How can I win a gummy bear eating contest?
February 25, 2009 1:02 PM   Subscribe

Best strategy for a gummy bear eating contest?

I've got myself into a 30 minute gummy bear eating contest. Winner gets a nice shiny bottle of Patrón and that makes it a very serious bet. Any tips from the gummy bear fiends out there? Swallow whole? Cup of water? A hand full at a time?

Your tips could very well make me a grand champion at work, just remember that.
posted by jwfree to Food & Drink (35 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
How much time do you have for preparation? Given enough time, I'd advise dissolving Gummi Bears in hot water until you reach the saturation point, and the drinking the resulting slurry. But, really, this sounds like a strange game-- perhaps the only winning move is not to play.
posted by dersins at 1:09 PM on February 25, 2009 [3 favorites]

IANAGBF, but this page confirms my suspicion that they expand in water, so I'd suggest swallowing them whole with as little water as possible. Are there any rules on tampering with the gummibears before the contest? (Can you pop frozen gummibears, for instance?)
posted by not_on_display at 1:09 PM on February 25, 2009

Normally, I'd say pop 4 or 5 in your mouth and swallow them whole with a swig of water - almost like pills. Thirty minutes is a ridiculously long time for an eating contest, though. You might find yourself filling up with water over that long of a time frame.
posted by chrisamiller at 1:10 PM on February 25, 2009

This page has some general competitive eating tips. Most of the serious competitors use water to make the food easier to swallow, but that might be overkill for what you're doing, and drinking water will definitely take up your valuable stomach space.

Do you think speed is going to be a factor? 30 minutes is a long time, and if you're not up against people who will be shoveling in gummy bears for the entire duration you can probably take your time. If that's the case then you should focus more on being able to fit a huge amount of gummy bears in your stomach rather than your actual eating technique.
posted by burnmp3s at 1:19 PM on February 25, 2009

Hmm. Water would fill you up, but gummy bears are sticky and might be hard to swallow whole without water. The solution might involve stimulating your salivary glands immediately before/during the contest, though I'm not sure how you'd do that.
posted by Metroid Baby at 1:21 PM on February 25, 2009

Best answer: The best strategy ahead of time is to schedule an appointment with a mental health specialist who deals with post-traumatic stress disorder. You're going to need it after puking up 30 minutes worth of gummi-bears and tequila... especially the ones that are forced back out through your nose.
posted by Slap*Happy at 1:21 PM on February 25, 2009 [13 favorites]

not_on_display: You don't want to freeze them. I've had many a Vermonster from Ben and Jerry's, and the frozen gummies on the bottom are rough. Hard to swallow, impossible to chew.

This seems to be a tough one - you should check out related eating contest AskMes like this one and this one and even perhaps this one. Competitive eating is tough, because each kind of food has a different reaction in large quantities.

The number one rule tends to be don't starve yourself beforehand - you need to have a little in your stomach, or it'll seize up the minute you start getting food into it.

Sorry I can't help with anything more specific than this! I have a bag of gummy bears around, I think, so let me put them through the paces and see if I can find some sort of immutable property about them that will help you in your quest.
posted by SNWidget at 1:22 PM on February 25, 2009

Have fun.

Newspaper article from: Pediatrics for Parents; 12/1/2003; Meyerhoff, Michael K. ; 66 words ;

Here's a sweet way to treat your child's constipation. Gummy Bears and other gummy candy contain sorbitol, an artificial sweetner. In children with normally functioning bowels, too much sortibol causes diarrhea.
posted by jaythebull at 1:27 PM on February 25, 2009 [9 favorites]

The gummy bear fiend next to me at work says to eat them one at a time for speed, because if you try to chew and swallow with a mouthful it gets difficult.
posted by cabingirl at 1:32 PM on February 25, 2009

Just a note: my daughter ate 1/2 a bag of gummy bears when she was 3 1/2 and had explosive diarrhea and vomiting all night long (as well as a distended stomach which earned her a trip to the ER).
posted by Sassyfras at 1:43 PM on February 25, 2009

Thirty minutes is a long time. I think you're more likely to run out of steam before time's up, regardless of speed strategies. (I base this on watching people try to eat large numbers of Peeps on youtube. They just hit a limit--it's not like they could have eaten more if they'd eaten faster). (The Internet is awesome).

Therefore I think burnmp3s and cabingirl have the wisest suggestions. Focus on fitting more in, rather than eating quickly. Really when you think about it, one at a time is probably fastest, as you can focus on getting a few good chews in, swallowing, and moving on. As opposed to if you have more than one, they'll bounce around your mouth and you won't be sure if you've chewed them all well enough to swallow yet (and yet some will inevitably get more chewing than necessary). Furthermore, a lot at a time would cause phlem issues I think.

I'd also take small sips of water when my mouth got dry, trying to hit the sweet spot between hydrating and not filling up.
posted by lampoil at 1:56 PM on February 25, 2009

Best answer: perhaps the only winning move is not to play.

dersins nailed it in one. This sounds like a Very Bad Idea.

