Silicon anode materials have been developed to achieve high capacity lithium ion batteries for operating smart phones and driving electric vehicles for longer time. Serious volume expansion induced by lithiation, which is the main drawback of silicon, has been challenged by multi-faceted approaches. Mechanically rigid and stiff polymers (e.g. alginate and carboxymethyl cellulose) were considered as the good choices of binders for silicon because they grab silicon particles in a tight and rigid way so that pulverization and then break-away of the active mass from electric pathways are suppressed. Contrary to the public wisdom, in this work, we demonstrate that electrochemical performances are secured better by letting silicon electrodes breathe in and out lithium ions with volume change rather than by fixing their dimensions. The breathing electrodes were achieved by using a polysaccharide (pullulan), the conformation of which is modulated from chair to boat during elongation. The conformational transition of pullulan was originated from its a glycosidic linkages while the conventional rigid polysaccharide binders have beta linkages.