In a record-breaking win in the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest at the Coney Island, Joey Chestnut ate 75 hot dogs (with buns) in one go, that is, in just ten minutes. However, a new study says the human potential is more than that, provided there is the right training given.
An average human gut can accommodate more and can host up to 84 hot dogs and buns, each weighing about 100 grams in ten minutes, according to the research paper published in the journal Biology Letters.
On the question of why Chestnut couldn't eat 84 hot dogs, researcher James Smoliga at the Highpoint University in North Carolina said that his training might not have expanded his stomach enough to fit 9 more hot dogs or he might have to improve further on his chewing and swallowing skills.
However, he said that it was true for all performance models. Explaining further, he cites a 100-meter dash of 1990, when the world record was 9.90 seconds. He noted that as time went on, they ran slightly faster with 9.86 seconds in the next record and later 9.85, then 9.84, while it is 9.58 seconds now.
"The world records get faster and faster although, at some point, a biological limit is reached," Smoliga told iNews. In the case of hot dogs, training involves rapid consumption of huge volumes of food and liquid to improve performance.
It could also be the case that Chestnut was already at the peak of his biological limits and he might never be able to eat more than 75 hot dogs in 10 minutes, added Smoliga, while the upper limit of 84 hot dogs might just be achieved by someone having different anatomy or physiology.
Evolution Might Be The Reason
His research revealed the extraordinary elasticity of the human gut over time and is thought to be a result of evolution because animals consume prey greater than their gut capacity, so to reducing efforts to catch the next prey.
Similarly, it allowed competitive eaters like Chestnut to further enhance their performance more than the athletes of mainstream sports.
The top hot dog eaters are able to stomach five times the average 'untrained' consumer, while world record marathon runners can manage merely twice the speed of the average racer.