Please write and tell us exactly how bad after you recover.
posted by Aquaman at 1:57 PM on February 25, 2009

One at a time sounds easiest and fastest, but with just a few seconds to spare, I'd stuff them into your cheeks like a chipmunk for that final advantage.

posted by misha at 1:57 PM on February 25, 2009

30 minute gummy bear eating contest
Is there a finite number of bears? because if you can eat a bear every 3 seconds, that's 600 bears.
posted by pointystick at 2:00 PM on February 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Just buy yourself a bottle of Patrón, seriously, your insides will thank you. I ate a handful of sugar-free sweets (with sorbitol instead of sugar) and was farting all night long - it was not pleasant, I can't imagine what half an hour's worth of gummy bears would do to your insides
posted by missmagenta at 2:01 PM on February 25, 2009

Bite their heads off first, to stop them kicking.

(This is going to be one of those events in your life where you look back and wonder how you were ever that stupid.)
posted by Relic at 2:15 PM on February 25, 2009 [10 favorites]

Either Target or Walgreens should have 3lb bags of Haribo bears. See how long it takes you to eat one.
posted by rhizome at 2:30 PM on February 25, 2009

You should put a lot of them in your cheeks on one side (to soften them) as you chew and swallow from the other side. Take care not to choke.
posted by shownomercy at 2:33 PM on February 25, 2009

Couldn't you use grapes or something instead? This just sounds like an horrifically bad idea.
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:07 PM on February 25, 2009

My advice: volunteer to be a referee, and I'm sure the winner will share some of the bottle's contents with you.
posted by davejay at 3:13 PM on February 25, 2009

Mix them up with a little mayo just to coat them, then eat the whole by the spoonful.
posted by benign at 3:14 PM on February 25, 2009 [7 favorites]

Best answer: Beware! A gummy bear binge once left me with oozy diarrhea and a gnarly stomachache for a day.
posted by HotPatatta at 3:34 PM on February 25, 2009

I'm not going to be a Debbie Downer. So good luck and God speed. My sage advice is to avoid chewing them as much as possible, so that your jaw doesn't get tired. Rip them into two before you scarf them down.

Oh, and make sure they are Haribo Golden Bears because they are so delicious I could eat 600 of them. Maybe.
posted by banannafish at 3:35 PM on February 25, 2009

Don't chew, just swallow with sips of warm water to help soften (use a straw to save time!).
posted by tokidoki at 3:56 PM on February 25, 2009

As per above. Do a practice run so you know what to expect.
posted by Muirwylde at 5:00 PM on February 25, 2009

Best answer: The violent diarrhea aftermath is the only sure bet in this contest. I'd venture that whoever organized the contest is fully aware of this and is somewhere chortling madly.
posted by reflecked at 5:06 PM on February 25, 2009

Apparently if you go get an x-ray right after this gummy bear bingefest, you'll be able to see them in your tummy. scroll down halfway. (actual scientific article: Ufberg JW, Lex J "Abdominal calcifications on unenhanced CT scan due to gummy bear ingestion". J Emerg Med 2005 May;28(4):469-70)

If you go to the hospital, can you ask for a picture of the x-ray? i wanna see.
posted by lizbunny at 5:08 PM on February 25, 2009 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I would eat them two or three at a time, without chewing. I'm a person who can swallow horse pills without needing a glass of water. Put them in your mouth, let them soften a little, swallow, repeat.

Yer gonna poop. Poop!
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 5:18 PM on February 25, 2009

This could be dangerous; I would not recommend it.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 5:43 PM on February 25, 2009

Read the interviews of the "eating champions" from the ESPN stuff.

Synopsis: the human stomach can eat a whole lot, and you'll still be hungry... for twelve minutes. Sit around for the first eighteen, and then eat like mad. Practice eating them beforehand quickly; see if you can chew through several mouthfuls faster than you can just swallow the things.. If you're really feeling ballsy, spend time overeating to stretch your stomach on a regular basis.

Assume - without practicing this quite a bit - that you will vomit slightly after the thirty minute mark. "Reversal of fortune", indeed.

I'd probably spend the first eighteen minutes tearing a bunch in half, to make them easier to swallow, and then drink them with water.
posted by talldean at 5:58 PM on February 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

I agree with the "swallow them without chewing" chorus, but I would cut them all in half, first.
And a little greasy something will help, probably. Mayo would be vile, but I bet it'll work a charm.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 7:27 PM on February 25, 2009

I'd suggest a strategy where you go slowly at the beginning while your opponent races ahead. Say that you're going to binge at the 20 minute mark. Prepare by tearing the gummis in half. Whatever. Just use up the clock while your opponent chows down.

Then, with ten minutes to go, pull out the article linked above about how Gummi OD causes explosive diarrhea, read it aloud to your opponent, and congratulate them on their win.
posted by zippy at 10:03 PM on February 25, 2009 [4 favorites]

... and then hand them a bottle of Pepto Bismol.
posted by zippy at 10:37 PM on February 25, 2009

If I eat a 200g bag of Haribo, I get a real light-headed sugar buzz. I get a feeling that this would be unhealthy if I ate more. I can't imagine eating masses and masses - in addition to your digestion, I would have to think this could be nightmarish for your blood chemistry.
posted by sagwalla at 7:25 AM on February 26, 2009

Response by poster: After having a discussion, the gummy bear contest is off. I expressed my concerns on the potential explosive aftermath and it's over.

Thank you AskMeFi for saving my stomach!
posted by jwfree at 10:41 AM on March 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

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