Tuesday, June 5, 2007
This blog is going to the Dogs!
Do not consume.
I once made a bet with friends that I could eat twelve donuts in 30 minutes. I never made the attempt because if I lost, I lost face, and if I won, I gained waist, plus the knowledge that I can indeed eat a dozen donuts. Kind of lose lose. Unless you are Joey Chestnut, the new champion hot dog eater. Now I love hot dogs, but 59 in 12 minutes? What's the science behind that?
In the world of competitive eating, scientists speculate that champion eaters can 1) repress their vomiting reflex, and 2) tolerate a higher level of discomfort due to fullness. As far as speed goes, the bottle-neck is getting the food down the esophagus, which contracts and relaxes, directing food into the stomach. It takes 9-15 seconds to get it down, which puts an upper-limit of 80 continuous swallows in the 12 minute window. Some speed eaters dream of relaxing their throat muscles like sword swallowers, bypassing this system, and "pouring" food into their stomach, although this dream may be unattainable. See the most scientific article I found on competitive eating here; it's well written.
Thanks to Joan, for pointing this news out to me.