that too.

Here's some reference from an article here on T-Nation that covers the topic:


Bodybuilder, Heal Thyself
An Interview with Dr. Ken Kinakin
by Chris Shugart

The part about saliva & digestion says:

KK: ...What we're finding is that a lot of the proteins people eat aren't being digested.

T: Oh really? How can we fix that? Probiotics?

KK: Probiotics come later on in the chain, but the number one reason for undigested protein is that people don't chew their food.

T: As simple as that, huh?

KK: As simple of that. About 30% of digestion happens in your mouth. If you just inhale your food, it's really hard for the body to break it down. The analogy I've learned is it's a lot like buttoning your shirt. If you start one button down so it's not lined up, then it's out of whack all the way down the chain. To fix it, you have to straighten it out starting from the top.

So chew your food, and even chew your protein shakes. A lot of people just gulp this stuff down and it creates a huge glycemic rush and it's also not digested well. The digestive process is started by chewing, so chew the liquid.

T: Wait a minute, you mean to actually make chewing motions with a mouthful of protein shake?

KK: Yes, that chewing motion creates salivation within the mouth and is able to "tag" the different enzymes within the actual protein, therefore you?ll be able to break it down better. If you're a person that has gas after ingesting a protein shake, then just chew the liquid and you'll probably solve that problem. Chew it about five or six times, just enough to get the stimulation going.

T: So you're not really grinding up the protein any smaller; it's more of a Pavlovian response.

KK: Totally. It's basically a neurological response. It's no different that visualization really. You know, you think about biting into a lemon and you start to salivate. Also, most people swallow their protein powders way too fast and it's way to concentrated. The body can't always utilize it and you get bloating. People assume they got their hands on some bad protein, and maybe they did, but a lot of times they just have poor chewing habits! In fact, in Germany there's a clinic where they basically try to cure cancer by teaching people how to chew their food. They suggest chewing your food until it turns into almost a fluid; chew about 30 or 40 times.

T: Very fascinating stuff! Now what's this about people making their shakes too thick?

KK: It's like with fruit juice. You should just eat fruit so you can get the pulp, and avoid juices because of the glycemic effect on the body. But if you do have fruit juice, dilute it down 50/50. Most people have way too much protein powder for fluid. You increase the fluid amount, chew it a little bit, and it'll be a lot easier on your system and you'll get better results in the long term.


Umm.. the secretions in your mouth are amylase, which breaks down starch. Nothing else, according to my anatomy class.


There are many components of human saliva (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saliva), but nothing that is really unique or necessary for digestion except for amylase (and that's only useful if you're eating something with the sugar maltose). Sure, digestion might be slower for solids that aren't chewed, but they will be digested. Otherwise I'd be swallowing some ice cream sandwiches whole right now. Mmmmm... ice cream....


I still think the best thing you can get/expect from it is faster and better digestion by chewing well or blending. You detroy and break the food down into smaller peices before it enters the stomach sot he acids etc have to do less work prior to the food leaving it into the intestines for further breakdown. Think crapping whole corn kernals.

So its good to chew. But in theory if you chews LESS during dieting. Times when you are aiming to lose weight. chew your meat less etc. it should stuy in the stoch longer have a longer digestion rate and sustained release. Interesting to think about.

I do find it VERY beneficial to chew the hell out of food while bulking though.


lonelobo is right. all that happens in the mouth is carb digestion (which occurs in the small intestine later on anyway). belnding shouldnt be a big deal.


As Phill said, it doesn't change the fiber content. A good way of looking at it is to consider fiber products like Metamucil. That's about as refined as something can get (powder), but it still offers the same benefits as "regular" fiber.


Sorry for the hijack but...

This reminds me of the 1986 remake of "The Fly" with Jeff Goldblum, where the fly's saliva with its digestive enzymes melts a human victim's arm like acid. Good stuff.


Interesting stuff.
So then what would the benefit be to eating whole vegetables vs liquified? (like v-8 or some juice concoction vs steamed broccoli or a salad)

What physically happens to the body if a vegetable or oat is absorbed more quickly?

By this theory someone bulking would be wise to be on a strict all-liquid diet, correct?

We're talking about slower or faster digestion, but this has nothing to do with fiber?


One thing I've noticed is that the more I chew (and thus the longer it takes me to swallow the food), the quicker I'm satiated. If I'm looking to bulk, I generally take a tip from the professional speed eaters like the "Tsunami" (Kobayashi) and try to scarf it down as quickly as possible, so I can eat more.

Liquid meals are great for this.


Saliva breaks down fat via salivary lipase, as well as carbs (via amylase). This is according to the wiki article on saliva: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saliva

But just the act of chewing alone stimulates your digestive system - it causes your stomach to produce digestive enzymes, so it gets a head start before the food hits your stomach. It also starts stimulating peristalsis in the gut, so the food can move through your intestines, and old food in your colon can move out and create "room" for the newer stuff.

That's why chewing gum can stimulate your appetite and make you feel hungry.

So it seems like the best idea is to blend your food first, and then chew your protein shake/salad/etc. to activate digestion. I know if I inhale my protein shake I get a stomach ache like a brick just landed in there. But if I swallow after sloshing the liquid around until I feel saliva come out, and drink the shake over 15-30 min, I never get stomach problems anymore. I also make large shakes so there is a lot of other stuff in there in addition to the protein powder. That way I get the same amount of protein but I eat it over a longer period of time, and I get more calories.


This thread is majoring in the minors at its finest.


You should chew food.


Boy that's nasty!!!

I remember this article on here stating that you should faux-chew your protein shakes to activate enzymes for proper absorption, so I would venture out to say that you still need to "chew" your blended steak and broccoli.