Science (USA): how much you can swallow hot dogs in 10 minutes?

July 4, in accordance with an established tradition, the famous contestants in the field of absorption of hot dogs arrived in new York city to participate in the competitions organized by the network of fast food Nathan’s Famous. The event this year was, of course, is a bit unusual because of the pandemic coronavirus. In total there were 10 participants, and it passed without spectators. However, Joey chestnut, nicknamed “Jaws” (Joey “Jaws” Chestnut) was able to set a world record by swallowing 75 hot dogs (including buns) in 10 minutes.

Surprising — and even a little intimidating — it can be assumed that he could eat more hot dogs. In a recent study, one expert has suggested that people, when thinking theoretically, able to swallow 83 hot dogs in 10 minutes — this level of consumption can be compared with a grizzly bear devouring animal flesh.

James Smriga (James Smoliga) the idea of conducting this kind of research came at the time when he studied literature on the achievement of results in athletics. According to Smriga, physiologist from high point University (High Point University), scientists have tried to determine the boundaries of human capabilities in such disciplines as athletics marathon, or race at 100 meters, using the data of past Champions. Reading the article on the boundaries of human capabilities in running disciplines, he thought, “I bet the competition for eating hot dogs is not much different from this”.

Soliga turned to mathematical models, created by mark Denny (Mark Denny), a biologist from Stanford University. Danny used in the calculation of maximum running speed in dogs, horses and humans. Finding the mathematical function corresponding to the data relative to the installed in the past records in certain disciplines (in this case in the field of eating hot dogs), then over time, according to Danny, it will be possible to predict the limit of possibilities in this competition.

Thanks Smriga, enthusiasts of the competition in the field of eating hot dogs carefully documented their achievements over the past few years. Combining obtained data with information from the web site of a fast food chain Nathan’s Famous, he brought together all the data for 39 years, through 2019, inclusive (although the competition began in 1972, regular tournaments with a time limit of 10 minutes and 12 began in the early 1980-ies).

According to Smriga, winning the amount of absorbed hot dogs has increased from 10 in 1980 to huge result in 2018 — 74 pieces (the previous record also belonged to Chestnut). “For the past 100 years we have not received the result two times faster on the distance of 100 meters or a marathon, says Smriga. — This data is generally not comparable with any figures in sport.”

Similar kind of sharp rise in results is likely suggests that participants in such competitions are training hard, consuming huge amounts of food or water for a certain period of time. The goal is to relax the stomach and quickly stretched, thus allowing professional eaters “to absorb the huge amount of food, far ahead on this indicator the majority of people,” said David Metz (David Metz), a gastroenterologist from a Medical school Perelman, University of Pennsylvania (University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine).

In 2007, Metz have recorded this spectacular (or terrible) property of the stomach of one of the participants of such competitions. In the course of the performed experiment one of the participants swallowed 4.5 litres of water in just 2 minutes, whereas people with no experience in the field of competition for eating food, can drink during this time less than two liters.

At that time, as the reset one-tenth of a second in a race at 100 meters depends on complex processes in the cardiovascular, muscular and skeletal systems, the stretching of the abdomen is much easier said Smriga (he compares it with the use of increasingly large earrings for stretching ear lobes, but the stomach of man is easier then shrinks to normal size). This may explain the rapid increase in record quantities eaten hot dogs in a relatively short period of time.

However, Smriga believes that there is still opportunity for growth. On the basis of his calculations he came to the conclusion that a person is able to swallow 83 hot dogs in 10 minutes. He told about it in your publication in the journal “Biology letters” (Biology Letters).

However, Danny is careful and considers that one of mathematics is not enough, as the used equation are not taken into account psychological factors. In particular, there are few studies of the psychology of the people who participate in the eating contest hot dogs, therefore, according to Metz, in this area there are still many unexplored, including the maximum capabilities of the human stomach.

He also urges people to exercise caution and advises them to check all this on their own experience. Health enthusiasts from among the eaters of hot dogs could seriously hurt if they try to digest the huge amount of food. According to him, the man in this case can choke or he can rupture the stomach. In short, his advice is “Not to do it at home”.