- Joey “jaws” Chestnut just stuffed 74 hot dogs in his face in 10 minutes, besting his own previous record.
- Scientists have studied the bodies of competitive eaters like Chestnut and found their stomachs don’t contract normally.
- Competitive eaters can also relax their stomachs to hold more food, but the sport can also take a heavy toll on normal kidney, liver, and heart functioning.
Joey Chestnut has done it again. The competitive eater bested his own record at Nathan’s Famous 2018 Hot Dog Eating Contest, downing 74 hot dogs in 10 minutes. That’s two more dogs than the 34-year-old eating pro stuffed in his face last 4th of July, and a mind-boggling average of 7.4 hot dogs every minute.
It’s hard for those of us who don’t see eating as a competitive sport to imagine just how the human body can perform such a feat, and manage to keep it all the food down. But scientists have figured out a few keys to how a person’s stomach does the job.
According to a 2007 study published in The Journal of Roentgenology, eating competitions can do strange things to the human body’s regular routines, and really mess with long-term stomach health. The study compared the body of Tim Janus, a competitive speed eating champion who could consume 36 hot dogs in 10 minutes, to a non-competitive eater with a healthy appetite.
Each man was given12 minutes to chow downon as many hot dogs as they could.During the competition, Janus’ stomach stretched and distended, but it didn’t contract at all. The “normal” eater’s stomach performed in a near opposite fashion: he wasn’t able to stretch his stomach as much, and it did contract. Stomach contractions are important because they help break down food in the body for digestion.
That was one of a whole host of abnormalities that has been seen in competitive eaters.Here’s how the sport can affect the body, from your brain to your bloodstream:
Molly Sequin contributed to an earlier version of this story.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.